Once more, as I sat down to write this list, I realized that there were some glaring holes in my zombie anime experience. I haven’t watched Highschool of the Dead, Is that a Zombie or Corpse princess and I have a feeling a lot of my readers are expecting them on the list. Sorry about that. Alls I can say is that these shows weren’t snubbed, I just haven’t seen them yet.
But I have seen enough zombie anime to make a list! And for some reason, I have been itching for another good zombie story so I might pick up some of the ones I have missed. For now though, here are my top 5 zombie anime!
5. D-Gray Man
To be honest I have not seen the D-Gray man anime but I have read the manga. And it’s a weird manga. Nevertheless, I fell for it big time. And it certainly has its share of reanimated corpses running around.
D-Gray man essentially has its own rich lore so it pours in tons of magic and mysticism into the zombie myth it uses. That may be why I don’t remember the actual term Zombie being used. Still, there’s no denying that this is very much a zombie story, just one told to us as if it were an ancient Eastern fairytale. I got to pick it up again!
I’m not sure how many of my readers have seen this series. I don’t hear people talk about it much. For my money, it’s probably one of the best reinventions of the zombie myth out there. It uses a lot of the familiar tropes but with subtle subversion and additions to make it both more haunting and sad and yet somehow kind of mundane.
As a series, Sunday Without God tended to falter in execution but it had a lot of good ideas and none more interesting than how it interpreted zombies. For that reason, I think it’s a must-watch for any zombie aficionado out there. It’s got something unique to offer to the genre.
3. School Live
Man, you know I was spoiled making this list if School Live is number 3. I was obsessed with this anime and it’s the reason I started my blog. There’s no School Live review on here you say. Yup, there isn’t. I watched it before starting I Drink and Watch Anime and I really wanted to talk about those first episodes with someone but no one I knew had seen it or would care to do so. I found that so frustrating that I ended up getting the idea for the blog shortly after. Then I never got around to writing a review because the moment had passed.
So School Live attempts to mix adorable school girls and deadly zombies. and it works. Maybe it works less well when you know the premise but I found it tense and engaging all until the last episode. I also do like how traditional the zombies in School Live are. These are the slow shambling corpses that can infect with a bite or wound that we all know and… love?
I’m not sure how Zombie Land Saga was perceived at large. I really liked it and so did Crow who I reviewed it with. We had a blast watching season 1 and I know for sure I will be watching season 2. (I’m writing this in February but that second season might already be playing by the time I publish it). However, a dear blogger friend of mine who loves cute girl anime thought it was unwatchable and I did see some more scathing reviews. So I guess the reception was mixed?
Or maybe I just have a soft spot for cute girls and comedy zombies. In any case, Zombie Land Saga is actually fairly faithful to traditional zombie tropes except that it treats its zombies as if they were normal everyday people. And I fell in love with it.
1. Tokyo Ghoul
I have to rewatch the series. I saw it a long time ago under less than ideal circumstances and as a result, I hardly remember anything. Nevertheless, I do know I liked it at the time and it certainly is the first anime I think of when I think of zombie anime. And who doesn’t spend their days thinking of zombie anime?
But it’s not only me. I would bet that if you ask any random anime fan out there to name some zombie anime off the top of their head, 90% would come up with Tokyo Ghoul as an answer. The series has permeated our otaku collective to install itself as a quintessential title in the animated zombie genre. Just for that, I think it deserves the top spot. Very few other anime have the same type of cultural significance. At least in the zombie genre.
I might be making the pool a bit too small.
In any case, these are my current top 5 favorite top 5 zombie anime! I wonder what the next big monster trend will be. I’m hoping Kaiju. Kaiju No. 8 is really awesome!
Do you have a favourite Zombie anime? What is it? Did you also think of Tokyo Ghoul when you saw the title of the post?