(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)
It’s shocking how one’s view of an anime can change over the span of a year or two. Kore wa Zombie desu ka? (Is this a Zombie?) aired back in early 2011, and I wasn’t too impressed with the series. It centers around a young man named Ayumu Aikawa, who suddenly perishes and resurrects as a zombie thanks to Eucliwood, a Necromancer from the Underworld. They later meet Seraphim, a Vampire Ninja, and Haruna, a Magical “Equipment” Girl who loses her powers due to Ayumu’s meddling.
The anime follows a very loose story, and often strays from the story in favor of fan-service and humor. During the first series, the first arc containing multiple episodes revolved around Ayumu’s killer, solving why he was killed in the first place and who might have done this terrible thing. To counter this deep plot, comedy is often used to bring the mood up and cheer up the audience. In general, one can consider this anime to be a harem, as every girl who visits Ayumu from another world seems to fall in love, although this series expresses their difference in how they show their love very well. Eu, short for Eucliwood, is unable to speak and shows her feeling subtly, while Ayumu fantasizes about her in humorous fashions. Haruna is often outspoken and very easy to read. She’s really the immature one, and it’s pretty obvious to tell with the body type the creators gave her. Sara, short for Seraphim, often speaks ill of Ayumu and degrades him. It’s not until later where she often enjoys Ayumu’s time and comfort, where she develops more of tsundere attitude.
After confronting his killer through hilarious shenanigans, which can vary from humorous to just plain bad, the crew meet another Vampire Ninja from a different clan. Through the magic of accidental hijinks, Ayumu ends up kissing this new girl, Maelstrom , which means marriage to the Vampire Ninjas. After adding Maestrom, who goes by Yuki after this event, to his never-ending harem by solving a major crisis, the crew later discovers a previous zombie who shows interest in Eu. Eu later leaves with this man, and while Ayumu and company try to save Eu, hilarity ensues and nothing of value has been lost.
The show really tried to fit some serious plot into it’s story, but ultimately, the show should be viewed as a comedy and slapstick series, revolving around a male main character and his “harem.” Most battle scenes are done through Ayumu’s transformation into a Magical “Equipment” Girl, and not real serious fighting. Due to the nature of the first season, I was really put off with the series, as it didn’t seem to know where to separate serious plot and comedy sketches. While there are a variety of comedy centric episodes, there weren’t enough out of the first season to stick out and give me reason to watch the second season.
The second season, released in Summer 2012, vastly outdid my expectations. Gone are the serious plot points, and in comes more focus on the comedy aspects of this series. This season continues the wacky adventures of Ayumu and Co, while adding to the relationships of the characters. Some episodes may give Sera more development, while another may focus on Eu. Ultimately, the characters evolve, although slightly, and the hilarious antics continue. The season also adds two more main love interests: Sarasvati, another Vampire Ninja and Sera’s superior, and Taeko, Ayumu’s classmate and not really a new love interest, but someone who actually gets some development this season.
I absolutely loved how this series actually took story points, and jokingly took them seriously. Nothing ever gets resolved, and the story gets pushed back for the next humorous event. The story mainly lies around Ayumu’s inability to reverse time after killing a monster that comes to the school, which means everyone at school knows about his ability to become a Magical “Equipment” Girl and forced cross-dressing. While this does get fixed in a later episode, it really doesn’t impact the plot past the second episode or so. The final story involves the so-called best Magical Girl in the land, and the best underworld fighter in the land, and doesn’t get resolved in the conclusion of the story. Hence why I stated the story isn’t taken seriously; nothing gets resolved, but the series still proves to be hilarious and enjoyable.
The biggest enjoyment I held in this series would be the OP / ED of both seasons. The OP to the first season attracted my attention, and was one of the highlights of the series. While the second OP attempted to follow in its footsteps, it didn’t reach the level of the first season. However, while the first ED was okay, but not spectacular, the second ED was amazing, and I think I enjoyed the ED more than the episode in some cases. The song really captivated me, and I just enjoyed the ED as a whole. It brought a good feeling, and generally brings up the mood of an already comedic series.
Finally, I feel the series really grew on me over time. While the first season of Kore wa Zombie desu ka? (Is this a Zombie?) was an okay watch, I absolutely cannot praise the second season enough. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and I feel like I would watch it again anytime I need my spirits brought up. I easily recommend this series to those who enjoy comedy and harem anime, and hope you can find as much enjoyment out of this series as I did.
Second Season ED