Sankarea: Undying Love (Chihiro Furuya) – Who Could Love a Zombie?

Sankarea Title

One of the strangest aspects of Sankarea is Chihiro’s insistence that he only likes zombie girls, even turning down the living. But what could make someone make such a bold and bizarre declaration?

Sankarea: Undying Love (Chihiro Furuya) – Who Could Love a Zombie?

I say one of the strangest aspects because there are a lot of crazy things going on in this series. Lots! Anyhow, Chihiro seems like a fairly normal high school boy. He likes horror movies and anything related to the undead. Sorry, he doesn’t just like them, he loves them. Even going so far as to make the declaration that he’s only interested in zombie girls.

His friends are quick to wonder how that could even work. She’s dead after all and who wants to do it with a dead person. However, Chihiro isn’t lusting after a zombie. That hasn’t even entered his mind. He’s genuinely looking for a girlfriend that is undead. So, what could possibly make someone feel like that is the best outcome for them?

Sankarea Episode 1 Chihiro Furuya

We learn fairly early on that Chihiro’s mother died when he was younger, leaving his father and grandfather to raise him and his little sister to pretty much take on the task of looking after the house and cooking. He also states that he barely even remembered his mother now and he’s come to terms with that. But has he really, and how does this influence Chihiro?

He may not admit it, but I think he feels abandoned. There’s no blame being placed, but I think he misses his mother and struggles to admit that he’s still grieving. That’s going to put quite a bit of pressure on the way he picks a girlfriend. He’s got abandonment issues and sees death as the ultimate form of that. So, wouldn’t it be better if his girlfriend couldn’t die? Sure, she may be a zombie, but she’s not going to die and leave him all alone. We saw how he handles death with his reaction to Babu’s untimely demise. It wasn’t good!

Sankarea Episode 1 Chihiro Furuya finds Babu

There’s also another possibility. Chihiro sees himself as a bit of an outsider. He’s an undead geek and that isn’t something that everyone can appreciate, which is why Ranko is the perfect girl for him, but I’ll get to that in another post. It could be possible for him to find a girlfriend by not revealing his macabre tastes, but that’s a lot of effort. So, how does a zombie girlfriend solve this problem?

I think it could simply be a way of saving face. Chihiro doesn’t want to try. Maybe, he’s afraid of failing or that someone will reject him because of the things he loves. It’s possible that he’s afraid to commit. We’ve seen it before in stories where someone will set such unreasonable standards so that they can avoid putting themselves in vulnerable positions. Declaring that you only want to date zombie girls means that Chihiro will never have to put himself out there… or so he thought!

Sankarea Episode 1 Chihiro Furuya reading the manual

Of course, it’s entirely possible that it’s a combination of these two situations. Chihiro has not gotten over his mother’s death. It’s hit him harder than he’s willing to admit and that’s where the defence mechanism comes from. I don’t think he finds zombies attractive, but the thought of someone you love never dying and never leaving you has to be attractive to someone that has experienced grief like that.

Then, we have Chihiro protecting his pride and avoiding facing rejection by creating an ideal of the perfect girl knowing full well that she cannot exist. I’m a huge zombie fan and often daydream about zombies becoming a reality and how I might deal with it, but I also know that the chances of it happening are infinitesimally low. Chihiro’s self-confessed love of zombie girls is a way of protecting himself from heartbreak, abandonment, and rejection. At least, that’s how I see it and not that he’s horny for the undead!

Sankarea Episode 1 Rea Sanka makes Chihiro Furuya an offer

Want More?

When I decided to review the Sankarea manga, I thought it would be fun to revive my series of collaborative posts from my old site based on the anime. We alternated hosting the discussions and since I hosted the first one, Yomu got the second one. They were first published at the beginning of 2019 and to keep them all together, Yomu agreed to republish them too. So, what are you waiting for, go check out our discussion based on episodes two and three – A Real Stand-Up Guy!

Other Posts in the Series

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    • Yeah, it’s a pretty good defence mechanism really. Can’t get rejected by someone that doesn’t exist.

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