Is this a harem show? Is this a magical girl program? Is this a fighting anime? I'm talking about Is this a Zombie? and it's all that and more. The 13-episode series is a wonderful mash-up of several anime sub-genres and it manages to pull it off with a nice comic flair. Fans will want to search this one out.
Ayumu Aikawa is a typical high school student... except for the fact that he's dead. While going to the store one evening he heard a girl scream, went to investigate, and was murdered by a serial killer. That would have been the end to his story except that he had just made friends with an odd girl who doesn't talk by the name of Eucliwood Hellscythe. She happens to be a necromancer and brought he new friend back to life. Now he's a zombie, but not the 'must eat brains' kind. He appears normal and can survive any injury (and he even heals his wounds incredibly quickly) but he can't go out in the sun without experiencing a lot of pain.
After being killed and revived, he goes back home to discover that Eucliwood has moved in... and demands that Ayumu feed her. That would be awkward enough (can you imagine what would happen to his standing at school if everyone discovered he was dead and 'living' with a girl?!?) but things get worse quickly. While looking for the man who killed him, Ayumu runs into the young Haruna who is battling a demon known as a Megalo with a chainsaw. It turns out that Haruna is a "Magical Garment Girl" and accidently cuts Ayumu in half (he gets better) during the battle. After the fight she uses her magical power to erase his mind of the encounter... or tries to do so. Instead of wiping his memory, the spell backfires because Ayumu is dead and he absorbs her abilities. Yes, Ayumu is now a Magical Garment Girl and when he says Haruna's magical phrase he gains magical powers, a mystic chainsaw, and a cute pink dress with bows. Since Haruna doesn't have her powers anymore, she moves in with Ayuma.
Just as Haruna is getting settled in, an incredibly buxom woman named Seraphim shows up at the door. She is seeking Eucliwood's help on behalf of her village, but the necromancer refuses to fight for them. So, Seraphim, who despises Ayumu and calls him "maggot," moves in too. Oh yeah, and Seraphim isn't an ordinary woman either. She's a ninja. And a vampire. Between searching for a serial killer, battling an assortment of Megalos, and a trip to a resort, is there any way that a zombie can peacefully live with a magician who can summon death, a magical girl who lost her powers, and a ninja vampire who hates him?
This was a very fun, and funny series. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, the show plays out like the best harem comedies but manages to have some pretty exciting action sequences too. Usually these genre-blending type of shows don't quite work, but this one does, against all odds, and the result is a hilarious and exciting. I think the thing that surprised me the most was that the overall plot was pretty decent. There's a larger story being told and it unfolds nicely. The mystery of the serial killer takes some interesting twists and turns and the plot builds gradually to an impressive finale. Even without the comic aspects, this would be a decent anime, but with all of the humor it's a home run.
There is a lot of sex humor throughout the show, but it's not all fan service. I usually don't like anime sex jokes. Not because I'm a prude but because, by and large, they're not funny. I know it's a cultural thing, but a guy having a bloody nose when he sees some cleavage just doesn't get me laughing. That's not the case with this show. The humor largely comes from double entendres that work more often than they don't. They actually set up some of the risqué puns and humor, and that's great. In other shows the jokes are just thrown out as one-liners which often fall flat. I was pleasantly surprised as how well the 'naughty' humor worked.
This set contains the 13 episode series on two DVDs, each in its own keepcase case and housed in a sturdy slipcase.
This set offers the original Japanese track in stereo as well as an English dub in DD 5.1. While the 5.1 dub was nice during the battle scenes, I preferred the original language track. The voices just seemed to fit characters better and made for a more enjoyable viewing experience. The English voice actors did do a good job however and people who like watching in English shouldn't be disappointed.
The 16:9 anamorphic video looked good overall. The colors were bright and solid and the blacks were nice and inky. The image was generally sharp too. I didn't find anything to complain about.
There are a couple of commentary tracks by the English cast and crew (*yawn*) and a clean opening and closing as well as a series of trailers for other FUNimation titles. Honestly, I'm very happy with that. I enjoy trailers and clean credit sequences, but aside from that there haven't been too many anime extras that get my heart beating faster.
I enjoyed this show much more that I thought I would. With a decent overall plot and some great humor this anime totally rocks. Here's hoping we don't have to wait too long for season two! Highly Recommended.