Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: June 2008
“Though Chika and Shito manage to extract the girls from the clutches of the Butterfly Killer’s fans, the case takes a shocking turn when an unexpected betrayal is revealed! With heavy hearts, the members of Z-loan close the case, but they still can’t shake the blues. So the Chancellor sponsors a group trip to the hot springs, which starts out all fun and games but ends with… a howl?!”
The story here in volume three of Zombie Loan picks up where volume two left readers off: Chika and Shito, adorned in maid girl outfits, find themselves cornered by the Butterfly Killer’s fans. While the men race to save them, and they all then chase the supposed target, the true Butterfly Killer ends up being one of their own.
I had trouble getting through the beginning of the book. The pacing was uneven and the panels’ placement didn’t help with blots of text haphazardly placed atop them. Overall it just didn’t offer a very smooth reading experience and it took away any enjoyment I could have otherwise had. Fortunately the book did manage to catch up to itself by the middle, and for a while I did have some fun reading the events as they unfolded. Then, painfully, the story took a turn for the clichéd as the Z-Loan team heads off to a hot spring, complete with gratuitous fan service and the same chunky pacing as the beginning.
The characters themselves did nothing for me throughout my reading and I didn’t find myself feeling very empathetic to any of them. In the end, the only part that really piqued my interest was the final page, introducing a character I knew nothing about and thus, I suppose, had no reason to dislike.
Though somehow a selling point, I found very little to like about Peach Pit’s art here. The designs were pretty plain and the art itself was inconsistent, suffering from lopsided faces and weak anatomy. The female’s soulless eyes held little in the way of appeal or emotion and the pages often suffered from unbalance placement of text and images. While the occasional panel caught my eye with nice ink work or pretty faces (when drawn considerably different from the usual in this book), they didn’t come close to offsetting the things I disliked here.
All elements combined, a weak beginning and even weaker ending make Zombie Loan, volume three, a lack-lustre read. With unappealing artwork and few compelling plot points, it’s unfortunately not a series I have any wish to continue after getting through its third instalment.