Akira remembered what his childhood dream was – to be a superhero. Well, he might as well add it to the bucket list. Kencho was a little less sure of the situation given Akira had no powers, however, Akira had a plan.
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (Episode 5) – Hero of the Dead
What did you watch?
Much like this show, I’m back from an extended break where I went to a secluded cabin in the woods and basically scouted the place out as a possible location for the “inevitable” zombie apocalypse. It’s not a bad idea to have plans for every eventuality. No matter how absurd the scenario might be. Oftentimes, these plans can be used for more than one scenario. Anyhow, talking about the absurd, I remembered reading this arc in the manga and I wondered how that might be received in anime form. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about… and no, it’s not Kencho’s bum!
Akira woke up and remembered his childhood dream. He wanted to be a hero. Ever since he was a young child, he would don his superhero costume and help those who needed it, even fighting off older kids who were hurting a dog. Now, that he was older and the world had given him the freedom to do whatever he wanted, he was going to pursue that dream once more. Kencho, however, was a little less enthused by it. Akira had no powers. Surely, this wasn’t going to end well!
Luckily, Akira had a plan. They needed to visit the aquarium where he would hopefully find a shark suit. It was something like a cross between a wetsuit and chainmail armour, designed for use in shark and crocodile tanks. With this on, the zombies wouldn’t be able to bite him and turn him into a zombie. It was perfect… or so he thought. Outside the aquarium, they spotted a group of survivors running from zombies. Akira charged in and fought off the zombies as the survivors escaped to the safety of the aquarium. The suit stopped the zombies from being able to break his skin, but he still felt the pinch of the bites.
Once back inside, Akira discovered that Shizuka, the girl from the cover shop was there. Could this be fate? Their reunion was interrupted by a strange sound. Akira and Kencho found a zombie shark walking on the legs of the zombie divers it had eaten running around the aquarium. They tried to run, but Shizuka was separated from the group. Luckily, Akira ran back and leapt to her aid. He didn’t have a plan for what to do next, but Shizuka came up with something. Would they be able to defeat the zombie shark? Would this be enough to get Akira Shizuka’s contact details?
What did you think?
It’s completely absurd and yet, I can’t help but love it. There’s no way that shark should have functioned like that and certainly not have the ability to move the way it did. Even if we accept that the three zombie divers were somehow walking from within the shark’s body, they wouldn’t be able to move coherently or change direction at the shark’s will. The whole concept is nuts. However, it gave us a chance to see Akira doing what he does best – improvising and Kencho doing what he does best – getting naked. For the record, he does that in the manga a lot too. Anyhow, it was a fun episode, however, it didn’t have the same sort of message that the earlier episodes did. It’s nice to have a chance to just sit back and enjoy though so I have no complaints.
What was your favourite moment?
The best moment for me was when Akira discovered that the suit protected him from being bitten and turned into a zombie, it didn’t actually stop the zombies from biting him and it hurt. Then, to make things even funnier, Kencho left him out there to fight off four zombies who were presumably lying on top of him biting away. Ironically, that was the right choice in that scenario as Kencho did not have a suit and while Akira felt the pain, it didn’t actually hurt him. I love their relationship because they are quite clearly really good friends and act accordingly. Only a really good friend would leave someone to fight them off alone. A casual acquaintance might run in to help, but a great friend. They’ll be waiting for you with a beer when you’re done messing around.
Who was the most impactful character?
Without a doubt, it was Akira. He acts rashly and does things that make Shizuka wince. She finds their goals to do things before they become a zombie to be at odds with her goals of not becoming a zombie. However, Akira showed her that his actions might be reckless and impulsive, but they aren’t always bad. She would have been dead had he not acted in such a manner. Sure, she came through with a solution to defeat the shark, but without his attempts to save her, she wouldn’t have had the chance. He’s also a pretty smooth talker when he’s not thinking about it such as when he told her she was special to him which is why he acted that way when she told him off for not thinking about the people special to him.
Was there any conflict?
Uh! Zombie shark with six legs… Of course, that’s what they want you to think but as usual, it’s a little deeper than that. This episode really put Shizuka’s approach to the zombie apocalypse squarely against Akira’s approach to see which was better. Akira had a couple of early wins but Shizuka still managed to find holes in his actions and wasn’t afraid to tell him and Kencho off for being reckless and not thinking about how they were impacting those that mattered to them.
Of course, it was only when they decided to work together that things went their way. Akira’s enthusiasm and Shizuka’s thoughtfulness gave them an opportunity to defeat the shark and walk away unharmed. Alone, I don’t think either would have survived for long. This is a nice progression for things to come. Will they stick to their guns or start to soften their approaches to life after the end of the world?
What have you learnt?
The thing this episode showed me was that you can be completely and utterly ridiculous with your scenarios as long as they allow the characters to show off who they are. I don’t think we learnt anything new about them, but I think they learnt a little more about themselves and how their actions impact others. I also think that saw that there needs to be some sort of balance between approaches. I mentioned earlier in the season that Shizuka was in danger of losing her humanity if she continued to focus on surviving and not on living. The opposite is also true for Akira. If he doesn’t worry about surviving he won’t be able to live. There always needs to be some balance and it’s great that the characters were given a chance to see that.
Other posts in the series