Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sankarea: A Zombie Anime Now on Hulu

Sankarea is an anime about a zombie obsessed boy who figures out how to bring people (and cats) back to life as zombies. Basically, Chihiro Furuya finds an old book while cleaning out a temple and it happens to have a recipe for reanimation inside of it. There's one drawback to this though, and that is that the main ingredient is illegible and all he knows is that it is some type of poisonous plant. After his cat is hit by a car and killed, Furuya takes the cat's corpse into an abandoned hotel and spends days trying to recreate the recipe and bring it back to life. While he is at the hotel, he notices that a girl from the local all girls high school comes every night to scream her troubles down into the well. She finally notices him and the two become friends. She also wants to help bring his cat back to life and may have the key to the reanimation potion; she knows that hydrangeas happen to be poisonous and could be the poisonous plant the recipe is missing. This is where the story takes a strange turn and we learn that the girl, Sanka Rea, is the heiress of a prestigious family and that her father is kind of obsessed with her. (He takes naked pictures of her every year to "document her growth"). Her dad finds out she's been sneaking out of the house every night to see this boy and forbids her from going. She then tries to kill herself by drinking the reanimation poison they made the night before but wakes the next day to find that it didn't work. More stuff happens that leads to Sanka Rea falling off a cliff to her horrendous death in front of both her father and Furuya. They are both shocked even further when she gets back up with all of her guts spilling out and walks off with Furuya to live the free life she always wanted as a zombie.

I haven't actually finished this anime yet, but it's been around for a while now and I only have about four more episodes left to watch. From what I've seen, this anime has such a crazy mix of genres I think it'll appeal to you regardless of what kinds of anime you like to watch. There's the horror element in that Rea is a zombie and Furuya is an avid horror and zombie aficionado, then you have the shoujo element in the love story that ensues between the two main characters, there's also the slice of life genre in that you get to see the two in their daily lives as Rea moves in with Furuya and his family and also tries to evade her heartbroken father seeking revenge, and then there is also some drama with the dark themes of sexual abuse and self harm coming into play throughout the story. If you're into ecchi anime this one is full of fanservice with Rea usually only wearing a tee shirt as she no longer feels temperature and has no need for clothing anymore. (Also there's an entire scene where Rea gets so hungry that she "attacks" Furuya's cousin and rips off the cousins shirt and starts to lick her all over.)

My main reason behind watching this was that I had heard from someone online a long time ago that they really liked this anime and I thought a zombie love story seemed kind of unique so I figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out. It's not the most mind boggling anime or even one that will stand out too much but so far I've enjoyed watching it and seeing how the relationship between the two main characters progresses. It also features a childhood friend dilemma like many other shoujo but kind of shuts it down early on because Furuya states that he only has romantic interest in zombie girls and happens to have one living in his house. I also think that I wouldn't like this anime as much as I do if there wasn't comedy in it. Because it's a light-hearted anime a lot of the things going on, such as the father's sexual abuse and blatant disregard for his daughter's mental well being, would be hard to stomach.

All in all I would say that you shouldn't really go out of your way to watch this, but it's not a bad anime. I'm actually really enjoying watching it and I'm now interested in reading the manga to see if there are any noticeable changes between the two mediums. I blindly bought the first two volumes years ago and haven't even opened them yet so I figure I should get something out of the money I spent on it. (There are only nine volumes and they've all been translated and released in America if you're wanting to check them out.) There are some moments that horror fans might appreciate like when Furuya goes into his happy place and is dressed like Shaun from Shaun of the Dead or when you get to check out his shelf dedicated to horror merchandise. If you're looking for something not too over the top horror-wise and a quick watch then definitely check this one out. Also if a boy with cat ears appeals to you this is your anime. I watched/am watching all twelve episodes on Hulu and I think they might have started to release the English dub for it, but I'm not completely sure about that yet. But definitely check it out, you're bound to get something out of it.


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