November 13, 2012
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Title: Sankarea
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: 7.2/10

Sankarea

Summary: Chihiro Furuya, who loves zombies above all else, meets the sweet girl Rea Sanka by chance, and he ropes her into “resurrecting” his dead cat. But then Rea claims she actually has become a zombie, and asks him to take responsibility for it.

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Review: Sankarea was probably one of my more looked forward to anime of the season because it was something new. A romance about a guy and girl, except the girl really wasn’t the typical girl. I don’t mean the “Oh she’s so quirky” kind of girl either; she was a zombie. Thanks to some odd circumstances a boy by the name of Chihiro happens to find the undead girl of his dreams. Yeah who would have thought that someone actually was craving a girl who was craving his flesh (in a very non-sexual way). I guess the best way to describe the series is “interesting”. I quite liked the characters and general plot, and more importantly the romance was bittersweet. A part of you knew what was going to happen in the series, but it compelled you to keep watching just in case. Probably the only things that the series was lacking was strong character development and solid ending.

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The art for Sankarea was rather well done. There are a lot of shots that I still remember from the series thanks to the beautiful lighting effects and neat character design. Of course the series was aimed towards males so there was a bit of ecchi here and there. For the most part though the series kept it rather clean. The character designs were nice but pretty stereotypical. Probably the only character that stood out more than the others was Chihiro. He had this awkward haircut that I don’t think anyone would sport in reality. Then again I’ve seen some pretty crazy things lately so maybe the messy, spikey look can be a fad at some point. The anime seemed to do a lot with lighting and had a mix of different hues. While most of the series stuck with the basic colors of anime, there were specific scenes that stood out. They did a great job bringing out very important or touching scenes through more than just witty dialogue and cast. I’m happy to say that the animation quality didn’t drop during the duration either.

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I’m probably happiest/most disappointed with the story because it had a lot of great things but a lot of annoying things as well. Let’s start with the bad because I like to end on a good note. Rea was for the most part an enjoyable heroine with her innocent mind and cute behaviors for most guys. Of course the slight twist of her being undead might have caused a bit of ruckus among the male population. Unfortunately I must be among the few males who don’t see her as a fit heroine. Despite having a rather traumatizing life filled with void love and unnatural affection she had no character depth. There wasn’t anything about her that stood out in the sea of 2D girls. Even though she was undead her personality wasn’t any different than a normal girl. I understand that having a “normal” girl that was actually a zombie was the whole shtick of the series but it could have been done a lot better. I’m a huge sucker for character development and this anime had close to none. I didn’t feel attached to any of the character by the end and quite  honestly don’t care much to see more of them in special or another season. Speak of another season, I don’t see any possible way they could have a second one. The ending was pretty half-assed and clear cut. Well maybe not ‘clear cut’, more like jagged cut because I had no idea what it was meant to represent. Now to move onto the good. The person everyone was talking about was Rea’s father, a creepy old man man that couldn’t see his daughter as a daughter. Instead she seemed more like a trophy, an object of his affection. Her father played one of those roles in anime that everyone absolutely hated, but you know was vital for story progression. I do take that into account and I consider it a good move on their part. It truly was disgusting the kind of character he was and the family life he represented. The mother wasn’t exactly mom of the year either. Her entire life was in shambles because of what she had to deal with. I’m glad they set that pretense and I felt it would bring light to a lot of great things into series. Unfortunately while the backstory was decently done the follow through wasn’t that great. The episodes were still fun and exciting to watch though. I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it, but I feel there were a lot of things that would have helped me enjoy it more. Ok so maybe there wasn’t much good to say about the anime, but as I said I did enjoy each episode. Most of the time it was light hearted and more over unique. I’m glad that they took a different spin on things from the typical romance. Instead of dealing with miscommunication and unnoticed feelings Rea and Chihiro had to deal with preserving a dead body. I plan to read the manga for a more in-depth version of the story and hopefully have it answer all the unanswered questions.

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The soundtrack for Sankarea was really well done and I absolutely feel in love with the opening by Nano.Ripe. Esoragato was an opening that wasn’t all lovey-dovey like some romance anime have. However, it fit perfectly with Sankarea’s heroine Rea. The English translation is easy to find and I suggest that everyone give it a look see (unless you already know Japanese then just listen to the song). I know for me personally I enjoyed the beats, lyrics, and meaning behind the song. The ending, Above Your Hand by Annabel wasn’t my favorites because it was a bit slower pace until roughly the 2:30 mark. I really liked the backup harmony and feel it should have been used quite a bit more throughout the song. The background music was really well done and it had some really intense tracks like Yomigaeri and some soothing tracks like Haritsumeta Kokoro. The mix makes it hard to say whether you will enjoy listening to the OST outside of the anime, but within the anime itself it helped bring out various emotions which was always a good thing.

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Final statements: I enjoyed Sankarea despite my rather lengthy negative story post and consider it a preferred watch. I don’t really want to say that I look forward to a season two but I will watch it if it does come out. I do plan on picking up the manga through which I believe has not ended yet (correct me if I’m wrong) to see what they have in store.

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