Sunday, August 30, 2009

Zombie Week: Zombie Loan Anime Review

art by: tamaokibenkyo @ deviantart


Name: Zombie Loan
Based on: Manga of the same name by Peach-Pit
Episodes: 11 +2 DVD specials (13 total)
Licensed in America? no
Sub group? Shinsen-Subs
Additional Information: Anime News Network

Premise: Michiru Kita is a special girl who possesses Shinigami Eyes, which allows her to see a dark ring around a person's neck. This ring symbolizes the person's impending death; once they are marked to die, a gray line, which is invisible to normal people, appears on their neck, and once the ring turns completely black, the person dies. Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana, two boys in her class, both have black rings around their necks, but to her surprise, they are not yet dead. It is revealed that after a tragic accident that was supposed to kill them both, the two boys made a deal with a secret loan office called the Zombie-Loan. In return for keeping them alive, the two have to hunt zombies for the loan office. When Michiru gets involved with them, she finds that her life has just become more complicated.

Review: Okay on the heels of my Zombie Loan manga review I did not too long ago, I finished watching the anime. Its a short anime and pretty much it doesn't deviate too far from the manga. There are 11 televised episodes (comprising the first 27 chapters of the manga, or the first five and half volumes), with two specials that were DVD only releases.

The anime has the same 'feel' to it as the manga does, though I feel as if the comedy is perhaps upp'ed in the anime. Certainly Akatsuki seems to be more...exuberant in his taunting of Michiru and Shito. Plus I think that some of Shito's formalisms and mannerisms were definitely more noticeable when on the screen in motion then static on the page.

I strongly dislike the opening song (but the sequence itself is fine). The opening is some sort of loud, heavy rock song that grates on my ears. It doesn't even have a beat I can jive too. Annoying. Makes me wish they had changed it, but the series didn't go on for long enough. The animation house is XEBEC M2, a company I have little experience with. They did Noein and Heroic Age animations, as well as working on several Detective Conan specials and Negima!. I thought they did a wonderful job, keeping the lines clean, the proportions intact and backgrounds well done.

As far as the 'zombie' ness of this particular version...you have your classic 'BRRRAAAIIINNSSS' zombies who are made by Contract Zombies and then you have your Contract zombies who for all intents and purposes are as human as possible (except for abnormal healing and the ability to draw on ectoplasm to make weapons). For anyone who prefers their zombies fleshing eating and creepy you probably won't enjoy 85% of the zombies in this show.

For the record there's no 'romance' in the show, but the yaoi undertones between many of the male characters (Akatsuki/Shito being the most prominent) and the yuri overtones at times (::ahem:: one of the characters has a split personality...and that split personality likes to feel up Michiru's chest all the time) there are amusing times at least.