Have you seen Sankarea: Undying Love? Well, we have and these are our observations based on episode one. It’s about a guy who wants to have a zombie girlfriend… and he may actually get what he wants!
Sankarea: Undying Love (Discussion 1) – An Anime ZomRomCom!
Back at the beginning of 2019, I embarked on a voyage of discovery with Yomu from the Umai Yomu Anime Blog where we would watch and discuss the ZomRomCom (zombie romantic comedy) series – Sankarea: Undying Love. Little did I know that I would rebrand my website at the end of 2019 and many of my older posts never came back! Well, it would appear that it’s time to resurrect these posts from 2019, especially as I am currently rewatching the series and about to read the manga.
The discussion below has not been changed and is our views at that time. I’m curious to see if my opinion will be changed. A lot has happened in three years so it’s entirely possible that I’ll see it differently. Anyhow, it’s time to look back into the past and relive the first of those discussions. This one relates entirely to Episode 1 – Once I… Become a… Zombie. Let’s get on with it!
What did you think?
When I first found Sankarea on MAL I thought it’d be an… interesting anime to watch. The idea of a character loving zombies to the point of wanting a zombie girlfriend, in an ecchi anime, just looked fun. And you know what? So far, it’s turned out to be more than I had initially expected on all fronts.
It had zombies in, so I was on board even before reading the synopsis. After reading the synopsis was a different story, but I was committed (or I will be when we get to the end). Thanks for picking this for our first collaboration project. It’s certainly going to be memorable.
I’m going to be honest, the picture for Sankarea on MAL, where you can see our protagonist’s “cat ear” hair, plus the synopsis, made me apprehensive that he’d be a really weird and awkward guy. So after the first three episodes, I’m glad that so far he has turned out to be pretty normal, despite his interests.
Oh, and thanks for joining in haha.
Normal! If that’s what the kids are calling it nowadays… In all seriousness, the zombie fetish aside, yeah, Chihiro was a fairly average guy. He lives with his family at a shrine and hangs out with his cousin and watches zombie movies. That’s all pretty normal, but then there’s the fetish. Chihiro has no interest in living girls, just reanimated zombie girls… oh, and his cat ear hairstyle seems to be somewhat alive!
He also had a cat called Babu… had being the optimal word there. Poor Babu was run over by Truck-kun. Luckily, Chihiro has a strange book in his possession that claims to have the formula for reanimating the dead and he’s going to try it out on poor Babu. What could possibly go wrong?
And wouldn’t you know, while at an abandoned building playing mad scientist, Chihiro happens to come across our heroine, the rich schoolgirl from across the pond. Rea, whom I immediately took a liking to simply because of her hime cut. I guess she’s got some serious issues at home, causing her to escape at night in order to vent her frustration.
Even the hime cut wasn’t enough for me, I was already firmly on team Ranko (that’s the zombie-movie loving cousin). I’m sure I’ll talk more about Ranko later, so let’s get back to Rea. I’ll admit the first episode didn’t go quite the way I was expecting. When I saw Rea screaming into the well with Chihiro watching on from above as he mixed his latest iteration of the zombie formula, I thought she was going to fall in and die, forcing him to use his formula on her. That seems like it would have been the safe way to play this, but this series is anything but safe…
I thought that she was a total tsundere! And that when she noticed Chihiro watching her, she was going to inflict some pain on him. What a surprise it was to find out she is actually the “sheltered rich girl” character type, who is very gullible and trusting because she lacks experience in the real world. I probably would have preferred the tsundere, but she still manages to be an interesting character with some family issues.
While it doesn’t happen right away, as a result of her disdain towards her controlling father, we find out that Rea has the desire to die, and that Chihiro’s zombie medicine might be just what she needs to escape her current life.
The real surprise for me was that having just met Chihiro, she was willing to die to become his zombie girlfriend. It felt a little sudden. Sure, he’d just turned her down as a living girlfriend because he likes zombie girls (who admits that to someone you’ve only just met?), but is he really worth killing yourself for?
At this stage, however, we hadn’t seen the full extent of Rea’s home life, which makes the whole zombie fetish look tame by comparison, but we’ll get to that in the next post.
The episode ended with a foreshadowing of what is to come, with a flash of zombie Rea, intestines hanging out. Makes me nervous to crown Rea best girl so early on, with her hime cut and all, that I am conflicted about the internal organs hanging out aspect… But I’ll do my best to remain faithful for now, she is still human after all.
Yeah, I really don’t know what to expect from this series. Obviously, there are going to be zombies and a fairly unusual love triangle with Chihiro, Rea, and Ranko. After that, who knows? I feel like anything could happen. At this stage, I’m fairly happy to have taken Ranko’s side. She looks far less likely to die than Rea and I’m loving her confidence.
I wonder how Rea will change when she becomes a zombie? She’s nice and innocent now, but will she become more bloodthirsty as a zombie? Honestly, I hope so, I feel like that could really spice things up in a good way. Ranko seems great too, if it wasn’t for the hime cut I’d probably be a Ranko fan as well. I predict some serious quarrels between Rea and Ranko.
Have any interesting predictions?
I agree that Rea could use an attitude adjustment and becoming a zombie may give her the confidence she needs. Seriously, did I just write that last sentence? As for predictions, the smart money is on Chihiro and Rea ending up together. How that’ll work if she’s a zombie, I’ve no idea, but it would be interesting if they have hunger-induced zombie rage to deal with. Could their carelessness cause a full-on zombie apocalypse? One can only hope so!
Personally, I’m still not exactly sure what to expect. I’m curious to see what direction the anime takes. Will it become more slice of life, with Chihiro and his zombie girlfriend just going to school and whatnot? Or will we see the introduction of more zombies and chaos as you mention? There’s going to be a lot to talk about, that’s for sure.
Thanks for joining me for this collab. We’ve been talking about doing a discussion collab like this for a while now with an ecchi anime, and this one looks like a real winner in that department. Looking forward to seeing what the anime has to offer, and seeing where our views differ!
I’m hoping for chaos, one way or another. Whatever happens, I think we’re going to have lots to discuss. Thanks for including me. I’m glad that we’ve found a title that hasn’t had much exposure, even if it’s a bit crazy. This should be an interesting series.
So, that’s it for our first collab post on Sankarea. Don’t forget to follow Yomu as we will be alternating the hosting of the reviews. I guess the real question now is, have we piqued your interest? Feel free to watch along with us, it’s going to be memorable! Thanks for reading.
Other posts in the series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Once I… Become a… Zombie
- Episode 2 – It was… Successful
- Episode 3 – Sanka… Rea
- Episode 4 – A Normal… Girl
- Episode 5 – If She’s a Zombie… That Means…
- Episode 6 – It’s Because I… Ran Into You
- Episode 7 – Childhood… Friends…
- Episode 8 – Counterfeit… Freedom…
- Episode 9 – A Mother’s… Hand…
- Episode 10 – Strong… Feelings…
- Episode 11 – Nothing… Really… Special
- Episode 12 – At That Moment… I…
- Episode 13 – I, Too, Am… A Zombie…
- Volume 1 – I Only Like Zombie Girls
- Volume 2 – My Decomposing Girlfriend
- Volume 3 – Fear the Foreigner
- Volume 4 – We Always Eat the Ones We Love
- Volume 5 – Boy, Medium Rare
- Volume 6 – Cat Scratch Fever
- Volume 7 – The Zombie Holy Land
- Volume 8 – Daddy Dearest
- Volume 9 – Lights, Camera, Resurrection!
- Volume 10 – Cold Truths
- Volume 11 – A Hearty Meal
- Character Analysis