365 Days of Manga, Day 62: Kamiyadori

 

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KAMIYADORI (Kamiyadori) (?????) • Kei Sanbe • Tokyopop (2006-2008) • Kadokawa Shoten (Monthly Shônen Ace, 2004-2006) • 5 volumes • Science Fiction Horror Action • 16+/18+ (language, brief crude humor, extreme graphic violence, nudity)
In a near-future country vaguely modeled on Nepal, humanity is threatened by the Kamiyadori, a worldwide plague which turns the infected into shapeless, insect-like monsters. While the authorities of the “Cathedral” use ruthless measures to enforce quarantine, burning entire city blocks and cracking down on an illegal Kamiyadori-suppression drug, an elite special forces team–the “Right Hands”–has the hands-on business of killing the infected. As in his previous work Testarotho, whose heroes were gun-wielding religious inquisitors, Kei Sanbe focuses less on the monsters than on human-human violence and dark moral issues. (On the other hand, there’s only so many times you can do the “please shoot me before I turn into a monster” routine.) The hero’s sidekick Vivi, a pubescent street urchin who spends most of the manga bare-assed, gets most of the action scenes, but there’s a whole cast of shady, above-the-law characters, distinctively depicted with Sanbe’s excellent figure artwork. (Sanbe’s style is heavily influenced by Hirohiko Araki, who he served as chief assistant on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.) The third-world setting is also drawn in detail–possibly too much detail, as despite all the angst and badassitude, Sanbe’s plots lack forward movement and never quite manage to wring the emotion out of the characters that might make the story more powerful. Volume 1 is rated 16+; volumes 2-5 are rated 18+, although there is no significant difference in the content.
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Today’s winner is Helen P. of Texas! Congratulations, Helen! We also have another photo from a previous day’s winner…. (dramatic announcer voice)… NAAATHAAAN GAAARDNERRR!
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Congratulations, Nathan! I hope you like the additional, all-new (well, used, but you know what I mean) manga I’m about to send you!