Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Volume 1 Review

9.5

I will not claim to be a fan of any of the Resident Evil games. I’ve tried at least three of them by now, and all of them I stopped playing within ten minutes. Yet for some reason I really enjoyed watching the mindless zombie gore fest that was the movies. So how does the Resident Evil manga fit into this paradox? It falls into the latter category. The story might have some cliches but the first volume of Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire is significantly better than any “story” that is presented by the games. Although this manga is apparently a prequel to Resident Evil 6, so maybe things will take a turn for the worst in later volumes?

Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire follows the adventures of Professor Doug Wright (no relation to this guy) whom appears to be channeling George Clooney at certain angles, and his nephew Ricky Tozawa as they investigate a potential bio-terrorism event at a private academy known as Marhawa Academy. As to be expected, this academy is filled with a mix of pretentious snobs and people who act like they’ve never seen anyone outside the academy. The cherry on top of this unoriginal sundae is the fact that it is run by a “nun” that has some very loose definitions of morality that are concealed by the typical virtuous life and strict rules illusion. Yet this cliché does not detract from the enjoyment of the story.  The first volume sets up the story for the rest of the series quite smoothly while also being a great action packed page turner in its own right.

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Of course there is at least one character from the video games in this manga, and that is none other than Chris Redfield. Although he plays a fairly minor role in the first volume since it is him trying to find the Professor. I imagine that Chris will play a much bigger role once he arrives at Marhawa Academy. I imagine his help will be needed given that the zombie infection seems to be caused by other means than being bit. There appears to be a shadowy figure running around, but there motivations and purpose are unclear. I imagine that this person will end up being involved with the Umbrella Corporation, as they seem to be able to operate just fine even though they seemingly went out of business after the incident in Raccoon City.

Visually speaking, Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire is spectacular. Since the illustrations use more gray and black than white, it adds much more detail to the environments and characters. Also thanks to this it is easy to understand what is going on without anything being too confusing. In short, this art style is very readable for lack of a better word. The dialogue, unlike most Resident Evil games, feels like it was written by someone who actually knows how to write. This and the visuals helps make the first volume a real page turner, and unfortunately it feels like it ends almost as soon as it began.

This is the only real flaw in the first volume, the length. It feels a little too short to justify a price tag of $12.99. Although some volumes of manga tend to vary in length and content, so hopefully future volumes in this series will be longer.

Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire will easily apply to several kinds of audiences. Obviously Resident Evil fans, and then anyone looking for a decent zombie manga. This series offers something for both groups and I heartily recommend picking this up. The first volume may be a short read, but Resident Evil: the Marhawa Desire is off to a great start.



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