What They Say
Fuuko Izumo has spent her entire life causing misfortune to everyone who touches her, an ability dubbed “Unluck”. Longing for a romance like those in the shojo manga she reads, but knowing she can never be touched, she resigns herself to death once her favorite manga ends. Her plans change, however, when an Undead man named Andy botches her suicide attempt, the two forge a pact – Fuuko is going to give Andy the death he craves!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Yoshifumi Tozuka’s Undead Unluck was a one-shot published in 2019 that got picked up for a full series in early 2020. I’ve been reading it since it started, and I’m a fan. It starts off very “Fine” but it finds its footing very quickly. It’s a truly unique battle manga with a lot of creative powers and a really engaging cast.
I’m gonna get the bad out of the way first here: The relationship between Undead and Unluck starts off rocky in a bad way and the series starts out with some overt sexual humor that may turn people off. However, I feel that these rough edges get sanded off very quickly, I’d say before the end of this first volume. And despite these rough edges, the series has a TON to love.
This first volume is part of an introductory arc, obligatory in the battle shonen genre. It sets up our two leads, Undead and Unluck, and their immediate obstacles. I personally enjoy their dynamic and find them very compelling as leads. Their odd couple, weird relationship becomes kind of cute in a weird way and it’s the crux of this first volume. Their dialogue is very fun to read.
Not much happens in the way of a groundbreaking plot or anything. The thing the series has as a worldbuilding hook is the almost SCP-esque bent to its world. Cryptids are real in Undead Unluck, and they include super-powered humans, such as Undead and Unluck. There’s also the otherworldly nature of the setting. It’s like our world, but lacking in some things. There are no stars in the sky, for example.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the art. I think it’s super charming, if rough. Very expressive, appealing characters and vibrant, energetic action. This action is complemented through very unique powers. Yoshifumi Tozuka is very good at utilizing the unique movesets of his cast in ways that feel very fresh. Watching Andy try to weaponize Unluck’s powers is very engaging. Later volumes expand on this in spades.
So yeah, Undead Unluck. Good manga. One of the freshest series in Jump right now, in my opinion. I think if you’re someone who can deal with something needing time to “get good” that Undead Unluck will be well worth the upfront time investment of a volume or two.
The somewhat milquetoast plot to Undead Unluck plays second fiddle to the expressive art and engaging cast. If you can get past some early stumbles, I think you’ll find that Undead Unluck is well worth investing your time in.
Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A+
Age Rating: Teen+
Released By: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 4th, 2021