These aren’t your average zombies, and this isn’t your average prison. What happens when a zombie apocalypse starts in the town, and the incarcerated are the last to hear about it?
Warning: This Review May Contain Minor Spoilers.
Apocalypse no Toride (Fort of Apocalypse) ran in print from 2011 to 2014, and began English publication in 2013. The series is written by Yuu Kuraishi and illustrated by Kazu Inabe (who you might recognize from Starving Anonymous, which I also plan to review soon!)
Maeda, our protagonist, is framed and convicted of murder. After being sentenced to jail, and struggling with the power structure within the prison, the world is thrown into chaos, while the prisoners remain oblivious. That is, at least, until a van of infected crashes directly into the prison, letting loose a horde and shaking up Maeda’s new home.
I did not particularly enjoy Starving Anonymous, Kazu Inabe’s other illustrated work, although I recognized the beauty of the artwork. Truly, his art style and details are immaculate, and that also bleeds into Fort of Apocalypse.
The divergence from a typical zombie story, focusing more on a virus or evolutionary-type of infection, I think is a welcome change. I love a good zombie story, but Fort of Apocalypse does a great job of making these zombies its own.
The absolute insanity of the imagery is also extremely well done, thanks to Kazu Inabe. I am definitely a fan of his illustrations. I mean, look at this:
Deep Dive (More Spoiler Heavy, Nothing Major)
I also really enjoy the characters of this story. Later on in the story, as the characters get into more life-or-death predicaments, I found myself gasping or yelling “no! Noooo!” when a character I liked was in immediate danger or when all seemed lost.
Each member of the four main characters — Gou Iwakura, Masafumi Yoshioka, Mitsuru Yamanoi, and our main protagonist Maeda Yoshiaki, each have specific traits that keep them interesting. Seeing these traits manifest once again at the end of their respective stories also makes my heart warm!
I will say that I particularly liked Gou and Masafumi as characters!
So in that regard, I definitely enjoyed the characters in Fort of Apocalypse more than Starving Anonymous. I think the development is much better done and the slow reveals are done immaculately.
That being said, the story itself isn’t all about fleshing out the characters. This is a zombie story after all, and Yuu Kuraishi’s extra-action, extra-crazy take on it! So there is plenty of action packed, nail-biting scenes in between the slower fleshing out of characters. In addition, the confusion and panic and sheer feeling of being small and powerless in this horrifying world really makes this manga shine.
My only gripe with Fort of Apocalypse is that the ‘solution’ that our protagonists find themselves in feels a bit… quick? The build up is so masterfully done that the “and then its over” feels a bit strange. The epilogue does a great job of patching this gap!
That about concludes my review of Fort of Apocalypse! I’d give it a heavy 8 to a light 9/10. I thoroughly enjoyed the manga, and it definitely holds up even 10 years after its debut!
What do you all think? Have you read this manga before? Do you like zombie manga? Let us know the comments!
For more reviews, check out our other reviews here on LAN!