Released in the US by Yen Press
Slugline: Death has easy financing but the installment payments are a killer.
Michiru's parents have passed away and she lives with her aunt and uncle who barely tolerate her presence. If anything, she barely tolerates her own presence in the world. She allows herself to bullied around, by the girls in her school, and by Chika and Shito, two fellow students that miraculously survived overpass collapse. But Michiru has the ability to see rings around people's necks that show whether or not a person is going to die soon, and they both have solid black rings. It turns out that they are both dead but were allowed to bargain for their lives. They were given a chance to return to life, but to repay their debt they must recover zombies, people who had died but hadn't realized it yet and satisfy their hungers on human flesh. Despite using and bullying her, when Michiru is in danger of dying by a zombie attack, Chika and Shito take on more debt to save her. Bolstered with the knowledge that she didn't want to die, Michiru begins making changes to her life.
For once the timing of the episodes complements the volume, so that one complete story arc is completed in this book. And that makes the story more effective, because we can see the characters' progression without being immediately reminded of any backsliding. The first half of the book I wondering how I was going to make my way through it because Michiru was such a push over, but then she acknowledged that fact and was given a push. But it was merely a push, so the choice to change was still left up to her, which she did make. There is no doubt she is at the very beginning of a very long journey, but it is one that she is taking the very steps on her own. Chika and Shito remain mostly enigmas, but at the moment Michiru's journey is one that is interesting to me, which wasn't at all what I expected when I picked this up.
Zombie Loan, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.