Apocalypse no Toride, otherwise known as Fort of (the) Apocalypse. I’ve caught up to chapter 35, which at the time of this post, is the most recent chapter. Normally this isn’t the kind of comic I like, but one particular thing really caught my eye, so yeah, read on to find out more. Oh, also, there’s gonna be spoilers.
Heck, in fact, if you don’t wanna be spoiled, here’s my recommendation: Yeah, it’s worth reading, provided you’re not violently opposed to zombie apocalypses like I usually am. It’s not the best manga out there, but there are many more that are worse. I’d say, around a B- or C+?
So what’s this Apocalypse no Toride thing? It’s just your standard zombie survival comic. It focuses on a dude named Maeda who was “wrongly convicted” and sent to some juvenile facility, where he was grouped with an eclectic group of fellow prisoners. Zombie stuff happens and suddenly, this prison is just about one of the (relatively) safest places on Earth.
It starts off as a pretty generic zombie story, to be honest. Like Highschool of the Dead, it uses a lot of tired zombie apocalypse cliches. But since this title is focused on a buncha male prisoners, it doesn’t have the stupid cheesecake factor from Highschool of the Dead, which is something of a plus actually. Also, unlike Highschool of the Dead, which started as a lame generic zompoc before (d)evolving into an even lamer hormonal wish fulfillment-fest, Apocalypse no Toride ends up becoming something more along the lines of Eden no Ori, where the inmates are killed by ever weirder zombie mutations.
Okay, so I actually read this manga long ago and hit around chapter 10, which was the most up to date chapter at that time. At that point, the main characters were exiled from the prison and encountered some human-faced dog zombies that are faster and seem somewhat smarter, which is pretty standard fare. As I stopped/forgot about the series in-between updates, the main characters have just encountered some strange World War Z shit; where there’s a fast moving “pillar” of zombies, with some androgynous dude sitting on the zombies like a throne. He seemed rather fixated on the main main character, Maeda.
Anywho, after quite some time, I’ve returned to this title out of boredom. The “zombie king” tries to personally infect Maeda, but the other main characters were able to subdue ‘em. Naturally, the “smart” one insists on bringing back this zombie king to the prison, alongside a buncha supplies which’ll buy their way back into the prison.
Scientific mumbo-jumbo gets talked about and naturally, some dumb fucks unintentionally set the zombie king loose, which results in a sea of zombies nearly wiping out the prison, but luckily, the main characters managed to subdue/kill the zombie king again.
Now we get to the part that got me to write this post. Major spoilers now. Everything before this was standard zombie stuff, so they’re not REALLY spoilers.
After the carnage from the zombie king incident, a military chopper sent from the UN arrives. They’ve come to investigate the zombie outbreak and rescue the prisoners. While investigating, they found a pile of zombie corpses and were visibly upset. When asked why they’d care that a buncha zombies were killed, they revealed that a cure’s actually been developed, so the inmates committed MURDER by killing the zombies. Dun dun DUNN!
Nah, that’s not the big spoiler. The big spoiler is that these guys were not from the UN and there’s no cure. They’re actually… a CULT. And that’s the one thing that I really dug from this whole shebang. Apparently, the leaders of this cult believe that the zombie king is actually the second coming of Jesus. After all, the dead were walking as if they were living. Not only that, they researched the matter based on scientific findings. A disease is supposed to make you weak and perhaps even kill you. But these zombies are not weak, and they’re hardly “dead”. In fact, in terms of vitality, unless they’re violently killed, they’re a lot more “alive” than living people. For this reason, scientists are actually classifying this as the emergence of a new species, as opposed to a pandemic. Also, while certainly, the zombies’ behaviour is detrimental to humans, amongst themselves, they do no harm. Further proof that they’re of a superior society to mere humans. As far as the cultists are concerned, the zombies are angels.
This, the cultists explain, by way of apology for deceiving the inmates. Oh, and since inmates have committed so much murder against the zombies, they must be punished.
Just as the cultists are about to gun all the inmates down, one of ‘em comes out all “Hallelujah! I’ve seen the light!” and begs to be spared from being shot. The cultists happily agree and throw him over the wall where he’s torn apart by the zombies.
The cultists give all the inmates 2 choices. Either beg forgiveness from the “angels” or apologize to God “directly”. Everyone’s entitled to either choice.
So yeah, I dug that. Stuff become a tad lame after that. Then after the cultists storyline, stuff goes back to being the same ol’ same ol’. It’s not necessarily a bad zompoc manga; it’s certainly better than Highschool of the Dead with its general lack of pandering to creepy otaku, but it certainly peaked with the cultists.
Would I recommend it? Sure, why not? Though only if you’re not violently opposed to zombies like I normally am. There are better manga out there, but there’s many more worse. I’d say, around a B- or C+?