Original Run: January 11, 2011 - March 30, 2011 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Action, Comedy, Magical Girl Based on the Series Created By: Shinichi Kimura and Kobuichi Muririn
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?. Reader discretion is advised.***
Ayumu Aikawa (voiced by Junji Majima) is an average teenager. He goes to school and must deal with the problems every kid his age faces. The only thing that makes him different is the fact that he happens to be dead.
Ayumu died and was then resurrected as a zombie by the powerful Necromancer, Eucliwood “Eu” Hellscythe. Along with that, Ayumu has begun attracting a multitude of odd characters like the chainsaw-wielding magical girl Haruna and the vampire ninja Seraphim (voiced by Iori Nomizu and Shizuka Ito).
With so much happening, Ayumu still isn’t sure what to make of it all. But now being an immortal, he has plenty of time to figure it out.
Before I start, welcome back to Pre-Blog Month where every review in March is a re-review. I have been watching anime much longer than I have been writing about them. As such, there are many shows I have seen, and have even referenced, that I have never discussed in detail.
Thus, I give you Pre-Blog Month, and first on the list is 2011’s Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (Zombie).
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t a fan of this series when I first watched it, but since it has been a few years, I can’t remember why. Therefore, why not give it another chance?
Having now watched it again, I still can’t say I liked this show. Zombie had many flaws.
That said, this was by no means a terrible watch.
To be honest, I wouldn’t even say this was an awful series. It just wasn’t all that good.
If nothing else, I now understand Zombie’s appeal. If someone told me they had fun this show, I would be happy for them. After all, there were things to enjoy about this series. It had clever ideas, and it even delivered on some of those ideas. Unfortunately, this made the flaws stand out more, but that’s me getting ahead of myself.
Ayumu was a strong lead and was genuinely the best thing about this show.
Besides being a kick-ass zombie action hero, Ayumu was a great example of how to do a harem center. There were reasons why other characters would fall for him. He proved to be a thoughtful, caring, and courageous person.
Ayumu’s zombie powers allowed him to go big and take many more hits than the average person. However, I’m willing to bet he would have taken those same hits even without his abilities. When someone needed him the most, Ayumu would lend his support.
Another thing I liked about Ayumu was how he avoided the pervert trope. Don’t get me wrong, he still had tendencies, but they remained in check. For the majority of Zombie’s more risqué moments, Ayumu wasn’t a part of them.
Ayumu was Zombie’s strongest source of life – ironic, I know.
He was the most animated, he was the most expressive. He got the most laughs out of me. When this series tried to have a soberer scene, it was Ayumu who held these instances up.
Also, huge credit to Ayumu’s voice actor Junji Majima. He did a fantastic job.
With Zombie, you get two seasons for the price of one. There was a distinct split in the middle of this series. The first half (Season 1A), lasted between episodes one and six. The second half (Season 1B), went from seven to eleven.
But what of episode twelve?
We will get to that.
As for Season 1A, it was alright.
The storyline was entertaining, fun, and something I could get behind. Whatever my reasons were for not liking this series the first time, I doubt it was this. Had this arc encompassed the entire show, this review would probably be a lot different.
Plus, the ending to this segment was solid. Zombie had a nice lead-up to it. A lead-up that would have benefited this show had this story arc been made the entire series.
Even though I wanted to give Zombie a fair second chance, there was an immediate red flag.
I remembered nothing about this show. It was like I was watching Zombie for the first time again.
While that may sound like a good thing, here’s a quick list of what I had forgotten about:
Ayumu was a murder victim.
At its core, Zombie was a comedy. It wasn’t the funniest thing in the world, but there was good humor to be had. The series’ jokes relied on a lot of goofiness and slapstick. The story and its characters weren’t afraid to get silly.
However, this show had a habit of going dark. I’m talking horror levels of intensity.
For example, one of the villains was a psychotic serial killer, and on multiple occasions, we saw the aftermath of some of their attacks. These crime scenes were brutal, and in no way fit with the humorous nature Zombie was making itself out to have.
Zombie wasn’t stellar with character development.
There were a few hints of decent character growth here and there, but like it was with this show’s tone, it wasn’t consistent. Also, timing couldn’t be more critical.
There was a scene were Ayumu tried to cheer up Eu who was thinking her abilities were a burden on others. This was a powerful moment for these two characters.
Too bad this came way too early. This was an ending to a character arc, and yet, it came in episode four.
Not only that, this was the first time Ayumu and Eu had a chance to be alone. Up to this point, these two never came close to having this kind of discussion. Despite it being well done, the show had not earned this scene.
Don’t believe me?
There was a similar exchange between this pair in its proper place at the end of this series. It was so much more effective because more things had taken place to give this moment more meaning.
But to be honest, I’m happy both scenes occurred. While not the smoothest, they did add to Eu’s character, and I liked her all the more for it.
The same cannot be said for a character like Seraphim whose entire personality was being the big boobed girl.
Even with its faults, the first half of this series was enjoyable.
The same was not true for the second half.
Zombie just suddenly began to operate without explanations. There was an insane amount of contradictions. Things stopped making sense.
Here are some examples:
- A character randomly obtained a previously unmentioned berserk mode.
- The pointless code of the vampire ninja clan.
- Deus ex machina weapons.
- F@#$ING EPISODE TWELVE!
What a stupid way to end a series. What was the purpose of this final episode? It was a goddamn OVA special that was released as part of the original run. It had no connection with the main story. There was no climactic battle. It was just an excuse to put the female characters into swimsuits.
To be fair though, I did like Eu’s song during it.
Although I won’t blame you for liking this show, I will never understand why someone could ever feel satisfied with this ending.
I tried. I really did.
I went back into this series looking for the things I missed. In my desire to do so, I found nothing except mediocrity.
This show had a decent idea going for it. This story did have a handful of fun moments. It had a strong main character in Ayumu. The first half of it wasn’t that bad. There were things to like about this one. Too bad you must work through a lot of trouble to get to what made this series any good.
The tone was inconsistent, character development needed work, and things stopped making sense by the end. When something came along that I liked, five additional things followed to ruin it. Try as I might, this was not my kind of series.
If you are a fan, I don’t blame you. What this show did right did work. Too bad Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? is one I still can’t recommend.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? How would you advise Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
And if you liked what you read, be sure to follow me on my social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.
I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.