Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? OF THE DEAD – 01
OP: 「*** パショナート」 (*** Passionate) by 野水いおり (Nomizu Iori)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「はい、今再びの魔装変身!」 (Hai, Ima Futatabi no Masou Henshin!)
“Yes, Yet Another Masou Transformation!”
A quick disclaimer for those of you who didn’t watch the first season, and are only tuning in now to see what all the fuss is about – I’m going to give you a quick summary of this episode’s plot (only this time! First episode special only), and parts of it will sound insane. No, that sound isn’t due to the blood vessels in your head bursting because of images like this one (don’t worry folks, there’s plenty more Ayumu where that one came from!). This show is seriously nuts, but in all the best ways – the hilarious ones! Disclaimer over, summary time now. Oh, and you can go ahead and skip the next paragraph if you watched the episode.
The season begins with resident zombie Aikawa Ayumu (Junji Majima) going about his normal daily life. The first half is almost entirely devoted to reintroducing us to the cast and their various quirks, of which there are many (whoops, that was Ayumu again!). It’s only after Ayumu dries up in the sun and is taken to the nurse’s office that he meets a “fairy” (Nabatame Hitomi) who is definitely not looking for ethyl alcohol to steal. After the reintroduction of a few more characters, Ayumu meets Yousei-san in the school late at night, and finds her very, very drunk. They bond, which is why when Ayumu’s friends start suspecting him to be the chainsaw-wielding cross-dresser, she’s the first person he runs to…only for a megalo to be where she was! A fight ensues, and after Haruna (Nomizu Iori) proves useless, it’s up to Ayumu to transform and finish the job. Unfortunately, him going into 1000% kawaii mode apparently pushed his chainsaw Mystletainn a little too far, with hilarious consequences for his dignity. You can’t wipe their memories if Mystletainn is broken, Ayumu!
Okay, enough of that. Now onto why this episode was awesome! Let’s start with our lovely (and drunk) Yousei-san (name to be revealed in future episodes). Even though I saw all the promo art, where she was always holding a giant bottle of sake, I wasn’t prepared for just how much of a lush she was! Maybe it’s because I’m the sort of guy who enjoys a beer or two (and sometimes several more, though I generally end up paying for those nights), but Yousei-san’s drunk act cracked up. Then again, I think that’s also a sign of how this show’s humor works. Its strength has always been in springing ridiculous gags on us, and then barreling forward to the next one before anyone can think about what has just happened too much. Watch for that pattern as this series goes forward, because when the gags start flying, that’s when it’s at its best.
Case in point, the confrontation with today’s megalo. I’m going to skip past all the character reintroductions, because there’s not much to say there. I still enjoyed the first part of the episode, but it was nothing like the end when the jokes started flying fast and furious. The writers have always loved to mess with us by throwing in scenes of Ayumu getting a bit too effiminate, but they really ramped it up this episode by throwing in a handsy megalo to feel him up. What’s more, the giant creepy squid apparently prefers to target his tentacle play at guys! For a creature that hunts magical girls that was surprising, though that’s also what made it so funny.
On a related point, anti-fanservice. If you’re not comfortable with your male protagonists wearing panties, then I have no idea how you got so far in this post, but you’d better get used to it because that’s here to stay. While I’m not nealy as fond of seeing Ayumu’s rear end as Sarasvati (Gouda Aya) is – run Ayumu, she’s got that raep face on! – I must admit that cringe-inducing comedy always cracks me up. Cross-dressing is fine if that’s your thing, but for Ayumu to be constantly forced to do it against his will, and then forced to do it in front of all his friends, is just a riot to see!
But probably my favorite part of this episode was something more understated that, and it had to do with Hiramatsu Taeko (Yamaguchi Rie). From denying that Ayumu was a pervert, to screaming when she found out he was one, to saying his socks were cute, and then straight back to screaming when he lost his shirt, it was always Hiramatsu who dealt the critical blow to Ayumu’s delicate (and crumbling) pride. Having an innocent girl like her react to the craziness was like a spring of green onion on top of a piece of hamachi, the garnish that made a tasty bite all the better.
Actually, there’s one other part that rivals the Hiramatsu moments – when Mystletainn broke, preventing Ayumu from wiping everyone’s memory like he so badly wanted to. I must admit that I felt kind of cheated last season when the very first episode’s mayhem was magically erased from everyone’s mind, but now I’m going to have to go back and retroactively be okay with it, because it provided such a wonderful setup for this scene. Once they had us expecting the memory wipe, all they had to do was take the possibility away for hilarity to seriously ensue. I’m pretty sure a memory wipe will still happen eventually, so that Ayumu’s school life can go back to as normal as it ever is anymore, but that’s okay, because that gag was hilarious!
All-in-all, a good start to the season. This episode shows Kore wa Zombie desu ka? at its best, with the jokes flying fast, zipping around corners, and hitting you where you least expect it. I’m looking forward to see whether they can stay at this level once the plot begins to show itself. Last season they never quite managed to blend the show’s staple light-hearted comedy with the darkness of its plot, and the two remained distinctly separate, preventing the show from becoming a true black comedy. Perhaps that’s the idea, or perhaps they can manage that this season. Either way, should be fun finding out.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Ayumu meets a drunk loli, is outed as a cross-dresser, is almost raeped by a gay megalo, & Mystletainn breaks. That’s #korezon at it’s best!
- Every anime protagonist sits in the back of the classroom near the window…but only Aikawa Ayumu almost dies because of it. For some reason, that really cracked me up…though he really should ask the teacher if he can change seats :P
- Oh man, I missed Ayumu’s delusions so much. And starting out with Inoue Kikuko for Imaginary Yuu?? They’re not pulling any punches this season! Also, HNNNNG!!
- Studio Deen seems to have upped their game for this season all around. Not with the animation, which is still just average, but the direction, energy, and tempo of this episode were all spot-on. They even managed to slip in some exposition early on (reminding viewers who was a necromancer, a vampire ninja, etc) without making it awkward. I also like the OP and ED a lot more than the ones from season one. Keep it up!
Full-size images: 24
ED: 「恋のビギナーなんです（T_T）」 (Koi no Beginner Nan Desu (T_T)) by 山口理恵 (Yamaguchi Rie)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼