Michiru has an unusual ability: she can see a dark ring around a person's neck that signifies their time to die. However, she suppressed her powers once she "saw" the deaths of her parents – until now. After accidentally seeing rings around the necks of two boys in her school, it seems that Michiru's powers are back for good. The two are zombies who are working for the secret loan office known as Zombie-Loan, and they need Michiru's help to find other zombies – those with dark black rings around their necks. Though Michiru initially refuses, due to a series of events it seems she has no choice but to comply...
There are awful anime. There are excellent anime. There are bad anime. There are good anime. And then there are anime so average it's scary. Story: Kita Michiru has a good amount of frenemies at her Christian school. However, she has a secret--when she removes her Harry Potter glasses, she can see rings around people necks which signify how much time a person has left to live or if the person is already dead (Shinigami eyes?). She always wears the glasses so she won't have to see these horrible, horrible things. (Hello? If I had that power, then it would be awesome.) One day, she meets two boys who have black rings around their necks--they're dead! OMFG WTF SWEETCHEESESTHISISUNREALCOULDTHEYBEZOMBIES? PSHAW... Random sh*t happens (the boys switch hands and fight and whatnot), and Michiru ends up being ("SHOT THROUGH THE HEART AND YOU'RE TO BLAME/DARLIN', YOU GIVE LOVE A BAD NAME" with apologies to Bon Jovi and Stephen King...) slashed with a sword. As she lays there, she is given the option to live. After a corny speech, she finds herself to be alive. As it turns out. Z-Loan® allows the dead to keep rollin', rollin', rollin', trollin' as long as they can pay off rent. Michiru can now join her newfound friends in bringing other zombie-things peaceful actual death. Does this sound interesting? Actually... no. Not really. Maybe it does to you, but it doesn't sound like such a mediocre premise can amount to anything. (Well, it does sometimes. "Fruits Basket" kind of did that.) And it really doesn't. The ending doesn't tie up any loose ends, either. Animation: Again, absolutely average. (Alliteration?) Character designs are average. Fight scenes are average or maybe a little worse than average. Artwork is average. There isn't much else to say here! Sound: I cannot remember any of the insert music nor can I remember the ending song. The OP was just some j-rock which I find to be mildly ear-splitting. The man's scratchy voice is just unappealing. The voice acting is nondescript and is... average. Gosh. You have one more chance, XEBEC. Make this thing more interesting! Characters: I... I surrender... (Zero development and backstories, too.) Characters: Girl with pinkish hair: Kita Michiru; boy with silver hair: Akatsuki Chika; boy with hair antenna: Tachibana Shito. Shiba Reiichirou: Not one of the three main characters, which could be good: He is as average as a rock-shaped paperweight. Kita Michiru: First and foremost, I cannot believe that the original manga creator (the female pair Peach-Pit), who created "Shugo Chara!" and Hinamori Amu, would create such a spineless female lead. Even if Amu's awesomeness is not brought into the picture, Kita is STILL a weak character. Her lack of a personality and distinguishing features make her one of the most boring leads I have ever seen. I think she is supposed to be a sympathetic character because she has a pretty crappy life in the beginning, but she never stands up for herself. I can't feel bad for a girl like her! Plus, we don't really know of her past, so we can't compare and contrast her character from then to now. Akatsuki Chika: A hot-headed bad-boy with a kind heart and a bone to pick with the other male lead, he's trying to be Sohma Kyo so much. Unfortunately, Chika brings no charisma to an otherwise potential-laden archetype. Whereas Kyo became one of the most likable and relatable characters of all time, Chika became a completely unoriginal character. Tachibana Shito: If Chika wants to be Kyo, then Shito wants to be Yuki. His level-headed ways could complement Chika very well, but they don't. The dynamic between these characters is just wasted potential. Yoimachi Koyomi: Other than her chest, she serves no real purpose. Not like this is an ecchi, but there is one "cosplay" scene. Yet another drab character. You get the idea, so screw mentioning everyone else! Overall: I'm going to be frank: This is probably the most average anime I have ever seen. But, maybe it makes sense. I refuse to read/or watch the unanimously hated "Dears," also created by Peach-Pit, but I adore their philosophical "Shugo Chara!," a show and manga which will bring out the child in us all. Maybe this is their middle ground.
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)
Story (2/10) Attempting to create a dramatic atmosphere with creepy music and occasional psychobabble about murder and God, Zombie-Loan is Death Note’s retarded third cousin that the family keeps hush-hush. Frequent, boring shots at comedy mesh together with the so-called action like a block of granite and a zucchini, and make about as much sense. Imagine chibi comedy randomly popping up in a bad Death Note parody every five minutes, and you’ll have the mental image. Zombie-Loan doesn’t deserve to be in the same dimension as Death Note, let alone the same paragraph, but I’m man enough to write that anyway because I love you, and you need to know. The story stumbles around like a three-legged rhinoceros, ignoring gaping plot holes left and right while pretending to be serious. The “twists” in this story are hinted at so obviously that it is more a relief than a revelation when they finally happen so events can finally move on. Chibi comedy cuts in at the height of fledgling drama, destroying any pretension this anime might have had towards a serious message, or a semblance of organization, for that matter. One major theme of the story, introduced in the first few episodes, can be explained in one, simple sentence: “Get busy living, or get busy dying”. Yes, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, they ripped off The Shawshank Redemption. I commend their steel balls, if nothing else. Rather than take advantage of the unique concept that is a “Zombie Loan” - allowing a zombified existence after death and the chance of regaining full life - the characters throw around fancy supernatural-related words like “ectoplasm” and leave it at that. Patiently waiting for an explanation of events, any basis for the mystical powers, or more details about the heavenly system the characters are supported by, my hopes were shot in the head and dumped unceremoniously in a ditch on the side of the road. Apparently the director had short-term memory loss, as the anime periodically summarizes information through dialogue as if you just jumped in and didn’t watch the past nine episodes (yes, it happens in the tenth episode). A brief recap at the beginning of the episode would have done the same job. It is boring filler that proves they had nothing else worth showing, and it is totally unneeded in a show that is 13 episodes long. Finally, making (surprise!) another huge mistake, the show has no conclusion. Just as the major villains are introduced and the story ramps up to something a tad interesting, the anime ends. There is one thing Zombie-Loan does well, though - disappointing the viewer. Animation (3/10) Zombie-Loan must take pleasure in things that raise my blood pressure, for example, a lack of reasonable effort, say, coloring in their cels. A main character would often stand in a crowd of blue or gray sketches, as if the animators forgot to color in all those objects all the way up until the last episode. Also, where they existed, the backgrounds were boring and repetitive – a “motion haze” was often used as a cheap substitute, with the unfortunate side effects of burning my retinas out of my skull. Action scenes have so many still frames that I call them action scenes only because I can’t think of a better term. The sections deemed worthy of coloring in looked pretty good, but these portions flowed more like a manga than an anime. Character movements left much to be desired whenever they weren’t fighting in slow motion. Moreover, my 4-year-old cousin has drawn stick figures with more artistic value than the faces of these characters. Their heads are flat sheets with noses and mouths, and every male figure is constantly slouching, bent back at the waist. Wow, they’re so cool! Hold on though, I need to grab the barf bag I keep for characters like this, just bringing the images to mind is making me nauseous. … … … Sound (1/10) The opening theme was pretty catchy. Drum-heavy with plenty of symbols and a cool guitar riff, it had me leaning in for more... then the singer started screaming bloody murder, slowly scraping a layer of skin off the inside of my ear canals. The rest of the anime did little to redeem this ear-splitting atrocity. Rather than starting and stopping, like normal music, each episode of Zombie-Loan has a 20 minute track that plays in the background the entire time, leading to extremely awkward transitions between settings as well as the highest number of inappropriately backed scenes I’ve ever heard in any anime. The sound guy left Moonlight Sonata on repeat and said “eh, it’ll work”. Yeah, it worked all right – like a pile driver slowly pounding stakes into my temporal lobe. A character shouting obnoxiously would trigger a chibi animation from an affronted cast member – moments that might have been at least a tad amusing, if it weren’t for the sad piano/harp/violin/boringashit music inevitably present in the background. Characters would beat each other up and trip over themselves, but the droning music instantly killed the humor. By the third episode, the sad violins finally let up in exchange for generic lounge jazz, which is their idea of lighthearted, apparently. Voice acting, as you might expect at this point, did little to improve this whirlpool of inanity. I was tired of Michiru’s voice after her first line. She sounds just like a 16 year old girl; one that’s been crawling through a desert without water for two days. I actually felt thirsty whenever I heard her dry whisper of a voice slip out from her throat. Also, Chika was nasally and annoying. The other voices weren’t great but at the least weren’t offensive. Characters (5/10) While it was almost too little too late, the slow-starting character development was enough to make one of the protagonists, Shito, a good character. Beginning with a great mistrust and introversion due to his troubled past, Shito is able to somewhat free himself from a depressing pattern by the end of the anime, an interesting journey to observe. The development of his relationship with the mad scientist’s golem was especially enjoyable, revealing his caring side and drawing back the curtain on a few more tidbits of his past. However, this one bright spark is darkened by clouds of mindless simplicity. Every other character is either motivated by a single, straightforward goal, has taken one too many stupid pills, or is given no background at all. Now, I know what you’re thinking: a show this bad has to have a girl with large breasts and a tight-fitting track suit somewhere, right? One that inexplicably gets drunk on normal soda? One with an alternate personality that gets involved in a naked lesbian scene in a hot spring filler episode? Fear not, because here Zombie-Loan exceeds all expectations in one Koyomi Yoimachi. It seems trash this bad can’t help but include an ecchi lesbian character, as if it needed another huge rocket booster on its flight to mediocrity. I certainly appreciated the effort because her ecchi antics were a lot more interesting to watch than the story. If there weren’t so many convenient steam clouds I might be more forgiving. Overall (2/10) In all seriousness, what really killed this one was the constant flow of disappointments – disappointing animation, disappointing music, and a disappointing storyline – all of which had some potential. The strange and uninteresting conglomeration of contradicting ideas and shortcut methods left a sour taste in my mouth – but that’s probably just the barf.
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