Volume 2 of “Sankarea: Undying Love” starts out pretty well, with a cute “zombie” heroine of the title Rea acting like an undead, but the comedy soon runs out of steam. Manga creator Mitsuru Hattori, it is obvious, is having a hard time trying to find a story for lovely undead Rea Sanka, but the overall result is hit and miss.
For the considerable portion of the second volume is spent on what is not directly related to the heroine and her becoming a zombie. Rea’s overprotective father steps in (again), and confronts Chihiro Furuya, an avid zombie-movie fan and high-school boy, with whom Rea currently is living, to get back his daughter.
The heroine Rea is as lovely and likeable as ever, and her illustrations are very good. But this time the story goes too fast, especially in the latter half of the volume, with each frame that gets bigger as if trying to pad out the thin story. Moreover, the story itself is not very interesting, as too much of the book is about Rea’s annoying father, without whom the comic would be very fine. New characters are introduced, including the heroine’s ice-cold mother and Furuya’s “Grandpa,” but they are largely stock types.
As I said before, the artwork is as great as ever, with a charming undead heroine Rea Sanka (or Sanka Rea, reference to “Sangeria,” Japanese title of a 1979 Lucio Fulci “Zombie 2”). The series should be about this interesting heroine, something that the manga author seems to forget – temporarily, I hope.
(As to the “poster” mentioned in the bonus manga at the end of the book, sorry, it was inserted only in original Japanese edition.)