At first glance, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead seems like just another zombie apocalypse tale. But this inventive anime offers a cheerful twist on the familiar zombie formula that will win over both hardcore horror fans and casual viewers. Based on a popular manga series, Zom 100 follows Akira, an unhappy office worker trapped in a soul-crushing job. But when zombies overrun Tokyo, Akira sees a silver lining – he’s finally free to ditch work and live life to the fullest! With the help of his slacker best friend and a quirky crew of survivors, Akira sets out to complete an epic bucket list before he transforms into one of the walking dead himself.
What sets Zom 100 apart is its vibrant visual style and surprisingly feel-good vibe. Splashes of bright, almost neon colors contrast with traditional zombie gore, matching the show’s optimism in the face of doom. And while there’s no shortage of undead action, Zom 100 balances chilling moments with goofy buddy comedy and even slice-of-life drama. Through Akira and friends’ misadventures, the show explores relatable themes like seizing the day and overcoming personal demons with empathy and humor.
So if you think you’ve seen every variation of zombie stories, think again. Zom 100 brings an energetic twist to the genre that horror fans and anime lovers alike will appreciate. With lovable characters and buckets of fun, this zombie apocalypse might not seem so apocalyptic after all!
A Vibrant Twist on Grim Zombie Visuals
Zom 100 stands out from the undead crowd with its burst of vibrant colors and visual flair. Many zombie stories rely on dark, dreary color palettes to underscore the bleakness of a post-apocalyptic world. But Zom 100 uses a candy-colored design to mirror its protagonists’ cheerful worldview despite the carnage surrounding them.
Even the gore gets a fluorescent makeover. Instead of regular blood and guts, most of the zombie violence is depicted with splashes of bright pink, green and blue, like a demented paintball match. This creates a playful vibe, though the show still pulls no punches when pivotal moments call for realistic gore.
The first episode is a masterclass in using visuals to set themes. As office drone Akira sleepwalks through his depressing work life, colors are muted, and the aspect ratio feels boxy and confined. But when zombies appear, it’s as if a switch is flipped – not only do hues become vibrant, but Akira gleefully “rips the black bars” off the screen, expanding the frame along with his newfound freedom. It’s a creative touch that wordlessly conveys Akira’s profound shift in outlook.
Throughout the season, composition and framing amplify key emotional beats as skillfully as live-action cinema. And while animation quality fluctuates, even average-looking episodes burst with visual wit, like fight scenes sending zombies flying with Looney Tunes-esque slapstick physics.
So in terms of both style and substance, Zom 100 offers a colorful explosion of creativity to the zombie genre. Whether it’s dreary or darkly comedic, the show’s ever-changing visual moods are as dynamic as its characters. For anime fans craving something fresher than typical undead fare, Zom 100 definitely delivers.
Flawed Friends on a Journey of Self-Discovery
The heart of Zom 100 lies with its central trio – Akira, his slacker BFF Kencho, and tough girl Shizuka. While the show revolves around zombies, it’s really a story of personal growth and seizing life’s potential.
Our downtrodden protagonist Akira is instantly relatable for anyone stuck in an unsatisfying routine. Pre-apocalypse, he was a suit-wearing zombie sleepwalking through a bleak corporate existence. Now with oblivion facing him daily, Akira finally starts living his truth, crossing off bucket list goals like drinking beer all day or visiting a maid cafe. Through Akira, Zom 100 explores the quest for meaning when societal norms vanish, a thoughtful theme amid the comedy.
Akira doesn’t transform alone; his friends experience change too. Kencho sheds his perpetual man-child persona to reveal leadership skills that surprise both himself and others. Shizuka begins icy and closed-off, adamant that attachments lead to pain. But bonds with Akira’s crew gradually chip away her loner facade.
Each character harbors past traumas, from workplace abuse to family loss, and the found family dynamics prove cathartic. Scenes like Akira facing down his cruel former boss work as both sitcom-style clowning and emotional catharsis from injustice. The show gives its protagonists space to articulate grievances, get even in silly ways, and move forward.
While zombie fury swirls around the group, their real enemy is inner turmoil. Akira’s mantra is to live fully before zombification, so every small joy takes on heightened stakes. The friends encourage each other, brainstorm bucket list ideas, and share hard-earned wisdom like life coaches. They model uplifting behavior without ever seeming preachy.
By using colorful characters to emphasize seizing the day, Zom 100 transforms the zombie apocalypse from depressing doomscape to liberating rebirth. The show may dabble in slapstick absurdism, but its core philosophy resonates deeply.
A Zany Zombie Romp That Starts Strong
Zom 100 quickly draws viewers into its offbeat apocalyptic world with a powerful opening episode. Akira’s pre-zombie office life drags with mind-numbing slowness. But once the living dead appear, the show’s pace shifts hard into overdrive. The action barely pauses for Akira to grab his baseball bat before slamming into the series’ first big set piece.
Propelled by Akira’s new carpe diem attitude, early episodes bounce wildly from one madcap adventure to the next. The group faces down zombies while parkouring across rooftops to reach a maid cafe. They battle the undead in a shopping mall just to fetch a luxury kotatsu blanket. Every mini escapade crossing items off Akira’s bucket list is more absurd than the last.
The brisk pace mirrors the friends’ breathless journey. They speed through locations symbolic of material pursuits—fancy restaurants, anime shops, robot cabarets. As with many road trip stories, the madcap momentum matters more than specific story beats. And the series’ staggering imagination conjures up zombie chaos in increasingly weird locales, like a shark-infested aquarium.
However, the breakneck speed slows a bit as character drama and interpersonal subplots take center stage in later episodes. While the characters benefit from added dimension, the plot itself loses steam. This sag aligns with the show’s mid-season production delay which disrupted its flow.
Yet Zom 100 rebounds for an action-packed finale that deviates from the formula in clever ways. And even when drifting story-wise, the series retains its flair for visual comedy and wit. For zombie fans craving nonstop, blood-soaked hijinks, the show’s first half forms a rip-roaring undead rollercoaster you won’t want to miss.
Thrills and Chills With a Comedic Twist
You can’t have a zombie story without gnarly action and horror, and Zom 100 delivers plenty of undead carnage. What makes its scenes pop is the series’ twisted sense of comedic flair. One moment, a zombie’s grubby hands burst through a door reaching for human flesh. The next, a character cracks a perfectly-timed one-liner while bashing skulls left and right with slapstick flair.
The show constantly subverts expectations. A tense chase down a highway suddenly becomes a chance for the survivor group to film their own flamboyant dance video, just because. As zombies rip people apart, the vibe feels more like a rave gone wrong than terrifying bloodbath.
Not to say the show doesn’t get nasty at times. Some gory money shots feature oozing intestines and spurting arteries true to Romero form. One group of survivors meets a particularly horrific fate too disturbing to spoil. Zom 100 just doles out these harsh moments judiciously for maximum impact.
The action scenes themselves prove wildly inventive, enhanced by playful physics. Characters bounce off walls and surf down stairs on zombies in ways that mirror video games and anime. And horror fans will appreciate nods to the genre’s greatest hits, like the wickedly funny zombie shark sequence recalling Jaws.
By blending cheeky comedy and gritty horror beats, Zom 100 keeps viewers on their toes. You’ll laugh at the over-the-top carnage one scene, only to be choking back gasps the next when things take a dark turn. It’s a slippery balance that the series nails perfectly.
A Fresh Take on Decaying Tropes
By now, the zombie genre feels completely tapped out. Yet Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead breathes new life into the shambling dead with its vivacious style and smart subversion of conventions. Rather than simply check off overdone cliches, Zom 100 delivers a poignant spin on familiar tropes.
At its blood-spattered heart, the show provides thoughtful reflection on regret, trauma, and the urgency of living boldly. Protagonist Akira and his friends model uplifting behavior without ever seeming preachy, forming the emotional core that elevates Zom 100 above hollow gore-fests. Even when the plot meanders a bit midway, the well-developed characters and themes keep things compelling.
And make no mistake – horror hounds will still get their fix of demented zombie antics as well. Zom 100 blends dark, visceral action with slapstick comedy and visual surreality, guaranteeing gleefully unhinged entertainment. Whether it’s facing down a shark zombie or raging against former abusers, Akira and company find catharsis and fun amidst the chaos.
For viewers bored with played-out zombie stories, Zom 100 provides a long-overdue rush of vibrant genre-blending action. By the end, the deeper themes will resonate with viewers as much as the raucous surface-level thrills. Despite a few mid-season lulls, Zom 100 still succeeds wonderfully in its goal to cross “make a damn cool zombie anime” off its own bucket list. Here’s hoping for more unrestrained undead escapades in Season 2!
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead
With its vibrant visuals, lovable characters, and feel-good themes, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead breathes new life into the zombie genre. By turns hilarious, poignant, and shocking, the show strikes a masterful balance for a wholly unique take on the undead apocalypse. Both a rollicking horror romp and thoughtful tale of trauma and growth, Zom 100 offers crossover appeal for die-hard anime fans and casual viewers alike.
- Vibrant visual style and coloring
- Great balance of comedy and horror
- Relatable characters and themes
- Creative adventures and zombie encounters
- Strong first few episodes
- Animation quality inconsistent
- Plot loses some momentum halfway through
- Some character development lacking