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Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

December 4, 2012 by  



Fun, crazy, perverted and entertaining, “Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series” will entertain harem anime fans wanting something a bit different.  And if that is the case, then “Is This a Zombie?” is for you!

Image courtesy of © 2012 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series

DURATION: Episodes 1-13 (325 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9, Japanese and English Dolby Digital 5.1, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV MA

Release Date: December 11, 2012

Originally created by Shinji Kimura

Directed by Takaomi Kanasaki

Series Composition by Makoto Uezu

Screenplay by Makoto Uezu, Shigeru Morita, Touko Machida

Music by Shinji Kakijima

Original Character Design by Kobuichi, Muririn

Character Design by Shinobu Tagashira

Art Director: Kei Ichikura

Anime Production: Studio DEEN

Featuring the following voice talent:

Iori Nomizu/Jad Saxton as Haruna

Junji Majima/Austin Tindle as Ayumu Aikawa

Midori Tsukimiya/Cherami Leigh as Eucliwood Hellscythe

Ai Shimizu/Monica Rial as Dai-sensei (Head Teacher)

Aya Gōda/Caitlin Glass as Salas

Hiroyuki Yoshino/Anthony Bowling as Orito

Hisako Kanemoto/Brittney Karbowski as Yuki “Tomonori” Yoshida

Koji Yusa/Eric Vale as King of the Night

Mina/Emerick Jade as Kanami Mihara

Noriko Shitaya/Lindsay Seidel as Kyōko

Rie Yamaguchi/Erica Harte as Taeko Hiramatsu

Yōko Hikasa/Morgan Garrett as Sera (Seraphim)

Some guys have no luck; he’s got no pulse. That’s life for unfortunate, undead Ayumu. First, he was murdered by a serial killer. Total bummer. Then he was resurrected as a zombie by a cute little necromancer. That seemed pretty cool until she moved into his house, refused to speak, and forced his rotting carcass to do all the cooking. After that, a magical girl in a pretty pink dress used her matching chainsaw to chop his corpse in half.

Luckily, the necromancer’s powers of resurrection trumped those of the chainsaw chick, so instead of dying (again), Ayumu became the world’s first magical girl zombie. There’s also a voluptuous vampire ninja who thinks zombie boy’s a pervert – and a hideous crayfish demon who wants to devour him. Confused? All you gotta know is this: zombies, frilly dresses, demons, and moe chainsaws. Pink. It’s the new dead.

In 2009, Shinichi Kimura wrote the Japanese light novel series “Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?” (Is this a Zombie?) featuring illustrations by Kobuichi and Muririn.

With the popularity of “Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?”, a total of five different manga adaptations were created and a 12-episode anime series adaptation was produced by Studio Deen and shown on TV Saitama from January through March 2011.  Followed by a ten episode TV series +2 OVA’s which aired on Tokyo MX.

The harem anime series is directed by Takaomi Kanasaki (“Magician’s Academy”, “School Rumble: 2nd Semester”), series composition by Makoto Uezu (“Ah My Buddha”, “Sola”, “Utawarerumono”, “My Bride is a Mermaid”), music by Shinji Kakijima (“Uta~Kata”, “Transformers: Cybertron”), character design by Shinobu Tagashira (“Shonen Onmyouji”, “Yume o Kanaero Zo”, “Hunter x Hunter”) and art direction by Kei Ichikura (“Odolm@ster: Xenoglossia”, “Strike Witches 2”, “Freedom”).

And now “Is This a Zombie?” will be released on DVD courtesy of FUNimation in Dec. 2012.

“Is this a Zombie?” revolves around a teenager named Ayumu Aikawa.  A high school boy that was killed by a serial killer and resurrected to a zombie courtesy of a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe.  As a teenager, Ayumu used to be quite active in school but now, he tries to keep things downlow, so no one will find out that he’s a zombie.

With his parents traveling the world, Ayumu let’s Eucliwood live with him temporarily.  And as Ayumu tries to keep himself out of trouble, he encounters a Maso-Shojo (Magical Garment Girl) named Haruna who is fighting against a demon.  But somehow her magical powers are absorbed by Ayumu due to Eucliwood’s power of resurrection being stronger than Haruna’s magic.  And because Haruna needs to defeat the demons known as Megalos, with Ayumu having her power, she needs Ayumu to take on the role as a Maso-Shojo.

Unfortunately, by transforming to a magical garment girl, everyone in school catches Ayumu in a magical girl outfit and think he’s a weirdo or tranny.  And because Ayumu has Haruna’s power, he has no choice but to let her move in with him.

Meanwhile, another girl comes to Ayumu’s home, her name is Seraphim, a servant of Eucliwood and one that happens to be a vampire ninja.  But when she comes to the house, she is asked to serve Ayumu, which he rejects.  But despite her heavy tsundere attitude, she also begins living with Ayumu.

And with these four living together and often getting at each other’s nerves, each must work together to take on various evils and hopefully help Ayumu find the serial killer responsible for killing him.

“Is This a Zombie?” features the following characters:

  • Ayumu Aikawa – The main protagonist of the series.  Ayumi is a normal teenager who attends high school but his life is changed when he is killed by a serial killer.  He is revived as a zombie by Eucliwood Hellscythe and with his new power, he is immortal, invincible and has great strength.  But he can still feel pain and easily dries out in sunlight.  Adding to his superhuman strength, due to having the ability to absorb magic, he accidentally absorbed Haruna’ s Maso-Shojo power and now Ayumu has the ability to turn into a magical garment girl.  His goal is to find the person responsible for killing him.
  • Haruna – Haruna is a Maso-Shojo from Villiers and her primary weapon is a chainsaw which she named Mystletainn.  Her job is to defeat Megalos and because Ayumu has absorbed some of her powers and needs Ayumu’s help to fight the Megalos demons, she moves in with him.  Moreso, because she has fallen for him.
  • Eucliwood Hellscythe – Eucliewood is a necromancer responsible for bringing Ayumu back to life.  She is a powerful magic user and because she can easily kill people by muttering words, she chooses not to talk but use written notes.  She also experiences a lot of pain when she uses magic.  She cares for Ayumu, because he is grateful that she gave him a second chance at life.
  • Seraphim – A vampire ninja known for her well-endowed assets.  She uses the power of the Secret Sword Technique: Swallow Cut and is the true tsundere character and thinks that everything that Ayumu does, even if it’s something good natured as a sign of deviance.  She needs blood to stay alive.  Despite her attitude towards Ayumu, she is starting to fall for him as well.
  • Mael Strom – A vampire ninja from a different faction than Seraphim, Mael goes by Yuki Yoshida and she finds herself falling for Ayumu because of his courage.
  • Sarasvati – Seraphim’s superior and goes by the name of Kirara Hoshikawa.  Her job was to make sure that Eu was killed because she is a Megalo magnet.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series” is presented in 16:9 widescreen and presented in English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo.  For picture quality, the animation is pretty good, as characters are fun and well-shaded and art backgrounds are detailed well.  There is a bit of softness but the series is quite colorful.  I am a bit surprised the anime series was not released on Blu-ray considering it is a newer anime series and a storyline that would attract viewers but on DVD, the TV series does look good.

As for the soundtrack, the English dub track has a better dynamic range as it is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, so action scenes are much more active through the surround channels during the action scenes.  And as the English dub is well-acted, as well as the Japanese soundtrack, especially for the more emotional scenes of the series.  But overall, dialogue is clear, fidelity is good and as much as I would have loved to have heard the soundtrack via lossless, on DVD, the Dolby Digital soundtrack is pretty good.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series” comes with the following special features:

  • Episode 3 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with ADR Director Tyler Walker with voice talents Austin Tindle (Ayumu) and Anthony Bowling (Orito).
  • Episode 7 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with ADR Director Tyler Walker with voice talents Morgan Garrett (Seraphim) and Jade Saxton (Haruna).
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Is This a Zombie?”
  • Textless Opening and Closing Songs
  • Trailers – FUNimation trailers

“Is this a Zombie?” is a fun, perverted, harem anime with a twist!

Sure, anime fans…we have seen harem anime series before.  Well-endowed or characters that constantly show their panties and your protagonist guy who is either a really kind individual or a crazy pervert.

But where “Is This a Zombie?” tries to be different from other anime series is the fact that its main protagonist is teenage guy who is a zombie and also a magical garment girl!  And I know, some of you are reading this and asking yourselves…”what?”.

And to add to the twist is that each member has a tsundere attitude towards the protagonist (but yet falls for him despite him ticking them off in some way or other) and joininh the harem is a necromancer, the other a maso-shojo, three vampire ninjas and suffice to say, the main protagonist Ayumu Aikawa, is just a guy trying to play it cool and cares for each of them as a good friend (but being a teenage guy who is interested in sex, he also has perverted things going through his head at times).

While the majority of the episodes for “Is This a Zombie?” are introductory episodes of each character and are fun and upbeat.  It’s the way these individuals interact with each other that makes the anime series so fun.  Throw in Ayumu’s perverted classmate Orito and strange and crazy things start to happen.  For example, because Ayumu has part of Haruna’s Majo-Shojo power, he is now a magical garment girl and he will turn into one, with small clothes and exposing panties.  I don’t think I have ever seen an anime series where a guy turns into a magical girl and to make things even more funny, those fan service shots that are usually reserved for magical girls also have the same result on Ayumu.  So, yes… Ayumu has panty shots as well, which may make some fans shiver.

And while a lot of episodes are fun and games, with the group out for bowling, the girls competing in a singing contest or having fun at the pool, there are some episodes where you will see some antagonists.

In the first half of the season, we are introduced to Kyoko, who looks like your sweet and average girl but she’s actually a Maso-shojo and also a serial killer, which she uses human souls to be added to her life if anything bad happens to her.

And the second half of the series, introduces us to another zombie created earlier by Eucliwood and unlike Ayumu, his heart is full of malice.

So, there is more to this anime than just perverted humor with fun and games.

Also, included with “Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series” is the 13th episode, an OVA about Ayumu and the young ladies going out to a festival for some fun and Seraphim cooking a vampire ninja recipe for the group and a Uta-garuta tournament at school.

As for the DVD release, while “Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series” is not being released on Blu-ray, but only on DVD, picture quality is good on DVD.  While there is softness as one can expect from a TV anime series, the series looks good and the OVA 13th episode looks even better.  Dialogue for both Japanese and English soundtracks are clear and understandable.  And as for special features, you get two audio commentaries featuring the English dub voice talents.

As for the series overall, there are better harem anime series such as “Love Hina” or “Aoi Yori Aoishi”, or those who want comedy will enjoy “Magikano”, “Rosario + Vampire” or “Nyan Koi!” and for those who are primarily in it for the perverted fan service, will probably enjoy anime series such as “Sekirei”, “Samurai Harem” or “Heaven’s Lost Property”.

But “Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series” tries to incorporate the comedy and fan service but featuring characters that are not always nice to Ayumu and Ayumu has very good qualities when it comes to protecting his friends, but at the same time, being a teenage boy, he also has that perverted curiosity.   It’s not entirely original but it does try to be different thanks to its characters (a zombie, necromancer, magical girl and vampire ninjas…you’re just not going to find this type of unusual grouping in any other anime series).

Fun, crazy, perverted and entertaining, “Is This a Zombie?: The Complete Series” will entertain harem anime fans wanting something a bit different.  And if that is the case, then “Is This a Zombie?” is for you!






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