It’s a busy day for DEEN, as they bring us yet another premiere in light novel adaptation Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? And this one is so lightweight, a good stiff breeze would blow it away like so much dandelion fluff.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing – this season has been pretty light on comedy so far. And there are some genuinely funny moments in the first episode, most of them surrounding chainsaw-wielding Masou Shoujo* Haruna. First she saws our zombie hero in half. Then when he somehow inadvertently sucks her magic out of her, she treats us to a pretty funny aborted magical transformation, then goads MC Aizawa into donning the outfit and wielding the chainsaw himself to battle what appears to be a pedophile lobster. His “Don’t take pictures!” moment was the highlight of the episode for me.
You see, Aizawa Ayumu isn’t just a normal slacker 16 year-old – he’s a zombie, murdered in cold blood and revived by goth-loli necromancer Eucilwood Hellscythe(!) to seek revenge on his killer. Eucilwood ends up his roommate and an interesting one at that – she doesn’t say anything but seems to be hungry at all times. Haruna is the genki one, and she ends up moving in too, leading to a rather odd “Three’s Company” vibe that may or may not work as a comedic device – we’ll see. What I hope doesn’t happen is that the show becomes not much more than a running gag about new ways for Aizawa to get gruesomely mangled every week, because the humor there would run out pretty fast.
It’s easy to see that DEEN put their A-list animation staff on Dragon Crisis this season, but Zombie doesn’t look too bad. The episode had enough spark to give me hope that it could be good for some laughs – the fanservice is gratuitous but not the worst I’ve seen (bar one rather grotesque moment I could have lived without – leave those shots to the “Needless” manga, please) and clearly this is a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It falls in that vast middle ground where almost all of this season’s series seem to be landing – watchable, inoffensive, but lacking greatness. What strikes me is how little I’ve seen this season that I’ve either loved or hated, and this series falls comfortably in that crowded space in between with the others.
*Apparently, a Masou Shoujo differs from a Mahou Shoujo in that the Masou Shoujo is a “magically equipped girl” – as opposed to a “magical girl”. I’ve personally never seen the term used before, but it’ll be interesting to see whether that distinction plays an important role in the series going forward.