Another gem found in the internet, thanks to Daifuku folks for writing about horror genres and look up on some of the works they mentioned. In one particular that catches my attention is this manga, done waaaayyy back 1972-1974, where my parents are busy finishing their college and my country is still in under martial law. It didn’t come to me as an Horror work, but rather an social sandbox of interesting behavior. I will be reviewing The Drifting Classroom by Umezu, Kazuo.
It’s the Walking Dead People
The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where humanity has long been gone and what’s left of earth is sand and ruins. An entire elementary school is shot forward in the near (saying near given that the series was created over 40 years ago) future, seeing the fruits of the then-adults in full-blown spectacle. The effect after the cause.
The title says it all, really. What grip people into liking The Walking Dead is what also grip me in this series. It’s a survival series, where Kids are left to fend for themselves and resolve issues that adults would normally settle. In time, it also went over-board and act like savages, similar to what adults behave in put in serious and illogical situations. The adults are portrayed very badly in this series, not in essence that they ruin the show. But it does point to the fact that Adults are hard-wired in believing in logic that was ingrained to them, that anything outside of it is utter impossible. This could also manifest in the same light in religious or cultist religions, that turns a blind eye on the things that they don’t want to believe. In the Walking dead, we also see this behavior, where people just snap and went wild. They revert to their primal instincts posing danger to Rick’s group. It also has similarities on the way characters are portrayed. Our main character Sho represents Rick, the charismatic leader and the person who guides people into surviving and making the group stand firm in the grim of times. He has his morals, but he also makes mistakes. In times, he fails in his decisions like Rick and causing people to die before him. But even so, he can’t just break down since everyone is dependent on him. His rival and friend, which I can’t remember is very similar to Shane. He’s always by Sho’s side and they do the dirty work together. But even so, he has his issues with Sho and argues with him. He can’t stand Sho has done many evil deeds, like how Shane left Otis to save himself. A lot of the problems faced by the elementary kids reminded me on things go with Rick’s group. The kids have problems with food, water, anxiety, diseases and unknown forces that threatens their lives. The process of learning and surviving and the sanity of the kids is what plays in the series. Same thing with the Walking Dead on how the survivors picks the pieces left and start a new life in the vastly changed world.
But unlike the Walking dead, it has some lessons instill in it. Somewhere in the line of environmentalism and the consumerism that slowly destroy our planet. The topics that are being tackled by Bio-meat and Humanity Has Declined. The manga shows that our rampant destruction of our environment will cause our younger generation to the very wasteland the kids are experiencing. Having the kids pick of the pieces and fix the mistakes the adults made in the past, perhaps is an attempt to put guilt on the readers and consider their action. It is amusing that environmentalism movement is already apparent in the 70s, where people are more concerned in industrialization and less about the impact in the planet.
A Social Sand Box For Humanities Behavior in Extreme to Hopeless Situations
I can’t say that this series is a Horror. Most of the stuff that is presented is more in the study of human behavior than anything to scare you. I may had been desensitized by reading a lot of horror, or has no feeling of it whatsoever. But what I can imagine in this manga is actually possible. Although it is surprising that these kids didn’t have an orgy with the girls in the class. I would had imagined that these kinds of things can happen even if they’re just 6th graders. Regardless, it can turn any kind man into the most heinous being. Like the lunch dude that turned to a psychopath upon realizing the hopelessness of the situation. The series is interesting that we can see the kids behave in stressful circumstances and think differently than adults did. Even when the adults tried to remain calm, they’re the ones who broke first. Kids can sometimes come triumphantly in situations. We can’t under-estimate them.
Think of it as Disney’s Recess in a Post Apocalyptic Setting with the cast of Walking Dead
I like this series. This is the oldest Manga I had read so far and I enjoyed a lot of it. I’m glad it’s short so I don’t have to stay up late reading it. It’s an interesting survival story, although I felt that a lot of plot holes left when the story resolved in the end. But either way, it was good and entertaining that’s all I care.
Series Rating: 4/5
Images Used are under Fair Use.