I Am A Hero

Kengo Hanazawa"s psychological thriller I Am a nhân vật drops its protagonist into a zombie apocalypse while luxuriating in the art of the slow burn.

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Slow-burn horror builds suspense, often teasing the prolonging threat of something terrible happening while withholding its true nature. If done right, slow-burn horror can provide a terrific payoff to lớn the audience. Manga, with its tendency to lớn luxuriate in slower pacing, can shock a reader with the turn of a page. One series in particular blends slow-burn horror & intricately detailed artwork khổng lồ become the "greatest zombie manga ever": Kengo Hanazawa"s I Am a Hero.

Published from 2009 khổng lồ 2017, across 22 volumes, I Am a Hero centers on manga art assistant Hideo Suzuki, who dreams of becoming a successful artist even while his proposals are repeatedly rejected. Not helping matters is that his job is exhausting & low-paying, và his girlfriend is unfaithful. Then, one day, while going practice shooting with his hunting shotgun, Hideo finds himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

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A Day in the Life of Hideo Suzuki


The dance that Hideo Suzuki performs when he enters his apartment tells us that something isn"t quite right with him. Even more unsettling is the hallucinations that he experiences: Arms sprout out from the blinds next to lớn his bed, and he can see a face peering out at him from the peephole in his door. Hideo"s strange antics phối the tone for the manga as twisted with a sense of humor. The claustrophobic nature of Hideo"s apartment heightens the tense atmosphere we"ve been thrust into, and that"s just the start.

Hideo surrounds himself with manga và holds his shotgun before dosing off. The next morning, his TV turns on, & we are informed of what is being claimed as an arson attack on a senior home. Before Hideo switches the channel, the reporter says, "In addition lớn burns on the corpses..." We are left to lớn imagine what else the reporter had to lớn say, but we can guess that it would be something along the lines of "bite marks on the corpses."

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All throughout the first half of the first volume, there is the sense of impending chaos; incidents are commented upon & reported about in the background. Even Hideo"s coworkers, while maintaining a cấp độ of normalcy in their daily lives, can"t help but gossip about sudden attacks on people, with most of them involving being bitten.

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The first glimpse we get of an actual zombie is when Hideo visits his girlfriend after work. On the way, he notices a large, scary tree, and then witnesses a car crash. To his horror, as well as that of other onlookers, the person hit by the vehicle gets up and walks away, her neck snapped backward and her mangled leg trailing behind. Even worse is we hear that bystanders who tried to lớn help were bitten by the victim.


Eventually, Hideo learns that his girlfriend, Tekko, has become infected with a disease the government dubs ZQN, which causes people to lớn become homicidal. After Hideo does away with Tekko, all hell breaks loose, albeit in a way where, in one part of town, people will literally be eaten on one side, & other people will nonchalantly phản hồi on the events happening before them và carry on with their day on the other side.


I Am a Hero is slow with the way it presents its horror. The series knows to lớn show and not tell, và it is through overheard conversations that Hideo -- and, thus, the reader -- learns the world is about khổng lồ change, mostly for the worse. When the zombie apocalypse that we were promised on the book"s cover comes khổng lồ pass, it"s tremendously rewarding.

An example of that is when Hideo learns that Tekko has become infected with ZQN. While crossing the bridge on the way lớn her apartment, he notices military vehicles are driving beneath; it"s an indication that, yes, something terrible is about khổng lồ happen. Hideo ascends the staircase & peeks through the mail slot of Tekko"s apartment door. The point of view switches khổng lồ Hideo"s view from the mail slot, và we see Tekko in bed. She sits up, despite Hideo"s insistence that she not bother herself. She seems unaware of his pleas, and crawls out of her bed. As she gets closer to the door, the tension ratchets up lớn a fever pitch, before she reveals her face in all its disheveled glory.

I Am a Hero is a zombie manga masterpiece. By making the reader empathize with each character và detailing their struggles, the horror is increased tenfold. Instead of plunging us headfirst into the zombie apocalypse, we are guided into the life of Hideo Suzuki, before seeing the world around him slowly be ripped apart in grizzly fashion. Because of this unconventional style of portraying the zombie apocalypse, it may very well be "the greatest zombie manga ever."

I Am a hero was published in 2009, and has a total of 22 volumes.

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