Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Vol. 1 Manga ReviewDecember 26, 2014
In Naoki Serizawa’s Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Vol. 1, Capcom’s seminal horror franchise is brought to life in manga form for the first time. Serving as a prequel to Resident Evil 6, the book traces the origins of the deadly C-Virus to the elite Marhawa Academy in Singapore, where a female student suffers a horrifying transformation. When things get out of hand, Chris Redfield and his BSAA team are called in to investigate – including Piers Nivens, who serves as Chris’ partner in Resident Evil 6.
The students of Marhawa Academy are locked away from the outside world, as the gigantic school is located in the middle of a jungle. Professor Wright, who is a master of biology, receives an urgent letter from his former flame Mother Gracia, the headmistress of Marhawa Academy. Gracia asks Wright to keep things under wraps, and to help resolve the situation before the students become aware of what’s going on.
Throughout Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Vol. 1, we see that Mother Gracia is not the same woman that Wright once knew — the disturbing lengths that she goes to to hide the zombie outbreak from the student body are truly unsettling. I quite liked the buildup of the mystery, and the focus on new characters like Wright and his 20-year old nephew Rickey Tozawa instead of relying on fan favorites like Chris Redfield to carry every page. Chris and the BSAA make a fun appearance though, battling some bioweapons while attempting to hunt down Professor Wright.
Naoki Serizawa’s art is absolutely stunning, with a ton of detail in the environments and lots of expression in character faces. Serizawa does a great job of keeping known characters like Redfield and Leon Kennedy recognizable while fitting everything into his own unique style.
Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Vol 1. does a great job of setting up a slow-burning, interesting horror story. There are plenty of twists and turns, and the characters for the most part feel grounded and act in a realistic manner, with plenty of enjoyable dialogue throughout. The artwork is gritty and grimy when it needs to be, doing the legendary survival horror franchise justice. Hopefully Vol. 2 can flesh out the characters and setting even more, because this manga has managed to hold my interest much more than any of the recent games.