Art and Story by Kiyo Ojo
Published in the US by TokyoPop
Slugline: Nowhere near any good zone.
Shima, son of an exorcist family, has transferred to a Tokyo school to combat the increasing demon attacks. There he meets Kujo, a happy go lucky student who asks embarrassingly blunt questions and turns into a ogre when he is beheaded. That happens surprising far more often than one would normally think, apparently. In short order almost a dozen characters join up ranging from witches, animal companions that turn into hot guys, sibling demons who turn into vehicles,Shima's killer robot servants, a werewolf detective and some demon entrepreneurs. There is barely room at the end of the book to introduce Zone-00, a drug that turns men into monsters.
Done by the same artist who did worked on Trinity Blood, the art is the redeeming quality of this manga. Though for the content of the art itself, well since this book is rated as having moderate fan service, it makes one wonder what would be considered excessive. That same art can also be a challenge to understand since it is so busy it can be hard to follow the story. Not there is much a story, because so many pages are spent introducing the mob of characters that few are left to introduce the story's MacGuffin , the drug Zone-00. The antagonists of the story are still ciphers as the book ends and the 18 page character guide at the end of the book is necessary to tell you about the characters enough to care. Most of the characters seem to exist because the artist wanted the widest possible variety of body types to draw and dress. While pretty, the story here is barely enough of an excuse to string the characters together that the artist may have been happier doing a pinup book instead.
Zone-00, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.