Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Zombie Loan Review (Japanese)
As the month of June comes to a close, it’s time for the second and final review of Zombie Month! This one is way different then High School of the Dead, and, luckily, doesn’t have fan service every five seconds (My niceness is gone for that series now)! The anime? Zombie Loan.
This Action/Comedy series is based off the manga by Peach-Pit, published by Square Enix. The English version is available from Yen Press. The thirteen episode anime is from Xebec M2 Studio and has yet to be licensed in America. It originally ran in the summer of 2007.
Michiru Kita is a special girl who possesses Shinigami Eyes, a power which allows her to see the span of a person's life, indicated by a ring (invisible to normal people), around the person's neck. When a person is marked to die, a gray ring appears, which darkens over time. Once the ring turns completely black, the person dies. Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana, two boys in her class, both have black rings around their necks, and to her surprise, are not yet dead. It is revealed that after a tragic accident that was supposed to kill them both, the two boys made a deal with a secret loan office called the Zombie-Loan. In return for keeping them alive, the two have to hunt zombies for the loan office. When Michiru gets involved with them, she finds that her life has just become more complicated.
The look of the series isn’t a big stand out, but it’s not terrible either. I would say it’s more of your average anime rather then a flop. It has it’s unique moments with the drawing and the colors, but it’s still nothing too spectacular. The animation isn’t lazy either. Zombie Loan just seems like your average, put together anime.
The story is pretty interesting. It certainly takes the idea of zombies with human wills and desires and makes it stand out among different zombie stories. It plays out very nicely with some of the characters in the series, especially Chika Akatsuki. He’s the big character who wants to be truly alive again, so he’s doing whatever he can to get himself out of debt with Zombie Loan. You don’t seen as much aspiration in Shito Tachibana, but it’s because of completely different reasons. The one big problem with the plot is how the anime ended. By episode 11 you have a resolution to the current troubles they get in, but then for two more episodes it looks like the beginning of a new season. However, there are only supposed to be 13 episodes total in the series. According to online sources, only the first 11 episodes aired in Japan; the last two that make the 13 are only available on DVD. My guess is Zombie Loan wasn’t received well in Japan and eventually got the ax by the end of the first season. The last two episodes that never aired made it to DVD as an extra and a preview of what could have been; because the start of the second season looked like the story would really pick up. I’m just sad it never took off.
The characters, as I said before, are mostly zombies with human will. The only ones who are not zombies would have to be Mr. Bekko and Koyomi (although, they both have tricks of their own). Michiru Kita, in the beginning of the series, isn’t a zombie, but she dies, then Chika and Shito decide to save her because of her Shinigami Eyes. The three main characters each go through their own piece of development, and, in fact, they go one at a time through the series. First is Michiru, then Chika, and last is Shito. Is it a bad thing they they focus on one person at a time? Not if it works in the series, and for Zombie Loan it actually does. Sticking with one character for a few episodes while they develop works pretty well for this anime. At points, it does have it’s problems, but you don’t have to worry about trying to follow multiple characters developing at once. On the other hand, the way they did character development also kind of dumbs the series down a little.
So, the animation is average, the story is okay, and the characters aren’t half bad...... There really isn’t much to talk about. Besides a few very memorable pieces here and there, there isn’t anything exciting to make me say “Wow! This is awesome!” Sure the idea of zombies with human will is an interesting idea, but I’m pretty sure something like that has been done before somewhere. It was exciting to watch, but after you finish you don’t really remember or care for the show. The show is just a big hit or miss depending on the viewer. Sadly, for me, it is a bit of a miss. I’m not saying it’s not bad, cause it’s not, I’m just saying I’ve seen it done better. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but compared to High School of the Dead, Zombie Loan is like dirt while High School of the Dead is like a raging fire destroying everything in it’s path, deliberately engaging you as opposed to just existing.
At the end of the day, Zombie Loan takes a different approach with the word “Zombie” to create a fairly unique concept. Otherwise then that, it’s your average anime. I think I understand now why Zombie Loan was cut short. I still recommend this show for it’s concept and it’s characters, but, again, it’s a hit or miss depending on the person.
Well, that’s it for Zombie Month! Hope you enjoyed looking at reviews for two zombie anime. Both High School of the Dead and Zombie Loan are pretty good watches, whether you prefer fan service and survival to different kind of zombies and interesting characters. The next couple of reviews for July and August are:
Le Chevalier D’Eon
Memorable Anime Villains (With assistance from Hasteaguy)
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
If you have any suggestions for future reviews, send my a shout! Leave a comment on this review, leave a post on the Facebook page. I’m still currently looking for anime to review in the future, and, so far, have a fairly good size list. The more anime suggested, the more reviews I’ll have in store for all of you!