Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manga / Undead Unluck

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chapter_016_cover.png

"Undead" Andy. "Unluck" Fuuko Izumo. This is the story of their quest for the greatest death ever.
Ending naration of Chapter 1
Advertisement:

Undead Unluck (アンデッドアンラック Andeddo Anrakku) is an ongoing manga series written and illustrated by Yoshifumi Tozuka that began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump on January 20, 2020. The series is based off a one-off titled Undead + Unluck that was released a year earlier on January 28, 2019.

The story follows an 18-year-old girl named Fuuko Izumo, who has a mysterious superpower that causes anyone she touches to suffer great, and often fatal, misfortune. Having lost her family to her power and become a shut-in most of her life, she decides to end her life after finishing her favorite shojo manga. However, her suicide attempt is interrupted by a man who charges into her knife, falls in front of a train, and yet somehow regenerates completely. "Undead" Andy has the power to never die and recover from any injury, and he thinks that "Unluck" Fuuko might finally be the key to give him a proper death.

Advertisement:

The duo soon finds themselves being pursued by the Union, an organization comprised other superpowered individuals, who are dead-set on recapturing Andy and eliminating Fuuko. However, the duo end up joining the organization instead, working with the other "Negators" in the group to complete the quests given to them by Apocalypse, a talking book in which the god of the world lies on the other side of. The Union wishes to build up their power in the hopes of one day defeating this god and freeing the Earth from its control, and Fuuko's power might just be the key to doing so.

The manga has been officially translated with a simultaneous Japanese and English release available on VIZ Media's website here and Manga Plus's website here.

Advertisement:

Undead Unluck contains examples of:

  • Actually, I Am Him:
    • During the Gina Arc, Andy and Fuuko are sent by Shen to hunt down a member of the Union so the two can join the organization themselves. After arriving in Russia, Andy leaves Fuuko by herself to recruit some allies to assist in the upcoming battle, and Fuuko ends up spending the day painting with a woman she meets on the beach. As it turns out, the woman is actually Gina, the member of the Union they were sent to kill.
    • During the Unrepair Arc, Andy and Fuuko must infiltrate a mafia auction in order to find the Unrepair Negator. They end up clashing with a rival group known as the Negator Hunters who are also searching for other Negators to recruit, lead by a man named Rip. It turns that Rip is Unrepair, the very Negator they were sent to find.
  • Artifact of Power: Powerful items, simply called artifacts, litter the world of Undead Unluck. Each one has its own magical abilities that can be used to turn the tide in battles.
  • Alien Invasion: One occurs right after the release of UMA Galaxy, in which an alien species known as the Acks travel to Earth in search of a new home. It's ultimately an Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion, however, as Juiz's Unjustice results in them destroying themselves before they can attack.
  • Alien Sky: The only celestial objects in the universe at the start of the series are the Earth, the sun, and the moon. This changes with the release of UMA Galaxy, which brings with it stars, other planets, and extraterrestrial life.
  • Alternate Calendar: The calendar is similar to ours, except there are no days of the week until UMA Galaxy is released.
  • Arc Villain: Each arc has its own primary antagonist for the heroes to face.
    • The Gina Arc has Gina, whom Andy and Fuuko must kill in order to safely join the Union.
    • The Spoil Arc has UMA Spoil, whom Andy, Fuuko, and Shen are sent to capture as part of a quest.
    • The Unrepair Arc has Rip, the leader of the Negator Hunters, who Andy, Fuuko, and Tatiana clash with as they search for Unrepair.
    • The Unbelievable Arc has Billy, who betrays the Union by revealing himself to be a mole for Under, alongside being the group's leader, and attempts to steal the Union roundtable for himself.
    • While the Autumn Arc has a multitude of opponents for Fuuko and Andy to face in it, the titular UMA Autumn is the most applicable for this trope due to capturing her being a prime motivator for the arc as whole, and for being the final opponent faced in the arc itself.
    • The Summer Arc has Feng, an Under member sent to capture Fuuko who also has an interest in Shen. He ends up forming a Villain Team-Up with the titular UMA Summer as well, whom he helps grow by feeding it explosive material.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: One occurs between Andy and Fuuko during the battle with Victor, after Fuuko manages to temporarily bring out Andy by shooting him in the head. While the kiss meant to simply bring upon a giant bout of Unluck that could disable Victor long enough for the others to put that card back into his head, Fuuko's reaction to it implies that she enjoyed it beyond that, even if she doesn't admit it outright.
  • Black Market: The mafia runs auctions that deal in Negators, UMAs, and artifacts. Fuuko and Andy must infiltrate one of them in order to find Unrepair.
  • Blessed with Suck: While Negators gain tremendous abilities that border on Cursed with Awesome, the costs far outweigh the benefits these individuals get and in many cases, they gained them at the worst possible timing. Even abilities that lack any inherent downsides are shown to cause issues for their respective Negators.
  • Boss Subtitles: Whenever a character's ability's name is first revealed or is being shown off, it's done so by having said name appear in massive letters next to the character, usually having a large panel dedicated to it. The only characters whose abilities were revealed without this happening so far are Fuuko, Andy, Void, Isshin, Top and Phil. When Billy uses the powers he's copied from other negators, the name of the power is shown, but with an Ominous Visual Glitch.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. Ammo supply follows real-life conventions in this universe, with Fuuko asking to borrow Juiz' sword after agreeing to become Under's hostage because she exhausted all the bullets in her gun in the previous fight with Feng. Creed does play this straight as he fires his minigun without reloading once, but it's because of Undecrease basically allowing him to negate an item (such as ammo) from being exhausted, and Andy immediately notes him not needing to reload in their initial encounter as a Negator power.
  • Breather Episode: After several chapters of Billy betraying the Union and stealing the Round Table, chapter 37 features a relatively light story of Fuuko and a few other Union members creating their own manga so they can break into Shueisha to investigate To You, From Me.
  • Censor Box: Due to him being exposed from the waist down quite a bit, Andy has one of his own that covers his penis. The volume extras describe it as his "seaweed". This also applies to Victor.
  • Common Tongue: As a reward for UMA Language's neutralization, Apocalypse unifies the world's languages. Now, everyone in the world speaks English, except Negators. This has the side effect of making it far easier to identify Negators that didn't already speak English, such as Chikara. The fact that the manuscript for To You, From Me wasn't affected by the said language unification is what reveals that it was written using an artifact.
  • Cooperation Gambit: At the beginning of the Spring arc, Fuuko voluntarily defects to Under in exchange for them destroying UMA Winter and preventing an eternal ice age while also giving her the chance to further develop Unluck.
  • Cowboy Episode: As well as being the Episode of the Dead, the Spoil arc is set in a small town in Nevada with an Old West aesthetic that Andy notes was used as a set for a lot of cowboy movies. Chapter 11's cover even sees Fuuko and Andy dressed in genre appropriate attire.
    • The section of the Autumn arc focused on Andy's past is mostly set in the Old West.
  • Downer Beginning: The opening of the manga features Fuuko attempting suicide.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first few chapters are far more perverted and ecchi than later on. Fans often tell others just to skip those as it's not indicative of what the series is really like.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: If the world is given 100 penalties by Apocalypse's creator, the 101st penalty will be "Ragnarök," which the Union believes signifies the end of the world. At the start of the series, the world had received a total of 98 penalties, with the release of UMA Galaxy in chapter 20 marking the 99th.
  • Episode of the Dead: The fight against UMA Spoil takes place in the small U.S. town of Longing, where Spoil has turned the majority of the populace into zombies.
  • Eternal Recurrence: While not explicit, bits of dialogue imply that Victor has lived through the universe ending and resetting multiple times. Chapter 35 confirms that the world is on a loop.
  • Fake Memories:
    • When the world changes due to a UMA or quest reward, non-Negators have their minds altered to believe that the changes were there from the beginning. The most extreme case of this is the Acks, who boast about their millennia-old galactic civilization despite literally having been created seconds beforehand by UMA Galaxy.
    • During the Autumn Arc, Anno Un inserts Fuuko's soul into Andy's memories in an effort to make the duo stronger, resulting in a new version of said memories with Fuuko present it them being created in Andy's mind. Thankfully, the new, "fake" memories don't override the real ones.
  • Fighting from the Inside: While not shown to the audience outright, Victor claims that Andy was putting up quite a fight trying to regain control of his body while Victor was fighting the Union.
  • Foil:
    • The Union and Under are this to each other. Both are groups made of Negators who have come together to achieve a goal, but while the Union all are united under the single goal of killing God to protect the world, Under are united by their mutual interests and have different goals depending on the member. Also, while both groups are willing to kill other Negators outside of their ranks, the Union only does so to keep the rest of the world safe, while the hunters do so simply because they deem them useless. Individual members also act as foils to one another as well.
      • Andy and Rip are both Awesomeness by Analysis combatants that use blades to fight and are assisted by squeamish female companions. Both have prominent facial wounds (Rip's eye and Andy's scar), though Andy's is on the left of his face while Rip's is on the right. Both are also capable of returning from the dead, and have strong sentral goals that motivate them. That said, while Andy is a hot-blooded guy who is ultimately kind and caring, Rip is a calm man that is cold-hearted and ruthless. Adding to this, they're powers are direct opposites: Andy's Undead allows him to regenerate from any damage, while Rip's Unrepair stops other's from healing. Also, while Andy wields a single large katana in battle, Rip uses multiple tiny scalpels to fight.
      • Fuuko and Latla are both squeamish woman who assist their male companions in battle as support. Both also have short black hair and large breasts. However, while Fuuko's Unluck pulls in things (like meteors or eruption) to attack the specific people she's touched, Latla's power pushes attacks away from herself and those near her. While Fuuko is a Reluctant Fanservice Girl who hates exposing her body, Latla is a Ms. Fanservice who has no issue exposing her skin. Also, while both have a He Is Not My Boyfriend reaction to people assuming otherwise about their relationships with they're male counterparts, Fuuko's reaction is embarrassment while Latla's is annoyance at the mistake.
      • Both Juiz and Under's Leader (a.k.a. Billy) lead their respective organizations with the goal of killing God, recruiting other Negators to help achieve their goal and sometimes doing unsavory things to achieve what they want. That said, Juiz ultimately wants to protect the entire Earth from God and it's rules and does what she does for the sake of everyone, while Billy only cares for negators and is perfectly willing to sacrifice the masses to do so.
      • Shen and Feng are both Chinese martial artists who fight using staffs who enjoy good fights. But while Shen is a talkative Blood Knight whose desire to fight trumps his own self preservation at times, Feng is The Quiet One who will retreat when necessary. Also, while Shen chastises Mui for using too many artifacts due to their power being bad for one's mind, Feng is an avid collector of them.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Flashbacks in chapter 25 reveal that Fuuko and Tatiana became good friends shortly after Fuuko joined the Union. Chapter 18, which takes place after said flashbacks chronologically, hints at their friendship by having Tatiana drop off a stuffed animal for Fuuko while the latter girl is hospitalized.
    • Chapter 26 confirms that Billy is blind, but there were several hints to this fact in past chapters. Notably, he doesn't realize Tatiana is aiming her weapons at him under Juiz' power and instead just notes that the room has gotten hotter in chapter 9, he doesn't know what's going on when Fuuko wraps her shirt around Victor in chapter 17, he could only tell that Fuuko had a good gun based on the sound of the gunshot in chapter 18, and he has no idea what was going on when Juiz destroyed the alien spaceships in Chapter 20.
    • The nature of Tatiana's Negator ability is first hinted at in Chapter 10, where Billy is shown feeding Tatiana sushi via a long stick, implying her power involves her being unable to be physically close to people.
    • Top is shown wearing a cast on his arm multiple times throughout the series, and after the Union retreats from the battle with Victor, his right arm is shown to be broken despite not having been shown to injure it at any point during the preceding battle. Moments later, he mentions having reset his acceleration. Chapter 32 reveals that his many broken arms are due to his power, as his body must go through a dramatic change in shape, such a bone suddenly snapping, in order to deactivate the ability.
    • The cover page for Chapter 52 features the current roundtable members, Rip, Latla, Backs, Anno and Mui, the latter who's the only individual in the artwork that isn't a Negator. She ends up becoming the new Untruth in Chapter 63 after Shen dies and becomes a Jiang Shi.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: UMA Autumn turns Stanley Park in Vancouver into one of these.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Even after obtaining Clothy, there are still several panels where Andy's pecker preposterously peeks past his pants, though they're easy to miss if one isn't paying attention. There are several bonus sketches posted to the series's official Twitter that features Fuuko and other members of the cast pointing out all of these instances.
  • Funny Background Event: Both times the whole Union is transported somewhere by UMA Move, Isshin is shown failing to stick the landing.
  • Heroic Willpower: The children of Longing are able to counter Spoil's zombification curse by focusing on their dreams. Whenever they do so, their numbers go up instead of down. Fuuko and Shen later do this as well.
  • I Wrote Our Story: In an attempt to infiltrate the publishing company Shueisha and analyze the original manuscript for "To You, From Me," Fuuko and Andy create a manuscript of their own called "Undead + Unluck," a manga that summarizes the story of their meeting. It's also a giant Mythology Gag, as the manuscript they write is just Undead Unluck's initial one-shot right down to sharing the same title.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: In order to train both Andy and Fuuko by deepening their relationship, Anno Un uses an artifact to send Fuuko into the world of Andy's memories. Unfortunately, Victor's there too...
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Every criticism Fuuko gets for her manuscript (that the characters look a little old-school for modern audiences, the bizarre premise of a zombie romance, etc.) sounds like the initial criticism the real one-shot likely got during its own overview.
  • Logical Weakness: Though Negator powers negate the rules of the universe, they are still limited by the rules of how their powers work. For instance, Unchaste activates based on a target's infatuation, so it does not work on either people who have never understood love or people who have someone they sincerely love.
  • Monumental Damage:
    • UMA Spoil attempts to fire a "Disintegration Beam" at the heroes, but Shen makes it fly off into the distance, where it ends up hitting and thus decaying the Statue of Liberty. It's downplayed though, as the Volume 2 extras reveal that it was only the Las Vegas replica that was hit.
    • In an attempt to intimidate Juiz, the Acks blast a hole straight through Uluru.
    • Burn comes very close to annihilating Stonehenge as it breaks out of the Union headquarters.
  • Monumental Theft: You are the head of an organization that wants to take control of the Round Table from the Union. What do you do? Well, if you're Billy, you get a UMA to pick up the entire table and carry it off.
  • Never Was This Universe: At first, the world seems normal except with superpowered Negators. Then we find out there's no stars in the sky or days of the week, and THEN we find out that fundamental rules of the universe like decay and language were artificial creations of a mysterious god and can be added or removed at will.
  • Nuke 'em: Under tries to circumvent the fight against UMA Spring by firing a nuke at it, brushing off the fact that it's currently residing in the middle of Tokyo.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: At one point, Nico bisects Victor with a laser, which also cuts his speech balloon in half.
    • Fuuko punches a nude Andy in the crotch during their first meeting, causing his "seaweed" censor box to shatter. She later repeats this with Victor.
  • Product Placement: During Fuuko's trips through Andy's memories, Andy pulls out a "new beer" (Budweiser), label and all, and comments on how much he likes the taste.
  • Psychometry: Certain artifacts will funnel visions into the mind of the person touching them the first time they touch them. These images are later revealed to be visions of past loops.
  • RPG Elements: Apocalypse periodically gives the Union quests, usually to capture UMAs or other Negators. The quests all have a party size limit of Union members who can attempt it, have rewards in the form of information (and sometimes things like unifying all languages), and failure means the release of more monsters.
  • Seasonal Baggage: Apocalypse assigns four quests to capture or neutralize UMA Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter all at once.
  • Self-Made Orphan: At least three Negators (Fuuko, Tatiana, and Chikara) discovered their powers when they accidentally killed their parents with them.
  • Semantic Superpower: The nature of Negators' powers is rooted in the ability to negate the very rules of the universe, so many of their abilities play into perception and the limits of the very concept they're based upon.
    • Juiz' Unjustice lets her "negate justice". It's about as vague as it sounds - when used, it causes her opponent to act in direct opposition to their righteous moral inclinations in that moment (a race of aliens who believe others must die for their survival will instead kill themselves).
    • Rip's Unrepair is initially established to allow him to create wounds that will not heal or regenerate over time. It's later made clear that it stops all forms of repair and self-recovery, including conscious actions taken in the name of recovery - as a result, if one "repairs" with the intention of using it as an attack, it won't be negated. It also means that if Rip tells someone that his death will cancel his power, they can't attack him with intent to 'heal' themselves as a result because that's a form of repairing.
    • Gina's Unchange can stop the state of anything from being changed in any way, with the exception of herself. This means that she can create barriers from air by ensuring nothing warps or passes through it, walk on water by preventing it from changing beneath her feet, and perpetually hold her makeup in place.
    • Andy and Fuuko end up evolving their powers by taking advantage of this: Andy, through understanding his life and soul, can better control his regeneration and Fuuko, through understanding her target, develops the types of 'disasters' Unluck is capable of invoking, leading to their own Combination Attack, Unluck Bullet.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Fuuko's favorite manga is To You, From Me.
    • Design-wise, Victor is likely based on Super Saiyan 3 Goku.
    • The Acks' leader who appears in chapter 20 has a design that is clearly based off of Shredder from theTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
    • The special move Shen teaches to Mei in his flashback is Yun's Tetsuzankou from Street Fighter III.
    • Most of the artifacts' names are references to movies or games: The artifact that makes up Rip's legs is called Blade Runner, Anno Un has a soul-transporting artifact called Soulcalibur, Feng has an artifact called Game of Death that can summon dead martial artists as jiangshi, and the Volume 6 extras dub the time-control artifact Life Is Strange.
  • Space Battle: The climax of the battle with UMA Spoil takes place in space, since Spoil's powers don't work well up there. Shen uses his staff to push Andy and Spoil all the way out of Earth's atmosphere.
  • Space Is Noisy: During Spoil and Victor's battle, both combatants are able to talk to one another despite being in space.
  • The Stars Are Going Out: Inverted in chapter 20, where the blank night sky is suddenly filled with thousands of stars due to UMA Galaxy's creation.
  • Superpower Russian Roulette: Some Negators get powerful abilities with essentially no downside once they learn how it works, while others can't control their abilities and are unable to live anything close to a normal life.
  • Timed Mission: The various quests Apocalypse gives have a time frame in which they must be completed. If the Union fails to complete all of the given quests before time is up, then they're penalized, though the book still gives the promised rewards for the quests they do complete.
  • Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: A certain book is secretly this, indirectly being a telling of events that have happened to, and may happen to, the Union. As it turns out, that book is To You, From Me, Fuuko's favorite shoujo manga.
  • Undercover as Lovers: In order to infiltrate a black market auction, Andy and Fuuko masquerade as a married couple.
  • Unperson: According to the cover of chapter 21, the Union erased all data of Longing, the town where the battle with UMA Spoil occurred, making it seem like it never existed. The children who survived Spoil's attack were placed in a Union-run orphanage and will be given the chance to either join the organization or return to normal society when they turn 18.
  • Weird Moon: A less bizarre example then most, but still noteworthy. The moon in Undead Unluck is always shown to be full, even after the addition of UMA Galaxy. It is later revealed that this is because the earth doesn’t actually orbit the sun, and that this property, called Revolution, is the 100th penalty.
  • Wham Line: What starts off as another UMA hunt takes a drastic turn when Billy says this;
    ...Why don't we just drop a few nukes on them?
  • Widget Series: To You, From Me was apparently one in-universe. While the cover implies it's run-of-the-mill romance, the few glimpses the audience gets of it show bizarre arcs like a soccer alien invasion and high-schooler zombies. Fuuko states that it set the standard for sci-fi Shoujo manga, there are fight scenes according to Tatiana, and it was apparently good enough to last 20 years. And that's not even getting into how prophetic its arcs are to Andy and Fuuko's lives...
  • World Tour: The series has arcs that take place all over the world. Notable landmarks visible in the series so far include Uluru in Australia, the Copacabana sidewalk in Brazil, and Lake Baikal in Russia.
Top