Chihiro Furuya is an unsocial boy obsessed with zombies and so when his beloved cat dies he attempts to resurrect using the recipe for a reanimation potion he found in an old book. While conducting his experiments Chahiro meets Rea Sanka, an unhappy rich girl with a seriously messed up family. The two get along well as they try to resurrect the dead cat but Rea’s suicidal tendencies have some unexpected results.
This two disk set contains all twelve episodes of the 'Sankarea: Undying Love' anime, as well as the episode 13 OVA. Unfortunately the collection doesn’t include the 'Episode 00' or 'Body of a Zombie…' OVAs however, something that is quite disappointing. The anime only covers the first arc of the original manga, along with some anime original content (most or episode seven and half of episode nine) as well as moving the flashback involving Rea’s mother from a future arc to episode ten. Due to this, I am sure that those people who prefer to only watch completed series will find this disappointing but the ending of the anime does do a good job of rounding things off relatively well while still leaving things open for a second season (unlikely due to this anime being made three years ago now and the original manga having since finished).
The animation of the series is very good with the highly artistic style used in various places being beautifully done (the flashback told through portraits in episode ten is particularly good) leading to a very good looking anime that is a delight to watch. Having said this, there are some fanservice scenes her and there throughout the anime, as well as some relatively minor gore (mostly in episode three) which are things I know some people dislike.
The DVD set includes both the English and Japanese versions of the series of course and although I do prefer the original Japanese, the English dub is still very good (although hearing Rea’s name in English order is a little weird due to the show’s title being her name in Japanese order). Of the English vocal cast Tia Ballard is very good as Rea, as are Felecia Angelle and David Wald as Mero and Dan'ichirō respectively. Aaron Dismuke gives a relatively good performance as Chihiro but I feel he can be a little too deep sometimes. The only voice I didn’t really like much on the English dub was probably Jamie Marchi as Ranko due to her voice sounding a little whiny but I was able to get used to it as the series progressed.
'Sankarea: Undying Love' is probably one of my favourite romantic comedy anime, the undead twist to the series keeping things quite interesting. Despite this however, I will only give the series a four star rating due to the fact that it isn’t until future arcs that the original manga gets really good and there are times in this anime that it feels like it is just spinning its wheels.
on 10 December 2013
Chihiro Furuya is a high school student who has more than a strong interest in zombies. Zombie films, zombie games, zombie manga he's pretty much obsessed, and even admits to his friends that he wants to kiss a zombie girl.
When his pet cat Babu, who is also his best friend, is run over Chihiro decides to use an old manuscript that he has obtained that describes the process of creating a "resurrection potion" but has a burned page telling a key poisonous ingredient. Sneaking out of his home to work in secret and work out what the missing ingredient is at an abandoned hotel he encounters a girl called Rea Sanka, who also sneaks out of her home to scream her frustrations out loud down a well outside the hotel.
Rea ends up helping Chihiro investigate what that missing poison is, mostly because she is pleased to interact with people normally and make a real friend away from her over controlling fathers eyes.
Events reach the point for Rea where in an attempt to commit suicide, drinks a sample of the "resurrection potion" created with the poisonous Hydrangea macrophylla, and although this fails to kill her, after an argument with her creepy father, she falls of a cliff and dies. But because of the potion she took the night before she has now become a zombie, and who eats hydrangea leaves to survive. Being free she decides to live with Chihiro, and the rest of the story follows the life/unlife of Chihiro and his dream situation of having a "zombie girlfriend".
This anime has its own charm and methodology. It goes at its own pace and does not rush the plot at any point in the series, and seems to delight in taking its time, mostly to show that Rea's and Chihiro's life is not a manic crazy non-stop adventure, but more a case of people having to slowly work out the rules to their situation. Even at key moments in the series and something happens at the end of an episode it will quite happily take a "breather" and next episode show you something off of the main story.
For me this really works and helps to separate this romantic zombie anime apart from others from which it might get compared to, such as Is this a Zombie? (Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?)(which I love!).
It is finding its own path. The slow pace of the series might put people off though, but not everything has to be fast paced and manic all the time and I could see many people just enjoying the gentler pace.
The storyline has its dark moments in places, mostly because of Rea's father who seriously creeps me out and if I met him real life I'd have to high five in the face with a wrench, and when it gets a classification I would not be surprised to see it get a 12 , maybe 15 if they are feeling picky, but it does have its light hearted moments as well as a love triangle which also brighten up the series before it gets too dark and depressing.
The dubbing for this show is excellent and Tia Ballard really captures the voice of Rea perfectly, and Jamie Marchi is also excellent as Ranko Saōji, so watching this show in sub or dubbed is down to personal preference.