Gakkou Gurashi

February 7, 2016

Let’s say that the zombie apocalypse is here, what do you do? Do you quickly take action and provisions to survive by beating up zombies while trying to get to safer places and secure resources like how you mostly see in zombie survival movies and games? Or do you continue to live your life and start hallucinating all this never happened? The latter might sound dangerous and baffling but that is what is happening in Gakkou Gurashi. I suppose to cushion the harsh impact of reality, a group of girls continue to live their everyday happy school life like normal. Zombies? What zombies? Those are their everyday friends, classmates, schoolmates and teachers running and going about in school. So what zombies are you talking about? Well, I’m sure it is fine to avert their eyes from reality but seriously, you wonder how long this will last. How long will the bubble hold before bursting? How long before their brains become zombie chow? Oops… Don’t mean to be grim but hey, isn’t that what all zombie apocalypse is? Because no zombies are going to get up from their grave and do a Thriller dance with Michael Jackson. Aaow! Hehee!!!

Episode 1
Yuki Takeya wakes up and makes her way to school with her little pet dog, Taroumaru. She makes her way to the School Life Club where her other friends are waiting, Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Yuuri “Rii” Wakasa and Miki “Mii” Naoki. Rii makes breakfast for all of them before Yuki has to excuse herself for class duty. Along the way she passes by teacher, Megumi “Megu” Sakura whom she teases is fairly easy to miss. Yuki isn’t exactly your honour student. She’s sleeping right in the middle of class. When Mii barges in to talk to her, Yuki had to excuse herself to the infirmary by faking she isn’t well. It seems Taroumaru is missing so they need to go find him. But the dog is smart and really gives them the chase around school, disrupting various classes in session. They thought they had him cornered at the rooftop but Kurumi accidentally opens the door. The chase continues. Because they’re stepping all over the rooftop garden patches, Rii goes into her angry mode and remind them about the role model they have to be here. But cheeky Taroumaru is on the loose again and this means Yuki and Mii have to continue chasing him till they finally put him on a leash. Somehow it was Yuki’s fault in not taking Taroumaru for a walk yesterday which resulted in his hyper activeness. While Mii tries her best to get Taroumaru for her, that dog never bats an eyelid for her. Try again next time… Then we have Yuki making her heartfelt speech about how much she loves them all. She returns to class and describes to her classmates about Taroumaru’s recent naughtiness and they thought she was describing her kinky perverted boyfriend! Now for a dose of reality. When Mii barges into class to call out to Yuki, it seems in reality the class is in ruins. There is nobody around and Yuki is just talking to herself. Her friends, figment of her imagination. Outside the entire school and probably the entire world is overrun by zombies. But Yuki continues to see the pretty skies and clean surroundings… Creepy? And I mean the girl.

Episode 2
Kurumi remembers she joined the athletics and track club because of a guy she likes. But it looked like he raped her. She still reels from this nightmare today. As usual, Rii cooks breakfast for all and after Yuki leaves, Mii mentions about her worry for Yuki as she saw her talking to her ‘friends’ again. She thinks she is in danger as there is one time she wants to go home. But Rii assures her that Megu is with her. They are not psychiatrist and the best they could do now is watch over her as it is unfair to tear someone away from a life they enjoy. They wonder how far this infection has gone. There might be hope to be rescued if their town is isolated but they are unsure if the world is already infected by now. Kurumi sees a lone zombie walking closely at the border of the safe zone. She distracts it so she can smack it with her shovel. However thoughts of her ex-love distracted and almost had her killed. Since it is the summer, Yuki wants to do kimodameshi. So at night, they climb out of the safe zone and make a stop at the store (still loaded with goodies) before proceeding to the library. Oddly when night falls, the zombies disappear. But there is one lurking in the library so when Megu and Yuki spot it, Yuki is on the verge of panic but Megu guides her to be calm as they hide and not make a sound. She assures Yuki her friends will come to her aid. Rii and the rest distract the zombie away with their sound before Kurumi strikes it with her shovel. Yuki is reunited with her friends and they praise her for staying calm. They make their way back. Kurumi remembers her crush turned into a zombie and she had no choice but to kill him. Although she wakes up in cold sweat deep in the night, Yuki’s soothing call of her name calms her down and she returns to sleep.

Episode 3
Megu narrates the events on that fateful day. As usual she wakes up and makes her way to school, not noticing the many ambulances and police cars passing by. She’s pretty occupied about her mom thinking she’s not fit to be a teacher and the vice principal reinforces that as he thinks she is too friendly with students. Megu oversees Yuki doing a retake of her test and at the same time gives Kurumi some love advice. When she gets a distressing message from her mother, it is a video clip of the chaos happening. Isn’t this very close to where she is? As Yuki wants to go home, Megu brings her to the rooftop instead where Rii tends to the garden of her horticulture club. Shortly, she receives a call from her colleague to stay safe at the rooftop and not let anyone in before succumbing to her fate. There is a loud banging on the door and Megu starts fearing the worse. But since it is the voice of Kurumi, she lets her and her heavily injured boyfriend in. They look over the horizon. The chaotic scene. People turning into zombies and infecting the rest. There are explosions and fire in the distance. It’s getting traumatic for Yuki. When the zombies start banging on the door, they shove a locker to block them. That is when Kurumi’s boyfriend awakens as a zombie and attacks her. In her instinct, she picks up her shovel and repeatedly beats his head. This devastating scene is only put to a stop when Yuki hugs her crying. Megu ends the narration that many people may have lost their lives but as long as she is here, she wants to keep the girls safe. Yuki wants to go camping. Don’t worry. It’s not out in the woods. Just a tent in one of the classrooms. Since it’s not appropriate to talk ghost stories, how about love stories? Yuki is bugging Kurumi as the latter mentions about her consoling her after she broke up with her crush. Yuki doesn’t quite remember it. The thought of all of them will be graduating crosses Yuki’s mind. However she feels sad that Megu will still be here. Mii notes that they all love Megu very much.

Episode 4
As they look through Mii’s picture album, they spot somebody else she drew. It is her friend, Kei Shidou. Now to go back to the events of that day from Mii’s perspective. Their class ended early so Mii and Kei hang out at the mall. They meet Taroumaru who belonged to an old lady. Suddenly the panic alert is sounded and before they know it, dead bodies and zombies start piling up. They hide in the changing room and that’s when Taroumaru come to them. They thought it is injured as there is blood on him but they realize it belonged to granny who is now a zombie. For the next few days, they hole up in some storeroom. There are enough rations to keep them going as they wait for help. Unfortunately help never arrived. However Kei expresses her wish to leave because eventually they can’t be staying here although Mii objects. Besides, how would help know if they are here? Then one day she just decides to leave and leaves her CD player in Mii’s care. After she’s gone, Taroumaru can’t stop barking so Mii yells at it to shut up before realizing she overdid it. Maybe that’s how doggie got scared of her. Meanwhile back at school, Yuki also wants to go outside but Rii mentions about the club’s policy that they cannot leave school. But what if it is for a field trip? It has never been done before and what better way for their club to set a precedent. Besides, Yuki already wrote a letter to Megu and she gave her permission. As Megu hasn’t driven in a long time, looks like Kurumi will do it. First, she has to run all the way to the car park while smacking zombies. It took her a while to recognize Megu’s care. Once all of them are in, they bust out of the school like as though it is a happy ending from a movie. Oh, can Kurumi drive? She got the skills from playing video games. Oh sh*t… Hang on, girls. Megu, so sorry for your car…

Episode 5
Taroumaru is also gone. Mii thought it was him banging at the door but it turns out to be a zombie. She continues waiting since Kei promised she’ll come back with help. Yuki and co arrive at the mall as part of their field trip. They go to various sections to get necessary stuffs. This is when Kurumi bumps into Taroumaru as he follows her back to the rest. Yuki takes an instant liking for him. After they had their fun trying outfits (hey, technically they have the entire mall to themselves), when they pass by the cinema, Kurumi heard a different kind of sound. She thinks it is not a zombie and most probably Taroumaru’s owner. As she peeks into the cinema hall, there are lots of zombies waiting. Now they have to run! Yuki starts falling into trauma but luckily they take refuge in a children’s area for Yuki to rest. Kurumi mentions the cinema was barricaded in to keep the zombies out. This means one of the people was already infected. Kurumi wants Rii to promise to take her out if she ever gets infected. Mii heard some sort of commotion and starts packing her bags to leave. However there are zombies everywhere. Yuki and co are about to leave the mall when she hears some sort of voice. She wants to go back and check but the rest thinks she is hearing things. Taroumaru breaks free and the rest follows him back in. When Mii is trapped on a piano (I suppose zombies can’t climb), she yells out for help. That is when the rest sees her. Yuki becomes desperate to save her but it is Kurumi who is doing all the shovel smacking action. Then Rii releases some loud alarm accessory to confuse the zombies. The girls take this chance to escape out. Mii asks if they have seen a girl her age but unfortunately no.

Episode 6
Mii is brought back to school. She learns Taroumaru was the one that lead the girls to save her although doggie still hates her. Yuki and Megu take her tour around the school. Yuki really likes the idea of Mii treating her as a senior. Mii thought the school is unaffected but when Yuki takes her to the music room, despite Yuki as we know acts as though nothing happened, Mii sees the decimated blood soaked room. But there is one pressing question Mii has to ask Yuki: Who is Megu? OMG! Megu is another figment of her imagination?! Later Rii and Kurumi explain the purpose of their club and how Megu was their teacher. She is gone now. In their attempt to escape, she sacrificed herself to block out the zombies. They made a grave on the rooftop in honour of her. So Yuki isn’t seeing ghosts of Megu. To her, everything has never happened. Megu is still alive in her eyes. That is why she continues to cheerful attends class and activities. Rii wants Mii to play along while she is here. Although Mii doesn’t like the idea, she agrees in hopes to understand Yuki better. Then Yuki comes up with an idea for having a sports day. Mii couldn’t understand the need to do such ‘useless’ thing but as agreed, she has to play along. Later Kurumi talks to Mii about Yuki who comes up with things right when they need it most. Like the field trip to the mall. Although it is good to think about the future but sometimes it gets them nowhere. Of course it is also not good not to plan. Somehow Yuki is the one who has the answer that is neither acting nor thinking is the right choice. Mii tastes a good meal for the first time and somewhat feels relieved that she would rather have Yuki acting like Megu is still around. She remembers Kei’s words before she left about being her life being so important that she was willing to spend her life stuck here. Back then she was just merely existing than truly living. Mii feels she can look up to Yuki as her role model. Later Mii pleads to Rii that she wants to join this club. Without hesitation, Rii extends her hand and welcomes her.

Episode 7
Mii starts seeing shades of Kei in Yuki. Although Yuki continues to have ‘nightmares’ of Megu, Rii is more concerned about the coming winter. Yeah. Winter is coming. As they eat breakfast, the talk about the car ride then suddenly has Yuki conflicting with her memories. Megu’s car only had 4 seats and if they picked Mii back… Oh dear… The trauma is starting to creep up so Yuki quickly goes to ‘ascertain’ the event by ‘asking Megu’. Maybe it is Megu’s ghost or just her figment of imagination as Megu calms her down and saying people tend to have vague memories. That is why she talks to others and keeps a diary. That way the vague memories can be visited again. Even when one is no longer around. Yuki returns to her ‘normal’ self again. When they find a stationery set, Yuki gets an idea to write letters. But since they cannot go out to the post office, Rii suggests sending straight from school via balloons and pigeon. I guess Kurumi is going to have some fun trying to catch a pigeon. Catch the pigeon, catch the pigeon! Mii comes back with a helium tank. So the girls write a few letters and Yuki writes one about all of them graduating. That night, Mii talks to Rii and shows her a key belonging to Megu’s staff safe she found. Rii keeps it in hopes they’ll get out of here one day. Next day, the girls are ready to send their letters. However Yuki and Kurumi get into a dispute about naming their pigeon so Rii has them compromise with the name Arnaud Hatonishiki the Second. Arnaud what? They happily release the balloons and pigeon as they flutter away in the wind. One of the letters is written from Mii to Kei, addressing how she is fine and making new friends. She points out Kei was right as life outside is wonderful. She hopes they’ll cross paths again one day.

Episode 8
Yuki is trying to catch Taroumaru to bath after he got dirty. But since they’re making a mess all over the halls, Rii isn’t going to be pleased… The girls talk about graduation and the things they’ll be doing after that. Not sure whether Rii was hallucinating too because she was talking to Megu and they came up with the idea of forming a School Life Club in which Megu instantly made her the president. They select the student council office as their clubroom and to commemorate the founding of this club, they take pictures. As Megu is their advisor and must not be left out too, Rii takes a group picture of her. Megu turns out in the picture. Not hallucination? That night, Mii talks to Rii about how this school is strangely equipped with very good equipment from solar panels to emergency food supplies. Like as though it is prepared for people to live here for extended periods of time. Rii is also curious and believes Megu’s key might hold the answer. They go search the staff room and Yuki joins in when she thinks it is some sort of treasure hunt. However she keeps fooling around and it makes Rii sad. She is holding that photo of Megu and wonders if Yuki has forgotten what happened after that. Turns out that photo is real but shortly after that, the zombie attack and we all know what happened to her. Just as they’re about to give up, Yuki thinks she has found it. The cupboard they had checked and found nothing, it seems it contained a hidden panel. Ah, a safe. Inside contains a safe and some list. However Rii is shocked to see a manual about emergency evacuation and wants Mii to wake up Kurumi right now. As they read, they find the contents shocking. Something to do with biological weapon and methods on how to tackle the survival of the human race like quarantine and discarding certain emotions.

Episode 9
Instead of cracking their heads over it, why not just enjoy the next day cleaning the pool? Water basin actually but what difference does it make? It all started when the girls minus Yuki were talking about this manual and if Megu knew about all this. Signs pointed that she didn’t as instructions said to only open when an outbreak occurs. They go through the manual and see blueprints of underground shelters they never knew existed. That is when Yuki comes in and suggests cleaning the pool since Taroumaru once again got dirty (the basin is filled with algae since nobody tended it but the fish still live, though). So after cleaning it, they have lots of water fun. Mii notices how Rii is very familiar with the school’s solar panels and sophisticated water filters. As an active member of the horticulture club, it only makes sense that the club members know these things to grow their crops. They soon talk about how this school is so well equipped that perhaps the outbreak was in fact predicted. However Kurumi will not have them talk this since they’re here to have fun. So back to the pool and even a water gun fight showdown between Kurumi and Rii. At the end of the day, Taroumaru doesn’t hate Mii as much before. Making some progress. Deep into the night when everyone is sleeping, Taroumaru wanders off to the basement. He starts barking at a familiar zombie approaching… OMG… Megu?!

Episode 10
Mii notices Rii is sad on rainy days. It was the day that they lost Megu. After the outbreak as they set up barricades and expand their territory, they got careless. At that time they didn’t know the behaviour pattern of the zombies. Seems they love to take shelter when it is raining. The zombies surround them and Megu sacrificed herself for them to escape. That was also when Yuki changed her behaviour. They also notice the number of zombies has increased. When Yuki comes in to look for Taroumaru and the dog is nowhere to be found, they decide to look for it. Kurumi remembers memories of Megu while looking. Then she sees Taroumaru’s paw marks leading to the basement. Fearing the worst, she heads down and thought the dog is safe. To her horror, it starts attacking her. The shovel saved her a few times as sad Kurumi distracts him and locks him up in a room. She wants to seek revenge on the zombie that did this to him. Well, I’m sure she would have smacked the zombie had she not be Megu. Her mind is playing tricks. Kurumi thought of killing her but she just can’t. That moment of hesitation is just all it takes. When Kurumi returns to the rest, seems she is already wounded. She apologizes to the rest as they start trying to treat her wound. Kurumi is in great pain. Although not fully transformed yet, you can see her skin starting to. From the way she says things, Mii is devastated that Taroumaru might have succumbed to his fate too. Kurumi continues to experience horrifying nightmares. Luckily she is chained and handcuffed to the furniture. Rii is in a dilemma whether to kill her or not. Mii read the manual that the shelter where Megu was spotted from contained medicine. Mii wants to go check on it although Rii vehemently objects. Mii says Kurumi faltered because Megu was there. It won’t affect her. But as Mii picked up the shovel, thoughts of Taroumaru run through her head. Now she breaks down. Can’t do it too, huh? As the rain grows stronger, the zombies from outside now break in and could even topple the reinforced barrier. As for Yuki, reality may be starting to sink in…

Episode 11
Zombies are now all over the place. Mii could have been done for had not Yuki come to her rescue and then seek safety in a classroom. As the zombies mess around with everything, the power is now cut. Mii wants Yuki to goof off like usual but Yuki feels being insulted. This gives Mii the courage to head down and get the medicine. Don’t leave without the trusty shovel. She wants Yuki to stay here in case Taroumaru returns. You know that’s not going to happen, right? Mii realizes that she is not strong enough to smack the zombies dead. So it tells you the monstrous strength Kurumi had, eh? Mii uses Kei’s CD player and other sound diversion tactics to slip pass the zombies. Meanwhile Rii is close to becoming crazy. She remembers talking to Kurumi if those zombies had awareness. Kurumi didn’t think so because it wouldn’t feel right. That is why Kurumi wants her to promise if that ever happens to her… So is Rii ready to kill her? Mii is at the basement. Ah, there Megu is standing right in the middle like the final boss. Mii runs back out and apparently zombies can’t duck since the shutter is only halfway open. Mii takes this opportunity to tell Megu how her students are doing. And because they’re living just fine, now she can rest in peace. Mii gathers all her strength and smacks Megu’s head. Finally she finds the medical supplies but looks like the electricity is totally out and the place is now going into reserve mode. The zombies have gathered here and Mii locks herself in the room where Taroumaru was trapped (oddly he just ran out when she opened). This situation reminds her of the mall. Could it be history repeating itself? Rii of course cannot do it and is on the verge of losing herself. She screams for somebody to help her (it’s not going to make Kurumi’s pain any better anyway). That is when something inside Yuki wakes up. Megu’s ghost encourages and guides Yuki to the broadcast room in her bid to save her friends. Along the way, Yuki relives memories and past visions of her. Some memorable, some heartbreaking. Each one of them has Megu giving Yuki words of encouragement and the strength to go on. Finally when Yuki has come to terms with reality, she says her goodbye to Megu and moves on.

Episode 12
Yuki fights her way through the zombies but eventually their numbers are too many. Just as she is about to become zombie food, Taroumaru saves her. Despite little doggie having retained bits of his memories, eventually he starts attacking her. She uses her hat to cover his face as she hugs and laments how cold he is. Arriving at the broadcast room, she announces that school is over while narrating her love for this school. As they have deduced the zombies may have some sort of attachment to the living, like why zombie students continue to return to school because they love it, it’s like they don’t have their minds anymore but there’s something deep down inside that makes them want to return. Yuki’s announcement closes on a sad note that all good things must come to an end and hopes to see everyone again one day. Next morning, Kurumi wakes up fine. A jab has been administered into her arm. Looks like she is very much healed. You can see how relieved everyone is. Making it even sweeter is also the fact Taroumaru is also healed. Mii is very grateful to Taroumaru and promises to take care of him, etc. Unfortunately Taroumaru steadily weakens and it comes to a shock everyone that he passes on. They bury him next to Megu’s plot. Yuki now clearly remembers Megu’s last words that she was glad to be their teacher. That is why they don’t have to be strong and hold back their sadness. She wants Mii to remember Taroumaru’s last words. Did that dog speak? No, but you can tell from his eyes during his last moments he was saying thank you. Time to let the tears flow freely again.

The girls analyze their situation and know their limited resources and backup power will not last. They also discovered a map that marks another evacuation centre that is situated near some university and big corporation. They believe Megu was working hard to leave them this clue. The only worry is that if there are other survivors and would they be welcomed. Worst case is that they will be a lot worse than the infected. Yuki interrupts by showing bite marks on some food label. It is too small to be from Taroumaru so they think there must be another dog. They believe that dog must be hiding in the basement, the reason why Taroumaru went down there in the first place. As they have made up their mind to leave this school, Rii says their last activity is to hold a graduation ceremony. In this low key self prepared ceremony, our girls take this rite of passage to graduate and say goodbye to this school. Mii begins with her speech followed by Yuki. And of course, more tears. Only a zombie can remain emotionless in such times, right? The quartet now hop onto the car and start their journey. Oddly, the area is still clear of zombies. Except one lone zombie making her way into school. It is greatly hinted (although not confirmed) that she might be Kei. We see the other dog at Taroumaru’s grave and a survivor picking up one the dropped balloon letters about the girls.

In A World Of Their Own
It is hard for me to pinpoint exactly my sentiments. Overall, seeing how the girls go about in their continued fantasy of normalcy somehow feels draggy and boring. It is only those nail biting moments when they are having close shaves and encounters with zombies that it becomes ‘exciting’ and heart pounding. Of course there are some interesting bits like why the school is fully equipped like as though it is anticipating such disaster and who are the ones responsible behind this if this epidemic is not a mere accident and what would they stand to benefit from doing this. Unfortunately, not having them answered by even a single bit and raising our curiosity and intriguing level to all time high is what I personally feel makes this series a letdown. Even with that kind of ending of our girls taking their first step to leave the shelter didn’t offer any sort of closure whatsoever. It’s like a new chapter of their life is beginning. Interested to know more? Wait for the next season then, buddy. Yeah. That kind of feeling. After all, nobody ever said this show was about going to be a happy ending despite ‘ending’ so, right? Heck, I thought in my worst case scenario of lazy writing, everything is just a hallucination and that the kids are all high on drugs! No sh*t!!! Yeah, sweet dreams to them…

To be fair, this isn’t entirely a horror genre so we’re not going to turn this into another bloody sexy High School Of The Dead clone. After all, killing zombies isn’t the main goal of these girls. This isn’t your usual cute girls doing cute things trope either as it weaves some dark elements into the theme. I mean, smashing zombies aren’t something we can call cute, right? To say it provides an insight on what to do whenever you are trapped in a certain location during a zombie apocalypse isn’t entirely accurate either. Because as already stated, the school is equipped with state of the art facilities and it is like heaven for those who wish to live the safe but boring life. Therefore what the girls are doing by living out their daily life to the fullest is what I feel the best for them. There is any lack of information about the epidemic and how far it has spread so instead of being little heroes that history will never recognise (because there won’t be anyone around to record them!), might as well live their happy life in this little delusion of theirs. That is for the best if you look at the situation that is in store for them.

There are heart pounding moments when the girls come close to the zombies are when the hordes are close enough to turn them into dinner. I suppose this is to jolt you up from the streak of boringness and to remind us from time to time about reality. It’s like fantasy and reality just living next to each other and a thin door just separating them as reality continues to knock hard. It gets really close when Kurumi screws up. But I guess she holds out long enough for the medicine to reach her. Yeah, after hours of screaming and turning your best friend psycho. Phew. Close shave, eh? Can’t fathom a group without her, right? It would be just shocking and vile just to kill a character off like that even though if we just sufficiently love the characters. Eventually if the characters are not much, you can’t help root for them to stay alive and hope they come out in one piece after one horrifying encounter after another.

In a way, seeing them live from day to day as shown means we don’t get enough back story of the characters very much. Most probably all of them are just ordinary girls until this zombie wave came about. They get stronger for each day they survive and of course without any doubt, their friendship and bond growing close and solid. They have to. There are nobody else left alive near them so unless you want to be friends with zombies, you better be on good terms with your friends. Because if you think about it, the most dangerous thing to human’s survival isn’t the zombies but your fellow other human. A thinking human with ulterior motive is very much dangerous, right? You get the idea but we’re not here to discuss about that.

So for our main characters, I guess for a bunch of middle school girls, they really do a good job in surviving this long. Despite their seemingly delusional lifestyle, each of them are in a way ‘broken’. You might think they need psychiatric help but too bad there aren’t any shrinks around at this moment. So it’s like substituting their stolen childhood with this? At least it is free therapy :). Though, they only have one shot at it. At first Yuki might seem like an annoying retard for her tendency to avert her eyes from reality and continue frolicking in her happy dream world. Sometimes it gets to you that you want to smack her head for her to wake up and face reality. But then again, if she could handle reality, would she not have gone into such a mode? This is the best way for her to handle the trauma of whatever is going on. She is after all just a little girl and for her to and her friends to be exposed to such atrocities at a tender age, I think it is best for her to stay delusion until she is ready and strong enough to move on. Yuki is also the mood setter of the group thanks to her very cheerful disposition. She is also like the luck goddess because the on-the-spot decision she makes without any thinking has saved the girls a handful of times.

The shocking thing (and probably the most shocking of all twists) was learning that Megu was already dead. There were a few hints that nicely indicated that there was something odd about her. Like why her faint presence is the running joke of the series, why nobody bothers to correct themselves to call her Sakura sensei instead of Megu-nee despite her constant gentle reminders, why she never joins the girls together in many of the activities and the damning revelation is why she let Kurumi drive her car instead of driving it herself. So if you put all this clues together, it particularly makes sense that Megu is no longer around. But I keep wondering if she is still indeed around in the form of a ghost that continues to help and guide Yuki. Sometimes it might be a figment of her imagination but sometimes it sounds ‘too real’ for Yuki to have that sort of imagination. Personally I want to believe she is in her ghost form but because Megu turned into a zombie as seen, it makes me wonder if she can take on a spirit form considering being a zombie is neither alive nor dead. The undead. So technically can your soul pass over if you are a zombie? Hmm… Something to chew on. Not brains, mind you! Generally, Megu is a very nice teacher that everybody would love to have. She’s been there for Yuki physically or not and has guided her out of a lot of sticky situations. Even if she knows about this epidemic one way or another, my guess is that she still wants to help them and would even sacrifice her life for it.

I suppose every group must have the ‘muscle’ person so Kurumi closely fits that description. Having a shovel in hand has become a trademark and it feels really odd to see her without one. Or her without her twintail hairstyle. I am assuming that since she has played driving video games, she must have played shooting games as well. Because I’m thinking if she had a gun, she would be doing Resident Evil style in killing zombies, blasting off their heads. That would be much easier and badass, wouldn’t it? While Rii starts off as a very cool and calm person (even when being very angry and threatening, her calm demeanour but deadly aura will scare the hell out of you), a big sister that keeps the group together, most probably it is her way of dealing with the trauma of the current events by bottling up her feelings. And then when the possibility of Kurumi becoming a zombie comes hitting home, she starts losing it. All that pent up emotions maybe just exploded like a time bomb. Mii I thought she would fare better if she smiled more often but seriously, who could keep up a smile in this zombie apocalypse? Oh, the other club members are doing just fine smiling… Mii might be passive in many ways but she is still an important member of the club. Every living member is important. So it was really sad to see they had to kill off an intelligent doggie like Taroumaru. Hmm… Maybe they want a change of mascot and will pick up some other little furry along the way.

As Kei once said herself, it is better to try living than just existing. That is probably the best advice that anyone has said in such a desperate time. What is life if you do not live it to the fullest? What is life if you do not live it like on the edge? Kei’s true fate is unknown but even if she has gone to become one of the zombies, I’m sure she had a blast before succumbing. And I thought it would be a cruel joke the moment she splits from Mii, before she can ‘relish’ in her newfound freedom, she just got bitten after taking a few steps. Haha! Whoops! Sorry. That is why Mii is probably confused to see the School Life Club members doing quite ‘dangerous’ stuffs from time to time like leaving their comfort zone for a field trip and the likes. Nothing like a good adrenaline pumping, eh? Mii might be separated from Kei and who knows when they’ll ever meet again but you can bet Mii has taken up her advice to live to the fullest. Life is more thrilling that way. And you know what Forrest Gump said about life being a box of chocolates… Just no chocolates in this setting :’(.

As mentioned, this series is not about the zombies but rather how the girls live their daily lives and deal what is before them. Therefore I cannot help think about the characteristics of the zombies. It just baffles me. I don’t think they are really zombies. I believe the series has not mentioned them about being zombies. It is just me using this term to refer to those walking dead. So it is rather odd to see that you know, zombie students hanging around in school, wandering aimlessly and when it is time to go home, they disappear and go back. Go back home and do what? As assumed, they are not totally dead and still retained certain parts of their memory. Thus the reason why student zombies continue to go to school and adult zombies head to work. And since they’re like the undead, will they continue doing this routine forever? And for the medicine in the basement that Mii brought back, I am not sure if the medicine works for zombies who are already too advanced to be turned back but I guess they run out of those to try it on the rest. Yeah, she just brought back enough for the shovel woman and doggie.

The other odd thing I find about the zombies is the penchant for them to attack our main girls wherever they are. Sure, they are attracted to sound and rush over as soon as they hear the slightest faint. But there are many times when our girls happen to arrive on the scene and then the zombies start attacking. It is like they know they are not their undead comrades and do not hesitate to lunge at them. It is like they know where they are and some lie await for the right moment to spring on them. Like in a video game. Get what I’m saying? Maybe this is to add to the suspense and scare jump effect. I’m not sure if they can smell but they certainly can feel because I didn’t know that zombies don’t like the rain and try to keep out of it! After all, how much do we know about these zombies? Heck, we don’t even know how all this started? Like as though this zombie setting is an excuse to have a peek on the daily lives of a handful of middle school girls. Because from where the series is going, it isn’t going to end either. Maybe they’ll find another type of zombies and another group of survivors… Yeah, next season, buddy?

The drawing and art are rather okay. The girls are your typical cute and moe characters to enhance the cuteness of everything. Sometimes they look like they came out from those cute girls doing cute things genre and suddenly being thrown into a horror survival series. Because don’t you think a young teacher like Megu looks too cute to be a teacher? Sure, this might be the norm in animes but like I’ve said, the girls look like they just came out from some comedy and slice of life series. Interestingly, the zombies are animated using CGI. You can see the way they drag themselves one kind. Yeah well, many zombies do look the same. Do we care? So cut and paste, shall we?

Voice acting, there isn’t anything special. I guess it has come to a stage where veteran seiyuus are slowly fading away and new ones taking the centre stage. Therefore it will be some time before I start recognizing any of them. If they stand out. And hopefully when I do, they won’t go into ‘retirement’ and a new wave of seiyuus comes to the fore. So we have relatively newbies voicing the main quartet such as Minori Inase as Yuki (Suzu in Love Lab), Mao Ichimichi as Rii (Kazumi in Gokukoku No Brynhildr), Ari Ozawa as Kurumi (Nozomi in The Rolling Girls), Rie Takahashi as Mii (Kaon Lanchester in Comet Lucifer) and Juri Kimura as Kei (Eruna in Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku). Veteran Ai Kayano is the voice of Megu (Inori in Guilty Crown). You thought an animal character without any dialogue would be an uncredited role, right? Yeah, it seems they casted another veteran seiyuu to play what is seemingly the ‘easiest’ voice acting role. Well, try barking only for the entire series. I’m sure you’ll go crazy before the zombies get your brain. Yeah, Emiri Katou (Akatsuki in Log Horizon, Kagami in Lucky Star) takes on that role of that cute yapping canine. At least she won’t be turning into Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s Kyuubey. Thank goodness…

The opening theme, Friend Shitai by Gakuen Seikatsubu (basically the quartet from School Life Club) starts off with what I feel is like a zombie themed piece. Then it turns into your typical lively anime pop song. There are a few ending themes. The slow pop of Harmonize Clover and After Glow are sung by Maon Kurosaki (interestingly, although she makes a cameo by voicing a minor background character in this series, the only other series she also voiced also as a minor background character is that other school zombie themed, High School Of The Dead). Initially I thought that slow lovely 40’s-like English ballad as the insert song and special ending theme for episode 4 was sung by a Caucasian. Surprisingly, it was Kaori Sawada. Wow. She sounds sultry and good enough to be passed off like an English woman.

Overall, this show has its hits and misses and because I am still hovering between boredom (seeing too much typical moe girls genres has somewhat numbed me) and interesting (why do they have to leave the interesting bits unanswered?), I am going to take the middle ground that this anime doesn’t suck but do not put too much high hopes about it. If you are in a dilemma to want to watch series with cute daily slice of life but at the same time you want to be slightly spooked, maybe this series would have the right mix in making your heart go ~kyunnnn~ one moment and then giving you a little goosebumps the next. I don’t know. At least that is what I experienced. And I hope I don’t have to experience such terrifying zombie apocalypse ever. Because my dangerous delusions would probably kill me first before any zombies could get me. But then again, aren’t we all living in some sort of zombie apocalypse right now? Everyone is so ‘dead’ facing their Smartphones and iPhones 24/7… Well, if there is one thing that this series proves, it proves that daydreaming isn’t entirely a bad thing… P/S: I’d rather stay and wait till kingdom come in my safe zone rather than venturing out to the unknown. That’s my kind of ‘thrill’ :).

Hey. What is this? Using a cute zombie girl to promote Hokkaido?! This anime adaptation I must see! And so that is how I came to watch Francesca: Girls Be Ambitious. I might have not done any extensive research over the internet but I can’t find any more information regarding this undead girl being used as a mascot to promote the second largest island of Japan in other parts of the nation. Maybe I’m not looking right. But anyway I thought it was just fascinating to use a zombie character to promote that cold region (it’s in the very north, right?). Wouldn’t that scare the kids away? Ah well, when your characters turn moe, anything is possible.

Episode 1
In the cold freezing land of Hokkaido, Exorcist comes to the rescue of a mother and daughter pair from… Resurrected zombies! Yes. Resurrected zombies, not bears. As explained, Hokkaido is a region with many undead but there are far too many of them by now. Exorcist tries to trace the revived zombies and to her dismay sees them flirting! Is this some sort of a love triangle brewing between Takuboku Ishikawa, Chieko Tachibana and Koyakko? Hey, even the undead needs some love. Exorcist is mad that she came all the way here only to see them flirting. But nevertheless, despite their harmless appearance, they are still the undead. This means she must eliminate them. So she chases Takuboku with her chain gun (only him?). She wants to know why they are resurrecting the dead and believes it is for something evil. Like they would know. Exorcist detects another undead movement at Mt Youtei. Inazou Nitobe and William Smith Clark have just reached the peak and are attack by zombie guards who want to prevent them from resurrecting something. While Inazou fends them off, Clark starts his ritual. The most powerful undead is summoned and awakened: Francesca! So powerful that she destroys the zombie guards in a single strike! Holy sh*t! Was it a mistake to resurrect her? She is going to take out her vengeance on those who awakened her from her slumber when suddenly she is struck by lightning (did her brains just ran out?). When she wakes up, she becomes a ditzy, happy go lucky zombie girl. Are we really screwed this time?

Episode 2
Exorcist makes a report of the undead she has spotted back at her HQ. But she is not pleased to find Francesca, Clark and Inazou hanging out here! Nowhere to go? Since they’re making the place like their home, she fires her gun. Don’t worry, the bullets will only hurt the undead. Yeow! The guys try to explain the reason they revive Francesca is to stop some unprecedented evil. Thing is, they forgot what it is. FFFUUUUUUU!!!! And during all that distraction, Francesca went out by herself. To eat corn. Mmm. Tasty. Heck, the guys even start buying them and Exorcist is forced to pay on their behalf. Might as well have one for herself. She is going to continue shooting them. At first she targets Francesca but changes her mind to Clark. This causes the old brown statue to theorize that she fears Francesca fearsome personality and would rather target an unarmed old man. Like she cares. She just shoots! Meanwhile Takuboku and his ladies witness the resurrection of the Shinsengumi zombie led by Toshizou Hijikata. At first they thought he was the cool kind of evil but realize he may be a little bit dumb from the way he talks. Back to Exorcist, Francesca almost accidentally killed Inazou with her corn. So how is she not a threat to Hokkaido? Yeah well, she tries to throw the corn to her zombie dog, Franken to play fetch but her arm was sent flying with it. While Clark tries to give various excuses why she is not, Exorcist gets a call that many undead are spotted. Hijikata and his men are on a ship ready to set sail to Sapporo and revive the Republic of Ezo (old name for Hokkaido). Suddenly an unidentified missile is seen flying their way. It is Francesca’s arm! It hits the ship and sinks it. There goes their revival.

Episode 3
Since their ship has been sunk, the only way left is to travel by train. How uncool. And Hijikata might be having motion sickness… I guess they couldn’t resist stopping by the tourist spots and sampling the local food along the way, huh? More headache for Exorcist as she receives a huge amount of bills. Francesca and the guys have been going on a spending spree and putting it on Exorcist’s tabs. The delicacy crabs are real expensive… They claim those are basic necessities. Hey, even the undead needs to live, right? But how is going to the karaoke part of basic necessities? Time to face the firing squad again. They are interrupted when Hijikata and his Shinsengumi have arrived and announce their goal of reviving Republic of Ezo. This is when Clark remembers the reason he resurrected Francesca to stop him. Hijikata is not convinced that Hokkaido already has a future and he plans to fulfil the shogunate’s wish. He failed the last time in the last war and will never go back on his word to bring back that past nation even after his death. Exorcist fires her gun but she runs out of bullets. She requests HQ to send more but was told they went over the budget. Curse those guys for racking up the bill! Francesca catches the eye of Hijikata. Calm and bold but yet there is madness concealed in her eyes. Viewing her as their long lost enemy, he prepares to cut her down. But she’s a zombie, remember? Anything cut off from her she can easily put it back. Or maybe it’s just dumb luck. When she hears her corn is ready, the mere turn is so powerful it causes Hijikata to be hurled away! Francesca enjoys her corn unaware of what is happening. Hijikata views her as a formidable enemy and is going to get serious. Can you wait till she finishes her corn?

Episode 4
Yeah. Francesca is definitely more interested in eating her corn. Hijikata attacks but she is reduced to just dodging. She isn’t the frightening creature we saw her on Mt Youtei. They realized her brains ran away so Clark throws her a new one. Nothing changes. Crab brain?! WTF?! Hijikata uses lightning to wipe out Clark and Inazou. He is going to do the same to Exorcist but Francesca protects her. Unfortunately she gets zapped and sent flying into the tower. Hijikata is disappointed with the extent of her power and leaves with his men since he feels something ominous. Franken remembers the time she picked him up and the good times they had. More like sightseeing with her arm… As Exorcist’s henchmen pick up Inazou and Clark in a body bag (they’re technically dead, right?), they note that Francesca is missing. Exorcist sees Chieko and Koyakko looking for Takuboku. This guy is missing too? Francesca has a dream. When she was young, she witnessed her parents step into an air blimp. It went up in flames. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a tram alongside Takuboku. He lets her eat all the candy (Francesca brand?) and doesn’t need to worry about the bill.

Episode 5
Francesca and Takuboku talk about their past. However they vaguely remember it and the same can be said for why they were resurrected. When they want to get off at the next stop, it seems a message appears that this tram isn’t stopping. They are shocked to see this tram has no driver. Takuboku notices Chieko and Koyakko and waves to them. The tram stops and let them out. However before they know it, they are back inside and the journey continues. Seems the duo have been on the tram for a week. The girls are worried this pervert may have done something to Francesca. Not just yet. Oh my. Clark and Inazou are drunk and think this tram is fun (because they see Takuboku tease chasing the girls). They hop on and are also trapped. Exorcist gets a report about the ghost tram that goes to hell. She knows who are onboard when the report describes the passengers. Feeling lonely? Francesca is going to try to stop this tram herself. Trying hard to remember all the vehicles she has ride throughout the ages (UFO too?! WTF?!), she employs her best. Unfortunately nothing happens because she has no brains! Hijikata and his Shinsengumi see the tram and are going to take on it. They become ‘shooting stars’. The tram stops at the next stop where Exorcist is. She tells them about this hell tram and she has a seal that could solve the problem. However seeing that it is her job to eradicate the undead, she becomes a conductor to tell the tram to continue its journey. Bye-bye! So who is the heartless one, literally?

Other Episodes

Unfortunately, the rest of the episodes never got subbed and so I thought my Japanese was decent enough to go watch the raws. Sadly after all these years, well, I don’t want to even think about it. Therefore the rest of the episodes I saw are based on what I see and understand from my very limited vocabulary.

Episode 6
The Shinsengumi wants to take over Sapporo and I don’t know why they decided to start by eating at some best ramen store in town. Turns out the ramen store is manned by Clark and Inazou. When they see Francesca as the poster girl, Hijikata’s wants a rematch so they are going to fight it out in an eating contest. Francesca has a stomach of a black hole since she is devouring bowls after bowls like nobody’s business. Hijikata is trailing so far behind and he is already ‘sick’ without even finishing his first one. Even if the Shinsengumi play tag, the most they can eat is 2 or 3 bowls. Even with the rest of the zombie guards coming to help, they cannot best Francesca! She’s really a monster! In the end, she wins and Hijikata is forced to admit defeat. Hungry Exorcist comes in to eat but finds they have run out of everything. Come back tomorrow? Don’t bother. She takes out her frustration by calling a flock of sheep to stampede the place! Later Hijikata heard there is some best curry ramen store around and decides to try it out. Guess what? Déjà vu. Isn’t that Clark, Inazou and Francesca? Better go for normal curry…

Episode 7
Takuboku seems to be serious so his girls have to go play alone. Nothing hentai lah. They bump into Francesca and co and hang out. Meanwhile the Shinsengumi bumps into Takuboku and are trying to find some clock tower to make it their base. Well, it’s just right before them. When Francesca and co arrive at the clock tower, they see the Shinsengumi on the roof proclaiming this their base. However Chieko tells them to get down. GET DOWN, NOW! She then lectures them and everybody else about the significance of this tower and even its history. However something strange starts to occur. Out from the clock tower, a portal that has zombie guards jumping out and attacking everyone including the Shinsengumi. Exorcist arrives to help and from what I understand, it seems they are from another parallel dimension. Of course, Takuboku is the one to blame for activating something earlier. They fear their leader on the other side is coming and it could be a more fearsome version of Francesca or Hijikata. But it turns out to be Franken. Francesca notes how cute they are and they are obedient enough to sit and play fetch with her arm. WTF.

Episode 8
Hijikata has the word ‘demon’ painted on his forehead and his men think he is back to his old self. Which means strict reprimanding for a dirty ship and the sloppy way they are dressing! They discuss on how to calm him down. Kai Shimada cooks for him but it ends up too sweet for his taste. Kazue Souma tries imitating but his signage imitation is so lame that you’d get mad. Tetsunosuke Ichimura tries to massage his back but slips and accidentally elbows it. Finally Noboru Nakajima draws a portrait of Hijikata but the result is something like Picasso. So how? Hijikata wants all of them to commit seppuku! He is going to hear their last words so they remember those old times when they fought together. Even in death, they’ll follow him. They are about to disembowel their stomach when Hijikata stops them. Looks like he wants them to live and continue fighting along his side. Tears of joy?

Episode 9
Francesca receives a letter from Hijikata. No, it is not a love letter! A challenge letter for heaven’s sakes. However can Francesca beat him at the state she is in now? Because Hijikata seems serious and might win this time. Clark suggests several underhanded tactics like disguising as a welcoming committee and when his guard is down, go in for the kill! Or Clark impersonating as a foreigner introducing his beautiful zombie daughter Francesca. And when he lets his get down, kill! Since Takuboku and his ladies are here, they go sightseeing. Inazou asks Takuboku’s advice about Francesca regaining her original strength. He thinks some sort of strong energy may bring it back. They are at some stone circles when a weird insignia appears. Did Francesca become strong? Well, let’s say she’s quirkier doing some strange dance. When it is time for the battle, the Shinsengumi apologizes it is off since Hijikata is sick from motion sickness. They also withdraw for now as they think Francesca is practising some secret technique. That dance… Ah well, you can’t complain, right? A victory is still a victory.

Episode 10
Inazou and Clark are trying to catch Francesca’s brain. Any luck? Nope. They caught an egg instead. You won’t know if you don’t try so Clark puts the egg into her brain and after all that painful screaming, Francesca turns into… Mother mode? Uh huh. She wants to take care of this egg and raise it like her own child! Ironically it’s in her head, not her tummy. She tries knitting but only entangles herself. Koyakko and Chieko blame Clark for poking them but he claims he didn’t. Even Inazou gets one and blames him! Suddenly they are surrounded by alien spirits?! Exorcist doesn’t detect them as undead. Francesca wants to protect her baby when another round of headache. The egg hatches and it turns out to be the spirit’s offspring. With Chieko translating, the spirits claim they are looking for their lost egg. Francesca still won’t hand it back till she hears how they thank her for taking care of it. In exchange, they reveal the location of an earth shattering power. One of Hijikata’s soldiers gets word of this and reports back. Exorcist receives a call from her team that they have caught Francesca’s brain.

Episode 11
The gang are at the zoo as Francesca is feeling worried so the girls assure her if they can’t find that power, they’ll go back to search her brain. However Inazou cautions them because Takuboku told him if that happens, this Francesca may disappear and transform into something different. They notice Franken missing as well as Takuboku. Exorcist is at the shrine believed to be where that power is. She is trying to get the priest to tell her but he remains suspicious and will not. She threatens with her chain gun when the Shinsengumi is seen entering the grounds (the miko priestess must be smitten with their good looks although they are dead). Hijikata is going to take this power at the mini shrine when Exorcist and Takuboku show up to stop them. With the Shinsengumi keeping them at bay, Hijikata meets a grizzly bear who wants him to choose between a gold, silver or normal sword. Does this sound familiar? But Hijikata grabs it by the throat and wants real power instead. The bear is impressed and absorbs into him to give him the power. The priest is troubled that he absorbed an evil power. Hijikata turns into… A guy in a bear suit?! Meanwhile Francesca’s side come across a white bear who tells her to choose between a gold, silver or ordinary guy. She chooses the ordinary one (at the same time finding Franken) and since it is the right answer, she wins a voucher of that power. She tests it out. Do you feel the power coming?

Episode 12
Actually, it feels nothing. Why not put it to the test. Air fireball… Nothing happens. Since the nearby shrine is in chaos, they rush over. Pedo bear Hijikata is wreaking havoc all around. Francesca tries to stop him but was easily tossed away. I guess it’s certain. She had no real power. Just when Clark seemingly is going to attack Hijikata, it is just to get his pellets to go with his rice. We should have come to expect this guy is no good in saving the world. Hijikata is moving towards the town. He must be stopped. Even the Shinsengumi pleads for her help. Exorcist reveals she has captured her brain but there is the risk she will lose her current personality. Francesca is willing to do it. With her team throwing the brain down to her, it returns to her head as she transform into something ferocious. More powerful. Faster. Scarier. They are on equal footing but in the end, it is Francesca who emerges victorious and reverting Hijikata to his original state. However the problem now is that Francesca is exuding with evil aura. Before anything bad can happen, a voice from the sky screams that this cannot go on anymore and thus like déjà vu, lightning strikes Francesca, her brain pops out and she is back to that ditzy zombie we all know and love. Welcome back?

Episode 13
Something is wrong with Francesca. Spacing out and not being a glutton. Not her usual self. She follows the sound of a flute but is surrounded by the Shinsengumi guards. A handsome samurai, Yoshitsune Minamoto comes to her rescue. He knows her but unfortunately she doesn’t remember him. Meanwhile Takuboku is going around sealing rifts in the dimension when Koyakko thought she saw Francesca. With Clark and Inazou looking for her, Takuboku thinks he knows who this Yoshitsune guy is as Chieko explains his brief history of him getting betrayed by his lord. Francesca is taken back to Yoshitsune’s place as he tries to refresh her memories by telling how they met. He was trudging through the snow and left to die till Francesca descended and healed him. Too bad Francesca fell asleep hearing the story! He is going to start again but she right away falls asleep! Oh brother. He puts her to bed and as he plays his flute, short flashback scenes of how they were together. Francesca watched over him till he is healed and when they parted, he gave her a ring which she is still wearing today. He promises to return the favour one day. The Shinsengumi guards surround outside as Yoshitsune fights them but there is a limit to how many he can slay. That is when Francesca wakes up and protects him. She now remembers. He transfers his powers to her and in a flash she destroys all the soldiers. However with his job done, it’s time to part again. Something about his conquest of Mongolia. They’ll meet again as long as she has the ring. When the rest reunite with her, they are glad she is back to her goofy self. Meanwhile Exorcist is examining the shrine and felt something strange about the lightning that struck Francesca. It’s not just a coincidence. Takuboku also have a feeling that something sinister is coming.

Episode 14
Francesca and co are in some tower for sightseeing. There is a statue of Hijikata and they don’t hesitate to take pictures with it. Meanwhile the Shinsengumi are discussing about that incident where Hijikata lost to Francesca at the shrine. Some of them reveal that they had a dream about Francesca. She descended and told them Hijikata will lose. It seems that guy too has some sort of nightmare and reeling from the defeat. He feels the need to become stronger. Meanwhile Shinsengumi soldiers are seen pushing and hitting the tower base. Because this causes Francesca’s ice cream to drop, she becomes the raging zombie and fights them! Everyone helps out in cutting them down and even Exorcist. However they notice that they aren’t your usual Shinsengumi guards. They finally destroy all of them but it seems Takuboku got injured while protecting Koyakko. He shortly collapses.

Episode 15
While the soldiers are training, one of them slips. This causes him to remember his past and family. He escapes and there are orders to bring him back. Meanwhile Takuboku is in Exorcist’s lab inside a chamber unit being healed. As Francesca, Inazou and Clark take a walk, they see the soldiers cornering some kid. After dispatching them, there are surprised to see that rouge soldier, Heikichi Nara behind that hood. He explains to them about his predicament and something about his gambling habits that always bring trouble to his family. But when he was drafted into the army, he missed his family and that they’re still waiting for his return. Francesca volunteers to help him return home. But the place now is a melon farm. Then those soldiers (disguised as melon heads?) start ambushing them. As they fight, Heikichi is close to giving up as his home is no more. But Francesca tells him she doesn’t have memories of her family. This gives him motivation not to give up. All the soldiers are disposed when Heikichi smells something familiar. It’s the cooking of his wife. He follows the smell his little home where his family is still waiting. He tossed away the mask and reunites with them. Wow. He looks with a different stature without that puny mask. That is disposable in the first place? He is grateful for Francesca’s words and now that they have reunited, they can move on to the next world. Francesca also receives some of her memories back. She remembers her mom giving her a dog doll as a birthday present. More good news as Takuboku wakes up as he thanks Exorcist. But the little girl won’t admit it and says she is doing it since he has some use to her. Nevertheless he gives her a big hug and will do his best for her.

Episode 16
I’m not sure about this captain sailing his ship to protect the waters from some sea monster called Toshi. But how can he do it with a ship that looks more like a haunted house and with no weapons?! Don’t worry. Shinsengumi is here to save the day. And here Toshi comes… Meanwhile Francesca and co paddle on their swan boat to some island to meet deer or something. Francesca mistakes Toshi as a deer and gets eaten up. The rest follows. Inside its stomach, they find the Shinsengumi there too. Although they claim they have got Toshi under their command, but it looks more like they were eaten up as well. And of course, the inevitable battle between Hijikata and Francesca. Francesca is still strong thanks to the ring. Suddenly Hijikata stops. His stomach growls. So does his men. Haven’t eaten anything for a week, eh? Thank Francesca for the food. They look around and notice all the junk and structures Toshi has eaten. Must be that hungry but why eat them too? Is it because they are considered garbage too? Well, they’re the undead… With acid juice flowing in, there is only a way to get out… A week later, the captain is happy that Toshi is not in sight. But what are they going to do with our stinky guys? Guess which way they came out from the sea monster? Meanwhile Exorcist suddenly finds a love letter from Takuboku in her drawer! Gasp!

Episode 17
Exorcist is in love? I don’t know but she sounds weird trying to be a poet. Her subordinates are stumped seeing her acting cute. Heck, she’s messing around with the computer till it pops up some secret X-Files. There is a password so she simply keys in ‘hatsukoi’ (first love) as a joke and it works!!! The folder contains lots of old photos. There is a picture of Yoshitsune in battle wearing that ring. Oddly, every other photo has Francesca in the background. Meanwhile Francesca and co head to the hotspring. Even the undead needs to relax and unwind. We see Koyakko feeling inferior in her chest compared to the rest while Clark just melts! Do statues melt this easily in hot water? Suddenly Francesca is transported to her younger days in some Victorian hometown. Her mother is unconscious and there is this Dark Francesca beckoning her to follow. She is told to meet Rikuni. Similarly, the Shinsengumi are visiting the hotspring. Hijikata is cute when drunk when he also disappears into that Victorian hometown. He sees Francesca who tells him she will be waiting at Rikuni. Francesca wakes up and tells the rest about this. She wants to go to Rikuni (some heart shaped island) and believes she will find something she lost there. Meanwhile Exorcist takes a closer look at the love letter and realizes it is not one! Frustrated? It is actually just a map of that Rikuni place and a message for her to meet him there.

Episode 18
Exorcist meets up with Francesca and co right before the heart shaped island. A castle materializes on it and as they enter, this Victorian town seems very familiar. Indeed it is. They stop to ask for directions but not even Chieko can decipher the language. But Clark could! Really? Seems like it until he said something wrong and has the guards arresting them. Now what? Run! Even when cornered, Clark tries to defect and blames it on them! Saitei! Thankfully the guards don’t buy it. The king’s servant comes by and recognizes Francesca. Suddenly all his subjects bow before her. They are brought to the castle and treated with first class hospitality and amenities. The servant has Francesca follow him. She passes by her room. In a big room, there is Francesca’s family portrait. The Shinsengumi is also here as they launch an attack on the island and invade the land. But everything is crumbling and they have to leave. Through Chieko’s translation via a dictionary, the servant tells Francesca to gather the 7 pieces and only then her lost self and true form will return. Once everyone evacuates, Rikuni disappears.

Episode 19
Takuboku is seen allying himself with the Shinsengumi because their goals are the same. Exorcist explains the spots where it may contain the 7 fragments. She also let the rest know she saw Takuboku among the Shinsengumi at Rikuni. Everyone splits up to search for the fragments. Francesca is surprised to see a chibi version of herself. She tries to catch it but Hijikata attacks her. He is here to stop her from retrieving her true form as she is the devil who will bring ruin to Hokkaido. Meanwhile Exorcist also finds a chibi Francesca. But with Takuboku also here, I suppose she is still reeling from that embarrassment and shoots him. Elsewhere, Chieko and Koyakko find a chibi Francesca respectively but also have to deal with Tetsunosuke and Noboru respectively. Suddenly they remember about their past, their time with Takuboku. In the end he left them. It brings great tears but they realize their true feelings and won’t give up on him. After easily defeating the Shinsengumi, the chibi Francesca agree to go with them and turn into mini hearts. Hijikata will not give up and powers up.

Episode 20
He’s got a “Super Demon” on his forehead and his head butting Francesca! WTF?! Elsewhere, Inazou faces off with Shimada but chibi Francesca invites them to drink at nearby stall selling them. What a better way to settle things via drinking? Eventually they got drunk. Who is going to pay for it? Put it on Exorcist’s tab! Chibi Francesca is drunk and turns into a mini heart. The guys want the other to have it and since they’re so ‘kind’ it led them to get mad but ultimately passed out. I don’t know what Clark is lecturing Souma about but I don’t think he wants to listen. Several girls surround Souma (too bad for you Clark) because he is a handsome dude. Somehow they have a mini Francesca and give it to him. Suddenly something evil in Clark awakens. Looks like he got his memories back and remembers his goal. Takuboku’s wound is still there. He is about to get owned. Exorcist is still reeling from that misunderstanding and fires at him. But she missed him and drew a heart shape around. Still can’t forget him? She is giving this excuse to let him live for now as she takes chibi Francesca. Everyone returns to Francesca who is still fighting Hijikata. They give the heart fragments to her. Even Franken got one (after some silly face off with a Shinsengumi soldier in some food preparation thingy). When Hijikata gets word that Souma is badly injured, he calls off the match. To be settled next time… Again. The fragments are combined and Francesca absorbs. Them. Hmm… Feels warm and good. Clark impersonating as his goofy self notes it won’t take long now…

Episode 21
The Shinsengumi drink to a pledge. Souma is well enough to join them. Meanwhile everyone celebrates Francesca’s wholesome. However when her heart starts to throb, she begins acting selfish and hogs all the food. Franken’s bark returns her to normal. A portal is detected so Clark has Inazou and Francesca come with him to investigate. As Takuboku’s signal is also detected, Chieko and Koyakko go to find him but he is wounded. At the portal, the Shinsengumi is also there and they believe this is Francesca’s doing. As they fight, Francesca’s dark side comes out again and is powerful enough to fight off Hijikata. But the rest of the other Shinsengumi members remember that dream of meeting her and believe it is true. They might be forgetting something. Clark wants Francesca to unleash all her hatred. But when she seizes the Shinsengumi members and they call her a monster, she realizes this is not the true self she wants to become. Hijikata will not fall for this trickery and attacks. Franken defends Francesca and gets stabbed. Once he disappears from Francesca’s arms, she is filled with sadness and rage, she powers up into her dark form and even more sinister when she absorbs her brain. Clark turns Inazou evil under his command.

Episode 22
Dark Francesca’s hair becomes evil wings. She fights Hijikata and causes his sword to break. Disappointed, she summons Shinsengumi soldiers from another dimension to fight. Thankfully a herd of sheep stampede through. Is this Exorcist’s skill? This also turns Clark and Inazou back to normal. Takuboku returns but his explanation is a little too late. They weren’t supposed to gather the fragments as they represent Francesca’s negative emotions like jealousy and hatred. Shimada and Noboru remember their dream. Francesca foretold them about her dark side and wanted them to stop her when the time comes. Dark Francesca wants to destroy everything and attacks but the Shinsengumi uses their body to protect Hijikata. They’re glad they get to protect him for real. Yeah, now he gets to have the glory of finishing her off. Now they’re gone. He’s sad. He’s mad. He powers up and assembles their swords into one big badass version. He is no longer a super demon but an explosive demon! At least he could fight on par with her. Takuboku further reveals that some song book might be the key to stop her. His memories returned when he was at Rikuni. He remembered meeting Francesca. She saved him after he got beaten up by some guy. She called him her saviour because his song dispelled the darkness in her. However he is too weak to use its power. Koyakko and Chieko want to lend their power. They are tired of chasing him and want to always be together. They summon some beam (or was it some key) to strike Dark Francesca before Hijikata strikes the finishing blow. Exorcist is sad to see Takuboku and the girls disappearing. Sorry for what she said now? Heh. Even girls like her can cry. But save it for later because that attempt didn’t have any effect on Dark Francesca as she revives. Running out of options…

Episode 23
Flashback reveals the king of Rikuni was happy when Francesca was born into this world. However each time she is happy, a bright light emits and blows up the surroundings. Nobody died but I am sure afro wasn’t the fashion hairstyle they would love to have. This goes on for so long that the king decided the only way is to seal this power. Because the entire country is black as a coal and the only place left is this tiny heart shaped island that they are on. So they got a mage (Exorcist?) to do the sealing. Francesca’s heart fragments that contain her happy feelings were scattered. As she grows up, she acts more like a delinquent, taking out her frustrations on the guards. She must be really scary. But Francesca isn’t that all bad as she feels guilty and wonders if she’s a bad girl. But the servant disagrees she is so since she helps protect the country and that she is who she is. So for a long time, she helps protect the country and seals the portal cracks. Inazou when he was alive, resurrected Francesca in some school lab and Clark views her as someone important to save Hokkaido. Back in present, Hijikata saves Exorcist from being minced meat. She should have got the hint that all the bullets she pumped into Dark Francesca had no effect. Then they notice that Dark Francesca seems to be getting her powers from the other dimension and she might be controlled by something from the other side. And then something points to what Clark said but he too isn’t sure (can’t quite understand this part). The heart fragment returns to possess Dark Francesca and doesn’t believe that she is a bad girl.

Episode 24
Suddenly parts of Francesca like as though some sort of mecha gatai, form Francesca! Well, I suppose since she is a zombie so the parts can combine. Holy cow! Twin Francescas. Everyone knows this Francesca is the one they know since her trademark goofiness is there. Dark Francesca still considers herself as the true one but Francesca won’t allow her to do as she pleases. Francesca fights back and gives Dark Francesca a run for her money but the latter also returns fire. Hijikata joins in the fight to help Francesca. He believes in Francesca as the real one because from their fights. When Dark Francesca stabs him, Hijikata restrains her and sacrifices himself so that Francesca could blow her back to the other dimension. Before Dark Francesca revives, Francesca is going to seal the portal. Do you have to sacrifice yourself like that? I mean, Exorcist must have died a few times seeing characters being killed off (yeah, I kinda noticed her role is to scream their names too when they ‘die’) and she certainly doesn’t want Francesca to go. Not after she racked up all those food tabs. But Francesca has got to do what she has got to do. Taking off her eye-patch, she unleashes some power to seal the portal. Days later, Exorcist reports no future cracks were spotted ever since but her henchmen pick up signals of undead. She rushes over to stop Hijikata and his Shinsengumi men from trying to start another revolution to create Ezo. Then there is also Chieko and Koyakko reprimanding Takuboku while perverted Clark wants to join in. Exorcist remembers after Francesca seals the portal, the dead characters were returned (ironically, they were dead to begin with). They sit around eating corn and discuss the mysterious person who was controlling Francesca. Hijikata believes Francesca is still alive somewhere because whenever Hokkaido is in danger, she will be sure to return and protect it. Then Franken picks up a scent. Could it be Francesca? The search is on.

More Alive Being An Undead
Hey… It wasn’t that bad! Heck, I managed to get through half of the episodes at least understanding what they say! So it isn’t all that bad! Hooray! What an accomplishment! Let me pat myself in the back… But still sadly and unfortunately, my general lack of Japanese vocabulary is still the main down factor that this series is less enjoyable especially the important revelation parts and towards the end of the series. I couldn’t understand precisely what was going on and had to guess based on what I see and stringing in a few Japanese vocabulary I could hear. It was frustrating to strain my ears so many times but yet couldn’t comprehend it all in the end and had to give up. Yeah, really sad. Therefore my blog summary of the episodes may not be accurate and might be even off the mark.

Even sadder and more unfortunate that this decently fun show is ignored by fansub groups just because it is underrated and not main stream and therefore you will never be able to find subs for it anytime soon (at least not by the time I finished watching this series). Even if you’re lucky that this show is going to be licensed and subbed by ‘legal’ companies, that might be in the distant future and even so, don’t put your hopes up for it because like I said, this is an underrated show despite the fun. I mean, if a show is assumed not going to be popular, why bother adding to the cost for a show that the majority doesn’t care about? It is such a sad thing that this series will be passed up and not given a ‘real’ chance, never ever to be known by the decent majority.

Some of the episodes feel random like as though they are pulling a South Park ending. Because sometimes I feel that what happens at the end of the episode doesn’t have any consequences in the next. It is like as though they pressed the reset button and let the episode start anew. Oh heck, they’re zombies. They can’t really die, can’t they? But aside these filler-like episodes, they are nevertheless fun to watch despite me not understanding half of what they’re saying. Mainly because Francesca is both cute and goofy at the same time so it is hard to hate her and even if she is annoying, she is annoyingly cute. Yeah. Leave it to animes to turn zombies from horrifying undead who want to eat your brains into cute loving creatures that protect the land!

I suppose the reason why they put Francesca as such a glutton and eats everything she could get her hands on is probably to promote the food and special delicacies in Hokkaido. You can see Francesca and sometimes with Inazou and Clark bumming around wasting time talking about the delicious food and has nothing to do with the direction of the plot whatsoever. Well, it’s a good way to promote Hokkaido because I am sure a part of tourism to promote a place is to talk about the culture and you can’t have that without food, right? Right. Unfortunately I couldn’t understand further because you-know-why.

The characters are okay and each of them are lovable including the Shinsengumi guys who aren’t really the antagonists. They may always be on collision course with Francesca’s side but when you have good looking (zombie) guys, they can’t be entirely that bad, right? Because when you have a group like them with their own quirkiness like Hijikata’s motion sickness and all, how can you call those jokers the main villains of the series? Besides, I thought it was going to be a running joke that their ship before they set sail will always be sunk by something that comes flying their way. Fortunately this is only spammed in the first few episodes and it would be dead boring (mind the pun) if they continue to play this gag for the rest of the series. Of course with the teasing of that mysterious villain (who doesn’t even have the tendency to show his damn face since the scene is conveniently shrouded in darkness), it hints there will be a more sinister force and Hokkaido will be in greater threat. But that is another story and another season provided if Hokkaido gets popular enough to give thanks and make another season ;p.

So for our main titular character, what can I say about Francesca? She’s cute, she’s goofy, she is happy-go-lucky, she loves everything she eats and more importantly, she is very cheerful for an undead girl. And you thought dead people don’t have emotions, eh? We love this Francesca, don’t we? Francesca is literally in a world of her own and isn’t concerned about the dangers around her till she gets serious enough to think about her lost memories and past. Though, I am still curious about Yoshitsune as I believe there should be more to them than just the ring he gave to her. As for Exorcist, I feel her role is a lot redundant because it is not like she could do anything about the undead. No matter how many bullets she fire from her seemingly heavy chain gun, she only hits those lowly Shinsengumi soldiers. She is someone who hangs out with our undead casts (ironically she is the only living being among them) and then being casted as some love stricken loli, sorting out her feelings whether she is in love with that perverted glasses. An undead stealing her heart? You have got to be a zombie lover to even go that far.

Clark feels like the biggest joker of the pack because you can see from his character that not only he is for comedic purpose but perhaps the biggest coward of them all. You can say he is selfish because when his life is at stake, he tries to get himself out of it even if that means pushing it to his comrades. I know, this is for comic relief but… And Inazou seems to be the one whose role is also to rebuke Clark since he also makes a lot of jokes and uncalled comments. I can’t say much for the rest of the characters since like I’ve said before, my limited vocabulary does not allow me to comprehend the things they say. So for like Takuboku, he may be like some flirting scholar and from my observations he seems to be knowledgeable about what is going on and tries to take action by himself. I don’t understand the real connection of Koyakko and Chieko with him, whether there was some love triangle going on or not. But from what I can see is that Koyakko is a model while Chieko a teacher whose main role seems to be explaining and translating to viewers stuff.

Drawing and art makes the characters look cute. You won’t freak out with Francesca’s cutie looks despite an obvious heart shaped hole right in the middle of her chest. Heck, with everyone looking so, you don’t even think they are zombies. I mean, our perceptions of zombies are ugly rotting flesh of dead people, right? And here, their skin seems to be in perfect condition and the only thing that differentiates them from being normal alive human beings are the stitching scars that you see on some of their limbs. But even so, you are more inclined to think that this might be some fashion statement of having stitch-like tattoo on your face, neck, hands, etc. I have a feeling that Exorcist is made out of CGI although she actually isn’t. Because her design itself is funny. An oversized loli in her diapers wearing a skull on her head. She almost reminds me of Old Master Q’s Big Potato. Really. Also, I find it odd that Exorcist’s subordinates look like robbers. I mean, they wear balaclava/ski mask over their head… What the heck is this kind of getup?!

The ending theme is the most appealing thing to me in this segment. Sasayaki Wa Crescendo by Yui Makino (voice of Francesca) is a very cute and catchy piece. It is like as though a consoling factor after the little frustration of watching almost an entire series without subs. Not to say that I understand totally the lyrics but at least I get to hum along with this cute piece. Even the short opening jingle is cute and infectious.

Overall, this is a fun show with lots of cute funny moments and some action bits (although I find the action part to be just mediocre – definitely not the series’ strength). Generally you will be kept entertained even with questions like how the undead casts are resurrected in the first place and for what purpose or the ending that leaves us viewers wondering if Francesca is still alive. Technically she isn’t but she is because she’s dead so she can’t die therefore she is alive but not in that alive sense but dead alive and also she’s the main character so you can’t kill her off like that and I would classify as missing. Argh! So confusing! Did you get all that? Of course the biggest disappointment is nobody subbed it and it takes out a lot of fun and a turn off for those who want to watch this but can’t. Would it have been great had somebody subbed them? Maybe. Maybe not. But fate at this point has it so. So, when people ask you what is Hokkaido famous for, in addition to quoting fine sakes, zoos, seafood, local cuisine, lakes, national parks, the abundant nature, now you can add cute zombies to the list. That’s right. Zombie girl and friends will protect the region from other dangers and even from other zombies.

Highschool Of The Dead

June 25, 2011

Imagine one morning when you wake up, you suddenly find a great portion of society have turned into flesh-eating zombies. What would be your first reaction? What would you do? I may not fancy horror series but can you actually mix the horror genre with fanservice? At least that is possible in Highschool Of The Dead. Don’t get the wrong idea. You’re not going to see the undead with panty shots or bouncy boobs. That would totally be horrible. So it goes to show that fanservice is best done on the beautiful and living. Oh wait. What am I talking about again?

Basically in this series, you’re going to see a small group of high school students fighting and smashing their way across hordes of ex-humans-turned-zombies while trying their best to survive this sudden destruction of their boring daily tranquil everyday lives. Sounds fun? Unless you are the characters in the series having to think fast on their feet for survival and having sleepless nights about it or else you’d be zombie food in no time. So be prepared for some fanservice along the way as well as the excessive blood and gore. Hey, there are plenty of zombies to kill. It’s like somebody unleash a cheat code of an endless wave of them. Yeah, not fun if you’re them.

Episode 1
Take our main protagonist, Takashi Komuro. Right at the start, he is having a bad day. His girlfriend, Rei Miyamoto once promised to marry him when they were young, has dumped him for his indecisiveness and is now going out with their best friend, Hisashi Igou. That’s just great. He gets an earful from genius childhood friend, Saya Takagi for being heartbroken, depressed and being stupid. Yeah, how bad can his day turn? Much worse as he’ll soon find out. I guess he was ‘lucky’ to skip class as he witness a weird bloodied guy comes dragging his feet to the school gates. The teachers think he is trying to be funny and gets rough with him. Before he knows it, he gets painfully bitten. Worse, he turns into a zombie and proceeds to bite the rest and that is how the ‘infection’ starts. Takashi has a bad premonition so he barges back into class to take Rei (after slapping her, that is) and Hisashi to flee. Things start to intensify when Rei calls her police dad but he doesn’t pick up. Then the announcement from the PA system that everybody needs to evacuate before the announcer is attacked by the zombies. This causes the entire school to fall into pandemonium as everyone panics and starts running away in a hysterical stampede. As the trio make their way to the top roof, Hisashi gets bitten by the zombie principal. Up on the roof, the see military helicopters zooming by and the nearby town in chaos. In no time, a big majority of the local citizens have fallen victim to an unknown outbreak. Just like vampires, when you are bitten by a zombie, you turn into one. And man, believe it when you see a big chunk of the school has turned into the undead in just a blink of an eye! With a temporary barricade, the trio seek refuge at the top but Hisashi knows he is going to turn into a zombie and wants Takashi to kill him before that happens. Too bad Hisashi turned into one so Takashi has no choice but to butcher his head, the only way to kill a zombie. Rei is upset over Takashi’s act and she even thought of getting bitten to be turned into one seeing Hisashi is no longer around! She starts blaming Takashi that he enjoys doing it out of jealousy that they’re dating. Takashi tells her that he is going away since she doesn’t need him. At that moment Rei realizes he is serious about facing the zombies and going to his death so she pleads for him to stay. You can’t blame her for being fickle minded, considering everything that has happened today. They both embrace for the first time, on a day when everything has ended. Yeah, what a way to steal your best friend’s girl after killing him.

Episode 2
We see other survivors like chubby otaku Kouta Hirano escaping together with Saya. If not for Saya’s foresight and intelligence, Hirano could’ve been a long goner. But somewhere in Saya’s heart, you can tell she’s a tsundere because she did mention she’d prefer to be stuck with Takashi rather than this fatty. Takashi and Rei sit around in a daze as Rei tries to contact her dad. Although she was connected, it seems that there is panic at the other end of the line. She is cut off. Busty school nurse Shizuka Marikawa is such an airhead that when zombies crash into the infirmary, an unfortunate student got bitten in her place. If not for the skilful head of the kendo club, Saeko Busujima, she could’ve been the bustiest zombie. Saeko also takes out that poor kid before he turns into one of them. At least he died a human. Saya should learn to thank her lucky stars that she’s with Hirano. He’s not just an otaku, but someone who is obsessed with guns. He improvises some of the lab equipment to make his own gun and manages to kill several zombies. Looks like he enjoys his newfound calling. On Takashi and Rei’s end, they use the water hose to temporarily blast away the zombies who are breaking through before charging their way down. Don’t worry. Rei won’t be playing t a damsel in distress role. She is from the spear club so she can fight as well as Takashi. Saya does a little experiment. Seems the zombies are sound sensitive (they lunge towards the nearest loudest sound) but do not have any feelings (they do not react when things are thrown at them). Hirano’s ammo is running low and Saya’s b*tching and complaining did nothing but to attract the zombies. She is cornered when Takashi-Rei and Saeko-Shizuka group arrive in time to smash the nearby zombies. As the rest introduce themselves, Saya becomes distraught and hysterical after all those bloody sight and after seeing her own self covered in them, she breaks down uncontrollably. While taking refuge in the teacher’s room, Takashi thinks that they need to make sure that their families are alright.  They can try and get out via Shizuka’s mini bus. Then they turn on the TV to see horrifying sights of the pandemic and the camera crew being attacked. Looks like the whole damn world is done for.

Episode 3
The gang discuss what this possible outbreak is. Remember the Spanish Flu and London’s Black Death? But you know, people don’t turn to zombies and infect others. So this has got to be some new phenomenon. They need to stick together and cooperate if they’re going to survive. As they make their way to the mini bus and being careful not to make loud sounds, they stumble upon a small group of surviving students being cornered and go to their aid. The hall is their only exit and is filled with mindless wandering zombies. To prove Saya’s theory, Takashi decides to use himself as bait by standing in the midst of the zombie sea. It is working as he throws a shoe away as distraction. As the zombies move towards the sound, the rest silently make their move. However one of the guy’s metal weapon accidentally hit the stair railings. The loud sound echoes throughout the hall as the zombies’ attention shifts. Now they have to make a dash for it. Then that guy got caught by the zombie so I guess his girlfriend would rather die with him than live without him as she rushes to his side and gets bitten. Everyone gets into the mini bus and is prepared to go when they hear sounds of other survivors rushing towards them. Let by the sadistic teacher, Kouichi Shidou, you can tell this guy is a villain. Looking like a cross between Kuroshitsuji’s Sebastian and Claude, he lets one of his student gets bitten by the zombie after he sprained his ankle! Oh sh*t! Rei isn’t happy that Takashi picked up this guy and warns he will regret it. Shizuka powers her bus as they escape from school. On the bus, some delinquent kid didn’t like Takashi and fights him but gets beaten up. This allows Shidou to propose that the group needs a leader to survive and proposes himself. Those who are with him are taken in awe of his smooth speech but Takashi and co aren’t convinced of his cult-like nature. Look at how the other students’ eyes are so fixated on him as though they’re under his hypnotism spell. Rei couldn’t stand him anymore and decides to leave the bus. Takashi goes after her but a bus filled with zombies nearly crashes into them. Rei and Takashi are trapped in a tunnel and separated from the rest. Takashi tells them to meet up at the police station at the east section before both sides go their own way. Seems the fire burned out the zombies in the bus. Takashi and Rei fight and subdue a biker zombie before taking his bike and riding through the eerily quiet streets.

Episode 4
What’s this?! Already a recap episode?! What are they trying to pull?! Anyone it isn’t a detailed one and just a brief one from how it all started to where they are. The story proper resumes in the second half of the episode. Takashi and Rei stumble upon a dead police patrol car and take their guns and ammo. They stop at a petrol station to refuel but have no matter so as Takashi try to break the register for cash, a hoodlum guy takes Rei hostage. He’s human but has gone crazy. Yeah, after bludgeoning his entire family including his little sister, how can he stay sane? He proceeds to caress Rei’s boobs and thinks of making her his woman and threatens Takashi to refuel the bike or he’ll kill her. Takashi does so but as that guy begins one of his crazy yelling, Takashi whips out the police gun and shoots his shoulder point blank. Their ruckus have already attracted the zombies so Takashi and Rei zoom off on the bike and leave that braces guy to get bitten. Pitiful to let another human die but in such circumstances, would you do the same thing too?

Episode 5
Rika Minami, one of the 2 expert snipers sniping out zombies on the runway and clearing the way for the airplane of VIPs to take off. Meanwhile Shidou continues his annoying cult preaching so Shizuka and the rest thinks of getting off this bus and away from this weirdo. I agree they should because I think he’s much scarier than those zombies. Shidou agrees to let them go but wants Shizuka to stay as she is a medic. Hirano fires a warning shot at him that he can kill living people too. Shizuka and co successfully alight from the bus. Takashi and Rei zoom pass a chaotic section as humans attack them for no reason. Yup, everything is going out of control. The bridge is jam packed as the police are preventing people from crossing over. The duo try another bridge but it is also blocked. They hear familiar shots and find Shizuka and co cornered by zombies. They dive in to help as Takashi throws Hirano his police gun so the fatty has a field day taking out the zombies. The day is getting dark, they can’t cross the river but need a place to stay. Shizuka mentions her friend’s place (Rika) close by as she has the keys to her place. Upon arrival, I’m sure everyone could sleep in peace since the place has a high fence and there is even a humvee too! But the place is filled with zombies inside. I guess they have no qualms in taking the offensive and slaughter the entire place.

Episode 6
After all that blood and gore, I guess we need a little refreshing view with some bath time fanservice. I hope the girls’ loud bathing folly won’t attract the zombies. As for the guys, they check out the owner’s closet and to Hirano’s happiness, it is filled with lots of guns! He sure knows his stuff well. They ponder what kind of person Shizuka’s friend is for her to be living in such a posh place and having all these guns. It’s a good thing Shizuka has this kind of person as her friend, eh? As they watch the TV, they see the chaos unfolding on the bridge. If the police isn’t having their hands full barricading it, there are a bunch of troublemakers sympathizing with the zombies staging a protest, blaming all this as some cover up thingy. The police chief warns the leader to back off but he continues to mock them. He then pulls out his gun and shoots him dead! It’s getting crazier by the second! Even back in the apartment too. With the girls’ clothes left to dry, they are left to wear sexy outfits for the time being. Saeko in a naked apron? Why is Shizuka and Rei acting like drunken people? Are they going through some menopause stage with their emotional state of being? Must be the recent events. Rei talks to Takashi about Hisashi so he gets pissed off for bringing up the past and comparing his faults with him. As they calm down, they get intimate with each other. That is interrupted when they hear a puppy barking below. They go outside to see their place swamped by zombies. Back at the bridge, the police order the bulldozer to bulldoze through the zombies. Then the chief shoots himself in the head.

Episode 7
As they watch from above how the surviving humans get bitten, Saeko suggests that they dim the lights so as not to attract other survivors. She assures them she is just telling them the facts of reality and hasn’t sunken that far. Then they witness a father and her daughter, Alice Maresato trying to take refuge in a house. The occupants are reluctant to take them in. When the father threatens to break the door down, they relent but it was just a ploy to stab him. Alice is shocked as she sees her father dying in his own pool of blood. Poor kid, she’s going to be very traumatic. This also attracts the zombies. Hirano snipes them while Takashi plans to rescue her on his bike. Takashi dashes his way across as Hirano provides the much needed cover. Finally he arrives and takes out the zombies closing in on Alice. The other girls prepare to load the necessary stuff into the humvee and get ready to leave. Can’t stay here forever, right? Takashi gives Alice and the dog, Zeke, a piggyback ride as they carefully trudge their way on the wall. One mistake and they’ll fall into the sea of hungry zombies. Suddenly Alice has to go to the toilet. Of all times, now? He allows her to let it go on him. What choice has he got? Better keep your footing and balance. Though the humvee cavalry is arriving, it seems like an eternity for them to get through the zombie horde. Saeko must be pretty confident standing on top while the vehicle barges its way through. Takashi and Alice hop on as the gang make their journey to find a way across the river.

Episode 8
We see that even onboard Air Force One, the American president is having a dilemma to unleash some attack. Too bad the First Lady and some of the crew are already zombies. Better hurry. Meanwhile as the humvee makes its way across the river, Hirano and Alice have gotten pretty close to each other. Hope he isn’t a lolicon. Alice sings her cute rendition of Row Your Boat while Hirano his bloody version. “Shoot, shoot, shoot your gun, kill them all now!” WTF?! Rei gets a little jealous to see Saeko sleeping closely to Takashi. What’s more, she’s drooling over his pants! When they reach the other side, the girls change into their clothes while Hirano teaches Takashi how to use a gun. They continue their journey and it seems there is nobody around. Not even zombies. How peaceful. All that comes crashing down when they see the undead in the next corner. Shizuka makes sudden turns at any corner to avoid the zombies. So much so she loses control after it slides on some blood and crashes into some barb wires. The Rei is thrown off and the humvee cannot start. Oh no. Zombies closing in. Takashi tries to fire his weapon but as an amateur misses. With Hirano’s guidance, he gets by. The numbers are going to overwhelm them so I don’t know how Takashi got this idea as he uses Rei’s boobs as recoil cushion when he fires his gun! Isn’t that painful? What’s more, her boobs are shaking like jelly! Saeko’s acrobatic moves are another mind blowing act. We see her gracefully in action as Takashi’s bullets zooms by just inches between her legs or boobs! WOW! Saya decides to help out and not be just a useless lip service whiner and goes crazy with the gun. But the numbers aren’t decreasing. Takashi and Saeko barge through the zombie wave intending to draw their attention away from the rest. However even after at a safe distance and no matter how loud noises they make, the zombies aren’t attracted to them and continue their march towards the humvee. Hirano plans to release only Alice to safety but she doesn’t want to be alone as his face brings back memories of a similar one when her dad died. In the nick of time, firemen from opposite the barb wire rescue them as it turns out that one of them is Saya’s mom. She happily reunites with her while Takashi and Saeko continue their run through the town to meet up with them.

Episode 9
Takashi and Saeko turn back to a bike shop to take an amphibious vehicle. They did a little experiment and find out that the zombies are not good when it comes to slopes or stairs. Plus, they seem to not cross the river and ‘lost interest’ in chasing them. They take refuge at a sandbank in the middle of it. Saeko got wet from that experiment and changes her clothes. She mentions about him looking at her as a woman and he asks if she has anyone she loves. Her reply is that she does. After a little rest, they resume their journey deep into the town. Takashi crashes the vehicle into the little fountain pond and makes the vehicle go round in circles as a ploy to distract the zombies. The duo get off as Saeko starts smacking her way through. She seems to be having lots of fun striking the zombies till she sees a kid zombie. She is frozen and paralyzed at its sight and could’ve been another victim if Takashi didn’t swiftly take it out with his gun. Seeking shelter at a shrine, Takashi tries to cheer gloomy Saeko up and successfully manages to break her into laughter. Portable toilet? Saeko starts telling her past. She had a guy she liked but never got a chance to confess to him as she thinks she isn’t good enough. Apparently she mentions about killing someone before. Long ago, some guy wanted to make a move on her but because she had her bokuto (wooden sword) with her, she broke his bones. However the point wasn’t the fact she violently defended herself from being raped. It was she didn’t hold herself back and enjoyed beating the crap out of him. That is the real her and was this way long before the zombies showed up. The reason why she froze back then was she remembered this and realized she hasn’t changed but gotten worse. Takashi holds her palm as they soon kiss. Next morning, it’s bright and sunny. Only the sight of those incoming zombies is spoiling the atmosphere. Looks like they need to make another run. Saeko is still feeling miserable so Takashi forcefully grabs her boobs. If she needs a reason, she’ll give her one but even how tainted she is, he’ll admire her as the best woman for as long as he lives and wants her to live with her sins as her true self. Erm… Is he serious about that admiring part? Well Takashi, looks like you’ve got to take responsibility for that now. Saeko thanks him and returns to her vicious self, coolly taking out all the zombies and enjoying every bit of it. Finally the duo manage to reunite with the rest at Saya’s huge mansion.

Episode 10
Rei is undergoing Shizuka’s painful ointment treatment. No thanks to that Takashi who used her boobs as recoiling cushion. Ouch. I hope she doesn’t need to go for breast surgery or further implants. Just kidding. Saya is fresh from her argument with mommy. Soon they learn they may have to leave this place because it won’t be long before electricity and water supply will be cut off. And it’ll be hard to maintain for a large mansion like this. The reason those supplies were available was because the army was sent (that helicopter incident) to defend those plants and the people there continued to work freely from zombies. But how long can they hold out? They have families too. Saya assembles her pals and throws them a decision they need to make: To join or split from this bigger and stronger group. Takashi commends how Saya’s parents are doing everything they can to help but Saya gets pissed off and snaps. She goes on ranting about their success in a sarcastic way so much so Takashi couldn’t take much more of her b*tching and grabs her by her collar and shakes her! He chides her that she is the only one who knows her family are safe. They then see Saya’s dad, Souichirou, the current family head and former lord of the Tokonosu, demonstrating to the other survivors about the tough reality of survival. One of his retainers got bitten while trying to rescue another. Though a noble effort, he isn’t a human now. Souichirou will fulfil his duty to his retainer and slices his head off. Hirano isn’t convinced since a sword can break when it hits the bone but Saeko counters with other factors which makes a sword ‘strong’. Upset Hirano chides Takashi for not being able to use a gun properly and runs away. Hirano is caught by the adults as they want him to give up the guns he is hoarding. He refuses and clings on tightly to them. Souichirou comes by and learns what is happening and Hirano reiterates he won’t hand them over no matter what since he has found something he is good at. He is unable to answer when Souichirou asks him the thing he is good at. That’s when Takashi steps in to say Hirano is good at protecting his daughter. All his other friends stood by him and praise his bravery. He even gets Saya’s approval as she mentions from her own mouth she was being protected by him unlike her dad (she has something against her parents?). Lastly, we still see that Shidou guy still around. He receives a report from his ‘follower’ about a chance of being taken in to the mansion. Despicable Shidou seems to have absolute control over his students, taking pictures of them in an orgy. What the?! And I was hoping he would’ve turned into a zombie now.

Episode 11
Can you believe it? Shidou still continues his dramatic speech to his mesmerized students while he lets that ‘follower’ get chewed by the zombies outside the bus (apparently his punishment for talking back). Meanwhile Saya gets into an argument with a group of adults who refuse to believe about this zombie thingy and are against the use of violence. So does getting loud and going crazy count? Saya discusses with Takashi and Hirano about people in denial and change and then acknowledges Takashi as their leader, surprising him. Souichirou is having a talk with Saeko. He gives her his sword and thinks Takashi has grown into a fine man though he is still hesitant. Then Takashi’s turn to talk to Rei (did she put camera straps to support her boobs?). The way Rei said things was like she now really loves him and wants to be by his side even if he loves other girls. What a total change of heart. I guess Takashi isn’t that all a jerk now when he first smashed Hisashi’s head, eh? Women, can’t understand them. Oops. Sorry. Later Takashi talks to Souichirou that he plans to go out to search for his parents and Rei’s. However Souichirou’s party will be moving out tomorrow so if he doesn’t return, Takashi says to assume that he’ll be staying put there. Saeko is ready to go on another journey with them (what’s with all the sexy clothes she always wear? “Do you always try to seduce everybody”?).  Suddenly Rei bursts into an angry rage. It seems Shidou and his students have legitimately entered the mansion. We see a brief history that Shidou is the son of a senator but to him his dad is just a noisy bastard that drove his mom to suicide. That’s when Shidou decided to leave the family and became a teacher. Then his dad ordered him to hold back Rei a year in school just because he had unpleasant ties with Rei’s dad. Rei lunges the bayonet at Shidou’s face. She blames him for making her dad suffer and the guilt he held. She had to hold it all in as she knew it was him who altered her grades and if the investigations went well, Shidou and his dad could’ve been arrested. She is going to kill him. Souichirou encourages her to do what she has to do so Shidou dares her. But Rei puts her bayonet away and claims he isn’t worth killing, upsetting Shidou very much. Have you ever seen his face contort that much before? Souichirou has Shidou and his students leave his estate immediately. Meanwhile a bunch of submarine guys pray to God for mercy as they receive orders to fire warheads. And from Nasa’s view from space, it’s like several countries firing missiles, destroying each other and bringing Armageddon. Hey, we don’t need Judgment Day to come, don’t we?

Episode 12
The missile war begins so much so we can see that familiar mushroom bomb smoke from outer space. Shizuka finally remembers Rika’s number and calls her. She is relieved her Special Assault Team friend is still alive but their joy is cut short when a sudden bright light engulfs the sky and cuts out all communications and anything that is electronic. So which means if you are driving a car powered by electronic, the brakes won’t be working. Like how Shidou’s bus crashes into the barricade and letting all the zombies through. Calm Saya explains the electromagnetic wave effect that fries anything that has a computer chip inside it. Souichirou commends her for being able to stay calm during this time of panic. Just then a swarm of zombies converge at the main gates. The workers close it, trying to hold them back but their numbers are overwhelming so much so the gate breaks. Let the hungry fest begin! Soon the zombie count increases as our heroes and other survivors defend themselves from the endless nightmare. Souichirou gets word that their neighbouring house hasn’t been attacked so he suggests that the survivors break through to that place. He tells Takashi to walk his own path and leaves his daughter in Hirano’s care. Saya know what this means but she gets a little slap from mommy that this decision hurts them too, it is what they want and that they have their own roles to play. Souichirou and his men start the offensive as Takashi’s head towards the garage to escape via another humvee. Though it is electromagnetic wave-proof, the mechanic is trying to repair it seeing that it is a little damaged. For the time being, the rest will have to defend the place. Once the humvee is up and running, the gang busts out and heads straight over the horizon. Souichirou and his wife’s fate are left hanging. But what are the chances when you’re being surrounded by zombies? Yeah, no regrets. Salute. Saya probably knew this was going to happen as she tries her best to remain her composure. Takashi and co continue their travel, with the usual zombie killing till their humvee can’t go on further. They reach outside a shopping mall.

OVA
There was an OVA episode released back in May 2011. Somehow it felt like a relaxed version because it lacks all those flesh-eating zombies. So if it doesn’t have that, what does it have then? Why, fanservice of course! Lasting approximately 16 minutes or so, we see Takashi’s narration of fighting and escaping zombies in the opening but he too gets distracted and fallen into the fanservice trap when he thinks about those erm, fanservice moments about the girls. So during their escape from the zombies, the gang ended up on a secluded little island with no other life forms in sight via little boat. Oddly there is a beach house filled with water supplies though no one is around. And yes, there are swimsuits too. Guys included. Get out of your tight clothes and let your bodies breathe! Disgustingly, Hirano put on a female school swimsuit. With the lack of food, the girls ‘force’ the guys to go hunting. Or else Shizuka’s boobs will shrink, according to her. Nope. Not her stomach. Takashi comes back empty handed while surprisingly Hirano has his net full of seafood catch. If it’s any consolation for Takashi, he and Zeke brought back some leafs to start fire. As they cook the fish, they suddenly smell something funny and as Shizuka point out, the leafs are actually hydrangea, supposedly gives hallucination when inhaled. Too late. I don’t know but how come every busty girl who hallucinates must get horny? Yeah, Shizuka and Rei start seducing Takashi. Even Saya. Something hot is raging inside her body! Saeko seems not to be affected by the smoke yet and takes Takashi to safety. But at a distance, I’m not sure if it’s her hallucination or her real desire because she wants to be his woman.

Meanwhile Shizuka and Saya start hugging each other because they see each other as Rika and mommy respectively. They proceed to do lots of skinship on each other. Back to Saeko, she starts kissing Takashi. But that’s not the end of it, Takashi pushes her down and, let’s say it really gets steamy from here. Morning comes, Saya realizes she is totally naked with Shizuka! Then to her horror, she spots Hirano doing something pleasant with a broomstick. Let’s say it was between his legs and moving in a systematic motion. The worse one has got to be Saeko. She’s not making out with Takashi actually. It’s Rei!!! HOLY SH*T! So once the gang realize their embarrassing folly, I’m sure it’s natural that they’re just sitting there in shock, reflecting if all this was just a bad nightmare. It isn’t. They really did it on each other. Suddenly Alice runs up to them saying that Takashi is in deep trouble. The disturbing part wasn’t the fact he is amazingly keeping 4 zombikini (zombie in bikini) babes from biting his flesh with all his limbs, but rather is still daydreaming that Rei, Saya, Saeko and Shizuka are doing something so perverted on him that he is going to cum!!!! I’m not sure if they want to let the zombies eat him or wake him up from his unsightly dream. I’m not sure if there is another OVA because as Alice presents in a slideshow form in the end, she’s saying how they discovered a tunnel that links to the mainland and that their fight will continue. Hey, where was she when the rest were engaging in such unholy act?

“The Zombies Are Coming…”
That’s it?! That is how it ended? Doesn’t feel like an ending! I can’t believe it was left hanging like this! It’s not over yet, really. It could have been quite a good series in my opinion if not for that half-assed ending that left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Just like how the end quote perfectly summarizes the way the series ended: “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper”. That’s right. What a wimpy ending. Anyway that quote was taken from a poem from T.S. Eliot, Hollow Men. Not that I have read it before or any of his works probably there’s a hidden meaning to it to say about us humans. Later I found out that the comic that this series is based on is currently ongoing. So I guess it’s better to end it there instead of putting in mindless fillers like a long running show that has everyone all vexed up.

For a horror genre, I was always on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of this series. It is not that I was scared out of my wits, but rather each time the zombies attack, it was nail-biting to see how the gang survives each fight. Of course we all know that our heroes will always make it through in the end but each of the assault from the zombies gave that dangerous feeling that they could be bitten the very next second. They may seem dull and like clones but they do give off that eerie feel. The subliminal message that this series is trying to say is probably the survival nature of humans. When faced with such a situation, we can see the true colours of our kind emerging. Some true leaders are born and some will turn to their dark side to do just about anything to survive. Then there are some that are willing to brave for changes and some unable to accept reality and shroud in their own world of denial. But even as we are now, are we no better than being mindless zombies? It makes us think of the many possibilities of the extinction of the human race and whether or not our own foolish doing is the cause of apocalypse. I wonder if those greenhouse and pollution effect has anything do with it.

You can’t help but root for Takashi and his gang. They may not be perfect but they rely on each other as they try and survive. Each of the characters has their own personalities, making the group quite fun. However because the series is too short, there isn’t enough time to appropriately flesh out the characters and how they will change as they further survive the carnage and pending apocalypse. We have short glimpses of Saeko’s past and Saya’s family but that doesn’t do much justice. Takashi has turned from someone who is indecisive into someone capable and reliable leader. I felt that Takashi and Rei’s relationship takes a back seat after halfway through. I felt that Rei didn’t really ‘stand out’ nor do anything significant other than her scorn for Shidou after reaching Saya’s mansion. Then again like I said, this series is too short for anything. Maybe I was having a wishful thinking hoping there will be some love polygon seeing that there were little hints of some budding romance. Uh, maybe this whole zombie thingy has got me crazy too. I have a feeling about Hirano’s character. I felt that as though the producers are telling us that otakus aren’t as useless as they seem. Saya may not be good at taking offensive but her intelligence proves vital. She isn’t a rich spoilt brat no more. But I couldn’t say the same for Shizuka because she’s still the busty airhead from start to finish. Hey, every group needs a bimbo like her. Who else provides a ‘good’ driver than her? Remember, everybody else is underage so they have no driving licence. Heck, you don’t need one now in this world. Come to think of it, don’t they look just like an RPG party? Takashi, Rei and Saeko for melee combat, Hirano the long range fighter, Shizuka the medic and Saya and Alice as supporting backup class such as mage and priestess. Don’t forget about Zeke as the mascot. Shidou is the creepiest non-zombie character and I’m not sure about his fate in the end when he crashed his bus. Did he get eaten or did he escape? I prefer and hope it is the former.

The characteristics of the zombie sometimes puzzle me. For instance their sensitivity to be attracted by sound. When Zeke was barking like mad against the hordes of zombies during its first appearance to protect Alice, why didn’t the zombies bite the puppy? Does it mean that they only bite humans? Then around the time Takashi and Saeko tried to distract the zombies from the rest and banged on the railing as loud as he could but the zombies continue their slogging towards the restless one. So this had me thinking that if you accidentally make a loud noise but slowly get away from the spot without panicking or being noisy, would you be able to evade the zombies? Just how come they know when to bite the human flesh if they lack all other senses? So if you play dead, are your chances of getting bitten lower? And why is it zombies can’t cross water? How can they tell when as mentioned they lack senses? Will they sink to the bottom? Yeah, might as well start living in the sea if you’re going to live a life free of zombies. Baffling but I guess that is what being a zombie means. Don’t try to understand them. Just kill them all! Bang, bang, bang, bang! Oops, sorry. Got carried away with Hirano’s modified overkill version.

The action of smashing zombies is definitely violent. But sometimes the action especially those involving riding vehicles can really be absurd. Take for instance the final escape scene from Saya’s estate. I’m not sure if Shizuka is that skilful in handling the humvee but can you believe it when she actually is able to tilt it and squeeze through the tiny opening of the barricade and zoom past it without error?! Wow. I’m speechless. And about Saeko’s ‘bullet time’ ability? I have no qualms about her excellent kendo skill and am confident that with her around, the gang will be in safe hands. But during the scene whereby she gracefully dodges her comrade’s bullets and continue her swinging like as though this is some sort of sophisticated art made my jaw dropped. Why not? This whole outbreak thingy was unexplainable in the first place so why not go all the way with the fanservice and violence. Yeah, who cares for the fanservice when you have zombies to fight. Probably to ‘relieve tension’ for viewers in between the bloody carnage? So perhaps that is why the girls still continue to choose to wear short skirts rather than long pants that may or may not be baggy and restrict their movements during fights. On a trivial note, each of the episode title has the word ‘dead’ in it. Dead on. Plus, it is a little creative to see how the title is being displayed as the episode starts after the opening credits, like being written with blood or on a signpost. Why do we need to be reminded of the episode title again right at the end just before the ending credits? This time in a more standard font. The next episode preview sounds like a cacophony of people speaking and shouting. It’s crazy. Besides, when everybody is talking, nobody is listening, right?

I don’t really have any qualms with the voice acting. Except for Takashi’s who is voiced by Junichi Suwabe (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis, Undertaker in Kuroshitsuji). Somehow I find his voice unsuitable as a high school student as he sounds more like a young adult. Noboyuki Hiyama as Hirano (Ikkaku in Bleach) proves to be quite fun when he gets loud or excited. Other casts include Marina Inoue as Rei (Kyoko in Skip Beat), Eri Kitamura as Saya (Ami in Toradora), Miyuki Sawashiro as Saeko (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Yukari Fukui as Shizuka (Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Ayana Taketatsu as Alice (Azusa in K-ON!, Ako in KissxSis) and Kishou Taniyama as Shidou (Saten in Needless, Takeya in DearS). The voice acting of the other minor characters are also convincing as they portray the people in panic as they scream just seconds before they are devoured or the fear they faced when they are so close to the undead or being bitten. Truly scary. The opening theme, which is the same name as the series is a total hard rock piece sung by Kisida Kyodan & The Akebosi Rockets. The tune and lyrics are definitely befitting the pace of this series. However each of the ending themes is different though they are all sung by Maon Kurosaki. They may range from slow ballads to fast rock to pop beats, and even one totally in English. I may not be right but I feel that many of its lyrics have this lingering feeling of what has happened to the world whether it’s ‘wanting to be with you’ or ‘if time would stop like this’.

It’s just frightening and terrifying to think that if all six over billion of us humans are turned into zombies. And that number is to hit seven in no time. It’s just a daunting task for the survivors to put a bullet in each head or smack it off. I don’t think the world has produced that much ammo. This is one case where disrespecting the dead is okay. But will be being the dead really be better off? So if it does happen, what would I really do? What can we do? Blowing up the entire world with nuclear bombs may be a way to ‘clean up’ the world and start anew but that would be just the easy way out, don’t you think? As for me, erm… Maybe I better start playing and practising those Resident Evil games just in case.

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