I read all 10 volumes of Dragon Head in the span of one week. And I would have completed it even sooner if it wasn't for Christmas and finals. Interesting right? Now onto the review.
If I had to sum it up in one word I would say "Thrilling". It's palm sweating, mind numbing, edge-of-your-seat excitement. Teru (the main character) finds himself trapped in a dark tunnel along with all his dead classmates. Dazed and confused, he lives on. Why is it so hot in the tunnel? Whats with all the earthquakes? Why have people gone crazy? Teru is faced with all of these questions and more as he slowly begins to realize what has become of the peaceful world he once knew. The world has become hellish for reasons unknown to everyone, including yourself. The mangaka doesn't hold your hand and spoon feed you answers. You have to piece together the information along side Teru.
The story is nearly perfect except for a couple of chapters leading up to the finale. It tries a bit too hard to be emotionally deep, and you get a ridiculously long speech about fear. If that tiny boring part didn't happen I would give the story a nine, but it did happen so the story gets an 8. And thats a darn good 8. Like 8.9 or something close like that.
I don't round.
OH MY GAWD. The deatil put into the backgrounds is almost too detailed. It's hard to descibe how vivid every thing is. From the subway system, to the ghost towns, to the trash-littered buildings, they all come together perfectly to create the apocalyptic world that is Dragon Head. For fear that the druel pouring from my mouth will short circuit my computer I will stop talking about the art. Simply amazing.
No shounen heroes here. Every character is constantly overwhelmed with fear. Sometimes they feed on that fear and are able to do miraculous things. They will somehow figure a way out of their situation and live to see another day. But more often than not they snap. Teru might stab somebody if he's too scared. Or maybe he'll set an inocent person's arm on fire. Ako will faint at the drop of a hat. Nobu hasn't un-snapped since the train crashed. One word to describe the characters? "Flawed".
If it hadn't been Christmas and if I didn't have finals I might have finished this in 1-2 days. I was hooked. I wanted to find out what became of the world along with Teru. I was on edge every page. It was seriously hard to put down from start to finish.