(Eight episodes watched):
Since I watch the first episodes of new anime in a more-or-less alphabetical order, this was one of the last I saw. And I had come to think that there wouldn't be any truly imaginitive and original new series at all this season, because none had come to light. Then Zom 100 came along. First of all, it is funny--the sight of Ohtori (the office woman Akira secretly has a crush on) as a zombie, made me LOL, which doesn't happen often during mostly lackluster anime comedy. I had come to think that maybe there wouldn't be any traditional, brain-eating zombies in this show and instead the workers at this sweatshop who had been reduced to the walking dead by fatigue and despair would be the figurative zombies. Then the normal ones came along, and the big joke behind the premise of this show is revealed: even a zombie apocalypse is good news to Akira in comparison to his day-to-day life. But where could the story possibly go from there? The answer (and the meaning of the title) is revealed in the final seconds of the episode, as Akira vows to do 100 things he has always wanted to do but never actually dared to attempt. We have gotten to know and like him as he slogs through his job for three years, and he is the only still human person we know of at the end of episode one. The thought crossed my mind 'I definitely need to watch this show!'.
In episode two Akira meets several additional survivors of the first wave of the Zombie apocalypse. One is a cute girl, Shizuka, who seems to take a very practical approach to survival in contrast to Akira's happy-go-lucky one. It looks like the two of them and two other yet to be introduced characters will comprise the main cast of this show. Akira crosses off several interesting experiences from his list, like riding a big motorcycle.
In episode three Akira goes looking for his old college friend 'Kencho'. The two had a falling out but they make up and it looks like Kencho will be one of the four main characters. I thought their squabble made a good deal of sense and we have gotten to know Kencho fairly well, which is a crucial requirement for likable, interesting characters. In episode four Akira and Kencho go looking for a widescreen TV in Ikebukuro and find themselves besieged by zombies along with three girls and a despondent man. It was a strikingly clever and moving little story, yet easy to follow. We get to know the girls, and enjoy a good deal of humor, then the zombies come and mess everything up. I felt a distinct sense of tragedy at one point, something which doesn't happen often while watching anime. It can't be easy to balance comedy and tragedy in the same show, without one overwhelming and spoiling the other.
Episode five was OK but not as good, IMO. Akira and Kencho go to an aquarium to look for a protective suit and, to a certain extent, Akira ends up satisfying his childhood dream to become a superhero someday. This episode seemed to be trying to use bizarre comedy (a weird zombie shark is their main opponent) instead of tragedy to make it's point, and it didn't work as well. In episode six Akira and Kencho decide it is finally time to flee from Tokyo as the water and electricity are finally shut off. They decide to go in style, by appropriating a fancy RV. Shizuka, who they keep running into, accompanies them. But they soon fall into the hands of Akira's merciless former supervisor and the gang he has assembled. This guy is worse than any mere zombie could possibly be. Whereas most episodes consist of a self-contained subplot, this story is clearly nowhere near complete at the end of the episode. Resolution comes in episode seven. I was not nearly as moved by Akira's courage against his former boss than I was by episode four; maybe this was because his previous backsliding into mindless zombie worker was pretty abrupt and hard to take seriously. Is he really this mercurial? Or maybe it was because the trick used to defeat the zombies was likewise hard to take seriously. This episode did not seem all that well thought out.
Episodes of Zom 100 were running late throughout the summer 2023 season, so late that even I, who always falls far behind as well, wished new ones would arrive sooner. In episode eight we finally meet the fourth and last member of the team, 'Beatrix' a blond German girl who is fascinated by Japanese culture and knows more about it than the actually Japanese characters do. The episode consisted of two subplots, one about sushi and the other about onsen (hot springs). I felt kind of apathetic at the end; I got neither any serious laughs nor thrills from the episode. Was it written by the same person as wrote the first and subway episodes?
Last updated Thursday, November 16 2023. Created Tuesday, August 08 2023.