First Impression – Sankarea

Zombies can be pretty too

Hooray! Another zombie themed anime but this time we trade in the pink chainsaw and magical outfits for possible romance? I was excited to see Sankarea listed as finally getting animated because I have kept up to date with the manga so I can’t wait to see what this series can do…so what about you anaaga and Hawt, excited or burned out of the whole Zombie theme?
Zombie romance? This might turn out incredibly creepy … but hopefully it’ll make good use of that comedy tag! I wasn’t planning on watching Sankarea, but the premise pulled me in and anything with zombies is worth giving a chance!
Seems like zombie is the new black for this spring, Fosh. There’s the kinda-new season of The Walking Dead, not to mention the walking “dead” shounen in Kore wa Zombie season two. Honestly, what’s up with people and zombies? More like, What’s up with DEEN and zombies? I don’t have that much expectation for Sankarea since it’s by DEEN, but I guess I’ll give it a try since it sounds pretty interesting.

Furuya Chihiro, our protagonist who has cat ears, is extremely fond of zombies to the point where he spends his days watching a bunch of zombie movies instead of playing Mass Effect 3. He looovveess zombie so much he even wants a zombie romance. Chihiro’s friends think that he has a weird fetish, and that’s what he thinks too. But he just likes zombies. Surprisingly, he has good relations with his friends, family, and cat.

Until Chihiro’s neighbor accidentally hits Bubu the cat to death. Determined to revive Bubu into a zombie, Chihiro takes out the ancient ero-er, medical book he found somewhere in his house and tries to make the revival medicine written in it. Of course, he does this in some abandoned building. He’s not the only regular visitor of that building though since Sanka Rea, the daughter of Sanka High School’s principal, regularly visits the abandoned building’s well and shouts her frustration out into it. Chihiro has a bad habit of looking at Sanka Rea’s night activity, but he was caught when she shouted about her father’s sexual abuse.

Manly tears

Cute even when he’s dead. WHY CAN’T ALL ZOMBIES BE THIS CUTE?

After chatting for a while, Chihiro reveals his plan of reviving his cat to Sanka Rea and somehow this conversation leads to the usual boyfriend-girlfriend topic, where Chihiro of course tells his fondness of female zombies. Chihiro jokingly suggests the idea of using Sanka Rea as test subject for Babu’s revival medicine, but surprisingly Sanka Rea agrees, hinting that she wants to be a zombie because Chihiro likes zombies. Sanka Rea leaves after telling Chihiro to consider the idea, leaving him confused. Little does Chihiro know that later on, Sanka Rea will become a zombie.

“Please, let’s have zombie sex!”

Extra Zombies:

Hi thar, “Senjougahara”

Does this scene reminds you of a certain pervert?

Not really SHATF-y, but it’s sure not DEEN-y

Ding ding ding! Player Chihiro finds an ancient magic book!

Why can’t my grandpa have a Christmass tree haircut too…

That certainly was an interesting first episode of Sankarea, but I think this might turn out to be a very slow series by the looks of things right now. That said I am curious to see how much of the actual story they are going to cover… for some reason I can picture it only getting through about half? However, I really enjoyed the manga so I will stick to this series anyway. I really love the character designs for Rea and yes she is your typical fan service character, but she is cute and she doesn’t wear the same outfit every time. Even the main guy Furuya has an interesting look, did you notice his hair? I swear it looks like he has cat ears or something like that, but it always cracked me up for some odd reason…

Anyone else loving the opening? I swear I was watching Hanasaku Iroha again thanks to Nano.RIPE vocals flooding my ears and the animation for the opening was great with lots of shots of Rea and all of the other main cast and random moments with Rea and Furuya flying through the sky? Amazing stuff right there. Ending was also great thanks to more Rea screen time of course and a bowling alley? Maybe that connects Sankarea to Kore wa zombie? Just kidding! So, yes great opening and ending songs to enjoy.

So, they dropped that bombshell on us about Rea’s father really fast, huh? I guess things are going to be full on serious mode for a while, but I trust them to mix things up and give us some laughs. This isn’t really a hardcore fan service anime or will it try to be classy and avoid doing up skirt shots like Mouretsu Pirates? From what I can remember there were plenty of shower scenes so you can expect to see sunbeam-chan blinding you very soon. Besides Rea, I really want to see more of Wanko or Ranko whatever you like to call her… She was always my second favorite girl because I think she has a great personality and yeah she loves to tease Furuya a lot! DAMN YOU Main character…

I’m not sure which is creepier, a boy verging on necrophilia or a girl who cuts her stomach open to be “reborn” … for now I’m going to say it’s a tie! As far as romance premises go, Sankarea has one of the most distinctive from recent seasons. I’m not a big fan of Studio Deen, but they handled this insane story very well, since bringing together supernatural themes and romance themes can sometimes turn out pretty cruddy (from the shows I’ve seen at least). It’s easy to see there are elements of horror mixed in too, with the eerie setting and slightly disturbing developments between Rea and Chihiro, but so far this feels focused on being a romantic comedy more then anything else which is perfectly fine with me. (All the better for shipping. ´∀`)

It’s been a while since I’ve said this about a “romantic” anime, but I’m pretty confident that we have an entertaining male lead! Chihiro can come off as a bit of a creep, what with the rituals and obsession with dead girls, but there seems to be a lot of interesting sides to him. (Maybe I’m a bit biased because of his VA …) So what if he has some weird tastes? I’d much rather be watching him than some personality-less protag who “wants to live an average life” or some boring story like that. Chihiro knows what he wants, he’s comical, and he’s by far one of the more bearable male leads to come around. (Overall I’d say this season has some nice protagonists.) I’m not sure what to think of Rea on the other hand though, she seems slightly desperate to escape her family and I’m still wondering whether “killing herself” at the end of the episode was for that reason (being “reborn”) or because she’s attracted to Chihiro and wanted to fulfill his wish of having a zombie girlfriend .. I’m leaning towards the former. (;-_-) To go to the lengths of killing yourself for either of those reasons is a bit extreme, so she must really have some troubles at home and I’m curious to see more of that in the coming weeks.

So, Sankarea has a lot of potential, the first episode did a nice job introducing all the various characters and aspects of the plot (unless there’s more to it then Rea being a zombie). It looks great, it sounds great, but what I’m hoping is that it doesn’t go down the same path as Yumekui Merry, which also looked and sounded great, but I felt was a disappointment story and entertainment wise. There’s another zombie show airing this season, right? I wonder which will turn out better! Oh, and RIP Babu~ Poor kitten taken before his time. (╥﹏╥)

Bwahahaha, I ended up enjoying it more than I thought. The summary gives the impression as if it’s going to be full of nasty scenes, but it sure was clean. Well, it’s still the first episode, so maybe that’s why. My video does have the SFW tag… Anyhow, Sankarea’s first episode looks promising. While it was a little bit tedious, the main character’s activities were entertaining enough to make me watch it until the end. Heck, I think the main characters have engaging personalities that make me want to see how they develop at the end of the series. The minor characters, especially, the childhood cousin, are tolerable which is surprising since most childhood friends have the tendency to be annoying bitches.

Like I said before, I did not expect it to be this harmless. I was all like “Ew HoTD zombies again,” and with the ecchi tag added the “Gosh are the boobs going to defy gravity?” complain. Maybe the gore part will come later after two weeks or so, but the ecchi was surprisingly tolerable… For now. Seeing the OP, it seems that Babu will be revived later on, and let’s not forget the last scene where Sanka Rea ends up being a zombie. It would be fun to see how Chihiro handles the “dead” Sanka Rea, especially when she’s exactly his type. I also expect to see some shocking revelations because everybody looks complicated here. The Sanka family would be a good documentary topic since it seems that the family is more than just a normal family. Maybe Chihiro is a zombie himself? He looks pretty dead to me since his eyes looks dead. His sister’s too. And what’s up with his ears? Is he a virgin or something (for those who don’t get it, google for Loveless). Haha, I sound curious about the characters more than the zombies. I guess the characters are the reason why this anime is different from other zombie anime.

What surprised me the most here is the animation. DEEN has been eye cancerous with Junjou Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. The animation for Hiiro no Kakera is pretty good for a DEEN anime, but the transition between the scenes were just horrible beyond saving. It was surprising to see Sankarea to be well done for DEEN standards. While the animation can’t be compared to some anime with great animation such as Nisemonogatari, Sankarea’s animation was satisfying. In fact, this anime doesn’t look like a DEEN anime at all. Some of the scenes ended up reminding me of SHAFT, especially when Sanka Rea’s hair flies everywhere or when it was an eye-only scene. Did some people move from SHAFT to DEEN?

So yeah, it seems spring is affecting everything, especially DEEN. Hiiro no Kakera was a bad start, but it seems that Kore wa Zombie and Sankarea can make it up for DEEN. All I can do right now is to pray so that Sankarea can be great until the last episode. If DEEN can do that, I might take their name off from my black list or insult DEEN less. Maybe 2012 is the year where DEEN actually gets better?

Preview: Being molested is not cool. Yaoi has been lying to me.



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39 Responses to “First Impression – Sankarea”

  1. Reaper says:

    Had to say, I was hell hyped at the beginning of the whole, y u zombie not cute?!, but then after watching the blooming romance of an innocent(?) ojou-sama and a nekomimi boy who wants his cat back…is this technically necrophilia…? Oh well, it’s one for the road I guess! Plus, that grandpa looks like he already is a zombie…and Chinese cabbages are quite nice thank you very much! 😛

    • Reaper says:

      And this is from Studio DEEN? O.O It almost felt JC Staff-like with the clean cut drawings…

      • anaaga says:

        Yes, this is a necrophilia, but the cute version of it. Maybe it has something to do with Chihiro’s origin.

        LOL That DEEN reaction. That’s how I reacted to after I watched the first episode. It reminds me of SHAFT though, with all that random scenes and close-up at the characters’ faces. And that perverted look Chihiro had definitely reminds me of Araragi

  2. tatsuya says:

    that is the hottest zombie ive seen in my life!( ̄▽ ̄)ノ_彡☆

  3. Shey says:

    What a strange guy this male lead is. Cat ears and into necrophilia >.< And the girl is a little bit too flirty from the get go, but maybe she is just THAT desperate/sexually deprived/into the idea of becoming a zombie… That he was trying to resurrect his cat didn't phase her either. But still, I'm interested in what he will do when she will become the epitome of his dream girl.

    • anaaga says:

      I believe Chihiro is the first guy that has been nice to her (more like the first nice guy she ever met because she’s not allowed to go out) because she had been traumatized by her father, so that’s probably why she really wants to be with Chihiro

  4. skylion says:

    OK, so, I might have gone overboard with this show. I watched it five times (which is a lie…I’ll get to that later). There were five groups subbing. Wow. I may be new again to following anime, but is that typical?! So, I watched it eight times (this the is the truth…two groups twice each…just to make the right pick).

    So, while doing this, I fell in love. I went in with no expectations. Had a fairly standard beginning, nothing special. Was mildly taken aback by the new DEEN quality, started to notice some SHAFT like elements to the story (they share some of the same staff). Then nano.RIPE hit me. Like Fosh says, shades of Hanasaku Iroha ( I love both the anime and the music is a great part of that). Chihiro is a likable if not fully developed character. Yeah, we know his interests, we know his….predilections, but we still are left with a whole bunch of room to grow. Almost to much.

    Very much enjoyed Wanka-san’s entrance (is this a pun? WANka…woof….Chihiro’s nekokimmi?…cat…nyaa?).

    Mero looks to be more than advertised. In the ice bin scene she was wearing Buddhist funerary garb, up to the triangle like headband; you see that in Japanese ghosts quite often. She couldn’t be modeling for a young client, as the family is headed by a Shinto priest, and funerals are a Buddhist affair. Got a little bit of bro-con there, Mero? That aside, I too got manly tears seeing her break down for Baabu.

    And now Sanka herself? Elegant, beautiful, graceful, and just a bit socially clumsy. Very charming, and soon to be dead. Wow, you got me right there.

    Did anyone else find the ED to be very haunting and evocative? Annabel is the perfect choice, and the animation was just superb. I was liking the show, but the ED sealed the deal.

    Say it with me: “Sankarea Fascination”

    • anaaga says:

      So which subbing group are you picking? I might as well follow the one you’re going to use

      DEEN is a surprise for this season, somehow their animation standard is better than before. Though maybe that’s because of the ex-SHAFT staff in the group now. Sankarea definitely had its SHAFT moments.

      I’ve never likes nano.RIPE’s song in Hanasaku Iroha, but I was surprised at how mild they were in Sankarea’s OP. I’ll never like their vocals, but Sankarea’s OP is tolerable.
      I find the ED to be too slow for me, but I like how they used some kind of horror noise as one of the background musics. It definitely gave the horror vibe in the ED.

      Wanka is a nice girl. She didn’t turn out into the typical tsundere hyperactive childhood friend. I hope she stays this way. Wank.

      • skylion says:

        I settled on EveTaku as the sub group; fantastic job on Ano Natsu and Inu x Boku this past winter, and lyger is a thoughtful creative translator.

        I found nano.RIPES vocals offputting at first. Hearing the first OP from Hanasaku really made me do a double take. WTF is this; but her vocals grew on me.
        Oh dat ED. Love it.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    This was an interesting first episode. This is a strange twist with someone of Furuya’s character. The guy’s obsessed with zombies and he’s seeking a human x zombie relationship. It was kind of weird in it’s own way but also gross when he actually fantasized about them. I must say that’s pretty screwed up fetish. Is he a total necrophiliac? Just for fun, I’d put him in High School of the Dead since he likes the walking dead so much. Though his grandfather already looks like one thanks to the souless look in his eyes and the pale skin. He might fall apart any minute.

    His whole family seems abnormal. Not to mention his sister was like a ghost wearing burial clothes. It was a pleasant surprise her VA is Yuka Iguchi. It fits her perfectly. The only that fits the range of normality is the cousin Ranko. But something tells me she’s sexually interested in Furuya. I sense possible incest coming later on.

    Sankarea is a good female lead and very cute, too cute to be undead. I thought she was just crazy for screaming into a well. What I really pissed me off was that her father was taking nude photos of her. Thats really messed up and I’d have shot the man. She probably came off a little strong when she begged Chihiro to not tell other people about her secret but it was all the more erotic. But that was quick. What happened to her that she became a zombie that fast? I was freaked out when I saw her organs hanging from the scar on her stomach.

    Recently, they’ve been going all out with the monster thing. At first, it was vampires followed by werewolves and ghost franchises for anime and now zombies? There are two zombie animes this season. What’s next? Speaking of ghosts, I can’t wait to see how Tasogare Otome x Amnesia goes.

    • anaaga says:

      To see his fetish in its negative aspect, it is a necrophilia. And yet somehow the anime managed to make this unhealthy fetish of his to look completely normal and acceptable in society. Oh how I love anime can twist reality like that.

      I think the father is the only non-zombie-ish family member in the house. So yeah, there’s a possibility that the whole family (except the father) is a zombie.

      Anything is possible with that scar of hers, but seeing how neat the scar is, I’d say that someone will try to cut her stomach open. It can be Sanka Rea’s father, or Sanka Rea herself.

      Pffttt yeah, DEEN is somehow into zombies these days. Maybe that’s the only sub-genre that can work for them =.=

      • BlackBriar says:

        Trying to make necrophilia a normal thing is another attempt at making more aspects that wouldn’t be accepted in society a casual trend. Like crossdressing and incest which anime is pretty good at twisting.

        My guess with Sanka Rea is that she suddenly got into an accident that cut her up and she died from blood loss which later on, she woke up as a zombie with whatever Chihiro was going to use on Babu.

        Yeah, looks like ghosts and zombies are ruling this season. I wonder if DEEN is capable of taking on other sub-genres besides this kind.

  6. Overcooled says:

    What a surprise! I really liked this first episode~ I totally agree that even a necrophiliac is better than a cookie-cutter lead male. I really like Furuya. Necrophilia is creepy, but he somehow makes it okay! I love how his room is littered with all sorts of nerdy, zombie things too. Ahh, I wouldn’t mind turning into a zombie for him.

    Not sure how I feel about the girl so far, but if she’s crazy enough to turn into a zombie then she’s got to have something interesting going on in her head. I can’t wait for more…This is really my kind of romance story :3

    On a side note, who names a character Wanko? this is going to be like Anaru all over again u_u

    • skylion says:

      Wan…woof…counters Furuya’s fluffy fluffy (fuya fuya) nekokimmi. At least that is my guess. Since they are cousins and have a history, it could be a mispronunciation that stuck. It seems she doesn’t care so long as she get’s her honorific.

      • Overcooled says:

        Ah, I’ll try to imagine it as that instead of “having a wank.” It’s much, much cuter.

    • anaaga says:

      Chihiro makes necrophilia looks totally all right. Damn you animu, y u have interesting characters as sickos. Maybe that’s the reason why they’re interesting in the first place…

      Maybe she’s just looking for a place to escape from her father, and being a zombie seems like the perfect way. Who would want to take pictures of naked zombies? Except Chihiro xD

    • BlackBriar says:

      You’d willingly turn into a zombie, OC? LOL. Wow, but that sounds too painful of an objective to achieve and there’s no guarantee you’d come back as one. Not unless someone is there conveniently with a spell book ready in hand.

  7. Neena says:

    Ritsuka is that you?

    • anaaga says:

      PFFFTTT EXACTLY MY THOUGHT WHEN I SAW THOSE EARS. All we need to find now is a hot bishie with long hair

  8. lvlln says:

    Much more enjoyable than I expected, and what everyone says about the production quality and visual direction are spot on. But I couldn’t get over just how quickly they dropped the whole main-girl-gets-sexually-abused-by-father issue. Instead of hanging out and flirting with each other, they should’ve been talking about the best way to notify the authorities as quickly as possible, maybe find evidence or at least make sure that the father doesn’t have a chance to destroy it before an arrest.

    Of course, the point may be moot given how the episode ended, but those kids were not at all acting like I’d expect.

    • anaaga says:

      Sometimes anime logic makes no sense. Though maybe Chihiro didn’t suggest that because Sanka Rea didn’t even report it herself, and Sanka Rea is too scared to report it to the police. It seems that the Sanka family has some kind of authority in that city.

  9. Karakuri says:

    Oh so this is where all of DEEN’s budget is going. I guess I can’t hate them for messing up Kazuki-sensei’s designs in Hiiro anymore AHAHAHA like I’d let that go that easy.

    AHAHAHA omg I never even thought of Loveless from the cat ears. Anyways yeah, this is going much better than I thought it would be.

    • anaaga says:

      I still can’t get over Hiiro no Kakera’s bad animation. The transitions of the scenes are just bad. And what’s up with the characters? Why are they so awkward and stiff?

      Oops, I’m not supposed to complain about that here. Hehe

      • Karakuri says:

        All I can say is that DEEN has forever made my list until they do a otome game animation that doesn’t look like the animators drew it while under the influence.

  10. akagami says:

    As someone who found the manga ok (dropped it after chapter 23 because I found it was getting boring), would you still recommend this anime? Debating if I want to pick it up. But the zombie scenes from the manga worry me a little, I’m squeamish at the thought of seeing those scenes animated. >.<

    • anaaga says:

      I haven’t read the manga yet, so I can’t really say anything about that part.
      If you don’t like gore though, then you shouldn’t watch this. They will censor some part, but I still see intestine coming out of her stomach in episode one already.

      • akagami says:

        Thanks anaaga, guess I’ll pass on this! I’m already shuddering at your description >.<

  11. Liza says:

    I was actually surprised that I liked this so much. From the description I thought it was going to be a fan-service-y type show and I was pleasantly surprised when ti was revealed to be not. And I like both Chihiro(that hair!) and Rea which is always a plus in my books. I think I’m definitely going to be watching this show to the end. Since I haven’t read the manga yet I really want to know if Rea will become a zombie or even if there is any supernatural in this show.

    • anaaga says:

      Episode one was definitely full of surprise. I thought it was going to be HoTD all over again, but I was surprised at how good episode one was. And little fanservice too!

  12. Jrow says:

    anaaga, just in case your question about SFW wasn’t already answered, that means Subs Fucking Where.

    Great first episode. I was bored from reading the manga, but put it down having hope that an anime would be made and that it would reinvigorate my interest in the series. I don’t plan on revisiting the manga, but I’ll watch w/e amount of episodes DEEN does.

    • anaaga says:

      Yeah, I just realized that it’s the name of a subbing group… So misleading!

      Was the manga that boring? Too slow? It seems that couple of people complained about the manga

      • Jrow says:

        The chapters are about 40 pages which is too much, imo. It’s a lot of work just to read one chapter and not really have much development.

  13. Hime says:

    DEEN are taking their cues from SHAFT I see….

    • anaaga says:

      Bitches can’t be original. Next thing we know they’ll start copying JC Staff’s style

      • lvlln says:

        As others have mentioned, it’s not so much ripping off Shaft as it is a storyboarder and episode director from Shaft being the director of this show.

        It is interesting, though, that Shaft has managed to have some significant influence in the late-night anime circles. I never would have imagined the studio being in such a position when I was watching Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei almost 5 years ago.

        • anaaga says:

          I’m sure there’s a reason why Sankarea looks similar to SHAFT (the SHAFT staff). Unfortunately there are some anti-DEEN that just can’t stop bashing DEEN and will overlook that fact. Like me.

  14. Dan says:

    From reading the manga you can see that ‘growth’ will be shown through the characers. This anime will have many fans.
    BTW; I, as a boy who is attracted to zombies(not sexually), would really love to find that zombie clock that Chihiro wakes up to. :]

    • anaaga says:

      I actually have the screenshot of that clock! I wonder where I could get that too. Do they even produce that kind clock in real life?

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