Manga: Reiko The Zombie Shop
"Oh Satan, Lord of Demons, hear our prayer! Awaken the truths that lie swallowed in this sleeping one! Grant us your majestic power! Breathe life into death, if only for a moment's breath!"Reiko The Zombie Shop
— Reiko Himezono
is a horror manga
about a Necromancer
for hire Reiko Himezono, who will raise the dead for a price.
The first volume of the series contained stories which followed a standard episodic plot formula: Reiko is hired by someone to use her powers to resurrect someone who has just died, and when Reiko does just that she steps back and watches as the personal drama between the living and deceased plays out. Reiko never lets her personal feelings get in the way of her duties as a necromancer, and always charges for her services, even to people she considers friends. She's seen enough to be quite Genre Savvy
when it comes to dealing with the undead, and always warns her clients that when their loved ones come back they could be unstable. The zombies do indeed turn out to be quite Ax-Crazy
, although they retain their intelligence and their memories long enough to hunt down the person responsible for their suffering.
Along the way, Reiko encounters Saki Yurikawa, a teenage serial killer who hunts after little girls to be her new "little sister", and Reiko's long missing twin sister Riruka, who is also a necromancer and plans to use her powers for world domination. Yurikawa, totally deranged and unsymapthetic, debuted in two one-shot stories, Dead Sister
, which originally had nothing to do with Reiko until the last chapter of the first volume, where Reiko is called in to help the police. Reiko is reduced to a severed head at the end of the first volume thanks to Yurikawa, though she personally makes sure Yurikawa gets what she deserves. In the second volume, Reiko's head is reattached to the recently deceased body of another necromancer, and for the rest of the series she sports a leather band around her neck to hide the scars.
The second volume marks a shift from zombie horror to an action horror movie feel when Reiko and Riruka are reunited, and Riruka sets out to keep Reiko from interfering with her plans for total world conquest. While the battle between Reiko and Riruka takes up the bulk of the series, some of the stories did revisit to Reiko's career as a necromancer, and also featured numerous one-shot stories that had nothing to do with any of the main characters.Needs a Better Description
and the help of editors.
Reiko The Zombie Shop provides examples of:
- Ax-Crazy: It would be easier to generate a list of characters who don't qualify.
- Back from the Dead: Reiko herself notably fulfills this trope at the end of the first book.
- Honestly all of the zombies qualify.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Women routinely get scarred, dismembered and slaughtered, not to mention inevitably displaying rotting flesh when their corpses are brought back to life.
- Played straight with Reiko and her sister, Rurika. Despite them getting beheaded and taking a bullet to the skull, respectively.
- Body Horror: Almost all of the zombies. Later on in the series they take this Up to Eleven with bullets that turn one in ten people into shape-shifting monstrosities.
- Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Jasmine Mendosa is the only major black character in the series, and one of the only ones to survive for more than a few volumes.
- Boss Subtitles: For every summoned zombie.
- Break the Cutie: Mayo Tohdoh in volume two. When we meet her she's in a wheelchair, but still a cheerful, upbeat child. Then she witnesses her brother Yuki turn traitor and kill their friend Rudoh on the promise that one of Rurika's henchmen can fix Mayo's legs. And then Rurika goes back on the deal and has Yuki killed. When Reiko finds her Mayo is a full blown Stepford Smiler and cheerfully tells Reiko what happened.
- Cain and Abel: Among the Himezono twins, Reiko is the good one (sort of) purely using her necromancer powers for business, while Riruka is the pure evil one that would much rather conquer the world with hers.
- Came Back Wrong: Most of the early stories deal with Reiko summoning up murder victims and the unjustly killed, who inevitably come back Ax-Crazy. Later on the zombies tend to be under a Zombie Shop's control and act like summoned monsters, some of which seem to retain their old personalities. This is averted personality-wise with Reiko herself, despite certain... physical issues.
- Crapsack World: With all the immoral and morally ambiguous people, the world is bad enough without zombies being summoned and allowed to run amok.
- Cut Short: Dark Horse's English release, which goes up to volume 6. Want to finish the rest? It'd be best to know a foreign language or two.
- The Determinator: Any zombie that is brought back and has unfinished business will not stop until they've personally avenged the wrongs done unto them, no matter how much damage they get.
- Disc One Final Boss: Riruka.
- Disproportionate Retribution: One of the one-shot stories, The Hair Check Massacre, involves a teacher killing three girls because their hair was longer than the school dress code allows. Of course, she also blames them for an accident which left her disfigured, caused her unborn baby to be stillborn, followed by her fiance leaving her. While this may be a subversion, it might've helped if the teacher hadn't lost her temper when one of the girls made a joke about her sex life. She grabbed the girl, forced her against a bookcase, and that caused a large jar to fall off and hit the teacher on the head. Besides, she murdered the girls so she could scalp them and use their hair for wigs.
- Dragged Off to Hell: Happens to Saki Yurikawa in nasty fashion.
- Emotionless Girl: Reiko herself. If she displays any expression other than a neutral one, it usually means that something has gone seriously wrong.
- Evil Twin: Reiko's twin sister, Rurika, has black hair and crazy eyes and wants to turn the world into an empire of the undead under her control.
- Fiery Redhead: Averted with Reiko, who doesn't display an easily-provoked temper.
- Friend to All Living Things: Chikuro, to a fault. As such, it's pretty telling that she manages to befriend Riruka (of all people), who protects her in return and becomes a summoned zombie after her death.
- Gorn: Yup.
- Greed: Reiko's primary motivation early in the series.
- Hollywood Acid: Used as a weapon by Saki Yurikawa against zombie Reiko.
- Killed Off for Real: Happens quite often. Later volumes drive the point home by punctuating certain character's demises with "Name of character: Dead", to show that, yes, they are definitely dead.
- Kill the Cutie: Oh god...
- Knife Nut: Saki Yurikawa. To the extreme.
- Laser-Guided Karma: A staple in the first volume. There's always a chance that if someone has committed some crime or atrocity, and Reiko is in their vicinity, that person will inevitably be torn apart by psychotic zombies.
- Losing Your Head: The protagonist had to get a new body in the second volume.
- Made of Plasticine: Many cases, but especially Saki's first on-panel victim. She cleaves through his skull with a one-handed swing of a kitchen knife.
- Mama Bear: The woman in the very first story hired Reiko to resurrect her daughter to find out why she committed suicide. When the daughter reveals she killed herself because her father sexually abused her (and then tears him in half), the woman pays Reiko a bonus to resurrect her husband's severed head so she can exact some more Laser-Guided Karma on him.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Roses Killmister. She's technically just a flunky, but she does her best to justify the trope.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Reiko summons zombies by casting a spell that raises everything in earshot. The raised zombies usually retain their intelligence, and have heightened strength and speed. They are also completely nuts unless Reiko keeps them under control.
- Sailor Fuku: Reiko's standard outfit.
- Satan: Reiko's zombie-raising chant, quoted above, calls on Satan himself. We have yet to meet the fellow.
- Self-Made Orphan: Riruka orchestrated the deaths of her's and Reiko's parents when she was just a child.
- Slasher Smile: Used to show that someone has gone crazy. No matter what their personality was beforehand.
- Summoning Ritual: Reiko's chant, and the pentagram on her hand, are required to raise the dead.
- Taking You with Me: Having lost Sinner's Nightmare, Tracy decides on breaking a spare vial of poison, which would quickly spread and kill everything within a small radius, including herself. Too bad Yuki was already looking for an excuse to kill her.
- Tranquil Fury: Every zombie that Reiko summons, which has died a violent and painful death, while come back completely Ax-Crazy if the person responsible for their suffering is in the vicinity. Reiko, when she is killed by Saki Yurikawa and resurrected by way of a Batman Gambit, is completely and utterly calm as she hunts after Yurikawa.
- Would Hurt a Child: Saki Yurikawa. As well as Riruka.