STORY & ART BY: NAOKI SERIZAWA
CONCEPT BY: CAPCOM
PUBLISHED BY: VIZ SIGNATURE/VIZ MEDIA, LLC
RATED M FOR MATURE
GENRE: HORROR, ACTION
RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 18, 2014
Reviewed by Jovanni Febrero
At the prestigious and elite Marhawa Academy, a female student suffers a horrifying transformation. Called into investigate, Professor Doug Wright and his nephew Ricky find themselves caught up in a deadly and growing tragedy. As things get rapidly out of hand, Chris Redfield and his team from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance arrive on the scene while a mysterious figure looms behind it all.
Resident Evil has been a successful property since rising to prominence in 1996 and is Capcom's biggest franchise in video game sales alone, selling 61 million copies to date. The brand has since branched out into comic books, novelization, live-action and animated films, as well as other forms of entertainment. The overarching plot of the series focuses on multiple characters and their roles in recurring outbreaks of zombies and other monsters, initially due to the release of the T-virus, a biological weapon created by the fictional Umbrella Corporation.
This new manga series is a prequel to the Resident Evil 6 game that was released 2 years ago for PS3, XBOX 360, and Microsoft Windows early last year. The game itself received mixed reviews from critics and players alike, not for the story but mainly due to poor gameplay mechanics.
In this first volume, as what the title entails, the story focuses within the confines of the famous Marhawa Academy. Professor Doug Wright has been called to conduct an investigation after a student was infected with a virus that seems all too familiar. Along with his nephew Ricky, they frantically search for the source of the virus as they race against time to stop it from spreading and infecting everyone in the campus and turning them into terrifying zombies.
Meanwhile, Chris Redfield's team rushes to where the Professor is to find out what the hell is going on and hopefully get there in time before it's too late. Is this sudden infection an accident, or is it someone's well executed plan?
This is a fast paced book and it's the first volume no less! This is how you get readers interested and stay interested...you get right into the heart of the matter. There is so much mystery here and the suspense is great! I suspect that they will slow down the pace in the second volume to make way for more character development as it is non-existent on this one. The number of fatalities in this volume are small but it's just a matter of time before the body count starts rising rapidly. In terms of creative kills, it's what you come to expect from zombies, nothing flashy but still satisfying.
The artwork in this new series is splendidly done. It is very picturesque, clean and smooth yet roughs up beautifully when it comes to the zombies. The settings give off an architectural accuracy, as shown by the well detailed infrastructures.
Personally, as much as I enjoyed reading this manga, in my opinion it doesn't offer anything new to the Resident Evil mythology or the zombie genre. You can change things around but the paradigm basically stays the same. When all is said and done, I do admire the creators' conviction expanding the universe by offering new storylines. In such, I continue to support their work and remain a fan. For the hardcore Resident Evil fans, this is an excellent addition to your ever-growing collection. And for the rest of you, I recommend you pick up a copy of this violent but entertaining work and give it a go. After all, who doesn't like zombies?!