Sometimes you just miss the boat on certain anime. Either you just never get to watching a particular series or maybe you just never actually got exposed to it in any capacity. The same thing happened to me when I, recently, ran across a show called Zombie-Loan which had a fairly interesting premise. But when I started watching the show the animation style just…well… didn’t feel current. After a quick google search, I found out that this show, created by Peach-Pit studios, had actually been released in 2007 and I, quite simply, just had never heard of it. Although to be fair, that was in my early days of anime, Pre-Crunchyroll where I was exposed to far less anime and I didn’t go out of my way to seek more. I was in a happy-bliss of Initial D, Naruto and Bleach and felt like that was all I needed. But while Zombie-Loan does have an interesting premise, it does little to save this show and, while I am only about 5 episodes into its 13, I really don’t think this show is all that great.
Synopsis (Thank You MyAnimeList)
Do you know when you are going to die? Michiru Kita does, as she has the ability to see the ring of death around people’s necks. The darker the ring, the closer to death someone is. She notices that two boys in her class, Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana, have completely black rings. Seeking to warn them of their impending demise, she stumbles onto their secret: they are already dead, but they are kept alive due to a contract with Zombie-Loan. Of course, nothing comes without a price. The boys must hunt down and destroy zombies, seeking to use Michiru’s “Shinigami Eyes” to help them in their endeavor.
The show has its high points, don’t get me wrong! But I just think that it misses far more than it hits given the unique story and fairly open world created for it. For starters, Michiru, for me is just a very flat and boring character and while she is cute, that does little for me in the long run for a show that has her as our main protagonist. She is extremely dull and doesn’t really stand up for herself and I think you’re supposed to feel bad for her, but they give little in the way of a real back story so all sympathy is wasted. Granted, it seems like she is slowly coming out of her shell but by episode 5 she is in basically the same emotional place she was in during episode one and, let’s face it, there is not exactly a lot of time to develop her character given that the show only has one 13 episode season.
Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana are the closest thing you might have to “cool” characters in this show but even that feels a bit forced and stereotyped to me. They are essentially the living dead who made a contract with Zombie-Loan and hunt down zombies and other supernatural stuff to slowly and painfully pay off their debt. They are also tied together by fate because, when given their zombie-killing weapons some spirit tied them to the wrong hands. So to unleash their weapons and fight evil they need to be within a certain distance of one another and even trade hands to utilize their weapons. But they hate each other which leads to a lot of irrational anger. My issue with these two characters is that they’re basically just standard archetypes, one is the rough and tough asian deliquent while the other is the book-smart smug-type, it is supposed to be fun that they cannot get along but are stuck with each other but, instead, it’s just annoying because they constantly fight and bicker.
The show is also filled with some fairly interesting side characters in their own right that I suspect, under a different writer perhaps, would have a decent run if they had their own series to work with. I find myself continuing the show, in part, because of the side characters but also just to see where the story goes. But every episode I watch gets me less and less interesting in the shows finish. And I am really not one to be too heavy with the criticisms, honestly, look at my past reviews….I TRY to find reasons to like shows rather than hate them, but there is just too much to not enjoy about this show especially considering its potential.
So I don’t know, the premise is pretty fun but the execution just isn’t there for me. The art work isn’t great enough to hold my attention either and I really can’t give my full recommendation for this show. I mean, watch it if you have no other option and want to add this to your resume but that’s the only reason I can give you. Maybe I am just bitter, I wanted this show to be like an anime version of Supernatural but what I got felt like an even crappier version of Tokyo Ghoul, albeit way less whine-y, but the comparisons are definitely there.
And I’ll be honest, I have suffered through many bad anime openings but…wow… I HATED Zombie-Loan’s opening song right from the get-go. It’s a song called Ookami no Nodo by a band called The Birthday and its a sort of J-Rock/J-Pop Half Scream-o song that is just horrid and created an unlikable tone at the beginning of every show. Which is really sad because without the lyrics, the music actually sounds pretty darn cool. Here it is below for your enjoyment….or not: