Story: Survival Horror, one of my favorite genres, and this one does it justice. It's a tale about an elementary school, like the one you went to, except they deliver bread to it. But one day, it gets sent to a wasteland devoid of life. And the kids, teachers and that delivery man, are stuck there. What ensues is the usual by human standards: panic, hysteria, denial and the usual, except for a twist or two that elevates the shock and disturbing factors.
The series is quite good on being disturbing, and not just because it's focusing on little kids. They're human still, and think like humans and being in a strange land with no way back home, you'd think kids would break down quicker than adults or adults would go crazy more from their longer life or something, but not entirely so. They act like humans and being relatively unpredictable is what helps to make this appealing. The horror partially revolves around the human psyche and how it breaks down into more animalistic parts, like any other survival horror with medium to large groups.
Granted that it isn't all good shock horror with blood, although there is quite a bit of blood, it delves into some... sci-fi stuff I guess, hence the tag. It gets kinda weird and sometimes it just doesn't work for me. Kinda split but it'll get plotty and a bit spoilery if I try and explain it. Another negative is how it feels like it drags at times. Don't get me wrong, I liked it loads and the horror, but sometimes it's a bit slow and plods a bit.
Not all the horror works but for the most part, I was either creeped out or disturbed, and it plays realism when it wants to pretty well. But have to give a non-descriptive shoutout to a moment in the ending, which was fucking hilarious.
Art: You don't see stuff like this anymore. For a 70s manga, it looks damn fine. The blood, the little kids, the adversaries they face; looks pretty damn good. Nice artwork abound and should please you picky persimmonies if you aren't too jaded by the fancy, smooth, new-age art work.
Characters: Ouch. On one hand, there's kids acting like kids, adults acting like adults (Gotta hand it to him for that delivery guy) and then there's the MC Shou, who is mature beyond his years. Way mature. Felt unbelievable how this guy was so chill and collected compared to the raging masses and the guy's fucking solid as a rock! The shit he goes through and he's the fucking paragon of sanity.
Sorry, lost myself there. There are some lightweights in his band (MCs in these series always have a close group of friends) and he pulls most of the weight but... I don't know, the events got me more than the characters. Just wasn't sold on the majority of them.
Overall: Disturbing, bloody, cruel, Lord of the Flies, brutality, it's got it all and with children, that makes it 1.5x more disturbing. The sci-fi bits are hit or miss and when they miss, it kinda drags you out of it. The characters are so-so and the events are what bring it together, as fucked up as they may be.