Story/Art: Mitsuru Hattori
Translation/Adaptation: Lindsey Akashi
What They Say
A letter from his grandfather leads Chihiro to an ice cave where a centuries-old, frozen zombie reveals the secrets of Grandpa Jogoro’s tragic past and the origins of the zombie elixir. All this unlocks a deep-seated memory in Chihiro that finally reveals the reason behind his infatuation with zombies, but before he has time to reflect on everything, Chihiro discovers that Rea has gone on a rampage in search of her “favorite food.” Will Chihiro sacrifice himself to satiate Rea’s voracious appetite for human flesh?
The Review! (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Chihiro has found the frozen zombie his grandfather left him. Well, maybe didn’t leave him, but this frozen zombie has an amazing tale to share once she has thawed and regained consciousness. Because of Grandpa’s zombie research and his exposure to the elixir, he has managed to live more than 150 years and this frozen zombie is his second wife, Otoki. And Otoki has been frozen for a century!
Now Otoki’s time is limited as her body quickly breaks down. She knows why Chihiro is here and why Grandpa would have sent him to her. Grandpa must not be coming back from the island, so revealing Grandpa’s past, how and why he followed his zombie research, and what really happened to Grandpa’s daughter and Chiriho’s mother is the last thing Otoki will ever do. So Otoki begins with how Grandpa’s first wife and village all died in the great famine before the Meiji Era. How she met Grandpa and fell in love, how Grandpa told her about the zombie elixir, and how they tried to perfect the elixir together.
Otoki died suddenly, and after Grandpa made her a zombie, things seemed to be working well. However, Otoki quickly realized that hydrangea leaves were not enough and that what she really craved was what she loved the most; in her case it was Grandpa. So, Otoki convinced Grandpa to freeze her in the ice cave for his protection, and that is where she has been ever since. After this failure, Grandpa gave up on the zombie elixir and eventually remarried and had children, and then grandchildren in Mero and Chihiro. But tragedy struck Grandpa’s life again when Chihiro was only a boy and there was a terrible accident. Otoki offers to stop her revealing story, but Chihiro insists that he hear what really happened to his mother, and it is nothing short of shocking.
However, just as shocking, is that at the same time as Chihiro is learning from Otoki, Rea is at Chihiro’s house attacking his family! What is wrong with Rea, and is this finally the end? Has Rea reached the end of her time as a thinking zombie? Will Chihiro be able to put Rea down to protect everyone around him?
This volume reveals so much about what happened to Grandpa over his long life, and most importantly the tragedy that befell Chihiro’s mother and why he can’t remember her. I also really enjoyed the zombie Otoki, she has a great sense of humor and turns out to be quite entertaining. The world of Sankarea is quickly rushing to an explosive ending. Rea is an odd zombie, but she has the ability to maintain her massive strength even though she is slipping into the final stage of being a zombie; eat anything that moves! This really leaves numerous questions to be wrapped up in the next and final volume of Sankarea.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: Older Teens 16+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: December 2nd, 2014