Title: Undead Unluck Vol. 1
Author: Yoshifumi Tozuka
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Publisher: VIZ Media
Earlier this year, I promised to get into more Shonen manga, which ultimately won me over with Jujutsu Kaisen. However, I couldn’t possibly stop there. With Undead Unluck releasing Volume 1, I knew it was time to step out of my comfort zone for something that I typically wouldn’t be drawn to. For starters, I didn’t care for the main protagonist at first, but my negative feelings for him faded away, similar to his clothes in every chapter.
Undead Unluck Vol. 1 introduces our two leads, Andy and Fuuko Izumo, both of whom are considered to be Negators. This is such an interesting concept because this idea of negating something sets the foundation of this supernatural underworld that exists alongside regular humans. Negators each have a set of rules that revolve around “Un.” So for Andy, he’s Undead, and Izumo, she’s Unlucky. Their powers work together because Andy just wants to die, and Izumo doesn’t touch anyone because they die by a freak accident shortly after.
They use this to their benefit with an organization sets out to kill them. They don’t have too many goals in this first volume, but they decide to take on the organization members to join them to stop being hunted. There’s really no telling if this will happen or not, but we’re just along for the ride.
Andy has a backstory that unfolds through the chapters, but he’s been alive for so long that these flashbacks can continue for a long time. He’s a great fighter, but he has his limits and knows that he is unbeatable, making the fights a little more intense. Further, Izumo doesn’t have any fighting skills at all, but Andy wants to protect her so that hopefully, she can kill him for good.
This weird symbiotic relationship that these two shares is beyond strange, but it works well. Andy does some exceptionally perverted things, though he doesn’t pay for as much as he should have. However, Izuma understands his out-of-left-field intentions and does her best to use her unlucky powers to help them in fights.
The illustrations are full of high-action and jump around a lot. Given the Shonen nature of these chapters, many dense conversations occur as the fighters describe their abilities and attacks. Yes, typical Shonen. The pacing is pretty quick, though, and the action picks up with subtle doses of fan service in almost all of the scenes. They’re fighting for their lives, but there are some pretty funny interactions.
As of right now, I’d say I don’t like the idea of them fighting to join an organization that they know nothing about. Whether it happens or not isn’t the problem, it’s just I don’t really see Andy wanting to be a part of that group. On the other hand, Izuma kinda lets go of her will to die after chapter 1, which hurts the two character’s shared dynamic.
Undead Unluck Vol. 1 introduces cool plot points with the Negators, and I’m curious to see how far they can take this. The action is high, and Andy is naked in almost every scene; I don’t know what one could want more from in a Shonen. Still, I’d like Izuma’s motivation to be revised and have her backstory and personality built out. Right now, she’s turning into the character who just yells all the time. However, she’s hella cute, so kudos to Yoshifumi Tozuka.
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