When you think of Zombies you probably have the typical George Romero style Zombie, decaying flesh and an unrestrainable hunger for brains. So properly named, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka asks the tough question: Is this a Zombie? Aikawa Ayumu is your average High School student, until one night attempting to help someone he is killed by a serial killer that has been plaguing the town he is living in. Luckily for Ayumu, Eucliwood Hellscythe, a powerful Necromancer, raises him from the dead turning him into a Zombie.
From episode 1 you can already see the potential this anime has. It has a very comedic, action oriented, and a sprinkle of a dramatic side to it. Ayumu and the rest of the cast offer an assortment of fun and drama that is often missing or poorly executed in many anime. The fun is what really draws you into the anime. In episode 1, our unassuming zombie protagonist runs into Haruna, a genius Masou-Shoujo aka a Magical Equipment Girl, Unfortunately for her, Ayumu sucks up all of her magical powers removing her Masou-Shoujo abilities. The extreme comedic factor comes in at the end of the episode, where it is realized that Ayumu now has the ability to transform into a Magical Girl… Full transformation sequence and all. The hilarity doesn’t end there either because after he defeats the monster, he gets propelled into the middle of the school ground in pretty form and all, where the rest of his school mates proceed to pull out their phones and start taking pictures. It is that level of ridiculous comedy that Kore wa Zombie thrives on. Kore wa Zombie at its best is comedy. It is something that gets forgotten later on in the anime, but I’ll get to that later.
The other major genre in this anime is Ecchi. Panty shots, erotic views, sexy outfits, and naked girls are something that is all too common in Kore wa Zombie. Not only do the main characters get a lot of the views, but throughout the anime you can expect that Ayumu is going to be in situations that are going to make you jealous. While the situations don’t disappoint, the censoring does. Most of the series just has ecchi moments, the kind that makes your mouth water and there is no real nudity, but there are several moments where if there wasn’t that thick mist or ray of light you would get to see the goods. It happens several times throughout the series. The part that is disappointing isn’t that censorship, because if you watch it on TV you should expect some kind of censorship, but even the bluray versions have the censoring still. There is a bit less, but you still can’t see anything. This begs the question: Why did they even include nudity in the anime, if it wasn’t ever going to be shown?
The action of Kore wa Zombie leaves little to be desired. While Kore wa Zombie is a comedy at heart, the action is not skimped on. Studio DEEN does a fantastic job with the animation throughout the series, but the quality really shines in the fast paced action of the anime. You can expect it to be violent filled with loads of blood flying out of the characters making sure you get exactly what you are looking for. I also love how Ayumu essentially has two styles of fighting. First he uses his zombie powers where he can output high volumes of power. The other is making use of his Masou-Shoujo powers and using Mystelteen, Haruna’s chainsaw. There is also a good chunk of comedy fused into the action, whether it is Ayumu overextending his physical abilities causing his limbs to break or if he draws out so much magical power that he becomes prettier. All of that adds up to a better anime.
One of the best parts about Kore wa Zombie are the characters in the anime. Ayumu can be considered one of the better leads you can find in anime. His personality is pitch perfect. He is dedicated, serious, funny, and perverted to boot. Combined with Majima Junji’s voice acting talent, Ayumu is one of the best narrative leads that you will find in all of anime. Not only is Ayumu an ideal male lead, but it also adds several other characters that makes a Merry, Boff, Kill game very hard. Eucliwood is a very great loli-lead character. Her primary deal is that she doesn’t talk nor show emotions. This leads Ayumu to have very strange visions about her saying things in a cutesy manner calling him Onii-chan. The anime utilizes those very well too, by changing the voice actress every time. Her not talking not only provides a lot of entertainment value, but also adds a lot of emotional value to the points of the anime when she does talk or is forced to show emotions. It makes those scenes powerful and are some of the best scenes in the anime. Haruna’s character is also great because at first glance she is the typical loli tsundare character that is in most anime, but she actually has great depth to her that allows for more fun moments to ensue out of her. Her iconic moe faces provide enough entertainment that can even make a more serious moment of the anime that much better. The final female protagonist is Seraphim, a vampire ninja.. You might be wondering what the hell a vampire ninja is and I will tell you that it is as ridiculous as it sounds, but the ridiculous is what Kore wa Zombie thrives on. Sera has a harsh tongue and is often insulting Ayumu in even the most dire of situations. However in my personal opinion, Sera is an underutilized character who’s moments were constantly being stolen by the other characters. She is still a vital member in the cast, after all, in an anime with two loli-leads we need a big breasted character to get us by. Yuki comes into the cast later on in the anime, but it doesn’t take long for her to be my favorite of the girls. Her Tom-boyish personality works well and there is a lot of mystery surrounding her character still.
While the main characters are a strong point in the anime, the secondary characters are ultimately a weaker point to the anime. Let me state this first, I really like the secondary characters in Kore wa Zombie. They are hysterical, dynamic, and just a hell of a lot of fun to watch. The part that makes them weak is that they are often forgotten and cast aside in the anime. Ayumu’s best friend Orito adds a level of ecchi comedy that made episode 3 the funniest episode of the anime. He however barely registers and is often only awarded small bit parts that make no impact on the series. We also get a pleathera of other characters and personalities that just get no screen time, which is given to the main cast. This could simple happen because the show is only 12 episodes long so the priority was given to the story. Both the final random-ish and OVA episodes had plenty of those characters.
The difficult thing about Kore wa Zombie is the fact that it is too good. When an anime starts off great and keeps that going for several episodes the expectations of the rest of the anime gets astronomically high. This brings me to another point that Kore wa Zombie does well, it does a great job disappointing its fans. The final part of the series just does not do the first part of the series justice. The blame falls on the fact that it feels a lot like a forced anime ending. An artificially created anime only ending that is done because even though the light novel or manga series is still on going, the anime is ending and there isn’t enough known whether or not a sequel season will happen. The last episodes take the series into a depressing place and the ultimate outcome is underwhelming. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but it is something that just didn’t do it for me. I do give the anime credit though because even if the anime ending wasn’t great compared to the rest of the anime, the ending is actually better than most anime only endings that leave us pissed off at the anime as a whole. Even with the bad ending, I find it hard to not recommend Kore wa Zombie to most people.
That really sums up how I think of Kore wa Zombie in the end. While the start was fantastic, the middle worked well, and the ending left much to be desired, overall the anime was not only a great ride, but one that shouldn’t be missed. Kore wa Zombie left a lot open in the end. Many questions were left unanswered and lots of characters just didn’t get flushed out fully, but a second season has been announced and if I had not written this review after that announcement, I would’ve been yelling a lot about how much this series failed in the endding. The OVA also helped a lot, while it wasn’t quite up to par with the beginning of the anime, it was still funny as hell and was a thrill ride that shouldn’t be counted out. If you haven’t seen Kore wa Zombie, I recommend that you look to download it before season 2 airs because if you miss out on another season of Kore wa Zombie, then you will be left behind.
I know we haven’t done galleries recently, but I got too trigger happy while taking screenshots because there was so many good ones. I took over 1,000 of them so I decided to make a really large gallery at the end of this review. So Enjoy~