Possible Spoiler Warning!!!
Pro: Great Animation, Music, Enjoyable small cast of Characters, Refreshing Romance
Con: Story takes a backseat too many times leaving us with a lame ending and noticeable plot holes.
Final Verdict 4 stars Buy It: Sankarea is defiantly not your typical romance horror story which leaves it only appealing to an audience with an acquired taste. Nevertheless, I believe Sankarea is due for much more praise than criticism and is well deserving of more attention in the manga department. It is as refreshing as it is a lovely romance. Beautiful animation and a killer soundtrack cannot be denied. However the first half of the anime is defiantly the best while the last half is less to be desired leaving us with an "un-fulfilling" ending. If you have not checked it out now, I suggest you do so.
Animation: Nothing to be said here other than it is AMAZING. The blu ray box set exposes some of the nice detailed features. The backgrounds/drops in particular are very nice and the character designs are fun and fitting. A star for this one.
Music: Again lovely soundtrack with an opening and ending that are great. The overall English dub cast is good although some of the lines (or the script) could have been written and delivered better. A star for here as well.
Story: Here is where it gets tricky. The manga has flowed pretty well so far continued the story and explaining plot holes that exist in the anime. Again since this is a 12 episode series with a few ovas naturally stuff is gonna get cut out. For people who watch the anime first (as I did) will probably want to check out the manga (as I did) and be satisfied. Even so, I will never understand why these companies add so much filler besides the fact if there is not enough manga material. In a way they just get lazy and it leaves us thinking that this is just a big advertisement to "Buy the Manga". Again the first couple episodes introduce us in a unique and very entertaining way to the cast, but the second half is chunk full of lazy filler episodes. Another thing to consider is the "fanservice". Fanservice given to Chihiro's cousin Wanko is somewhat understandable considering her curvaceous figure. This however begs the question is this just for the audience or is this Chihiro's pov. The fanservice is not "too" distracting" but there are times where I found myself rolling my eyes saying "really?". (can you tell I'm a girl) The comedy defiantly takes you for loop as it sometimes appears in the most random and inappropriate of places. Sometimes it works, other times it is too much of a distraction. No star for this one it just can't be classic worthy.
Characters: No one really cares too much about the story problems though when some of our main characters interact. Other than Wanko who gets a little annoying, the main cast is great. It's mainly through Chihiro's observations and in episode 3 when we dive into Rea's home life does the cast really shine. The conversations for the most part are all ones we want to see the characters have. Chihiro might seem a bit of the otaku cliche at first, but as we see him in more action it is really Rea who makes his true self shine. He realizes its not all fun and games and has to start taking on some responsibility. Rea's development is so perfectly stated and shown in the first 3 episodes of the series. Even Chirhiros cute little stoic sister Mero does not seem as cliche by the end of the series. There are too many moments to name that really stand out in defining these characters in an interesting, intriguing way. If I had to name one though it would have to be in episode 1 when Chihiro put his arm around Mero as they mourn their dead pet. Little moments like that make this anime stand out from the crowd. A star well deserving for this one.
This actually happened to be my second anime. EVER. I loved the plot, and it wasn't your typical romance story. It was awesome, and I loved seeing it through to the end. PS. The theme song was amazing!
This is going to be as spoiler free as possible though there might be a few here and there.
So let me just start with the story and the impression of Sankarea as a whole... Well the best way to put its strangely both weird and interesting, something you will probably find very bizzare, but will want to watch more. Having gone through every single episode in one sitting the story revolves quite literally around a guy with necrophilia, yep, you can sugarcode it as much as you want, but thats what it is and at first I was repulsed at the idea of watching something around a guy getting aroused by seeing a zombie girl with her guts hanging about. But you know what, even though its that, or rather it makes you think thats whats going to happen, however the story development of both the protagonists Furuya and Rea is interesting, Furuya being a regular passive guy with a "unique" interest and Rea who comes from rich background, but with a pretty dark and scaring experience, the whole story isnt afraid to embrace the theme of death, which I found to be very enjoyable since it didnt feel half-assed. And I had asked myself the question after seeing the first episode "How in the world are you going to make it romance in this kind of setting" well, the answer is pretty darn well, their approach about Rea becoming a zombie is both funny and true to the picture and believe me it is going to make you feel weird once you admit to yourself that Rea is quite the cute zombie, I know it happened to me. Although there have been a few moments where the story felt a bit jagged and rough around the edges, Im fairly sure people know what Im talking about. But overall, pretty well done story with a unique twist.
The animation is a bit washed out, lots of dull and dark colours fit the theme and setting very well. There are a few odd things here and there, but unless you specifically look for them or are very attentive to detail you wont even notice.
Music in the series and both opening and ending are very fitting, bit odd when you actualy understand them, but very well done, the sound quality and dubbing as far as JP is concerned is nice and clear there isnt a single instance where one person will blow your ears out and other you can barely hear.
The main the characters you will be seeing are obviously Rea and Furuya, aside from cast of many side characters which include Ranko, Mero and a few others, all of them have very distinct personalities, but I didnt find any of them that much over the top...well except one...but that one is kind of meant to be...unlike many other series here you will get a lot of backstory to each and every meaningful character, which at first I was bit surprised about and a little annoyed since it was what I thought a "dead episode", but to my surprise every backstory episode was surprisingly enjoyable and well done to connect to the "present" and answer a few questions here and there. Also some of said backstory might not be for someone with a weak stomach since some of it is quite repulsing, maybe almost disgusting to some people (reffering to Rea's story). But again even that enriches already well written characters and adds a little bit extra to them which is always nice.
Overall I have to admit despite going into it reserved, I was pleasantly surprised and had enjoyed the series through and through in one sitting nonetheless.
In this review, I'm first going to give my overall opinions of the anime, and then go through particular aspects such as the art or the music. I didn't look at Sankarea from an ecchi-anime perspective, more as a shounen/romance/supernatural series, so that's what my opinions are based on.
So at the beginning of the season, Sankarea was one of the animes to watch, seeing how this zombie like genre will plan out after I was high praised from High School of the Dead, but that's a whole different thing. While zombie stories aren't a new concept, I thought the setup for this one could prove to be very interesting, and could tackle the genre in a new light.. or something like that.
The first few episodes definitely delivered that. The settings were superb, the character interaction was great, there was a good amount of suspense and mystery over the characters and the imminent zombification. I was all set to love this series. (To be clear, nothing really happened in the first few episodes in terms of development, it was just setting up the story. I still liked them.)
However, I feel that the series, in terms of storyline or any plot development whatsoever, quickly went downhill. Once Rea turned into a zombie, the story kinda fizzles out a little. There is still some drama, in terms of family issues, but I felt like it was all a little disappointing in its conclusion. Having said that, it was the aspect of the show that turned this whole anime from being a simple light-hearted zombie thing into something with actual depth.
A few episodes break away from the two main characters (Furuya and Rea) and focus on side characters, such as Mero or Wanko. I really did enjoy these episodes, as they gave you a better insight into the characters and a different perspective on events, although they did not necessarily add anything towards the overall plot.
The ending was completely disappointing (well, not so much in terms of the romantic aspect you could say, although in my opinion this was still left largely unfulfilled) - rather than having any conclusion to the story, it just stopped, much as any other episode would. Now, I'm not sure if this series is supposed to have a sequel anime (which would be nice, in terms of clarifying events! Everything was left sort of open, no questions answered properly sort of thing), so that would pacify me a little, but if it did, I don't think I will be watching it.
I honestly think the animated style of this was outstanding. As mentioned above, I loved the settings (mostly the abandoned building and all the scenic shots). At some points, I couldn't stop myself from pausing the episodes to simply stare at the sceneries, partly because they were so detailed that I honestly couldn't tell if it was animated or just a photograph! I liked the clear-cut character design/style.
Generally, the music was very good, and worked well within the series and added to the atmosphere of different situations.
Opening Theme - "Figment" by nano.RIPE
A really nice theme, I thought it was a great song, and I liked how it fitted with the series.
Ending Theme - "Above Your Hand" by Annabel
Nothing in particular to say about this... It was a good ending theme, I guess!
None of the characters particularly stood out to me. They all clearly have their plus and minus points, but they were all a bit... meh. Best word to describe it.
Furuya was adorable (appearance wise, I thought his cat-eared hair was really unique), and I thought his status as a zombie otaku was cool (obviously, it is sort of the crux of this series...). He had his good moments, and was generally a likeable character.
Rea was very sweet, and I would almost be keen to say I disliked her but she has some awesome moments where she proves that she can stand up for herself, despite her quite innocent nature...
Wanko was a fun addition to the series - most of the fan service did come from her - and she was a loud and boisterous character, who stirred things up a bit :)
Dan'ichiro.. the bad-guy character. And a really, really great top class creepy person. Ugh.
Although the anime had really bad storyline, the whole weird relationship was anew to me so I was wanting to go on but it all honesty this anime is not something really worth watching. Its like, something you really don't need to be like ''OMG, I need to watch that''. All this anime is supposed to be in genre style it disappoints in. But the characters were alright and story was meh, if you can get through the first three episodes, but if you like art then hell watch it. So, I wouldn't recommend it but if you want to just watch something then give this ago, also if you want something with an alright romance with a girl zombie in it then I would say give this a shot, but other than those reasons I wouldn't bother.
The story in Sanakrea is pretty original and adds a sort of... whacked out and comical spin on romance by adding the whole "zombie" concept to the mix. However, watching the series as it came it weekly couldn't have been more frustatrating than anything else, as it often jumped around and it seemed to add in filler or stary from the main story which was left at a natural cliffhanger. Another thing that was frustrating about the series was that it seemed to preogress really slowly. Like all typical anime that are adapted from their original manga or light novel counterparts that are still ongoing, Sankarea didn't have a solid and final conclusion. Actually, it barely had one at all. In fact, watching the end of the series probably would have left the viewer in confusion, as it did for me. The story was something fresh and different, but it simply lacked correct pacing and timing.
Aside from the story, the animation was interesting. It focused a lot on background and scenery, yet the characters themselves seemed to be simple, but good enough for its era. The sound was pretty mellow and nice, but I was a bit disappointed that it lacked the same remembrance and flare that the composer, Yukari Hashimoto, had previously done for the soundtrack for Toradora!. The opening, "Esoragoto" by nano.RIPE was upbeat and interesting, but it lost its appeal after a while, but the ending, "Above your hand" by Annabel was a simple classic for me, and is quite easily one of my favorite songs from this year's anime. The characters were... well... I can't help but say somewhat dull. I mean, each and everyone was unique, but again, they failed to give the story flare and it always seemed like this was a gray anime. I mean, it didn't ever bring out a happy feeling, and it was sort of always shady. But perhaps that's what the authors of the manga were shooting for, but it didn't seem to work all too well on screen.
Overall, I give Sankarea a 7.5/10 simply because I could see where they animators were going with this show, but they lacked the will to do so. I have not read any of the manga, but I feel attached to the series enough to give it a shot when I get some spare time.