Maybe it’s because I’m getting old and senile, but it seems that the more anime I watch, the less sense they seem to make. You could imagine my confusion when I started watching Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? "Why is the zombie weak to sunlight but not the vampire? Why the hell is he in a pink frilly dress? Why is that monster a giant lobster?" In exasperation, I put these questions to a good friend, and I found that his reply turn out to be a very apt one-sentence summary for my review.
He said to me: "I dunno lol, who cares? It's fucking hilarious!"
Everything in Kore wa Zombie Desu ka, from story to character to humor, is based on complete outrageousness. I hesitate to call Kore wa Zombie~ an original anime, because it's seems that Kore wa Zombie~'s idea of originality is to take as many ideas as possible, exaggerate them to the absolute maximum limit of the imagination, and then cram them together into a single, epic anime.
So exactly is it that I mean when I say outrageousness? Let's pretend that there are 2 'idea guys' who started working on the story for this, whom I will dub them Jim and Bob. (Warning, minor spoilers)
"Here's an idea!" says Jim. "Let's make the main protagonist a zombie."
"Great idea!" replies Bob. "We'll have an utterly immortal zombie who constantly gets humorously dismembered, baked like a potato chip when he stands in the sun, and receives magical powers that turns him into a pink cross-dressing/chainsaw wielding mas(h)ou shoujo(nen)."
"Awesome," nods Jim with approval, "and since this is a harem, we need at least one tsundere character."
"Of course," replies Bob again, "we'll have a pseudo-sadistic tsun~ ninja girl with a ridiculously named fighting technique that uses cellulose (leaves), cooks up acid pots, and plays the violin in a maid orchestra."
"Let's make her a vampire as well." adds Jim.
"Why the heck not," laughs Bob, giving Jim a high-five.
... and you get the idea.
What is most surprising about Kore wa Zombie~ despite having so many wild concepts crammed in, it somehow still manages to tie it all into a very neat comical package. Normally you'd expect something so slapstick-heavy to comprise it's plot and characters, but Kore wa Zombie~ manages to seamlessly incorporate all it's content into an (almost) coherent and flowing story.
The characters in Kore wa Zombie~ are all, well, ridiculous. I mean one of them literally has like, 10 different voice actors. And she doesn't talk! (try getting your head around that one). Needless to say, all the characters are very 'interesting' and their backstories relatively well thought out and presented. There is the exception of the protagonist's human friend cuz, he's well... y'know, normal. Kore wa Zombie~ is a harem of course, so there is the usual male lead and his entourage of female companions. What is great though is that unlike many harem (to Love-Ru for instance) that focuses on the protagonist's perverse interactions with the females, Kore wa Zombie~ instead chooses to emphasize building the relationship between the male lead and his companions, which I thought was a nice change of pace.
I wouldn't exactly call Kore wa Zombie's story solid, the plot itself isn't exactly complex; there are various backstories which were left untouched and minor plot hole issues. As far as harem-type story goes however, Kore wa Zombie's plot is definitely up there in with the rest. The interesting aspect of Kore wa Zombie~'s story isn't WHAT is happening, but HOW it's happening, and I found that with Kore wa Zombie~’s almost surrealistic approach, I was caring about the actual plot a lot less that I normally would have, because I was too distracted that ridiculously hilarious thing that just happened.
Another thing is the art. While Kore wa Kore~'s animation quality is nothing too spectacular, the action scenes are unique in that they contain a very interesting combination of a dark tone, spectacle, gore, and an excess of pink. Yeah don't think too hard on that one. The OP is also surprisingly well done, and it almost makes me sad that they couldn't maintain the same level of quality throughout the entire episode.
The only gripe I have with this anime is due to it's comical nature, there are various moments when supposedly serious scenes are ruined because they took the humor a little bit too far. To give one example (spoiler alert), in the final moments of the main antagonist's death, as he lies dying in the arms of his necromancer, he looks into her eyes in a touching scene, and he says:
"If I die, make me a penguin."
Hahaha... No wait. Seriously?
This really isn't a major issue, but I was disappointed in the show slight deficiency in real consequential, solemn scenes which didn't involve some sort of joke tacked on the end. It made the anime feel a little bit one sided and narrow, and prevented me from giving it a higher score. One thing to mention though. They actually bothered air another episode after the 'big climatic battle'. I literally can't count the number of times I've watched anime that seemed to think that a 3 minute epilogue was sufficient in ending the story after the big boss goes down. Kore wa Zombie~ actually took the effort to give some rarely found closure to the story. Thank god.
Kore wa Zombie~ is a rather unique anime, perhaps something you'd expect if you crossed J.C. Staff with SHAFT. It definitely won't win any awards and it's not exactly thought provoking, but it easily makes up for it in sheer ridiculousness and outrage. So why should you watch Kore wa Zombie desu ka?
I dunno lol, who cares? It's fucking hilarious!