Let’s be perfectly honest, Rea had it tough. Her father is a controlling creep and her mother a distant alcoholic. Yet, she’s supposed to be perfect. There has to be a way to escape from this life…
Sankarea: Undying Love (Rea Sanka) – Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire!
The hardest part about writing this post will be trying to focus on the anime which is what I wrote my other two Sankarea character posts on. Of course, I have since finished reading the manga and that would paint a very different picture of Rea. However, there are a lot of similarities, so I’m going to try to focus on those. To start with, Rea had a horrid existence. Her real mother died during childbirth, leaving Danichiro a battered husk of a man. His only connection to the woman he loved was his newborn child.
He pushed away his new wife, Aria who had nursed him back to health and focused entirely on Rea. This level of attention was hard from the start. Rea, a curious child often got into trouble for the most innocent of things. Maids were fired for not coddling Rea the way Danichiro demanded. And then there were the birthday pictures. Every year, Danichiro would take a photo of Rea to commemorate her birthday in her birthday suit… Yeah, Danichiro had not coped with the death of his first wife!
So, when we first met Rea, she was at the end of her tether. I feel like she was ready to give up and may have done so had Chihiro not interrupted her. Of course, being the reluctant perfect student, Rea was fascinated by what Chihiro was doing. At that point, he was the absolute opposite of Danichiro. He was trying to reanimate his dead cat. Danichiro hates cats and surely wouldn’t want Rea touching anything dead for fear of germs.
Chihiro included her in his scheme and even listened to her when she had an idea. I’m quite certain Danichiro has never really listened to a thing Rea has ever said. Chihiro is far from the perfect guy, in fact, he’s basically hopeless, but at the moment, he was just what Rea needed. So, when Chihiro was about to give up on reviving his cat, Rea knew that their time was over. All she had now was her family to fall back on and that’s not exactly giving her much hope. However, she saw a way to escape and took it – the zombie formula.
Rea was shown briefly what life could be like without her family, without her controlling and creepy father. There was no way she could return to it and pretend to be happy. Unfortunately, the zombie formula didn’t kill Rea. Danichiro had seen her coming home with Chihiro and planned on punishing him for being near Rea. Of course, she tried to warn him and then died in a horrible accident only to come back as a zombie. Ironically, this was the new start she had dreamt of.
Unfortunately, this just threw her into a new situation where she had no control. Chihiro was worried about her to the point of controlling what she could do, and where she could go. He even started to record footage of her, calling it documentation. Rea may not have realised it, but she had traded Danichiro for Chihiro and there really wasn’t much difference in their behaviour. Chihiro’s only saving grace was that he realised what he was doing, although he didn’t really stop.
The other thing that took away Rea’s control was the very thing that saved her – the zombie formula. In the anime, we only really saw her lose control for a couple of brief moments. The first was when she attacked Ranko and then bite Chihiro’s lip. Then, at the end of episode 12, we saw Rea jump on him and bite his neck. Rea couldn’t even control her own body. In the manga, they take this to the next level and show how Rea lost everything.
Amazingly, it was only when she truly lost everything that she was able to be free. I’m not entirely sure what the message is here, but I think it’s got to be a warning about accepting the lesser evil. Sometimes, things can’t be fixed and they need to be burnt to the ground in order to start fresh. This all sounds quite drastic and given that the series starts with Rea attempting to kill herself that might not be too far from the truth of it.
It’s all Sankarea right now. I’m halfway through reviewing the manga, the anime, and reposting my discussions from the first time I watched it with Yomu from the Umai Yomu Anime Blog in 2019. This is probably the last of my character posts for the series. Of course, if you’ve enjoyed this and want to see more of my thoughts on Sankarea: Undying Love, check out the posts below.
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