Is it just me or are manga and anime chock full of school-based settings? It seems to be the go to due to its nature as a breeding ground of anxiety and teen melodrama. Now imagine that setting filled with zombies, a headmistress Nun who’s all sorts of creepy and a professor who’s discovered a new strain of zombie. Sounds pretty awesome, and the Marhawa Desire is definitely that and more.
Resident Evil, Vol. 2: The Marhawa Desire (Viz Media)
Writer Naoki Serizawa spends the first half of this volume getting our protagonists from point A to point B with plenty of zombie action. From there the story takes a surprising turn, unveiling a mystery of the origin of all this evil and it all comes from the school’s headmistress. We learn certain characters are loyal to her for a variety of reasons, and ultimately it’s nice soap opera material. The dialogue is a bit iffy in places, but the drama of the plot keeps things fresh enough to surprise and keep things interesting.
The art is by the same Serizawa and damn is it incredibly detailed. The gore is straight out of a film it’s so lifelike and the characters are very well rendered. Backgrounds get equal detail and they look fabulous. The only downside I can find in the art is the layouts, which don’t change up much across the 176 pages. This might be due to the smaller format of the manga, but it gets a little boring when yet another diagonal panel slashes across the page.
Overall this is a good second volume that can’t get out of its action-packed way for the first half but delivers an adequate amount of reveals and revelations in the second portion to keep things interesting.
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