Akira, Kencho, Shizuka, and Beatrix arrive at the tunnel that would lead to Gunma, however, it is blocked off and packed full of zombies. Their only hope of getting there is to take the mountain route on foot!
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (Episode 9) – Treehouse of the Dead
What did you watch?
This series is constantly keeping us guessing. When will the next episode air? Is this the last one? Why is Beatrix so amazing? I know, that last one was rhetorical. Anyhow, delays and rumours of the series ending after nine episodes aside, I want to get straight into this episode as there is a lot to talk about, and it pretty much sums up the entire ethos of the series. Let’s do it!
Akira was getting excited and a little anxious to see his parents. They were farmers from a small village and his father often questioned Akira’s intentions of going away to college and getting a job in advertising. He wanted his son to dream big. The biggest dream he could imagine. Despite not understanding what his father could know about it, being a simple farmer, Akira was worried that he would disappoint them. So, when their trip home was stopped by a blocked tunnel and a horde of zombies, they took to the mountain trail.
Not long after leaving the road, they were shocked by screams and a zombie boar. Beatrix took it down with an arrow, saving the old man running from it. He thanked them and then showed them why he was in the forest to begin with. Mr. Kumano had come to build a new home away from the cities where he could survive off the land. He was building a treehouse! Akira’s eyes lit up. Everyone else knew what was coming. They were going to build a treehouse. While building, Mr. Kumano told Akira how he had always planned on building a treehouse with his son, but when Akira asked him about his son, he broke down. His wife bit his son and he was forced to finish them off with his bare hands.
Akira learned a lot from Mr. Kumano. He discovered that he could listen to the forest by being mindful of the trees and the earth. In turn, he could listen to the world by being aware of those around him and their needs. He also had a sudden urge to get home to his parents. They said goodbye to Mr. Kumano and continued the dangerous trail. Luckily, that would have kept any zombies from wandering in. However, when they arrived the village appeared deserted! Akira ran, searching for survivors. He found them dancing in their underwear, celebrating the harvest…
What did you think?
I think this might be my favourite episode yet. The scene with Mr. Kumano when he told Akira about his family was heartbreaking, but it was also a lesson. Akira knew that he needed to take the time he had to do things with the people that mattered to him. All of a sudden, his parent’s lifestyle didn’t seem so crazy, but usually, you need to see it from afar to get that sort of perspective. When you’re living it, everything else seems that much more exciting. Even when I read the manga, I saw his father hitting him way before it happened and the anime caught that moment perfectly. It was a nice reunion and I liked that his parents were ready for him to dote on them. They were strong and capable. They never wanted him to become their servant. Like any parent, they want him to be happy and to follow his dreams.
What was your favourite moment?
This may seem odd, but I’m saying this because I know what’s coming. The introduction of Kanta Hagurashi is huge. The thing you may have noticed about his flashback was how similar it was to Akira’s introduction in episode one. Providing they spend the next three episodes on the Hometown of the Dead arc, there will be an amazing moment which shows how much Akira has grown. I don’t want to spoil anything so all I say is watch how similar these two are.
Who was the most impactful character?
It has to be Mr. Kumano. I loved how profound he was about the forest and listening to the trees. I loved how he was like a wise old guru who taught them practical things and helped them realise what was important. Akira was already on his way home, but he was no doubt having cold feet as he worried how his parents might react to his horrible job and how it kept him from coming home. Talking with Mr. Kumano put his worries to rest. He needed to take the time he had when he had it. Putting it off any further was like Mr. Kumano saying he would build a treehouse with his son when he retired. Do it today. Make those memories now before you miss the opportunity.
Was there any conflict?
Not so much conflict in the usual understanding, but there was the moment when Akira was trying to do the dishes or give his mother a shoulder massage. He wanted to repay them for the life they had given him. He wanted to be a good son. She was just happy that he was all right and suggested that he would be tired from the trip so he should rest.
Then, there was the moment he asked his father if his back had gotten any better and he simply said it was pretty much the same. The thing Akira had forgotten is that these are hardy people. They work all year, tending to their crops, looking after the land, and preparing for the next season. Yes, it’s hard work, but they are used to it. Again, they don’t want his help, they want him to be happy. They want him to find his dream.
What have you learned?
This series is ultimately about stepping away from the monotonous drudge that is modern-day life. The opening animation shows this perfectly with the zombies on the train all tapping away at the mobile devices. Akira realised this when the zombie apocalypse began. He saw it as a chance to be free and he embraced it. He made his list of things to do and then he started doing them. Contrast that with Kanta who experienced the same thing, but instead of wondering how he could embrace life, he has decided that he’s going to get revenge on a society that abandoned him. They couldn’t be more opposite if they tried… or could they?
Other posts in the series
- Volume 1 – Akira of the Dead
- Volume 2 – Flight Attendant of the Dead
- Volume 3 – Truck Stop of the Dead
- Volume 4 – Hot Springs of the Dead
- Volume 5 – Hometown of the Dead
- Volume 6 – Hometown of the Dead Part 2
- Volume 7 – Suite of the Dead
- Volume 8 – Boredom of the Dead
- Volume 9 – Millionaire of the Dead
- Volume 10 – Geisha of the Dead
- Volume 11 – Cruise Ship of the Dead
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Akira of the Dead
- Episode 2 – Bucket List of the Dead
- Episode 3 – Best Friend of the Dead
- Episode 4 – Flight Attendant of the Dead
- Episode 5 – Hero of the Dead
- Episode 6 – RV of the Dead
- Episode 7 – Truck Stop of the Dead
- Episode 8 – Sushi & Hot Springs of the Dead
- Episode 9 – Treehouse of the Dead
- Season One