Zombie Loan – I lost mine, can you lend me yours?

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Oh lord. There are so many really bad jokes I can think of (I’m sure there are a ton out there already). I couldn’t help but chuckle after looking at the name of this title. It’s just a terrible name for a title – it really sounds like some people who knows very little about English wanted to come up with a catchy name in English that will impress the other people in their country (the thought, “duh” comes to mind). But on to the review.

I, like many other reviewers, didn’t like the OP of this show – the singer howled too much and he tried to be kind of punkish, but his voice was rather unpleasant to listen. The music really isn’t anything great. It’s J-Rock. I happen to think the ’80’s J-Rock, like the Bubblegum Crisis stuff, was gold. But the recent stuff tend to suck. Well, if these stuff draw in J-girls, then it works for them, eh? Back to the review

Kita Michiru, our heroine, suffers from the same problem a lot of shy Japanese (or any other country, really) teenagers (and Otakus) have – unable to voice her opinions and fight back in anyway. I don’t want to use the term “spineless” since that’s a rather harsh comment, but her friends always send her as the errand girl for things, and one of these things is buying lunch (we don’t know if there are any others). She’s a meganeko (girl with glasses), shy, but other than that we don’t learn much about her in the first eps. A good anime can often help us learn quite a lot about someone in eps one, but we really don’t get to know too much about her. We do get a hint why she may be like the way she is – her mom died and her mom’s younger sister’s family’s taking her of her, and from the argument her aunt has with her husband, we learn that her aunt isn’t quite happy about this decision.

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Japanese has this phenomenon that when a family member dies, her sisters/brothers/or even cousin’s family is expected to look after the remaining family – I said phenomenon because the average Japanese can get really selfish, and deep inside, they don’t want to take care of those who are left behind, even though they’re family. It seems their concept for taking care of people is really based on social expectations and face issues and not out of love. Some have love, but a lot don’t. Our heroine has the unfortunate fate of being in the care of relatives that belong to the later category.

That’s the hint for the reason why she’s suicidal. She kind of gets into an argument with one of the bishonen main characters (it seems clear to me that they’re drawn for yaoi fan girls). So let’s talk about these two bishonen.

Akatsuki Chika, and Tachibana Shito are two miraculous survivors of a terrible bus accident. They are referred by the press as Young man B and Young man A. There’s an supernatural reason why they survived. Apparently, they took a “loan of life” from perhaps Death, so that they can come back alive (we don’t know yet exactly why they want to come back to this shitty world). But in return they have to work to hunt down the undead – they’re undead too, it’s just that because they were completely dead once, and they were brought back, so they have their own thoughts and feelings. But the undead they’re hunting are supposed to be mindless freaks that do…what? I don’t know yet. I guess eating people’s brains, or organs? Then get the Claymores to take care of them! Just kidding. The story takes place in our time, apparently.

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So in a sense, they’re zombies. I guess that’s why they work for the Zombie-Loan company, where they only accept dead customers. But Michiru isn’t dead at all. So why did they bother to get near her? Well, she has this ability called the “eye of death”, which means she can see rings on people’s necks. The people with dark rings are supposed to be dead already. But since they’re still walking around, they’re targets for Shito and Chika to take out – these people are the mindless zombies that would do mindless actions, I guess that includes killing, but I’m not quite sure. Anyway, it’s the two bishonen’s job to stop them. Shito uses a gun, and Chika uses a katana.

They work at the “Z-Loan firm”, which stands for Zombie-Loan (snicker) firm. Some interesting characters work there. There’s the always pissed older guy, and the strange and creepy older guy with blond locks, and Saito Chiwa plays the receptionist with the deceptively sweet voice.

I’d say the animation is not bad, but this is Xebec work, so I wouldn’t bet on it being good all the way through. Incidentally, Xebec did Battleship Nadeshico (Martian Successor Nadeshico), in which, Houko-chan made her debut as Yurika Mishimaru.

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I can’t say I’m really impressed with this eps. I didn’t learn enough about Michiru, and why she’s suicidal, and I get the feeling that I won’t really get to learn about it in the next eps. The bishonen don’t strike me as anything special. They have the same attitude problem that a lot of bishonen in anime/manga have (especially in X the TV series). The whole show gives me a sense of blandness that I can’t quite put my finger on. I felt that it’s a little bit like Venus Versus Virus in that they both fight some kind of undead, but in this one, no characters particularly strike me as anything special, not that Venus Versus Virus TV series was anything special to me either. I’m rather picky despite the fact that I don’t really drop shows any more. However, for Houko-chan’s work, I like Claymore better. Claymore struck me with a deep impression even on just eps 1.

The preview for this eps of Zombie Loan is interesting. Michiru wonders if she’ll still be alive by the next eps. That hook certainly adds some urgency to the plot. But again, the only hint we get about why she’s suicidal is the fact she’s adapted but not really loved by her adapted parents.

Shito does say something interesting about being alive and death. But I’ll save that so people who are interested can check it out.

Despite my harshness, I’m recommending people to at least give this show a shot for 4 eps (Mike goes for 6 eps, usually). If it doesn’t improve in 4 eps, then forget it. So for this eps,

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72% recommended for your daily anime diet.

P.S. there are some chibi humor involved, but this show isn’t a black comedy at all.

P.S. 2 the background detail is excellent.

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