Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Biomega, Vols. 1 + 2

Biomega, Vols. 1 + 2

Biomega, Vol. 1Biomega, Vols. 1 + 2
Created by Tsutomu Nihei
Rating: Mature

Biomega follows the exploits of Zoichi Kanoe and others, as they attempt to foil the scheme of a large, globe spanning corporation to seed the earth with a virus that will turn just about everyone into mutated, flesh eating zombies. Make no mistake though, this is hardly you’re typical zombie apocolypse flick as it combines elements of the zombie genre with corporate conspiracies and jaw dropping action sequences, all wrapped up in a cyberpunk/industrial nightmare aesthetic courtesy of Tsutomu Nihei!

The plot is about as straight forward as you can get. Zoichi Kanoe is part of a special ops group designed by Toa Heavy Industries to help deal with the coming zombie apocolypse. He’s insanely fast, strong and durable, and comes equiped with a hi-tech motocycle and holographic AI companion. Together they fight the forces of a rival group, the Data Recovery Foundation, and do so in style! In fact that’s what this series is all about, style over substance. Zoichi and his allies, for their parts, are pretty much ciphers. He’s driven, silent, and that’s about all we know by the end of the first volume. The second expands upon his past and history, giving him a bit more meat and an emotional hook that might help garner some sympathy, but so far his personality is that of your typical strong, silent pretty boy. On the antagonist side of things, the DRF is a shadowy oragnization full of cannon fodder with plans that seemingly span centuries. One can only assume that more will be revealed as the series continues, but for now they’re pretty much an enigma as well.

Nihei’s art is eye popping to say the least with huge vistas of urban sprawl, built on a staggering scale and massive highways that span oceans, artificial island cities and more. The character designs for Zoichi and his group are fairly uniform; pale, vaguely adrogenous, dark hair and dark leather body suits. Aside from the zombies and generic flunky soldiers, the main group of villains are a nightmarish flesh and metal mix that’s reminiscent of the cenobites from Hellraiser fame. Leather aprons, faces that look like they were skinned and than nailed or otherwise attached to metallic heads and lots of black organic looking armor. It’s all incredibly striking and absolutely lovely to look at. The action sequences are beautifully over the top, featuring such feats as riding a motorcycle over a collapsing roof, across jet planes and more. It’s eye candy of a distinctly dark and gritty kind.

Biomega is an absolutely fantastic read. It’s fun, dark, action packed, nightmarish and just plain cool. Is it terribly deep? No. Is it hugely emotional with tearful confessions of love? No and it probably won’t be. Do the characters constantly emote and explain their motivations, tactics, skills, etc? Thankfully, no. What Biomega is, is one of the most over the top, stylish, action series put on paper.

Biomega, Vols. 1 + 2 are available now from Viz.

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