Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? 03 – Another Look at The Family

Looks nice and inviting doesn’t it?

God Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? just keeps on getting better. Last week I talked about how the show is actually subverting numerous modern tropes. Unfortunately I really can’t afford to spend as much time writing up these posts as I did last week, so I’m going to cut back a bit on the long analysis and write up something a bit shorter. In any case, this week KoreZombie focused in on another element: The family.

I mean let’s face it: Ayumu’s family is maybe just a little… dysfunctional. His parents are never at home, and instead they’re off traveling. Yes, you heard that right. Traveling. Generally kids being left at home alone for extended periods of time isn’t unheard of in anime, but the parents are usually working. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s not what a family is supposed to be about.

Ok then, so what is a family supposed to be in the day and age that KoreZombie is taking place in? I think that the answer comes easiest when we compare KoreZombie to Fractale.

Crazy you say? Well it’s appropriate when we take the world of Fractale as the antithesis of our contemporary life. The world of Fractale is one where our conception of the “family” doesn’t exist. Everything is decentralized, and the notion of the family has become one of freedom. Houses, in fact, tie us down and limit our freedom.

But let’s consider the portrait of the family life as it is presented in KoreZombie. Literally 3/4 of the episode is devoted to these random games that the girls play as they duke it out for a cup of pudding. Let’s go through the games that they play:



Twister (I didn’t even know Twister was that popular in Japan!)


Granted, these activities are done without Ayumu, who is busy at school, but it highlights an important point nonetheless: Isn’t it great having a family? It’s not a family in the traditional sense by any means, but let’s face it. This is currently a comedy about, literally, three girls coming in and taking the role of Ayumu’s parents.

In fact, the scenes of the three girls having fun is juxtaposed against the failure of Ayumu’s friend. It’s actually incredibly sad for him to just not get it. His rather pitiful situation is meant as a juxtaposition with Ayumu’s situation. What was once a lonely existence as seen in the previous episode has made such an incredible turnaround.

On the one hand, the anime shows the joys and laughs to be gained from having a family together in a settled down house, but it has also began to highlight the sadness of not having one.

Meet moe (?) girl #4

While the first 75% of the episode was devoted to demonstrating the joys of the family and of close companions, the last 25% of the episode was devoted to demonstrating the sadness and tragedy of not having really anyone to turn to.

Or are you going to tell me that you felt nothing?

But as interesting as this dichotomy is, the show also uses this same opportunity to advance the plot. It was actually really well done just how they worked plot advancement and thematic advancement simultaneously in the same scene. Usually a show has to sacrifice one or the other, but KoreZombie deserves praise for storyboarding this just right.

But while I’m on the topic of this new girl, I’d like to tackle something completely different in KoreZombie, and that was the use of fanservice in this episode. Can a show really be a deconstruction of modern tropes if it seems to use fanservice so liberally? Well the show definitely panders. I mean I think we can all agree on that. But here’s the interesting thing about the show. It does two completely different types of fanservice.

The fanservice in KoreZombie can be broken up into two distinct elements. First, the physical fanservice, which emphasizes the sexual elements of the girls (basically the breasts). On the other hand, there is also the emotional/moe fanservice, which is best exemplified in the fantasies of Ayumu and friend.

Lol so wrong and so off.

We’re meant to contrast these two types of fanservice together. On the one hand, there is absolutely no way that the kind of fanservice that Ayumu and friend think of can ever come true. It’s antithetical to the personalities of the female characters. In a sense, the fanservice in this realm is actually making fun of the fantasies of these stereotypical male characters. They’re stuck in their own fantasy world that they can’t escape from. We’re looking at a completely different sort of fanservice from most other harem/moe shows, where the fanservice fantasies of the main characters are actually grounded in reality. The fanservice in KoreZombie is the opposite. It laughs and pokes fun at the males. At the same time, the show isn’t afraid to say that it knows that females are attractive. To deny that fact is kind of denying part of what makes a woman a woman. I would say that most of the fanservice in the anime in this regard is geared towards this sort of reaction.

Fanservicey clothes, yes, but also an assertive fashion statement.

But anyway, back to this plot advancement. Is it really as simple as it looks. On the one hand, it seems as though the portrait of Ayumu’s perfect family life is ruined. But is that really what’s going on here? Recall in the previous episode just how violently Yuu reacted to the mere mention of death. Can she really be the killer?

If so, she’s a damn good prophet and actress.

Clearly someone has to be lying here. Either this new girl is being a good moe liar, or Yuu has a much darker side to her. The next episode will likely answer this question, and I’ll be interested to see how it plays into the theme and narrative of the show.

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  1. Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Sera sure as hell knows how to be stylish. Daaaaaamn.

  2. Itsu
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Yuu is a killer, perhaps just some other necromancers or someone that looks and dresses like her?

    • Posted January 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Now that would be even more of a coincidence than anything. I get the feeling that this show is far too self-contained to do anything like that lol.

    • jetbird1126
      Posted February 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      If you check the op, there are five oddly dressed females(?) with weapons, but I don’t think they fit the description. So its still a mystery.

  3. Fenrir
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Maybe none are lying. Ayumu could have being killed at the new girl’s house and Yuu was there to save him. But if the new girl saw Yuu, why did she not see Ayumu? And how did Yuu drag Ayumu to the cemetery??? Hmmm….. Then again this is all based on the assumption of Ayumu being at the new girl’s house which could be wrong. @.@

    • Posted January 29, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Well technically Yuu wouldn’t be LYING, since she never denied that she was the killer. Rather she just didn’t reveal the full truth to Ayumu. Even still, it’s kind of considered a betrayal of trust, especially considering how Ayumu’s existence now seems to be defined by his quest to find the serial killer.

  4. Fencedude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Kaneda Tomoko as Delusion Yuu was the funniest thing I’d seen in ages.

    Also Sera has perfect breasts, and it would be a crime not to showcase them adequately.

    • Darkfireblade25
      Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      It seems like you know who they are referring to when they mention the random names in the delusions… care to explain? @.@

      • Fencedude
        Posted January 28, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        So far, each episode “Delusion Yuu” has been played by a different, relatively well known Seiyuu.

        First episode was Mitsuishi Kotono, whom you may know from, well, all sorts of things, but notably Misato in Evangelion and Usagi from Sailor Moon.

        Second episode was Kanai Mika, Vanilla from Galaxy Angel and Satoko from Higurashi, again, among many other roles.

        Third episode was Kaneda Tomoko, best known for being outstandingly adorable as Chiyo-chan in Azumanga, and being spectacularly annoying in almost every other role she’s ever had.

        Finding out who’s Delusion Yuu each week is one of the highlights of watching the show.

  5. Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    I’m gonna go with the theory that there’s another necromancer going around killing people. We don’t know why Yuu came to that town, maybe it was to hunt the necromancer going berserk (and she was left at the minimart when Ayumu stumbled across a house with the serial killer in it).

    Ayumu has a bunch of girls to keep him company but I’m alone in my dorm room watching anime and eating pizza….. waaaaaaaa

  6. Jaysus
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Twin-tails girl is obviously the killer… she even has a wood sword just laying around in her hospital room. She knows MC is no longer human and is trying to cause turmoil in his relationship with Yuu, who is probably twin-tails’ real target.

  7. Posted January 28, 2011 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Damn, you can tell shit’s about to go down here….and the wooden sword is definitely suspicious now that you mention it. Oh well, I guess I got distracted by the girl’s moe-power…

    • Ressy
      Posted January 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget that she specifically asked to see Mr. Zombie, which is also highly suspicious.

      Btw I like how he doesn’t remember her at all from Middle School, take that tropes!

      • Fencedude
        Posted January 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Whats to say she even actually went to middle school with him?

  8. Posted January 28, 2011 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Seeing as how Yuu got so worked up on Haruna (Death is Painful), I highly doubt she is the killer. Still very skeptic about this hospital girl and why she wanted to see Ayumu so badly.

  9. skyhack
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Ayumu’s folks were last seen traveling with the Hirasawas.

  10. ~xxx
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    The delusions are getting wilder(not to mention Tomoko Kaneda as one of them).

    Over all I enjoyed it. Man, Orito’s just simply is stupid.

  11. franci..
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    me voy ya mismo a buscar esta serie parece muy buena

    • jetbird1126
      Posted February 2, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      buena suerte y divertirse

  12. Posted January 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Fun episode a bit more on the fan service than comedy this time, but I like the mix of the two during this one. Kyouko sure gets close to Aikawa fast! He doesn’t even remember her and she is all over him, something about her seems off to me not sure what yet. In the end I think Hellscythe as the killer might be interesting turn, not original of course but still good. Or she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  13. ewok40k
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    that and madoka magica are fave shows for me this season, being deconstructions of fantasy harem and magical girl series…

  14. Posted January 31, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Hello Mystlord! I was intruiged by your comments on a dysfunctional family. I agree that in many manga and anime, parents are not a part of the equation. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing, whether they’re dead, working, or (and I agree with you that it does seem quite ridiculous) travelling, it’s the fact that they’re not there. Sometimes they’re not there out of a strong sense care for their child but their absence creates neglect. And that’s how we connect to characters, through the neglect their parents give them. We’ve all felt neglected by our parents at some point and that’s what allows us to understand or admire characters. Maybe this absence of his parents is supposed to make him a stronger person, or maybe help him establish a deeper connection to the family that the girls provide. We’ll just have to see! :)

  15. Jay
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I like the show, but its theme seems to conflict with its premise.

    The show mocks how distant the high school guys are from female reality, but its female characters aren’t even slightly grounded in reality. It mocks the dork for assuming Sera’s a model, but is that less unlikely than “vampire ninja”? Silly boys, they project a ridiculous fantasy onto the girls, but the girls are based in an even more ridiculous fantasy.

  16. Posted February 1, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I think there is absolutely no chance that Yuu is the killer, for the reason you mentioned–how she reacted to the way Haruna was telling Ayumu to die.

  17. Yuuuuuuu~
    Posted February 2, 2011 at 5:31 am | Permalink


    Watch episode 4, you’ll see she’s not the killer.

    When is 04 review coming out? That episode.. Was.. The best episode for anything I have seen in a while. If the show keeps going as it is, I might actually make it top Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
    No doubt, the top two animes for the year.

    • Fencedude
      Posted February 2, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Nothing in episode 4 invalidated her being the killer.

      • Lol.
        Posted February 3, 2011 at 1:37 am | Permalink

        Compare her to overly suspicious childhood wannabe friend in the hospital with big tits.
        I don’t need to explain as her suspicions have been discussed on many a streaming site/downloading site.

        Whereas it was not HOLYCRAP YUU IS THE KLLER..
        Eucliwood, does not like death. (Note : Episode… 2?3? Slaps loli shoujo)
        In episode 4, you saw her when she was talking to Aikawa, right? That’s not how any sort of killer acts.
        Not to mention SHE DOESN’T CARRY AROUND A SWORD. If she wanted to kill people – she would use her MAGIC, as she is the necromancer of the underworld. A highly respected one as it appears.

        But, whatever – it’s opinion.
        It would be fucking retarded if writers pulled it out of their ass and said Yuu was the killer when she is obviously not. Her character does not fit. I would dare and say that Haruna is the killer over her.

      • Jay
        Posted February 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        My best guess is that Yuu isn’t the killer, but is somehow responsible for the killer. Her power doesn’t obey her, so maybe she accidentally reanimated or cursed somebody (probably Twintails).

      • Fencedude
        Posted February 4, 2011 at 12:24 am | Permalink


        I totally thought the post I was responding to indicated that Kyouko wasn’t the killer, not Yuu. I blame this for reading it through the filter of episode 4.

        Yes, Kyouko is horrificaly suspicious, even more so now.

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