Sameen Murtaza, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
Dead Days is a horror webtoon based on a world going through a zombie apocalypse. Written by Dey, its official English translation started publication on September 25, 2014, and ended in 2015.
Picture Credits: Webtoon
What would be the first thing you would do if you woke up to find a zombie apocalypse taking place? Probably securing your surroundings and stocking up on food and water. Now the story starts similarly, with Yeo Jingook waking up to find himself in such a situation, only it’s much worse than it seems.
It is the fourth day since the supposed zombie virus spread. Jingook has been stuck in his room, with his infected mother just a door away. As if it weren’t difficult enough to survive without any food, there is a constant fear that his mom may break through and kill him.
After thinking a lot, Jingook decides he should attack first, lest he gets killed. But he soon gives up because he loves his mom too much to go ahead with this plan. Terrified and anxious, his worries only grow when he looks out of his window below to see people in his apartment complex trying to escape while being attacked by hordes of zombies.
It is too painful to watch, so he closes his window and tries to rest. Though with an empty stomach, that too is not an option. Thankfully, the gods have mercy on him as he spots a help sign on a window of a room right across from him.
Picture Credits: Webtoon
After successful communication, to his delight, the kind girl living across sent food and water via a basket tied to a string, which she sent through with her archery skills. Meanwhile, a group of three survivors crash into his room, kill his mother, and also kick him out.
Left with no other option but to fend for himself, he looks for survivors while barely surviving. He somehow manages to reach the differently-abled girl named Lee Hwa-yeon in the apartment building opposite his. Together, they find safe ground for a while.
The safe harbour is provided by a mute old man and his mentally disabled wife. Here the author includes real-life events by incorporating the Vietnam War, its terror, and its repercussions for those who were involved through the old man, who was a war veteran.
Later, finding evacuation services and much debate, they all decide to leave for the terrace. Only to be chased by zombies and Bindo, one of the crazy survivors who had stormed Jingook’s house. He seems to have the power to command the infected, so it becomes a tedious task to survive the zombies after them because of him.
They discover the cause behind the infection and a way to calm the infected while making their way out. Even in this situation, many survivors like Bindo exist who used others and let them get killed, making the whole area seem like a warzone. When they believe they are safe by reaching a hospital, they are almost experimented on in the name of checking and vaccinating them.
Being fast on their feet, they do manage to make it to a military-protected safe zone. Only the source of infection is given to all. Despite constant warnings, no one bothers to listen to them, and even the safe zone becomes a breeding ground for the infected.
Eventually, they manage to escape the madness. Bindo’s character and past are given to explain his circumstances. Despite him not being the lead, his choices and circumstances played a huge part in how things turned out.
In a way, Bindo’s life was very tragic, but it brought a very realistic edge to an otherwise fictional story. From the greed and cruelty of humans to the Vietnam War, demon possession practices, and the capitalist nature of the rich as well as governments
Jingook was an extremely capable MC alongside Hwayeon. Rarely do we see differently-abled leads in stories, so seeing a badass lead like Hwayeon was a pleasant surprise. A bold and smart female, she supported Jingook very well throughout the plot.
In the end, all the ones who suffered were ordinary and helpless citizens. Very much like our world today, it’s always the already vulnerable who are repeatedly exploited, not the rich and powerful.
Why You Should Read?
Dey’s story writing and art style are insanely realistic, despite the zombie apocalypse theme. The gory scenarios, as well as all the zombies, are fear-inducing and very creepy. Yet the story is emotional and will without a doubt hit you with the feels.
Dead Days has just 45 chapters with a slightly abrupt ending, though Dey explained many things afterward, so it feels complete. All horror lovers are requested to check out this thrilling, short, and underrated webtoon.
You can read the webtoon here: