Ayumu, normal high school boy, is killed by a serial killer but finds himself brought back to life by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe. As a more or less unkillable zombie, Ayumu is decides to track down his killer but soon finds himself encountering magical girls, vampire ninja and pretty much anything else you might want to throw into a story.
While I have a fairly well documented history at this point in time of not loving comedy, particularly over-the-top comedy that falls on standard tropes of boy fantasing over girl, accidentally tripping and kissing her, cross dressing, or anything else of that nature, and I also don’t particularly love harem shows though being a harem show doesn’t make it necessarily bad, it would seem that Kore wa Zomie Desu Ka (or Is This a Zombie?) doesn’t have a lot to offer me. Which is why it was kind of surprising in the first two episodes when I found myself laughing out loud.
There are two things this show does very right (at least in the first couple of episodes) that make it work for me. The first is it knows that the joke or visual gag that they are about to use has been used a thousand times before and they still play it straight but try to either push it further or manipulate the situation so the outcome is slightly different from the audience’s expectation. It doesn’t give off that air of smugness that some self-aware shows have nor does it feel like a lazy draw from a hat about which trope they are about to fling across the screen. The second thing is does right is contrast. Despite the absurdity of everything that happens and the mix of characters, Ayumu’s death and undeath is treated with a great deal of respect, at least by Eucliwood, and at times manages to bring some genuine drama into an otherwise frivolous mix.
The problem though is that there is only so far you can push a joke and this show just keeps trying to add elements to the mix to keep it fresh and funny while it is forced to escalate the drama and danger due to the strength of the characters it has constructed. The end result is after awhile it all starts to wear thin and you just have to wonder why it is nobody is aware of what is going on when it seems like the supernatural is literally dropping on top of them. The other problem being that after the first couple of episodes, other than the occasional sweet moment between Ayumu and Eucliwood, the fact that he can’t die is very much used as fodder for jokes and there’s only so many fatal injuries a character can sustain before it stops kind of being funny and just becomes a desperate cry for help.
As more and more supernatural girls pile into his house (of course his parents are not present), the sharpness of the humour takes a dive and what we are left with is reasonably entertaining (it never becomes unwatchably bad or painful) but it isn’t overly note-worthy either.
There are some great action pieces strewn throughout the show and a few of the confrontations with the supernatural return to that dark drama that worked so well as a background for the humour early in the series so even as some parts of the show become tired they continue to draw you along with the parts of the show that consistently work.
At the end though, it is a harem-comedy jazzed up with supernatural foolishness and while it will give you a laugh ultimately it doesn’t raise itself beyond the trappings of those genres and it doesn’t really need to. That said, I didn’t go in for season 2 of this because while I enjoyed it well enough, I was definitely done with the magical-girl-zombie-boy by the final episode of this.
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16 thoughts on “Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka”
Comedy is extremely hit or miss for me. I love some comedy others I can’t stand. I actually enjoyed this show. It’s one of my guilty pleasures like High School DXD. Sure the jokes might be silly but they made me laugh. I watched both seasons. It funny how absurd it was. I probably enjoyed the second season better than the first. Though I can’t put my finger on why. Too bad it will probably never get a third season to wrap up it’s cliffhanger. Guess it’s on my manga to read list.
I kind of avoid harecchi comedy series which doesn’t has a good story line. But this show was somehow able to make me stick to it till the second season (Maybe because of it’s absurd drama?) However, looking back, I see myself enjoying the series, but it still was not something that could make me vividly remember the story. As always, a great review!
I think I’d struggle with some of the finer points of the story, still entertaining enough and for me to stick out a comedy series it had to have something going for it.
One season of this show was enough, so good call on not following up on season two. I still stand by the opinion that it’s a hilarious show, but that’s all that it really offers.
Thanks for sharing.
I’m tempted to watch this for the magical-girl-zombie-boy. That’s not something you see often.
Comedy shows are usually hit or miss for me but maybe this will be a hit. It was fun to read your review in any case.
Yeah, with comedy it is impossible to know how you will take to it until you watch it. Usually it doesn’t work for me. Something about this one kind of appealed.
Fabulous review! *smiley face*
Ruuuuuun-oooooooooon fiiiiiiiiiiirst senteeeeeeeeeeeeence, man!
I liked the first season for what it was worth, but years later, I could only stomach two episodes of the second season, so I’m almost fearful about going back to the first season for a re-watch. I’m pretty sure I’m going to despise it. Good write-up.
Yeha, that first sentence did kind of get away from me.
Hmm, this does sound like a fun show, especially after reading through this review. I am not a big fan of comedy myself, but if it has you laughing out loud, I might give this one a try sometime in the future. That said, the storyline is so utterly crazy that I have really become curious about it 😊 Great review!
I think this one was just over the top enough for me to see the absurd in it and it worked.
Yeah, season 2 feels the exact same as season 1. It’s funny but really isn’t worth watching if you don’t like the comedy (as it’s the only real thing I feel this series has going for it)