Comic Books Magazine

ZONE-00 Review

Posted on the 12 March 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Zone 00 coverTitle: ZONE-00
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten (JP), Viz Media (US)
Story/Artist: Kiyo Ojo
Serialized in: Monthly Asuka (volume one reviewed)
Translation: Nan Rymer
Original Release Date: November 18, 2014
Review Copy Provided By Viz Media

Let’s just say ZONE-00 is a contender for the busiest manga I’ve read this year. In this case, being busy is not a good thing. This TOKYOPOP title that Viz selected to be released digitally was probably not for the best because this is one manga I’m recommending you don’t try out.

The story of ZONE-00 involves humans and demons that coexist and seem peaceful, but it’s not a stable relationship. When a mysterious drug named “ZONE-00″ spreads around Tokyo, the demons to cause chaos. Two characters, high school student Kujo and transfer student who’s also an exorcist Shima, join forces in order to figure out the secret of this drug before it’s too late.

The biggest problem with ZONE-00 is it’s trying way, way too hard to be interesting to a lot of people, and nothing comes together. It’s too text heavy. Normally this is not a weakness for me, but in this case, it distracts from the artwork, and moments that should make sense and show some cohesion instead become a turn-off.  The art is not the worst thing in the world, but because of the story and dialogue, it actually is rendered useless, and not appealing in the slightest. It tries to be funny by having normal comedic moments in some scenes, but it can’t do any of that well as I didn’t find a laugh anywhere. The characters might have worked if there weren’t so many to keep track of, but because of the large cast, they’re unmemorable. There’s not a standout personality in the bunch, or anyone that keeps my interest up in this work. That’s disappointing since there’s very little that sticks out with this manga.

ZONE-00 Review
ZONE-00 Review

It does nail the violence aspect part though. This is a pretty bloody manga. The main character gets his head decapitated, demons get torn apart, etc. If Zone-00 maybe tried to go serious with that and not have much comedy, this might have just raised itself to be a decent manga, at best.

Instead, it has the characters go to high school. So the violence part is the only thing it got right. But after reading just one volume of this I managed to end up dazed, confused, and not enjoying myself at all. I’m not compelled to read much more of this. It’s up on Viz Manga for $5 essentially if you want to give it a look, and the first 4 volumes are up, but you’d best spend those $5 elsewhere.

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