2.877 out of 5 from 118 votes
In an unknown time on Earth, the population is infected with a lethal disease; only flies are resistant from its wrath. A countermeasure is in place to quarantine its growth: those with any signs of infection are transported north and their fates are unknown. One day a young man helps an infected woman, putting them both on the run from the authorities...
Long ago, creatures known as White Guanas manifested and attacked both the population and massive structures that tower above the cities. These terrifying monsters are held at bay only by those who possess the powers of the Black Guana, able to transform their bone structure into armor and weapons at will. Kudou Denji is one such person; he has been hiding under another identity for some time, and is now forced to once more protect the populace against new White Guana manifestations. However, it won’t be easy, as Kudou’s old organization Kegen Hall and others are also aware of his re-emergence...
Immediately a similarity in art style will be appearent as both manga are by Tsutomu Nihei. If you enjoyed the art in one, you will like the other as well. Abara came out after Dead Heads, and there is definitely an improvement in the level of detail, which is an interesting transition to see in an artist that tends to rely on visuals to tell a story rather than dialogue.
Both manga take place sometime in the future and have some focus on the social infrastructure. Dead Heads is a one shot and Abara is still relatively short, which makes their length comparable. As there is less than the usual dialogue to clarify the stories, one can do much personal interpretation with the plot.
In the future, the N5S infection is slowly spreading throughout the world, turning everyone it contacts into a zombie-like "Drone". Zouichi Kanoe and his motorcycle AI companion Fuyu Kanoe are sent out by Toha Heavy Industries in order to find humans resistant to infection and save humanity. Competing bio-enhanced agents from the Data Recovery Foundation have different goals, however: how to best extort the situation for their own profit…
Biomega and Dead Heads, by artist and writer Tsutomu Nihei, share a few direct similarities in plot. Both involve the spread of a deadly disease around the world, a strong, isolated male protagonist, and how the future social infrastructure is dealing with the chaos.
Also obviously similar is the art style and the way the story is told. Often, many pages rest between conversations, with characters simply depicted taking action or travelling rather than talking. Tsutomu Nihei has mastered the art of revealing plot by showing it rather than telling it; this style allows for a lot of personal interpretation in the middle of a directed narrative.
As detective Musubi Susono investigates a series of child kidnappings, her own partner is viciously murdered. But when the investigation takes a brutal turn, she is suddenly confronted by the killer - and his vicious Silicon Creature! Can Susono possibly fight back against these superhuman odds?
NOiSE and Dead Heads share an appearent similarity in art style, as both are written and drawn by Tsutomu Nihei. Rather than rely on dialogue to convey the plot, the stories are filled with silent visuals depicting events or characters' thoughts.
While NOiSE is slightly longer (Dead Heads being a one-shot) they are both relatively short in length which allows for a lot of personal interpretation in the story. As for characters, both have a strong lead that swims against the current driven by the futuristic government and get into a difficult situation. NOiSE does occur much further into the future, however.