4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful mess
Artist Kiyo QJO, also known as Kiyo Kujo, (Trinity Blood) has a unique and unmistakable look to her art. Her characters are lithe and muscular, tattooed and nipple-pierced. Unlike “Trinity Blood,” where she only supplied the art, in “Zone-00” she takes on the writing chores as well.
This second volume of “Zone-00” picks up briefly with Shima and Kujo having been whisked off to another dimension by Hima, and Shima wakes up from being shot and killed only to find himself almost-naked in bed with Hime. Perhaps he did go to heaven after all. The two friends are not the focus of volume 2, however, as the story soon whisks away to Konnosuke, the nine-tailed fox, and Kiyoami the ogre, before it jumps again to the pretty-boy cross-dresser Benten and then…then I pretty much get lost.
Anyone looking for clarification of storyline after Zone-00 Volume 1 is misunderstanding what the manga is all about. The plotline is just a mess, a frantic grouping of stories and characters, connections and disconnections, with a barely relevant thread of plot grouping them altogether. The driving force of the story, the “Zone-00” drug that transforms humans into creatures and creatures into even worse creatures, is barely mentioned at all, and when it does come into play it makes things even more confusing as you are not sure what is hallucination and what is real.
Ultimately, “Zone-00” is all about Kiyo Qjo’s pretty pictures, and the hyper-reality she creates with her art. Her characters drip sex appeal and danger. Unlike most comics, Qjo is pretty equal-opportunity when it comes to her fan service, and in “Zone-00” all the men are defined and muscular (and shirtless) and all the women are busty and bespectacled and dressed in lingerie. Qjo’s art is the very definition of “eye candy.”