Webtoon Analysis: All of Us Are(n’t) Dead

I’ve spent every spare second playing Horizon Forbidden West and I’m trying to get my A+ cert for my job but *see above.* All in all, -0/10 for productivity. Nevertheless, I found yet another way to be unproductive and finished All of Us Are Dead.

Since I haven’t uploaded anything in like 1000 years, I thought I’d blog about this.

*spoilers*

All of Us Are Dead, by Joo Dong-geun (also known as Now At Our School), is a South Korean zombie apocalypse fiction taking place in a school. The story centers around a group of students at Hyosan High trying to survive as a zombie outbreak ravages their city faster than Red Bull pulled out of Russia. There are loads of characters who’s names I’m not gonna list, but I want to contrast Nayeon/Gwinam to Suhyeok/Namra because both duos want to survive. The former solely focus on their own self-preservation and desires, whilst the latter show incredible bravery and selflessness in trying to ensure their classmates survive too. (side note: it’s also a k-drama but I don’t really watch TV so can’t comment on the quality of that)

Notably, the government is semi-effective, rapidly quarantining Hyosan to prevent the infection from spreading and even dropping a sleep bomb on the zombies despite woketavists out-woking the wokest of us by insisting zombies have human rights. I found this level of competence from the government even more unbelievable than Mr. Lee, the science teacher, leaving zombie hamsters in the middle of his unlocked classroom. My dude’s sheer stupidity caused countless of deaths because he literally couldn’t keep those Hamsters home, or in glass cages with air pockets (albeit, apparently the k-drama does fix this incredible lapse of judgment).

Anyway, it’s these zombie Hamtaros who bite one his students, Hyeon-ju, setting off a chain reaction of sickness and sending the students of Hyosan scrambling to find ways to survive.

By comparing Gwinam and Nayeon to literally any other character in this story (including various zombies), but particularly to Namra and Suhyeok, we see all four want to survive but only one duo will do so by any means necessary. While initially the students hunker down and wait for help, once they realize they’ve been abandoned by adults (most of whom are relatively useless anyway) and are unlikely to be rescued by the government, they attempt to escape themselves.

Gwinam had negative fifty redeemable traits. He uses another student as a shield, and eventually eats her but only after assaulting a different female student. Didn’t help he was somehow immune to the zombie virus, so he’d also gotten a taste for human flesh. It’s giving every story needs an additional villain in an already terrible world to make things worst for the characters energy. In contrast, Suhyeok spends most of his time aiding others, even going back out into the wild to forage for food. It’s thanks to him (in part) that the surviving students make it to roof and are able to escape out into the woods and eventually to freedom.

Similar to Gwinam, Nayeon is so focused on not becoming a zombie, she loses her humanity without ever getting bitten. Her fear of death and selfishness frankly would have been forgivable because not everyone is a hero. However, Nayeon not only accuses her classmate, Gyeong-su, of getting bitten and turning into a zombie, she intentionally infects him just to prove a point resulting in his demise. Consequently, the students realize they can’t trust her and lock her away, dooming her to a slow and lonely death. In contrast, class president Namra goes out to find food for the others. After being bitten and realizing she’s also got a taste for flesh, she manages to control herself several times until eventually, after the group escapes out into the woods, she realizes the danger she poses to others and separates herself. It’s the ultimate sacrifice really and exemplifies the verse, “no greater love has one man than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

While all of the characters understandably want to live, Gwinam and Nayeon only care about themselves and as they say “[t]he attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death.” Namra and Suhyeok show immense bravery and selflessness in being unwilling to abandon their classmates and doing everything they can to ensure they survive. Consequently, they do end up surviving… so I guess all of them aren’t dead, which makes sense since the English translation appears to be whack.

Admittedly, the webtoon isn’t as thrilling and fast-paced as other monster survival tales (like Sweet Home/Shotgun Boy) and the art work is definitely an aesthetic not everyone will appreciate. But the story has a lot of heart. Like literally you will see lots of organs, hearts, and blood strewn everywhere because… zombies.

All of Us Are Dead Rating: 7/10

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