Sun, 9 September 2007
Viz Signature, $9.99, Rated M for Mature. Originally published in Japan in 1974 by Shogakukan. Translated by Yuji Oniki.
In the last volume of Drifting Classroom, after many students had died fighting a bizarre and horrifying creature that looked like a cross between a scorpion and a centipede, we were introduced to a concept right out of Forbidden Planet. The monster was an exact reproduction of a drawing one of the students had made. Somehow, this monster had come to life from the mind of the student Nakata, and disappeared when he lost consciousness. Now, miniature versions of the creature are swarming around the school, ripping and eating the flesh off students in a matter of seconds! Of course, the first thing the students do is blame Nakata and some of them even want to kill him in cold blood. Will Sho, the elected leader of the school, be able to hold back a bloodthirsty mob that just might have the only solution for their survival? As if this wasn't bad enough, a strange sickness is spreading across the campus, a sickness that the only student with any medical knowledge recognizes as the Black Plague! Oh man, are these kids having a bad day or what?
I'm getting really curious as to why and how these kids have been transported across time seemingly only to suffer and die. I'm sure I could find some online resources that would tell me the ending and explain everything but I don't want to do that. I'm ALMOST perfectly content to find out in this manga's own good time. Sometimes I think that they are not in the future, but in Hell. How else could so many horrible things be happening to them? I hope it's not just some alien experiment to see how humans react to adverse conditions or the like. The horror at times seems a trifle over the top and sadistic, especially since all this is happening to innocent kids. Well, I don't know if they're quite innocent. They have killed and been killed. This volume underlines the fact that humans are prepared to go on a witchhunt at the drop of a hat. Witness the Twilight Zone episode The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street. I have faith that these kids, at least some of them, are going to make it back to their parents. A great read if at times a bit implausible.
My Grade: B+
Category:Manga Reviews -- posted at: 7:55pm CDT