Review of Is this a Zombie? Of the Dead

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Is this a Zombie: Of the Dead is the second season of the Is this a Zombie anime, which is based on the Shinichi Kimura light novels of the same name. The series continues to tell the adventures of Ayumu Aikawa, a Japanese high school student, who has been brought back from the dead as a practically indestructible zombie. Ayumu’s only weakness of note is the sun’s rays, which wreck his complexion faster than that of a British tourist sunbathing at the Costa del Sol. Remember kids, use plenty of sunscreen when playing outdoors because lobster coloured skin is both unsightly and painful.

Adapting to life as a member of the undead is tough enough, but to complicate matters even further Ayumu finds himself having to adjust from living by his lonesome to sharing a house with three eccentric ladies. The trio of beauties in question comprise of a busty vampire ninja, the silent necromancer who resurrected him and a magical girl who is a genius when it comes to cooking omelettes (she’s egg-cellent at preparing that dish.) Culinary puns aside, one horny teen and three quirky gals is the perfect “recipe” for a comedic harem show. If that sort of thing tickles your fancy you can currently buy the complete season two set from MVM Entertainment for around fifteen pounds.

I approached this second season of Is this a Zombie with trepidation because the original series felt like it was running out of steam by the time it concluded. The early episodes were hilarious, but I began to lose interest towards the end due to the show’s weak plot. The only way I could see the creators sustaining the franchise would be by adding more girls to the cast, which is precisely what they did. In addition to Ayumu’s roommates, the female quota is increased by the introduction of Ayumu’s classmate Taeko and Chris, a mysterious gothic Lolita who is constantly plastered on booze. Sarasvati, the bloodsucking singer from season one, also makes a return. She’s still an ice queen, but she now harbours a crush for Ayumu after discovering that he has an irresistible hiney.

This all means that my fears have come to pass. What little plot the series had has been abandoned in favour of eye candy. As I mentioned earlier the first season’s storyline wasn’t great, but it was deeper than what we get here. To give some examples, the episodes we get involve a day frolicking at the pool, Ayumu living down the embarrassment of his classmates spotting him in drag, Ayumu trying to score a free dessert by charming the maids at a cosplay cafe and Ayumu using an invisibility spell to sneak into the girls’ physical examination. He’s there to find a cursed pendant and not to ogle the ladies who are getting their breast measurements done… honest!

So what did I make of the series? I rather enjoyed it! Normally trading away story for fan service would be a strike against a series, but surprisingly it works in the show’s favour. Discarding the dull plot has allowed Is this a Zombie to focus solely on its biggest strength (wacky comedy) making it all the more fun to watch. The set is also good value for money given that it contains eleven episodes, an OVA and commentaries from the English voice cast (which is a more substantial extra than most anime releases get.) My final score is four stars. Prior to watching season two I wasn’t too keen on sampling more of Ayumu’s antics, but after viewing this enjoyable instalment I have to say that I wouldn’t be averse to checking out a season three.

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