Sankarea: Undying Love (Spring 2012) – A Rom-zom-com Anime

It’s 2018 and we still want to date a zombie. You know what I meant. Your favorite show, “Zombieland Saga.” But, before that, let’s jump back to a few years. Before the pioneers of red blood cell, the goblin, the slime, the bunny girls, whatever. There is one anime that is able to attract a lot of people’s attention. What I’m talking about is “Sankarea.” You walk away like a normal schoolboy. Suddenly, you meet a zombie girl. Stranded right in front of you. Wherever you are. “Sankarea” is like a fiction that blends reality and fantasy with some ecchi spices in it and, of course, horror.

“Sankarea” became one of the anime in the ecchi category isn’t such the case. In fact, it’s hard to say at least. Watching this for about half of the series makes me think if there is just one like that. We don’t know the vast world because we also never know if we would never find it. This isn’t such “High School of the Dead” thing. “Sankarea” is about a second chance from a girl whose isolate. She wants to live like a normal girl in general.

When talking about fetishes, Chihiro Furuya is one of them. The fact that his strange hobbies make him almost has no friends at all. He preferring to watch zombies movies isn’t something for himself at first. Whatever is related to zombies, he is some kind of otaku who dedicates himself only to zombies. Then, he finally meets a girl who later tells her life if not something she wants to have. What she wants is only that so he prefers in the outboard. Not some kind of generous living like an upper-class wealthy family. Sounds like some kinds of satire.

Anyway, after a few days of acquaintance, the twist comes out when she accidentally falls from a cliff. Pierced by a tree root until her stomach pits. Knowing from it, I think it would be something like the main character get a happy moment. But only a few seconds, this scene is quite a twist yet horror. Considering her life was full of irony. She just needs love to some people around her. The scene, apart from a bit of horror, might be quite sensitive for some people.

At first, I just have done with this show. I thought it would be some dull of ecchi anime where I only saw it thousands of times. However, this is different even though zombies are the main fetish from the anime. Some characters aren’t only able to focus on that zombie girl, Rea Sanka, but it’s prominent between what’s the story gonna be told. Furuya is some kind of obsessed zombie fanatic and the fact’s he really loves it, his past is sometimes a little bit kind of no-life or whatever. On the other hand, there is Ranko Saouji and you might think, this will be like a season romance anime in general.

Team A against team B, who will win? And the truth is, I expect more than that in the manga later. Ranko is like your typical tomboy girl who also has a long history before the main event happened and he is one of the characters who can trigger Furuya so that he can more open his life to the outside the world and he isn’t only obsessed with zombies; and this is also the slightest romance that exists but all the rest that’s in this anime is very good and I don’t really find something that gets stuck even though there are some moments which I found the most.

Besides that, Baabu as Furuya’s cat has the important role of the store itself because if Baabu doesn’t die then Furuya would never make his contact. Jogorou Furuya as his grandfather also had a lot of information for later stories, maybe if you read the manga, although at least he also acts as an important role in some plot. Mero Furuya, I don’t think there is too much I can say if you don’t watch the OVA episode. There is so much information that’s still vague if we calculate the total number of episodes like whether Chihiro’s mother is the same as Rea who was a zombie? Why are Mero and Chihiro’s memories of their mother so vague? Where are the materials from and why?

There are so many questions that make the plot still filled with holes if you don’t read the manga unless. The most part of the episode sometimes just focuses on the story itself about Rea’s run away to her parents until she tries to convince her father. The first few episodes focused on it, but there were several episodes that sometimes ran away from it or maybe just to minimize the atmosphere, even though in reality for me it was somewhat annoying because when you come to serious moment suddenly cut off with a subplot that wasn’t too related to the major plot itself, it’s a bit annoying but not too.

The art is decent and not too impressed. I just like how their technique of using the art style in this anime reminds me a bit of some anime from Shaft’s studio that always goes side by sides with absurd images or symbolism. Sometimes, they use a technique like changing the image format as is done by “DARLING in the FRANXX.” But, the art is decent and quite solid yet minimalist. The music is something I’ve heard for a long time, especially the first opening theme song before I knew this anime. “Esoragoto” by nano.RIPE is one song that is suitable for its outcome. It fits with the mood and the atmosphere. The ending theme song, not something that I attached to it. In fact, I don’t really remember the song itself. The voice actors and actresses are great and able to bring their own character.

“Sankarea: Undying Love” is something that probably I enjoyed it from start to finish despite thousands of questions still attached to me and quite slowly for the first episodes. It’s a kind of horror but not too. It’s a kind of ecchi but not too also. The anime seems not to wanna focus on it but wants to balance it more than that. The characters have various important roles for each and some small things can trigger the storyline. Even though in the end I really knew how this anime would end, the show sometimes had some kind of drama with humor like a typical anime cliche. But, why not? The soundtrack is great, the art is decent but not too impressing, and the pace isn’t too pushed and rushed. Besides having so many good anime in that season, “Sankarea” can be said as different from the others.

4 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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