I’m happy to see that the first episode of ZOM 100 was generally well-received. All things considered, it’s a bit of a goofy zombie story but I think it goes to some genuinely touching places and I’m glad I’ll get to see those scenes in fully animated glory.
If anyone survives long enough to get there that is…
If you are digging the work is heck messaging of this show, I hope you enjoyed it thoroughly because I’m pretty sure it’s going to take a back seat from now on.
There are a lot of things you can read into ZOM 100. The I don’t dream of labour thing is pretty obvious. At its core, it’s a lot about seizing the moment and not putting off the things you really want to do in life. Although even more simply it’s about just taking some time to figure out what things you really want to do in life. But that scene with the news report, I sort of saw it as how we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we can easily ignore the greater context. The world is falling apart around Akira, this could very well be the end of humanity as far as he knows. But right now, he needs to get some beer!
And I think the show is actually presenting this as sort of a good thing. We often get the opposite message, that we’re too self-involved. That we’re likely to let the world burn without even noticing because we’re more preoccupied with petty entertainment. However, Japan isn’t exactly known for its people being overly individualistic. Quite the opposite. And I think this scene was saying, yes, there are huge problems in the world, but sometimes you need to take a minute and just do something for yourself. Maybe I,m reading too much into it. I definitely am.
We’re only in the second episode and already Akira’s world is expanding. He got to meet three survivors, isn’t that great. I always really loved the Kosakas’ contribution to ZOM 100. The first meeting between Akira and Mr. Kosaka is hilarious and a great way to get us back into the lighthearted humour of it all after the newscast. It also lets us know that the world isn’t all gloom and doom and one guy getting one last drink.
But then he comes back and the Ksaka’s apartment has been ransacked. It’s obvious they didn’t make it. ZOM 100 doesn’t feel the need to show us the gore or linger on lifeless bodies. Akira doesn’t break down in despair, not that he ever would I think. But that empty apartment is a powerful scene. The mood is solemn and there is no artifice to distract us from the reality of the situation. ZOM 100 may be lighthearted and optimistic, but it is a story about the end of the world. And it doesn’t minimize the fact that some horrible things are happening. Personally, that scene just resonated with me.
Obviously, I can’t talk about this episode without mentioning Shizuka. The issue is, I don’t have much to say about Shizuka. I like her well enough. I think she’s a great foil for Akira. I find it fun that the “fanservice” character happens to be the serious and super-efficient archetype. But that’s about it. She’s the straight man. It’s an important but thankless job and I just don’t have much to say about her this week.
Except that when a zombie apocalypse breaks out, I want her by my side! Who am I kidding, I’ll probably be the 3rd one dead.