Undead Unluck 001-003 – Manga Review
Synopsis: What happens when an unlucky girl meets an undead guy? Pure chaos! (Official Shonen Jump Synopsis.)
(Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
Undead Unluck opening pages are strong, sucking you in with an unconventional start that nails the comedic tone. Beyond that there’s plenty of action and, as Chapters 2 and 3 display, an interesting power mechanic that could give the series a lot of love from fans of Hunter x Hunter or other works where building of the power system and guessing people’s abilities is half the fun. Unfortunately all that’s good with Undead Unluck comes with one, major, caveat: Its approach to Ecchi. Let’s Jump In!
We open with one Fuuko Izumo preparing to jump to her death. As it turns out she’s got bad luck, or more specifically, anyone who touches her ends up suffering from her curse. Deciding she’ll never have romance Fuuko looks to end her life, but that’s when things take a turn: An Undead named Andy essentially kidnaps her, seeking to use Fuuko as a way to give himself a most glorious death, something he’s never truly experienced as he’s about able to come back from almost any injury. It’s an insane opening, but not one without the caveat I mentioned above.
As soon as Andy learns that it’s skin to skin contact that sets Fuuko’s ability off he takes his advances on her in a decidedly molesty direction. From there the rest of Chapter 1 is sprinkled with Andy’s comments about molesting Fuuko and only interrupted by the action as the two find themselves targeted by a secret organization.
Chapter 2 tries to re-contextualize things, with Fuuko deciding her ability only gets worse when romance is involved in the touch. So no matter how much Andy gropes her, he’s not getting the crazy end he’s hoping for. He needs to make her like him. It’s a decent attempt to course correct, but Andy’s suggestions about them boning are still unwarranted and undesired on Fuuko’s part, and due to how prevalent the molestation was in Chapter 1 it continues to feel gross, even if it’s toned down.
And that’s a real shame because what follows through Chapters 2 and 3 is excellent action and power building mechanics. It becomes clear here that the series is working exclusively with continuing the idea of “Un” abilities, essentially any power that negates a life concept or the laws of physics. Fuuko and Andy become targeted by an evil organization of others with super powers and the chaos that ensues is fantastic. It makes it interesting to try and guess what power each enemy has. It makes me desperate to like the series, but its route of molestation ecchi is so hard to ignore.
Ultimately I do think that Undead Unluck can course correct, but it needs to really hold off on Andy’s molestation attempts and even his suggestions that Fuuko and him bang. We need to take it slow and allow Fuuko’s love for him to build naturally, rather than crop up as an excuse for Andy’s behavior. The series has a hard battle ahead of it. Hopefully it does tone this particular angle for its ecchi down, otherwise Undead Unluck because one of those shonen titles you simply can’t recommend anyone outside of the most forgiving, or apathetic, of readers.
That’s it for this week! Let me know what your thoughts are on Undead Unluck!
Undead Unluck is published weekly in Shonen Jump.