Manga Review: Immortal Hounds V1 by Ryo Yasohachi

May Contain Spoilers

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I decided to delve into the massive TBR mountain tottering in the corner of the room.  Since I was spending the day with a recuperating dog, I decided that Immortal Hounds V1 was just the ticket for some escapism.  I really enjoyed this action-packed book!

While many nuances about the series weren’t made clear, this introduction to the series immediately hooked me.  In this alternate Japan, people don’t die.  If they fall ill or are maimed, they just kill themselves and voila! they are immediately resurrected, whole and hearty.  A menace is threatening the immortal lives of citizens, however.  Vectors, those carrying Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome (RDS), a new disease the stops the resurrection process, are targeting citizens.  If you have RDS and you die, you stay dead.  The police have organized a task force to hunt down and capture Vectors, who will ultimately be euthanized by UNDO, UN Disease Control.

Kenzaki is in charge of the Anti-Vector Task Force.  He has an axe to grind with one particular Vector, Kouda.  Kouda and Kenzaki’s younger sister fell in love, and Ikumi was infected with RDS.  To prove Kouda’s innocence, she fatally, and permanently, shot herself.  Kenzaki won’t rest until he has captured Kouda and uncovered the organization he suspects is funding the Vectors.

Okay, wow! With that kind of plot, you can bet on intense, graphic violence as the cops and the people protecting the Vectors square off.  Fuurin is an Escape Artist. It’s her job to save Vectors from being apprehended by the police.  She’s one mean chick with a really, really gianormous firearm, and she leaps into action regardless of the odds of winning.  The fight scenes are frantically paced, with tons of explosions, whizzing bullets, and dismembered body parts flying through the panels.  I thought the art was top notch, both in terms of action sequences and the more mundane scenes of interrogation, with the characters grilling the suspected criminals in non-descript rooms.  The backgrounds are bland, but the detail given to the characters more than made up for that.  I never wondered what anyone was feeling, as emotions were clearly telegraphed by their expressions.

I liked both Kenzaki and his rival, Fuurin.  I wonder what will happen in the next volume, now that Fuurin has been instructed to infect Kenzaki with RDS. She has the means to do this, using her position to lure Kenzaki into a trap.  Fuurin isn’t thrilled with the idea of seducing him, though, so she will have some internal struggles to get through, and the thought of getting close to another human being goes against everything she has been taught.  And how will tough guy Kenzaki react? I’m looking forward to finding out if these two destroy each other or team up against common foes.

Grade: 4 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book

In another reality, humans never die. If they get sick or injured, they simply “kill” themselves and immediately come back to life. But then a mysterious disease, Ressurrection Deficiency Syndrome, starts spreading through the populace via Vectors. A task force is determined to solve the mystery of RDS but a group of escape artists hamper their efforts.

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