Zombie-Loan, based on the manga of the same name by Peach-Pit....A story I began to read 2 years ago, in 2009, and that fascinated me back then. I never had the opportunity to watch the anime before...and now it's done, my thoughts are a bit mixed about it.
The story of the anime spans the first 4 or 5 books of the manga and it does it quite well for a 11 episodes series. It developped the major parts well and I liked it. the manga itself had good plot ideas and developpement but was slowed down by it,s horrible realization. Everytime you read a Peach-Pit work, you feel...well like drugged by all the messy panels. They have potential to do really good stories but they just cannot express it well. In the anime, that part is corrected and the reader/viewer is able to follow the story without getting headaches caused by some horrible structure ( or in other words: What the hell did Peach-Pit tried to draw there?). The story evolves around Chika, Michiru and Shito trying to repay their debt to the Z-Loan for making them alive again after their accidental deaths.If I sould have a complaint: It is TOO DAMN short!! When you enter in the story and really enjoy the story, BAM it finishes. It could have been an excellent series if it had double the episodes at least.
The animation, done by Xebec, is just horrible. Stiff panels, awkward poses and really weird character design ( really Peach-Pit-ish; I like it personnally but some don't) are on the menu. One thing the animators did well was the use of colors and the beautiful dark-macabre atmosphere. And I must say, I really hated the some sort of chibis visuals ( something occurent in the original manga as it seems Peach-Pit can't draw something else) even if I liked the dialogue between the characters that comes with it.
I won't develop much here. The cast is brilliant. sakurai does a cold voiced Shito with grace and Suzumura does a really annoying(and loveable) Chika. It goes for the same of Kuwashima in charge of Michiru. The other characters are voiced excellently, I have no complaints here. The soundtrack was a roller coaster ride. It can be good, and sometimes it is purely devastating. I absolutely loved it in those segments. The music fitted perfectly without a doubt.
Opening section: It starts with style and gorgeousness...until you hear the first words of the song. Seems like the singer strangled himself with some hot potatoes that got blocked in his throat. I LOVED the visuals though.
Ending: I say it was really good, at least for me.
The series developped its main leads and their quarrels superbly. You know they have great difficulty to get along but you still have to love them. They form an really unorthodox trio. They have rival personnalities also but they quite fit together. That said, the show didn't have much air time to spend on the other character of the series. they feel a bit bland compared to the main trio, but I am sure that in the original manga they are quite developped. Guess I'll have to catch up with the manga.
Usually, when a manga-based anime does achieve something by appealing to me, I want to read the manga. It does it again here, but hey, I already own the manga^___^ Guess I'll have to reread them=___= and then getting the missing volumes^___^
Overall, I enjoyed the anime version of Zombie-Loan a lot. My feeling were a bit trampled by the sudden (lame) ending but still, I loved what I saw and I want more now. I'll have to see those specials. Still, the series is horribly flawed beginning by its really short span and that will definetely turn off some viewers. You may like it or not, I did and the original premise is really good with original twists on the zombie genre. Try it if you like Peach-Pit.
Score: A good mark with an 3.5/5 from such an underrated little series.
Next! Lovely Complex and my actual reviews of Soul Eater and Guardian of the Spirit(Seirei no Moribito)
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