Final Review: Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead is the sequel to the surprisingly popular Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? series from Winter 2011. The sequel series premiered in the Spring 2012 anime season and was licensed for simulcast streaming by Funimation Entertainment. As a result of the surprising popularity for its predecessor, high expectations by many fans were held for the sequel. So did the series deliver its inhuman blowout once more?

This sequel…I’m really not sure how to describe it except roughly 70-80% filler and 20% of meaningful content. The story lacked a consistent flow and new characters were just “there” without much introduction. Eucliwood Hellscythe definitely began to play a much larger role overall now that she could “speak,”  but at the end of the day, I felt the series went in circles in the 10 episode run. Usually when a show with source material is given a short (and abnormal) episode count, you can either expect one of two things: lackluster material to animate or little filler. This show of course chose the former. While some may disagree with the whole “time wasting” aspect of this show, I’m unfortunately not in that boat. I should also note that the OP video played little role this time in unveiling anything interesting about the series this time. I was hoping for some epic conflict with Kyouko, but we ended up getting something boring…

Animation wise, the show continues to remain impressive. Solid movement and fluidity with great visuals to match the dark setting of the show. Character designs improved but artistic consistency was quite poor this time around with inconsistent facial expressions and a number of distant shots. Backgrounds remain unimpressive overall. Studio DEEN has certainly improved their quality from when the first season aired last Winter but considering their other title this season, Sankarea, which happens to also be a zombie title, Sankarea is clearly the better animated the show.

OP is decent but not as good as the first series. It’s also not a title I personally would listen to on a long-term basis. ED is still funny and is better than the first series but again not something I would listen to on a long-term basis. In contrast, the musical score has improved for the show overall. A number of memorable tracks now, especially in the final fight of the series between Eu and Belphegor/Dark Ayumu. Seiyuu cast remains average overall with only the different Eucliwood Hellscythe seiyuus being the most entertaining aspects.

Enjoyment? The series got worse as it dragged on. There were a couple interesting episodes towards the end, but for the most part, it was really 20% meaningful. There were many other shows in the Spring 2012 anime season that kept and are keeping my interest far more. This show needs to get its act together and start telling a “story.” It clearly has one (not to mention one that is very interesting), but it refuses to progress in any meaningful fashion. The fact that we didn’t see any major fight this season was also a huge downer given the amount in the prequel (the finale does not count as major).

Overall, the series is losing steam fast. The staff/studio is milking this series too fast and too soon. My guess is they ran out of material to animate but even if they didn’t, they need to do something else if they want to keep the franchise going. It has some great potential, but this season literally flushed most of it down the drain. I personally do not see what many people find good about this season compared to its prequel.

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0.5/1): Same setup as the prequel. Nothing really changed, which is expected.
  • Character Personalities (1/1): Characters retain their interesting personalities. The main cast continue to keep the show entertaining, particularly Eucliwood Hellscythe.
  • Character Development (0.5/2): The show primarily focused on the supporting cast this time and to some extent Ayumu. Overall, the development was rather weak.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (1/2): The fact that it’s barely been over a year and that I don’t even recall some of the characters that appeared in the first series pretty much sums up majority of the character’s “usefulness.”
  • Pacing: (0/1): Filler, filler, and more filler. Or at least what certainly it felt like. The show went on for about half of the season (whole season is only 10 episodes) with fixing Mystletain. Then there was a bunch of randomness with Chris and Kyouko after that. The show didn’t have a solid flow like the first season did.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1/2): If you were expecting this show to make any more sense than its predecessor, then you were watching the wrong show. The show was never meant to have any “reason” to begin with. I should also note that a lot of the comedy this time was rather bland even though Eu now being able to talk opened a new realm of possibilities.
  • Conclusion (1/1): If there’s one this series has been able to do consistently, it’s pulling off a fantastic finale. In the first season, the second to last episode concluded the “main” arc of the show with a nice moment between Eu and Ayumu. This season does the same and manages to at least tie the comedy in well as well.
  • Total: 5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1/2): Backgrounds continue to remain the weakest aspect of the show except in the OP video. Lack of detail and very plain backgrounds continue to hurt this series when the OP video clearly shows the series can do much better.
  • Character Designs (1/2): Character designs are far sharper than they were for the prequel. The downside, however, is I saw more inconsistencies in the character designs and details than in the first series, which is not an ideal trade-off. It’s basically one-for-one.
  • Fluidity (2/2): One of the strongest aspects of the prequel and the sequel continues with even better movement action. While not as much character movement as the first series, the quality does show when there is a lot of movement in a single scene.
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (2/2): Same as fluidity. It continues to be the strong point in the show.
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (1/2): Studio DEEN continues to be impressive with this show, but it didn’t really improve significantly from the first series.
  • Total: 7/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (1.5/3): OP/ED were both decent, but not something worth remembering on a long-term basis.
  • Background Music (1.5/2): Improved a lot from the first series. Great musical score despite the lack of action. Exceptionally good in the finale. Still missing something that makes it perfect though.
  • Sound Effects (1/2): Sound effects remain not entirely memorable for the most part.
  • Seiyuu (2/3): Pretty average overall. Nothing really stood out. The Hellscythe seiyuus this time were a bit more interesting though.
  • Total: 6/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (0/2): Completely 0 at this point. The show literally did not start as interesting as the first series. Funnier with the whole slapstick comedy and references, but no as good as the first series. Got worse as the series went on.
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (0/2): I tried to like this show but there were a number of more interesting titles this season.
  • Presentation: (0.5/2): It required the audience to sit through what seems like filler for a number of episodes. It has a few good laughs every now and then, but it’s not something that I would say that would keep interest for long.
  • Re-watchable (0.5/1): The last episode really is all that’s worth watching.
  • Recommendation (1/2): If you enjoyed the first series, I guess then. If you enjoy slapstick then sure. If you like zombies, this is the wrong show to watch (as is Sankarea)….then again, I guess it depends on what kind of zombies.
  • Value (0/1): Not a gem. The first series shot itself in the foot with the final episode after a great buildup and this show does the opposite by doing a poor buildup with a great finale, not exactly what I call a show with value if you make your audience sit through a lot of pain (e.g. Endless Eight).
  • Total: 2/10

Preliminary Score: 6/10

Final Score: 5/10

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