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Last checked: October 22, 2016
Zombiepowder. (ゾンビパウダー, Zonbi Paudā?) is the first serialized action manga written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Zombiepowder. was published in Japan in 1999 by Shueisha, who printed it in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine for 27 chapters before cancelling it. The series was collected into four paperback volumes, released the following year. Zombiepowder. is distributed in North America by Viz Media, who licensed it in 2005. Although critical reception in the United States was largely mediocre, the series achieved moderate commercial success in the western market due to the prominence its author had by that point achieved for his second manga series, Bleach.
The series was a commercial failure in Japan but has been successful in the United States. Critical consensus is that Zombiepowder. was a technically proficient manga, but one which lacked the originality necessary to bear intrinsic appeal to most readers, which accounted for its cancellation. Additionally, the series was heavily focused on battles even by the standards of action manga, though whether this was a positive or negative trait is a matter of contention. Due to these factors, combined with its abrupt and unsatisfactory ending, critics hold that Zombiepowder. is significant primarily as a chapter in the career of its author, and would otherwise be a footnote which found an audience only among fans of violent action.
Zombiepowder. follows a young boy named Elwood Shepherd and mysterious criminals Gamma Akutabi and C.T. Smith in their search for the Rings of the Dead, a group of legendary artifacts with the power to resurrect the departed and grant immortality to anyone who collects 12 of them. The series has an anachronistic western setting, with sparsely populated human settlements separated by desert. The trio travel from town to town in this world, fighting other criminals for possession of the Rings of the Dead. They obtain three of said rings in the course of the story, but due to the series' cancellation, the plot is left incomplete as Kubo had a breakdown.