|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Gotta say I got quite disappointed with later episodes of this series. When I first started off Sankarea, I assumed the series would be some sort of romantic drama mixed with supernatural elements compliments of its zombie theme and subtle comedy serving to balance out the title's more darker elements, especially in regards to Rea's disturbing back story. How wrong I was! There were hints of the title's more conventional trappings of romantic comedy that I didn't pay much mind to, such as some fan service moments with Rea and Furuya's cousin. The elements become more prominent in later episodes when Furuya's cousin starts to get meddlesome as the cliched jealous relative with a crush and we get the cliched predicaments of Furuya trying to hide Rea's unique circumstances from his family while the girl stays with them. The middle section of the series with focus on Furuya's family life does slow the main plot of the show involving Rea's twisted father, Dan'ichiro, to a halt and even when it does resume at the end of the show, it remains unresolved alongside the fate of Rea and Furuya's budding relationship, obvious lack of resolution due to the series being based on a currently ongoing manga series. Speaking of Dan'ichiro, he now stands among one of the worst characters I've come across in an anime with the twisted and disturbing fixation he has on his daughter Rea and I was very irritated at the open-ended nature to Sankarea not allowing me to see him get punished in any major way for his behavior. With all these glaring problems I came across with Sankarea, it is quite easily the weakest of the Spring 2012 titles I completed. Unless you are a complete sap for fetish-themed rom-coms as predictable as this, I wouldn't waste any time with Sankarea.
Last updated Friday, June 29 2012. Created Friday, June 29 2012.
(All episodes watched)|
Sankarea had a novel premise which sounded like it might be fun, and I had high hopes for it. But the actual first episode seemed unexceptional. The plentiful fanservice suggested that this show wouldn't exactly be counting on quality to attract viewers. It was hard to take this seriously, since the characters weren't developed nearly enough to trust each other in the manner that would be required to do something drastic like one of them did. Furuya just lusts for zombie chicks, apparently; we have no idea why a person would have such a bizarre taste yet otherwise behave in a seemingly normal manner. Sanka goes from being traumatized by sexual abuse to trusting Furuya wholeheartedly in a matter of minutes. This seemed like the all-too-common curse of shallow characters. Also, was this show trying to be humorous, or disturbing and dramatic? Sometimes it seems to take a grim, dark tone, but mostly it is relatively silly.
Fortunately, in episode two the show shaped up somewhat. Pretty much all of episode two was required to fill all the holes in episode one. Rea got a good deal of development and her actions make more sense now. So, Sankarea seemed more complex and interesting than it had appeared to be at first. To a certain extent, my high hopes for this show were restored. One thing which I still didn't understand was just what the implications of becoming a zombie are. How much of a mind of her own will Rea have now? Most of one? A little of one? None at all? I don't know what to expect. It's like we're supposed to be thrilled and entertained that one of the characters is a zombie—but it turns out that being a zombie has little in common with what we had expected. So, essentially it's unclear if Rea really is a zombie at all—or if the plot of Sankarea really needed the zombie element.
I can't help feeling that this show could have been tightened up a good deal. It feels like bits and pieces of a story have been hastily lashed together instead of made to flow smoothly. Furuya and Rea haven't gotten enough development for their romance to be truly moving. Rea's state as a zombie is odd, to say the least; she feels no pain, but can still be happy? Does she feel this way because her life was so awful that death seems like a relief? If so, not much has been done as yet with this interesting angle. Instead of a tragedy or tragicomedy this show seems half-hearted. And Furuya's grandfather and friend aren't funny at all. I guess what kept me watching was curiousity about how the strange premise would work out, since the rest of the show is unexceptional. Halfway through I was impatient about where exactly this would go. No doubt Rea's father will cause trouble for Furuya, but I'm more interested in what Rea's fate as a zombie will be.
Episode seven, which was all about the relationship between Ranko and Furuya without any appearance by Sanka, was boring. I don't care at all how the romantic triangle works out, because there are no signs that Ranko stands a chance or that the climax will be particularly interesting. She is the generic childhood sweetheart who is thrown into the story just so that she can be nonplussed by an unusual rival, and we can feel a little uncertainty that the new girl will win out in the end. But Ranko's personality has about as much life to it as that of a zombie.
Just when a cliffhanger arrives, the series takes a break from its usual plotline and inserts omake episode nine. At first I was annoyed and nonplussed by this, but this episode turned out to be funnier and more touching than usual. It was a pity that this episode marked the only appearance of the nutty middle schoolers who investigate reports of zombies.
In episode ten we return to the main plotline, and learn a good deal about Rea's family ties. I thought it fleshed her previously wooden parents out a good deal, much like episode two helped Rea herself. Maybe it should have been done earlier. The climax (in episode 11) was kind of neat, and salvaged the series to a certain extent. But the twist which saved Furuya's life didn't make a whole lot of sense; I think either going all the way, for a tragicomic conclusion, or having him be killed tragically would have worked better. And what was the deal with what happened at the very end of the final episode? It had seemed that something really moving was about to happen. Sankarea as a whole struck me as a confused, unfocused show which nevertheless had its moments. But somebody else ought to produce a 'my girlfriend/boyfriend is a zombie' series, because this one didn't reach anywhere near its full potential.
Last updated Sunday, July 08 2012. Created Monday, April 09 2012.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/sankarea/|