Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Series

Anime Hajime Review: Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead

Original Run: April 5, 2012 - June 7, 2012
Number of Episodes: 10
Genre: Action, Comedy, Magical Girl
Based on the Series Created By: Shinichi Kimura and Kobuichi

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Following his battle with the King of the Night, Ayumu Aikawa (voiced by Junji Majima) tries to return to his simple, normal, not at all extraordinary life. However, that is a particularly difficult task given how Ayumu is no longer alive.

Being a magical girl zombie who wears a pink dress and carries a chainsaw sort of ensures one will always end up as the center of attention.

Not helping the matter is the fact that Ayumu lives with three otherworldly women:

  • The insanely powerful necromancer Eucliwood “Eu” Hellscythe (voiced by Midori Tsukimiya).
  • The hyper-active magical girl Haruna (voiced by Iori Nomizu).
  • The cold and deadly vampire ninja Seraphim (voiced by Yoko Hikasa).

Together, this group never runs out of trouble to get into. And although Ayumu says he would prefer not getting involved with anything outrageous, he is always the first to jump in when someone needs him the most.

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Series Positives

For a quick summary of my original thoughts of the Zombie franchise: I wasn’t a fan. Recalling the first time I watched this series, I couldn’t get into it. Then after a few years, I forgot why that was the case.

Upon sitting through season one for a second time, I can say I ended up respecting it more than the image that had formed in my head between my two viewing sessions. I still can’t claim it was a good show (it really wasn’t), but it wasn’t the giant mess I assumed it was going to be.

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As a result, although I may not have been looking forward to Zombie 2, I did re-enter the second season with some hope. Then once I got through episode one, I remembered two essential points:

  1. I had watched Zombie 1 and Zombie 2 back to back immediately.
  2. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead is trash.

Oh, so this is why I didn’t care for this series.

Zombie 2 was such a riddled mess of nonsensical fluff that it made Zombie 1 – even with all its flaws – seem masterful. For you see, Zombie 1 was at least decent enough to attempt a plot, fun action, and solid humor. Also, there was more to season one’s purpose besides – nothing.

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It is difficult to mention any positive elements about Zombie 2 since its sole interest was maintaining the shell of its predecessor. What I mean is: While this second installment had features such as very nice animation and none of the principle characters degraded, saying that doesn’t paint the whole picture.

Zombie 2’s animation: It was good, but there were rarely any moments which showcased its quality. Plus, we need to remember that despite some of this season’s piss poor CGI, the show is going on five-years-old at the time of this review.

Zombie 2’s characters: Yes, no one got worse. The issue was, no one got any better. That was a problem because Zombie 1 didn’t have the most stellar cast to begin with.

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In fact, I want to delve a bit deeper into the topic of season two’s characters because it will be more helpful to us if we stop thinking in terms of who was either bad or good. Instead, we need to ask: Who was tolerable?

Let’s start with Ayumu Aikawa; a.k.a., the best character from the original. It was thanks to Ayumu that this season didn’t completely lose its series’ charm – and there wasn’t much from the outset. Unfortunately, all the growth associated with Ayumu’s character happened in season one. In Zombie 2, he just coasted along and did practically nothing of note. To give Ayumu some credit, though, he did do way more than most.

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Next, there was Haruna. The best way I can explain Haruna’s role in this season is to compare her to a water gun in winter. Though her energetic personality may have been inherently fun, what the hell use is she when it’s -2° outside and snowing? There is a time and a place for characters like Haruna, and Zombie 2 had neither.

Finally, Eu…

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I actually don’t have much to say about her since I think Eu was legitimately a good character. After all, she was the most anchored out of anyone from this season/series.

In a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, the best thing about Zombie 2, as stated earlier, was how it improved Zombie 1’s overall appeal. Plus, this season being only ten episodes long wasn’t a bad thing – assuming you don’t count OVAs. WHICH I DON’T. What the crap Zombie series?

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Series Negatives

If Zombie 1 was underwhelming, then Zombie 2 was flat-out boring.

Thinking back one year ago to my re-watch of Zombie 1, I was impressed by and truly enjoyed the first half of that season. There was a genuine sense of stuff happening. There were villains for the heroes to fight, characters had to grow stronger, and the action was entertaining. Whenever Ayumu transformed into a magical girl, it was absurd – and overly violent – but in a way that was a ton of fun.

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Ayumu wielded a freaking super powered chainsaw and used it to obliterate his enemies. What wasn’t to like?

What was season two’s follow up to that?

It decided to take away Ayumu’s chainsaw and disregard the entire magical girl side of this series. In its place, Zombie 2, went with having an in-name-only, bare-bones harem anime.

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Ayumu lived in a house with three women and interacted with a handful more. So, in that respect, this was a harem series. However, this season didn’t bother to go any further than that. Zombie 2’s entire strategy was shotgun-blasting out a bunch of different scenarios and jokes hoping that some of them would find their mark.

For instance, there was one episode where Ayumu went to a maid café, and low and behold, the majority of the staff working on that particular day was all the female characters close to Ayumu. Hell, this season even threw in characters I wasn’t aware were important. This was just a fanservice episode for the sake of having a fanservice episode. While this was nothing new for the Zombie series, these have also proven to be the driest moments of the entire “story.”

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And THAT is the topic I want to end this review on – the story of Zombie 2. What a colossal waste of time this was. Sparing as many spoilers as I can, let me give a brief rundown of what happened this season.

In episode one, everyone at Ayumu’s school saw him transform into a magical girl. Normally, Ayumu’s chainsaw would make it so everyone’s memories would be wiped after such an incident. Too bad this time, the chainsaw broke. So, for the next SIX EPISODES, this series became a dull slice-of-life anime where absolutely nothing happened. No fights, no conflicts, no development – nothing.

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Then the chainsaw got fixed, and Ayumu immediately used it to erase everyone’s memory of the incident which occurred in episode one. Thereby making the entire first half of this season utterly pointless.

Afterward, it was revealed that a character I had completely forgotten was in this season (not a joke) was the ultimate maybe-villain of the installment. In terms of narrative, this was a troubling development because this person was the strongest individual Ayumu and his group had ever faced. Thus, they needed to find someone who was equally powerful.

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The team succeeded in doing that, and suddenly we found ourselves in episode ten (the last episode). And rather than a climactic showdown – you know, the one this season had been building up to – a bunch of BS happened, and Ayumu had HIS memory wiped. Thus, the main female characters had to recover the Ayumu they knew and “loved.”

Then it was over.

So what the f@#$ did I end up watching? Turns out this series was just a massive middle finger to my patience.

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Final Thoughts

I sort of hinted at this earlier, but there are a lot of OVAs to this series, and I think they might have significant impacts on the main story. I’m not sure if I will ever find that out since I doubt I will ever return to this franchise.

I mean, why should I?

I’ve already seen this entire show twice, and both times I came away disappointed. Or, at least, I was disappointed with the first season. The second season, on the other hand, was simply bad.

There was barely any story, the characters were not interesting, everything that made this series kind of fun – the action and the over-the-top shenanigans – were not only not existent, but they were also actively ignored.

While you can skip the whole of the Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? series, I would strongly advise avoiding Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead altogether.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

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