Akira Tendo didn’t start living until everyone around him started dying. That’s the premise behind the newest hit anime, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead. You can stream the apocalyptic zombie comedy on Netflix.
Zom 100 is the story of Akira Tendo, an overworked, 24-year-old cubicle dweller who starts to relax a little and live life to the fullest—after a horde of flesh-eating ghouls overtake Tokyo. It takes a zombie apocalypse to get Akira to appreciate life, and as a result, he makes a bucket list of 100 things he wants to accomplish before becoming a zombie.
The zombie apocalypse comedy anime Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is streaming on Netflix.
Akira’s list ranges from the mundane (grow a cool beard) to the lofty (go skydiving, give an outdoor concert) and even includes his childhood dream of becoming a superhero.
The anime is a nice twist on the usual zombie stories where everyone is dour and pessimistic about the survival of humans as a species. Rarely has a protagonist like Akira appeared in zombie fiction, a character that actually sees his quality of life improve after walking corpses start eating people alive.
Zom 100 presents a comedic take on zombies that’s more akin to Shaun of the Dead than Dawn of the Dead—although even George Romero’s magnum opus had elements of humor sprinkled throughout the horror.
Like most anime, Zom 100 started life as a manga before it made the leap from the page to the screen. Creator Haro Aso thought, like most horror fans, that zombies were becoming overused as antagonists. A viewing of One Cut of the Dead changed his mind, however, and inspired him to write Zom 100, unlike most other zombie-centric media.
Zom 100 has received almost overwhelming praise for everything from the quality of its animation to the novelty of its premise.
Aso decided to make Bucket List of the Dead a commentary on Japanese society—and really just society in general—in order to convince audiences to stop and laugh once in a while, a much different goal than most other zombie stories.
Earlier this year, the anime adaptation of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead was announced as part of a deal between Viz Media, Shogakukan, and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions.
The series premiered in July of this year, and unlike many anime that aired in Japan first and came to the US later, Zom 100 was available to stream in the United States upon release. As a result, only half of the first season is currently available on Netflix, with the rest of the episodes not available until they air overseas.
Also out this year and available to stream right now on Netflix is the live-action Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead film. The movie version follows the same premise as the anime but condenses several plot points to account for the shorter runtime of a film vs. an ongoing series.
There’s enough blood-soaked carnage to satisfy even the most hardcore gorehounds.
Zom 100 has received almost overwhelming praise for everything from the quality of its animation to the novelty of its premise. Fans of the anime have practically spammed Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb with positive reviews. The general consensus seems to be that Zom 100 manages to breathe new life into the zombie genre by adding an element of Ferris Bueller-like time-wasting.
Simply put, Zom 100 offers a new perspective on life with the undead, unseen by horror and anime fans alike. In contrast to the dour, nihilistic view of the world held by many of the characters in The Walking Dead, Akira finds a way to look on the bright side of the zombie apocalypse that resonates with fans of the series.
That’s not to say that Zom 100 shies away from the bad aspects of the dead walking around and sinking their teeth into anything with a pulse—far from it. There’s enough blood-soaked carnage to satisfy even the most hardcore gorehounds.
It’s just that Zom 100, again like Shaun of the Dead, treats the zombies as a nuisance to be ignored whenever possible and only dealt with when absolutely necessary. You won’t find Akira and his friends out searching for a cure to the zombie virus—they’re too busy looting abandoned stores for beer and flatscreen TVs.
Whether you’re a fan of zombies, anime, horror comedy, or all three, you owe it to yourself to check out Zom 100 on Netflix.