Kakugo no Susume, “Kakugo’s Advice”
• Takayuki Yamaguchi
• Media Blasters (2005–2006)
• Akita Shoten (Weekly Shônen Champion, 1994–1996)
• Shônen, Postapocalyptic, Action
• 18+ (language, extreme graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations)
After disastrous earthquakes, human civilization is seemingly reduced to a single high school in Tokyo, where the students still attend classes despite being plagued by giant cockroaches and bug-eyed mutant cannibal perverts in bondage gear. Only one person can save humanity: Kakugo, a
soldierly teenage martial artist with (1) iron balls painfully embedded in his body and (2) “Zero,” a living armor shell inhabited by the souls of hundreds of dead test subjects from the World War II bioweapons experiment that created it. While it vaguely follows the Fist of the North Star formula, Apocalypse Zero is in fact closer to a Go Nagai balls-to-the-wall gross-out. (One monster attacks with its grossly enlarged genitals, and in another scene, Kakugo performs hara-kiri with his thumb.) Enjoyably disgusting, sick, immature, sappy, and just about every other bad/good thing you can imagine, this self-aware shônen manga pulp benefits from polished artwork (with old-school cartoony character designs) and well-done action scenes.