The battle aboard the magic train between the severely underpowered Wolfina and Shackaboon continues as Wolfina tries to stop the vicious tempered lady with the gargantuan eating problem from stomping the encased Emilio to a bloody pulp.

However, even as this battle rages on, the Ring of Dead now living in a host body is not lying quite as dormant as some would maybe expect!

Meanwhile Gamma Akutabi continues his chase of the train in order to stop it and save the plucky reporter and her brother, though as events will turn out, he may not have to chase it after all – though he certainly will need to think up of something fast if he wants to save the hapless town of Alcantara!

As the main storyline begins to wrap itself up and the final battle plays itself out, gears shift as Tite moves to end off this last volume in the series as neatly as possible, introducing a host of new characters as well as a potential solution to Emilio’s condition, never mind opening up a few more mysteries and glimpses into the past in order to tantalise our tastebuds should he ever decide to return to his creation at some point on later in his already illustrious career.

As we all know by now, ZombiePowder first kicked off in 1999, but after only four volumes’ worth of material, Tite Kubo changed direction and instead kicked off the serialization of Bleach back in 2001, which obviously then shot to fame in a blink of the eye and alongside Naruto, became one of the most popular and eagerly followed Shonen manga pieces out there today.

ZombiePowder saw the end of the light of day with this final volume (which gets padded like all the previous volumes with a bonus Tite Kubo piece of work, entitled Bad Shield United,) but looking back over the four volumes you find that this really was an entertaining piece of work – short yes, but very indicative of what was still to come in terms of Tite’s work.

The story telling style remains the same, with some insane action sequences, larger than life characters with varied and unusual abilities, that same mixture of completely unexpected black humour or just plain slapstick silliness that he is famous for, and of course that bold, sketchy art style of his that emphasizes poses and characters to tell the action-packed story while only including the smallest amount of background detail that he can possible get away with.

Of course, Volume 4’s story does gear down quite a bit and is probably the least exciting of the four volumes as a whole, but Tite does go to great pains to wrap everything up quite neatly for us as the readers and in so doing, crafts an ending that leaves it open enough so that he can continue with the story sometime in the future should he so wish, or simply leave it as is without disappointing anyone really.

In terms of art, his sketchy angular work remains as enthralling as ever and he captures the character interactions perfectly as always. He does for some or other reason continue with that stupid idea of his of always only filling in one eye of a character wearing spectacles and of course remains as light as ever on anything background related, but as per usual his artwork works for this type of book perfectly.

So in summary, volume 4 of this short-lived tail contains everything that one enjoyed about the first three volumes and serves as the perfect (if a little hurried) wrap up of what in the end was a decent tail and more importantly, a great glimpse of what the now legendary mangaka Tite Kubo was able to do before he moved onto his record shattering Bleach!

In other words, only four volumes long and you still haven’t picked this one up for your collection? O.o

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