Story: Straight up, I had some real fun with this. It's an apocalypse that isn't entirely brought about by humans, but by mother nature getting fed up with humans being the top dogs and opening up a can of whoop-ass. The real nitty-gritty of it is that the environment is changing and in turn, so does the ecosystem. The ecosystem in thos case doesn't bother with the large species but with the small. Rats, for instance, beasties of those size and even smaller. It almost feels fresh in that it isn't humans that are the worst enemy here but the species that lived in fear of us or those we crushed because we're so much better. It's about them rising up to kick some ass.
And rise up they do, in a tale split into two perspectives: The son and daughter team and the father who tries to find them. It's quite effective in how it doesn't deal with the global effects of this catastrophe but focuses on the normal people, the common folk who have to survive this. It's not about finding a "cure" or a solution to this problem but simply surviving. The survival aspect is nothing short of great as there's a sense of fear and suspense for the characters, a sense of dread because a toilet is overflowing with rats or the dawning realization that something horrible is heading this way, how the lights go out one by one in the shifting darkness, an absence of hope in a world gone mad with despair and the destruction of humanity.
Art: If there's one thing I love about it, it's that the good guys and bad guys are separated quite nicely, mainly that the good people are good looking and overflowing with the mammaries and the bad guys, or dispicable bastards are ugly, repulsive and sometimes have exaggerated features, a real stark contrast to the good looking goodies. It's comical and it works as the difference is truly ginormous. Might take away some of the horror or captivating imagery for some but it's still entertaining. Also of note is the horrifying character designs later on that turns anyone ugly because it's just simply unpleasant. Done well, but still quite unpleasant.
The art overall holds up well and still looks quite nice. Unlike the cover, it's not heavy on fanservice and I can go as far as to say it's uncommon as it focuses more on horror and suspense, atmosphere and peril than ecchi, fanservice, boobs and panty shots.
Characters: Straight up, Takada-Sensei is a love/hate kind of guy. He's utterly dispicable, moralless, selfish, mean-hearted, repulsive, ugly and his monologues and thoughts are utterly hilarious. His monologues are profane, hate filled, spiteful and so self-serving that I find myself enjoying his appearances despite how unlikable he really is. He's probably the true villain if there is one and even then he provides the most comedic moments despite his actions.
The other main characters are a good bunch with a bit of development throughout the tale but not too much. They're kinder than the average person, know when to put logic before compassion for their fellow man and you can't really say that any of them are the load or completely useless. Even the little brother has his moments when he could obviously have been the useless tagalong kid. They got heart and it makes you want to cheer them on.
Overall: Quite a chilling read and has it's moments of humor in a world gone to the rodents. A tale of survival, sacrifice and the fall of humanity as nature strikes back with a strong pimp hand. It hardly deals with the why or how we got to this mess but the journey, and one that actually reaches a conclusion no less. Fast-paced with some scary imagery and more about the civilians than the government, this is a tale well worth reading.
And the stinger? Priceless.