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She is a Slow Walker is a one-shot story written by Junji Ito. It is Case 2 of 8 Tales of the ZQN, an anthology of horror one-shots compiled by Kengo Hanazawa. 


The story begins with a young man and woman arguing about whether fast or slow zombies are scarier; the man, Shinichi, points out that slow zombies can be easily evaded, while the woman, Yumi, claims that fast zombies attack too quickly for the victim to feel real fright. Eventually, Yumi leaves in a huff, only to immediately return with a bleeding arm. She has just enough time to tell Shinichi that someone bit her before a great cacophony erupts on the other side of the door; peering through the peephole, Shinichi sees a horde of walking corpses struggling to break in. Looking outside, he sees more of them attacking people in the streets, tearing them apart and devouring their flesh.

Despite Yumi's insistence that her attackers were "way too fast" to be zombies, Shinichi announces that "the day has finally come": the world is being overrun with the living dead. He immediately fortifies his room, with Yumi bound and gagged in case she turns out to be infected from the bite she received. With an ample stock of supplies, he is confident that he'll survive the apocalypse.

A few days later, Shinichi has completed his fortifications and settled in to wait out the outbreak. He offers Yumi some ramen, but she simply collapses on the floor, dead. Mourning his inability to save her, Shinichi lies her on his futon and sleeps next to her, with a video camera set up to monitor them.

The next morning, Shinichi awakens to find a newly zombified Yumi inches away from his face, mouth wide open for a bite. He leaps from his futon in a panic, but she remains motionless; upon checking his camera, he discovers that it took her all night to get into position for the near-attack. After a few more days of observation, he confirms that she can move, but at an incredibly slow pace; as such, he frees her from her bonds and taunts her inability to catch him. He even tries spooning with her, but another near-miss the next morning convinces him that he was pushing his luck with that stunt.

As time goes on, the zombies' numbers continue to increase, making it all but impossible to go outside. Trapped in his room, Shinichi continues evading Yumi's glacial attempts to catch him as everything deteriorates, her body and clothing, his health and supplies. Eventually, he finds himself on the brink of starvation, too weak to escape as Yumi slowly bears down on him. Admitting that he can't do this anymore, he slumps over...

...and begins eating his former friend's rotting flesh. He's just wondering if eating zombie flesh will infect him. When it does; however, unlike Yumi, he moves at blinding speed. As he races out of the room, we see what could be his last coherent thoughts: "She is a slow walker...and I am the running dead."


  • Shinichi and Yumi make reference to George C. Romero, the creator of Night of the Living Dead and one of the premiere minds behind modern zombie fiction. Shinichi's references to "Romero zombies" refer to how the undead in Romero's work move sluggishly and clumsily, relying on overwhelming numbers and the mistakes of their prey to close in and attack.
  • Shinichi and Yumi's debate about "fast zombies vs slow zombies" is a common topic among fans of zombie fiction; namely, whether or not zombies should be allowed to move quickly and still be classified as "zombies".