If you’re a fan of dark comedy, you ought to watch Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead. Let’s review this funny, satirical seinen zombie anime comedy series.
Table of Contents
- Zom 100 Basics
- Artwork and Music
- Voice Acting
- Final Verdict
Zom 100 Basics
Zom 100 is a zombie apocalypse comedy. It follows in the footsteps of such dark comedies as Is This A Zombie?, or The Legendary Hero is Dead!, or even the British live-action film Shaun of the Dead.
However, the series is also a clever satire on Japanese culture, especially the exploitative “black company” office workplace.
Zom 100 brilliantly deconstructs the typical zombie story by asking, “what if a zombie apocalypse wasn’t a nightmare, but rather a salvation from toxic office culture?”
In Zom 100, Akira Tendo attempts to finish his “bucket list,” while avoiding the inevitable onslaught of the zombie hordes.
While the series is quite funny, it does get a TV-MA (mature) rating in the United States. Partially, this is because of the undead bodies. But the series also contains suicidal thoughts, abusive people, and some implied sex and nudity.
Zom 100 History and Delays
Zom 100 started out in 2018 as a manga by Haro Aso. An anime adaptation began in July 2023. However, the series faced several distribution delays. According to reports, this was due to scheduling conflicts, and other production issues.
To be honest, this schedule slippage is the most disappointing thing about Zom 100 so far. Hopefully, it won’t “run out of ink” like Evangelion did.
At the beginning of Zom 100, Akira (great name for an apocalyptic series) is stuck at a black corporation. The series gives him a brief glimmer of hope, before it crushes his dreams.
Zom 100 shows that Akira is metaphorically and ironically “dying on the inside,” if not literally. This is hard to watch, but it does explain Akira’s reaction to what happens next.
When the zombies arrive, Akira gets an epiphany — work no longer matters. This is all animated wonderfully, as Akira’s mood goes from confused panic to unexpected joy.
For the most part, the zombies are your typical bloodthirsty, walking dead monsters. But for Akira, they are the source of his freedom.
They’re still dangerous (if sometimes comical as they blunder around). And yet, the horde is somewhat manageable.
This gives Akira the opportunity to create a “bucket list.” This idea is touching, but also a huge source of comedy. For example, take the “childhood dream” of being a tokusatsu-style superhero — which somehow leads to fighting a zombie shark.
The bucket list eventually leads to a road trip with Akira, his friend “Kencho,” and the tough survivor girl/ potential love interest, Shizuka Mikazuki.
Unfortunately, even in the middle of the apocalypse, Akira can’t escape his past. He runs into his menacing bully of a former boss, Kosugi. Ironically, he’s a bigger threat to Akira’s well-being than the zombies.
By episode 9, they have escaped from Kosugi; found a new friend, Beatrix, a Japanophile from Germany; and made it to Akira’s hometown.
Note: The anime series hadn’t finished season 1 at the time that I wrote this (October 2023).
The series starts out in generic Tokyo, but there are some fun references to the posh Ginza shopping district.
Things get more interesting during the RV road trip to Gunma Prefecture. Gunma is best known for its hot springs and mountains. (It’s also home to the drift-racing roads of Initial D.)
When the RV gets waylaid by Kosugi’s truck stop, we get an interesting parody of the post-apocalyptic survivalist gang.
It’s a relief when our heroes finally make it to Gunma, including a funny hot springs visit at Kusatsu Onsen. Here again, the satire pops back up — the zombie horde could be a metaphor for crowds of tourists, making it impossible to relax.
Artwork and Music
The art is great. At first, the colors seem to reflect Akira’s mood. There’s a lot of grey and darkness.
However, the zombie attacks are surprisingly colorful, so that blood splatter looks like a paintball fight.
For a series about zombies, Zom 100 has a lot of “anime reactions,” which might be distracting in a more serious series. But here, it helps to lighten the mood. The series can go deep at times, but it always returns to the more upbeat attitude.
Kana-Boon brings that same weirdly positive energy to Zom 100’s opening theme, Song of the Dead. The second version (same song, different visuals) is especially surreal, with choreographed dancing zombies and a party atmosphere.
Kana-Boon’s music doesn’t sound like the dark and spooky theme for The Walking Dead, but it fits quite well. When I first heard it, I thought, “this sounds like a shonen action theme song,” and I was right. Kana-Boon has done several Naruto themes.
It can’t be easy to provide voices for a zombie comedy. But the main cast makes it believable.
- Shuichiro Umeda as Akira — He was previously Izumi in Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie.
- Tomori Kusunoki at Shizuka — Previously voiced Makima in Chainsaw Man.
- Makoto Furukawa as Kencho — His voices include Saitama in One-Punch Man, and Goto in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.
- Minami Takahashi as Beatrix — She was Lucoa in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Because the series is relatively new, it doesn’t have a lot of merch yet. But we found some good stuff:
Zom 100 manga, Amazon
One way to get to know an anime series better is to review the manga. Amazon has several volumes of the manga available.
Shizuka T-shirt, Hot Topic
If you want a Zom 100 shirt, Hot Topic has several, including this one.
Shizuka Figure, Crunchyroll Store
Crunchyroll will have this figurine of Shizuka. It’s a pre-order, so you have to be willing to wait until 2025.
Zom 100 T-shirt, Etsy
This simple design features the Zom 100 logo.
Zom 100 Anime Final Verdict: 9/10
You have to be in the right state of mind to watch this series. The fact that it combines a zombie apocalypse with comedy may not sit well with some viewers.
But, Zom 100 clearly isn’t really about the zombies. You don’t have to be a huge zombie fan to enjoy it.
It’s more of a philosophical, existential comedy, with zombies as the driving force behind it. The series has some downright hilarious moments.
The episode delay is an unfortunate smudge. But other than that, this series is worth watching.
If you want to see for yourself, you can watch the series on Netflix.
How to Watch Zom 100 on Netflix Anywhere in the World
This method works on both desktop PCs and mobile phones or tablets.
- Purchase (or start a free trial) of a VPN. I can confirm that NordVPN works for this purpose.
- In the settings, choose United States as your location.
- Fire up the VPN and wait for it to do its magic
- Once you’re connected, navigate to Netflix (browser or app)
- Search “Zom 100” in the Netflix search bar and you should see the anime pop up.
Enjoy! Please note that if your Netflix library doesn’t update to reflect the country you selected in your VPN, you may have to clear the Netflix cache first and try again.
To do this on mobile, go to settings -> apps -> Netflix -> clear cache. To do this on PC, you have to clear the cache in your web browser.
I’ve had no trouble using this method and I still use NordVPN to watch anime from various Netflix country libraries daily.
I hope this Zom 100 anime review gives you a good idea of what to expect with this series. Are you hooked and ready to start watching? Click here to find out where to watch Zom 100 online.