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"Brains. Brains. Oh, god, what's wrong with my brains." Ah, I See What You Did There. (Review of Season 1 & 2)
on 1 August 2014
There are many harem Anime's out there; some are quite good, like Heaven's Lost Property and Infinite Stratos, then there are some that are average, like Date A Live, but then there are some that aren't as good, like Highschool of the Dead (NOTE: I'm not sure if this counts as one, but from what I've heard it apparently does). Is This A Zombie is at a glance a bog standard harem anime, but has things that grab you're attention more than some of the other's. And I like that in an Anime, especially when I've seen quite a few in the genre.
Naruto and Bleach made me like the Shōnen Anime genre more than I, sort of, did already. Haruhi Suzumiya was one of the first comedy/Sci-fi anime I watched and I enjoyed it a lot. After refusing to watch Magical Girl Anime's, like Sailor Moon, I was forced to sit down and watch Madoka Magica, and while the ending was not the best it was still a decent deconstruction of the genre that I hate with a passion, except when it's used for comedy purposes that you are not supposed to take seriously. Evangelion made me love Sci-fi Anime more than anything, in fact it sort restored my faith in Sci-fi as a whole genre. So, the question is, what is Is This A Zombie like? Is it good? Is it okay? Or is it complete ****? I can reassure people that is not latter, but people's opinion of the show and everything it contains will vary from person to person.
Our story is based around an ordinary highschool student at first glance, but he is in fact a Zombie. One night when he is wondering around a graveyard he comes across a chainsaw wielding Magical Garment Girl who save's him from a Bear like Megalo, but she does it by cutting him in two. She attempts to wipe his memory of the events but he accidentally takes her powers away, and so he must now transform in to the first male Magical Garment Girl Zombie to off Megalo's.
I know what some people are thinking, "This sounds like complete ****", but it isn't actually that bad. There are somethings in this that most harem Anime's have, like a bunch of females living with this one guy, but there are somethings in this that others don't have, such as Vampire Ninja's. I know...Vampire...Ninja's. At first I was skeptical, but it grew on me and became something special. By that I mean so frigging funny. There are things in this series that sound's stupid, but makes more sense when you watch it. Maybe not that much more sense, but there's plenty to enjoy. Especially the surprisingly decent plot behind all the jokes. There are something's that don't add up, but can be assumed or ignored very easily as they don't have a big impact on the plot. There's comedy, romance, a decent plot, what more could you want from a harem Anime.
Season 1 focuses a fair amount of time on plot while Season 2 focuses more on the jokes than any actual plot, but it does start to get more interesting towards the end. The only complaint I have is that Season 2 ends in a way that I'm not too much of a fan of, and that is the read the manga or the light novels ending. This is an ending that doesn't exactly end a series, but leaves it open for more in the future. However, if you want to know what happens next then you must read the manga or the light novels.
This maybe a good time to mention that this series is based on a series of light novels, but over here in the UK we only have the manga adaption. I'm not too sure how close it is to the novels, though I can have a guess that it does diverge away from them a little bit. Hopefully Yen Press will release the novel version of this series, or maybe the Anime will continue soon but I'm not too sure if it has sold well enough for the animators to continue. Who knows, I just want more.
Now, here is our main character, Ayumu Aikawa. He died by trying to help a woman who was being attacked by a serial killer, but was brought back to life as a Zombie. Other than this he is a very ordinary character, but not in a bad way. Let's put it this way; he reminds me of Kyon from the Haruhi Suzumiya series. He's sometimes sarcastic, sometimes act's like he doesn't care, has a girl he's constantly thinking about, as well as other traits. He's a pretty decent and memorable character that delivers some humorous lines (If people haven't guessed one of those lines I've used for part of the title for this review).
Next we have the chainsaw wielding Magical Garment Girl, Haruna. She acts a little bit of a know-it-all, even though she's only knowledgeable in combat and art of cooking egg's, but she does have some redeeming qualities. For example; sometimes she may seem a little rash, or harsh, but her intentions are good.
Next we have the infamously, stupid sounding and coolest invention ever, Vampire Ninja, Seraphim (NOTE: I meant that Vampire Ninja's sounded stupid). She is one of those characters that is very much honorable, and will do most of what her people tell her to do. As the series progresses she does become more of her own character, and the interaction between her and Ayumu is pretty humorous because of how she accuses him of being a pervert for no reason, though her assumptions can sometimes be understandable.
Next is one of the most powerful Necromancer's of all time, Eucliwood Hellscythe. She is the one that brings Ayumu back to life, but why she can't fully bring him back is never explained. I assume that it's because you can't fully bring back something that is already dead, and once something is dead you can fully recover it. If you think of it like that then it makes a lot more sense. I can't say much more about her because of something called spoilers.
And the final girl in the harem is the second Vampire Ninja, Yuki Yoshida. Known as Mael Strom to her Vampire friends, but as Yuki Yoshida to her human friends, she is a tomboy sort of character that serves as the possible wife of the series. Again, can't say much more as I want to keep somethings for the series.
ANIMATION & SOUND
The animation is pretty standard and doesn't really standout in comparison to other Anime's out there. Season two's animation is no different. I will mention now that there is the occasional camera angle where you can see up the Magical Garment Girl dress that Ayumu wears; in other words you occasionally see the panties he wears in his transformed form. It isn't too pleasing if you're a guy, but at least it isn't that often. The sound however is where the show shines with a dub provided by the infamous dubbing company, Funimation. New voice actor, Austin Tide (Accelerator in A Certain Magical Index, and Marco in Attack on Titan), plays as Ayumu. Voice actress Jād Saxton (Komoe Tsukuyomi in A Certain Magical Index/A Certain Scientific Railgun, and Koneko Tojo in Highschool DxD) is the Magical Garment Girl, Haruna. While the Necromancer, Eucliwood Hellscythe, is played by multiple voice actresses-because Ayumu doesn't know what she sounds like-her main voice actress is Cherami Leigh (Uiharu in A Certain Scientific Railgun, Asuna in Sword Art Online, Lucy in Fairy Tail, Shana in the Funimation dub of Shakugan No Shana, and Minako Aino/Sailor Venus in the upcoming Viz Media dub of Sailor Moon). Morgan Garrett, also known as Mandy Lane, (Kaori Kanzaki in A Certain Magical Index, and Rico Brzenska in Attack on Titan) is the Vampire Ninja, Seraphim. Infamous Brittney Karbowski (Black Star in Soul Eater, Selim Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Cecilia Alcott in Infinite Stratos, Ikaros in Heaven's Lost Property, and Misaka in A Certain Magical Index/A Certain Scientific Railgun) is Mael Strom/Yuki Yoshida, and Caitlin Glass (Petra Ral in Attack on Titan, and Winry Rockbell in Fullmetal Alchemist) is Sarasvati/Kirara Hoshikawa. There's a large number of other voice actors that appear, most of which a number of Anime fans should recognize, but if you want to know who else is in it I recommend looking at the Wikipedia page of this series.
This is a series that you can not take too seriously at times, but will give you plenty of moments that allows you to take things seriously. There's plenty to like about this series and has a lot of potential, but sadly the ending isn't exactly finished and there is no mention of more on the way. There are also some lines delivered that quite a few nerds, like myself, should get on they're first viewing, especially in one episode where a whole bunch of action movie references are thrown at the viewer.
There's plenty to like and there is enough re-watch-ability to this series, however I'm a completionist, in a way, and the fact that there might not be more of this series kind of annoys me as the story clearly isn't over. If I knew that there was more on the way I'd be satisfied for now, but with no new season, OVA, or even a movie announced in just about two year's things don't look too good for the anime adaption.
I give Season 1 4/5 stars, Season 2 4/5 stars, and an overall rating of 6.9/10 (4/5) stars. I give this a recommendation to stream rather than buy, but only to buy if you like comedy and harem Anime's.