Kencho has committed himself to Akira’s cause by adding an item to the list. First thought, they need to get a new big-screen TV because… well, it’s on the list. If they’re lucky they might cross off some more!
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (Episode 4) – Flight Attendant of the Dead
What did you watch?
I can’t tell you how good it is to see a zombie anime series again. It’s been far too long, and while I enjoyed Zombieland Saga, it’s just not the same. I love the survival part of it and the connections people make and break as they try to stay alive. Now, I knew this episode was coming as it’s basically the first chapter of volume two of the manga, but even that didn’t fully prepare me. Sometimes, you’re better off not knowing than having to live through it twice. Anyhow, let’s get on with it.
Akira and Kencho were stay-home camping on the roof of a building in downtown Tokyo. They had a hammock, a TV and video game, and a barbecue. It was great. Kencho commented that they wouldn’t even know they were in Tokyo, but I think that was more because of how quiet it was now. Kencho made a comment about how Akira would never get a girlfriend if he couldn’t cook, which made him swear to get a girlfriend that same day. Ambitions! Anyhow, the first thing he wanted to do was get a really big TV to play video games on, so off they went.
Kencho had recently added an item to the list and told Akira that he would have died without him, so he was staying with Akira until the end. They made it to the department store but the streets were covered in wreckage. Then, an oil tanker being driven by a zombie came hurtling down the road. It crashed and exploded forcing Akira to race his motorbike into the underground walkways. Unfortunately, there were zombies there too. They slid beneath a shutter and closed it behind them. Inside, they found some survivors and a lot of food and booze, so they could wine and dine them… Then, they discovered they were flight attendants… What were the chances?
After partying a little too hard, Akira found himself throwing up in the toilet. Surprisingly, Yukari, one of the flight attendants came to his aid. She comforted him and asked him about his soul-crushing job. Meanwhile, Kencho and Mika found the bedding department and one thing led to another. That left Reika drinking with the other survivor. However, he had been bitten and soon turned. He infected Reika who then got Mika. Kencho fought her off, but the guy had vanished. He showed up moments later and interrupted Akira and Yukari’s heart-to-heart, bitting her in the process. She thanked Akira for his kind words and then gave him the shove he needed to run and abandon her. As they escaped, Kencho found an 80-inch TV!
What did you think?
Like I said, even knowing what happens this was tough to watch. That moment when Yukari basically had to push Akira to get him to run will stay with me for some time. She knew she was already finished and so did he, but that didn’t make it any easier. There were some goofy moments that bothered me, but since it’s a zombie series I’m not going to get too annoyed. Basically, Kencho fell off the bike when it skidded to a halt and was fine. There just happened to be an open shutter. And, finally, you’ve got to be insane to get that drunk when you don’t know how secure the place is in a zombie apocalypse. These are all fairly standard tropes and do add to the entertainment value. I used to get annoyed that they could make people look so idiotic, but times have shown that people are more than capable of it.
What was your favourite moment?
It was definitely the moment between Akira and Yukari. The idea of following someone else’s dreams rather than your own is one that resonates with me. I’ve spent a lot of my life being fairly aimless. I found something I was good at and just did it. I’ve been doing it for a long time and have quite the resume, however, I look at it and just see years and years of wasted time. At least now, I know what I want to do and am making steps to achieve that, but that was still quite the stinging observation.
I liked how Akira was able to ask Yukari if being a flight attendant was her dream or not and if it was then who cares what some stuffy old guy thinks. Their brief moment together was surprisingly heartfelt and I think that’s what made her death that much harder to take. That’s why he couldn’t just run away without her giving him a push. That said, they do seem to bounce back remarkably quickly given that the girl he was just talking with and Kencho was just sleeping with were now dead.
Who was the most impactful character?
That has to be Yukari because of her impact on Akira. She made him realise that he hadn’t just quit an awful job with an exploitative company, but he had quit someone else’s dream. It’ll be interesting to see why he ended up down that path, but that’ll no doubt be for another time. I liked that she initially scolded him for asking if she had a boyfriend in the middle of the zombie apocalypse and after they had just met. Can’t imagine that would have eased the tensions when they didn’t know one another and the apocalypse tends to me people do things they wouldn’t normally do. Still, she came to see if he was all right after snorting a bottle of tequila! I’m sad that I had to see her go that way twice.
Was there any conflict?
Obviously, the initial conflict came from finding the survivors. At first, they were rightly defensive of Akira and Kencho coming into their safe space, although the already open shutter was an oddity. Maybe the guy left it open and was the previous person to come in. He didn’t seem to have any affiliation with the flight attendants. It’s possible, he was a flight attendant too or even a pilot, but no one seemed to be that bothered with him at all. I was surprised to see them all settle down so quickly. What were the chances there was another way into the building or that the fire out front hadn’t done something to make an opening?
This is one of those moments where zombie apocalypse logic comes in and you can either tolerate it or you can’t. Either way, the most significant moment of conflict was when Akira didn’t want to leave Yukari after she had been bitten. It was a nice touch that they hugged and consoled one another given the circumstances. I feel like moments like this show how emotionally grounded Akira is. Would Shizuka have hugged someone she had just met who had been bitten? I don’t think so.
What have you learnt?
It goes to show that if you get the moment right, it doesn’t matter how many times someone sees it. The emotional impact is what we’re going for as a writer. One aspect is making the audience care about a character. Having Yukari rub Akira’s back while he was being sick was that moment. In Hollywood, it’s sometimes known as saving the cat. If a character saves the cat, we know we can trust them. We can let our guard down. That’s what we saw with Yukari. She stepped up and helped Akira. From there, it just snowballed as they talked, discussing their dreams and offering one another advice. The conversation became more real because we cared about them. And, as soon as you care, that’s when they get you!
Other posts in the series