Friday, April 14, 2017

Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire - Volume 05

It doesn't matter whether it's book or video game or film or comic - when it comes to Resident Evil, there's always a great story that ends with a bang! And this final installment of the Manga series, The Marhawa Desire, is certainly no exception. Writer and artist Naoki Serizawa has done a truly outstanding job with this five-book series, and although it took a bit for me to get use to the right to left reading (honestly, still not fully adept with it - have to keep reminding myself as I look at each page to start on the right top and work my way left, then down), the story enthralled me so much that it did not affect my enjoyment at all.

This last volume picks up right where the previous one left off - the hooded woman kneeling over Ricky, getting ready to inject him with deadly T-virus. Then, out of nowhere, Nanan appears, knocking the hooded woman away, thereby saving Ricky's life. And that's when the fun begins...

Serizawa does something that few comic artists these days are able to do - tell a thoroughly engaging story more through the art than the actual dialogue!  It seems many comic artists today are very adept at splash pages, pin-ups and poses - but actually telling a story through only the images, so much so that the reader gets more than just the picture out of the scene, that is not an easy thing to do. Yet, Serizawa does it with apparent ease, as this final chapter of The Marhawa Desire is told more through action, expression, and visuals than through the dialogue or thoughts of the characters. In fact, I don't even think I realized there was so little dialogue until I was nearly half-way finished reading the book!

Storywise, Serizawa kept the surprises coming. Nanan's sudden appearance and saving Ricky gave me hope that perhaps her human side was coming back in control - but alas, that didn't last very long. And the last minute saves, the bloody battle as the small group of survivors try to escape by helicopter, the revenge of Bindi, the shocking revelation of the identity of the hooded woman (and trust me, you'll never see this one coming!) - and that one saddening death of one of the survivors. This one has everything. And it even has an epilogue that sets up the Resident Evil 6 video game (which, I've never played, let alone even seen it). But the epilogue does allow readers to see what happened to the three survivors after they escaped the horrors of Marhawa Academy.

Now that I've finished this series, there's a part of me that wishes they would turn this into an animated film - the story has so many cinematic aspects to it - characterization, action, a tiny bit of romance - I know I would buy it!

RATING:  10 swarms of infected students out of 10 for providing a more than satisfying conclusion to yet another great Resident Evil story!

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