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.