Okay, this event couldn’t suit this topic any better. Everyman’s Theatre, March 13th through April 7th, come out and check out the “God of Carnage.” The hilarious 2009 Tony Award Winning play will be coming to Baltimore, and who doesn’t like laughing till their sides hurt, right? Which takes us right along into our anime of the week, Sankarea.
"Chihiro Furuya is a male high school student with a keen interest in zombies, collecting zombie-related videogames, film and manga, and even to the point of desiring to "kiss a zombie girl". Following the death of his pet cat, Bābu, he attempts to revive it using an old manuscript, which describes the process of creating a potion for resurrection. At this time, he encounters a girl named Rea Sanka, who has run away from home. In an attempt to commit suicide, she drinks a sample of the "resurrection" potion which is created from the poisonous Hydrangea macrophylla flower, although this fails to kill her. Following an argument with her father, she falls from a cliff by accident and dies. However, as a result of the potion, she becomes a zombie who eats hydrangea leaves.[i]"
Sankarea originally seemed like it would be a decent showing due to the elements of zombies in a not “Must Eat Brains” setting. Seriously, we’ve all seen at least one manga or anime involving monsters ready to eat folks. So Sankarea seems like a fair change of pace. The series is a bit hard to peg down as one type of genre. Usually, when a series involves zombies, it’s a horror classification. However, despite the bit of gore, Sankarea comes across as more of a slice of life/romance than a horror showing. It’s also includes elements of suspense, though those are rather predicable as the series rolls on through. The anime as it is presents a fair adaptation of its manga counterpart, which is rather rare in the sense of most animes. Still, as most animes have, there’s that filler that does nothing for the plot but try to make us laugh with a bit of action, adventure, comedy, etc… In all honesty, while the plot seemed to be a good premise, the actual animated story was dragging in places. It was a fair showing, but it seemed like there were spots where they were getting the characters to do something just to fill time. Still overall, the series was a good showing in terms of story despite the annoying bits.
What the series really seemed to shine with though was the characterizations. Here you have Chihiro, morbid little geek boy with a zombie fetish. He meets rich girl, Rea, and watches her off herself. But it’s okay, he got his dream, he got to watch her revive as a zombie. Only, it wasn’t everything he dreamed it would be. So throughout the anime, you watch his zombie fetish slowly fade as he realizes just how deep he’s in. Then there’s Rea herself, who we really get to know after she’s gone swan diving off a cliff. Money doesn’t bring you happiness. And in her case, that’s so true. Her life was filled with torture and drama as her parents wanted to possess and obsess her in a very creepy and morbid way. This includes even after her father watches her rise from her death defying doom. Seriously though, as villains go, Rea’s father puts a more creepy version of evil than actual evil. Just to have her, he’s willing to kill. Which if you really think about it, kind of makes him a decent villain. Though a note must be made; why is there at least one rich person in zombie manga/animes? Anyway, the personification doesn’t stop there. It also incorporates Chihiro’s family as you notice the dramatic difference between the rich and the midclass. They take Rea in with much of an issue. Though one of the things that did annoy was the harem pathway that they were pushing. Despite being a geek, it seemed Chihiro had three women that saw through his awkwardness to this charming fellow underneath. It didn’t make it any less funny that Chihiro was rather oblivious to it all.
As the art goes, Sankarea didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t the best, but it was up there with the A-list skill set. Okay, a very high B+. Studio Deen seemed to do a overly good job at drawing the morbid bits, but it’s a zombie show. If there wasn’t gore, it just wouldn’t feel right. As for the acoustics, the music and the voice actors were great. Even in the English version, which is not something you’ll see admitted very often. The theme song was very catchy and seemed to suit the series’ dark soul very well.
Okay, the wrap up. Sankarea wasn’t really the usual can of bean this examiner goes for. However, one must always keep an open mind and be ready for new things. That said, the series was alright. It wasn’t something to write home to mom about, but I am writing home about it to you all. All in all, it had its ups and downs, more downs in personal respect, but still enjoyable. Adding this warning yet again. This anime is not something that pulls punches in terms of gore. So it is not recommended for young audiences or squeamish people. That said, don’t just trust everything you read. Check out the series for yourself. And as always, thanks for reading.