Cover of Zom 100 Bucket List of the Dead. Bright pink background with man and woman on a motorbike, which is facing toward the bottom left corner of the page.
Cover of Zom 100 Bucket List of the Dead. Bright pink background with man and woman on a motorbike, which is facing toward the bottom left corner of the page.

Zom 100 (manga) : bucket list of the dead / story by Haro Aso ; art by Kotaro Takata ; translation: Nova Skipper ; touch-up art & lettering: Vanessa Satone. San Francisco, California : VIZ Media, LLC, 2021.

Warning: Mature themes, rated M. Not intended for younger readers.

Contrary to the title, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead isn’t about zombies. Well… OK it is. But this isn’t your grandpa’s zombie apocalypse. Zom 100 follows Akira Tendo, a 24-year-old wage slave. He works for a production company he thought would be his forever career; only to find out it was an extremely exploitative company. When he wakes up after coming home from an all-nighter he opens his door to zombie apocalypse and is filled with emotion. Not dread as everyone around him seems to be, but all-out delight. He doesn’t have to go to work anymore? This is the best! Now he can do everything he wanted to. And so, the “Things I want to do before I become a zombie” bucket list was born.

Haro Aso, Zom 100’s author, mixes dystopian themes, deeply human emotional moments, and comedic joy in to this fast-paced manga. It’s an exploration on the importance of mental health, facing every-day anxieties, and relying on friendships in the face of adversity. Whether said adversities are zombies or otherwise. Despite being set in a zombie apocalypse the zombies really serve as a mechanism to move the characters along. Zom 100 is first and foremost a love letter to people who feel stuck or unfulfilled and advocates to not wait until the zombie apocalypse to go out and do the things you’ve always wanted to do.

Ian Alcantar is a Circulation Assistant at North Park Library. He can be reached at IAlcantar@alamancelibraries.org.