A group of students finds themselves on a sinking capsized ship. Together with some zombies. What happened to the ship and why are there zombies aboard? It's a battle against time and the zombies, to save themselves.
I read Hoozuki no Shima a while ago, and I found that I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'm very into the horror genre as a whole, so it's not surprising I forgave it for its issues. Today I was browsing the manga list trying to find something to read, when I saw Hoozuki again. I decided to check out the author, Sanbe Kei, and it led me to this manga, known in English as "Cradle of Monsters".
Zombies in general have always been an iffy subject for me. They are hardly ever scary, and are instead used when the "horror" aspect refers to gore, which
I don't feel is true horror. Luckily, the author made the right choice by not really making the monsters zombies. Instead, they are normal humans who get infected and slowly get consumed by bloodlust. They can still talk and act rationally, which led to some decently horrific scenes.
Unfortunately, there isn't much more good I can say about this manga. The characters were pretty standard for a horror survival situation, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions can't really make up for the rest of the cast as a whole, however.
The art was, in my opinion, passable. The gore was pretty detailed, but nothing else ever stood out to me much (except the fact that the women weren't sticks, which I enjoyed). Also, the story is supposed to take place in an upside down cruise ship, but the author messed up a lot of details with this, such as surveillance cameras on the ceiling, which means they were originally on the floor, and stairs going up, meaning that the ship had stairs on the ceiling. Those details weren't a major issue, but were jarringly distracting when I noticed them.
Even though I didn't have much good to say about this manga, in the end of the day I found it vastly enjoyable. The characters that were interesting kept me going, and for once in this kind of fiction I wasn't sure who was going to survive. This lead me to pursue the story to the end, and if I enjoyed it, I guess that's the whole point. I'd recommend this for horror or survival fans, but if you aren't usually into those genres it could easily be a hit or miss. I'm on to Sanbe Kei's next work!
This series you might say, is underrated. Yes, underrated. Why you ask? It hasn't reached many people yet. Basically when I started reading this the first thing that came to mind was the titanic plus zombies combined. Was fairly decent.
It did not have the best start, but it picked up greatly later.
Plot (7) after reading other zombie mangas, I can say this is possibly better than HSOD, which most people have read. Not to mention the fact that zombies and being trapped in a titanic is simply brilliant because you're always 'cornered' and have to move on. It did have it flaws, and referenced a
movie, but hey, it was pretty good.
Art (7) I won't say this art is bad but rather good, but it's different from what I've seen which is good actually for serious and zombie moments, but the zombies don't exactly look like 'zombies' more like berserkers.
Character (7) the character setting was good for this series for everyone, though the heroine let down a bit, but it didn't annoy me so I bet you can deal with it.
Enjoyment (8) it's not everyday you come across a good zombie series considering how many are bullshit and this actually has a ending compared to others.
Overall (7) while I would like to give this a 8, it fits more like 7.2/10 but comparing to others, this is still great.
I highly recommend reading this, but I suggest you wait until the end of September because the last two chapters are not translated yet.
Mouryou no Yurikago, or Cradle of Monsters in English is an interesting departure from the standard zombie plotline in many ways. First and most notably the fact that the manga takes place on a capsized sinking cruise ship, which, in addition to meaning the cast must contend with both the living dead and escape before the ship sinks, it also means that, unlike most zombie media, firearms are not available to the cast.
Secondly, the zombies featured are neither the Night of the Living Dead-esque "slow zombie" or the 28 Days Later "fast zombie", but are a new, more dangerous
breed, the "sentient zombie", which are as intelligent as normal humans, and are capable of wielding weapons or even setting traps. Not to mention possessing the usual superhuman strength and durability.
The more dangerous nature of the zombies, lack of firearms, and the constant impending threat of the ship sinking into the depths give Mouryou no Yurikago a sense that the cast are in far greater danger than than in some other zombie media.
That said, Mouryou no Yurikago is not without its faults. The characters are OK, but they run the typical zombie fare of male lead, female lead/love interest, psychopath who is as dangerous as the zombies etc. While I liked Mouryou's plot a little more, I thought that Highschool of the Dead's characters has a lot more personality and stood out more.
The artwork is fairly good, but really, not out of the ordinary. Overall, I give Mouryou no Yurikago an eight out of ten.
After ERASED anime had come out, I decided to check the manga's author previous works to study his style, and his style is rather interesting.
Mouryou no Yurikago is a survival story with pretty strong horror element, teens are trapped in dark place with maze-like location. And it like The Minotaur Maze because it filled with monster. Will the teen survive? If yes, is it worth enough to read?
In my opinion, art it's really bad; bold lines, polygon-like face, and plain facial features. In term of shading the foreground and background also not fitted with the story theme which mean that it doesn't as scary as
what you may expect.
When I start to read from the first episode, it just start by immediately throwing the 'victims' into the danger instead of introducing the story. And I really like this because it make me feel like I'm in the real situation. But as the story progress, it's full of cliche from the genre. But that's not bad as the story is short and compact with intense moments.
But what I like the most is the characters development; you can see madness throughout the story, and when the story start to explain everything we will see that (SPOILER!) the infection virus aren't make monster, human mind do it. One of the example is (SPOILER!) when one of the protagonist friends at the start of the story became monster because he fear to be rejected by the team if they see that he had been infected.
And at the same time, you will see changes in every characters in the story both positive and negative. Which make all heroes and villains are memorable.
To sum up, Mouryou no Yurikago is like a roller coaster. It thrill you as the survival horror would give you with rather predictable story. But the moment you ride the roller coaster is the best moments in your life. It's simple but touchy story.
And I wander that the author will keep ERASED as simple as this story.