Last checked: July 23, 2017
Reiko the Zombie Shop (ゾンビ屋 れい子, Zombie-ya Reiko) is a manga series by Rei Mikamoto, chronicling the exploits of Reiko Himezono, a teenage "zombie shop", or a "necromancer-for-hire employed by bereaved families to resurrect departed loved ones for a short time so that the dead may impart their final truths to the living." Eleven tankoubon have been released by Bunkasha Comics. Six volumes have been released in English by Dark Horse Comics, translated by Michael Gombos. However, according to Dark Horse, the series' English publication has been discontinued.
Reiko is introduced as a schoolgirl and a "zombie shop"; a professional necromancer who, for a substantial fee, reanimates the dead, for the purpose of obtaining information from them. This offers her an opportunity to work as a detective and solve murder cases by temporarily reviving the victim and asking them who killed them. In the introductory acts of the book, for instance, she resurrects a girl who committed suicide, who, unbeknownst to her mother, was being molested by her father. The zombified girl kills the father, and, in a black-humour twist common to the series, the mother pays Reiko double her prior fee to reanimate the father so she can torture him.
This volume mostly follows an unconnected episodic format, with each successive act or chapter being a recounting of a separate case. These include a jealous killing among her circle of friends, an obsessive biology teacher attempting to bring back a beloved student, a tussle with bank robbers, and a stint as an unusual bodyguard for a dying goth-rock star. However, acts not featuring Reiko begin to appear, which cut away to the exploits of teenage serial killer Saki Yurikawa. Driven by a fanatical desire to have a younger sister to care for, Yurikawa kidnaps young girls and tries to force them into a sisterly role, but they inevitably end up fearing and hating her, causing her to become enraged and murder them. In the final chapters, Reiko and Yurikawa's paths converge when Reiko is called in to a hospital by the police to revive one of Yurikawa's victims. The young zombie goes berserk and tracks down Yurikawa, who happens to be in the hospital at the time with another girl. Reiko and Yurikawa fight; Reiko is killed, but, having anticipated this, manages to zombify herself with a tape-recorded incantation. She defeats Yurikawa, but not before being reduced herself to only a severed head, apparently lifeless. Yurikawa eventually becomes her "contract" zombie as the series furthers.