And to you as well, logic!
Well let’s consider the focus of what happened in these last two episodes. Love interest and some melodrama. Yeah ok fine there was some melodrama in episode 3 near the end, but that’s nothing compared to all this not-so-subtle pointing to the fact that Ayumu is special. Somehow. Why? Eh, it’s not like it really matters. He just is. But what really, really matters at this point is just how subversive this show is in terms our expectations for the female characters.
Did you think for a second that any of them are as they appear to be? Yeah think again. You know, something that struck me about Ayumu is just how similar he is to the generic male protagonist in literally every silly romance show out there. Altruistic, yet not without his flaws. Funny, caring, interesting to be around, etc, etc. The only real difference between him and a lot of male romance leads is… well…
This for one…
But in the end it doesn’t really matter, because what matters in a romance is just that his personality is aligned correctly.
Ok, now let’s observe the girls. Yeah sure, they’re cold to Ayumu, but they’re actually with him, so I’m assuming that for at least Yuu and Haruna, they have some connection with him. It’s highly unlikely in the case of Sera, but that’s probably episode 6 or something.
But they like him for some mysterious reason, as the overly long, drawn out conversations in episodes 5 and 6 about Yuu and Haruna respectively showed. Hm… Liking the protagonist for some mysterious reason even though he seems rather repellent and consistently harasses the girl… What does this remind me of…
No, seriously. The only real difference here is in the number of romance ends that Ayumu has available to him. The personality elements align more or less correctly, and the melodrama follows from the development of the characters, etc, etc.
But what’s different here? Well, for one, there’s some melodrama, but it’s a different kind of melodrama. The reason is because the major focus of the melodrama isn’t on some sort of personality defect of the girl characters, but it’s because they’re so damn good at something that they become a victim of their own powers so to speak.
Episodes 4 and 5 pretty much set up this paradigm really neatly. For example, Yuu suffers because she’s just so damn powerful. It causes conflicting feelings on the part of the viewer. On the one hand, you want to feel sorry for her because she’s a victim of circumstance. On the other hand… She can pretty much blow up the world whenever she feels like it. The viewer is then trapped between these two conflicting opinions of the character, but the likely side that ends up winning is the “feel sorry” side because, well, either because we’re just inherently sexist, or because we view her as a human being first and as a necromancer second. It depends on your point of view.
But even though one side does seem to win out, our opinion is still tempered by the mere threat of her power. In fact, KoreZombie plays on this by pretty much introducing a situation where Yuu’s power has to be used the episode after the extent of her power is revealed. Ok, sure, we feel sorry for her, but even that gets pushed to the side in favor of her powers.
Yeah I don’t even remember what was said about her in the previous episode at this point.
Apart from her power, Haruna and Sera are pretty damn badass, along with Kyouko, who I’ll get to later. The common thread between all of them is just that they’re all pretty much self sufficient. I highly doubt that any of them actually need Ayumu for anything. In that sense, they’re all people who, in our minds, can be separated from him. Pick any other harem show, and that’s not how we think. When we think of the girl, we think of the male, and vice-versa. You can’t throw away the male lead and expect to think of the female characters in the same way.
But KoreZombie basically expects us to think this way. Yuu, Haruna, and Sera would all be the same without Ayumu around. If Ayumu isn’t around, fine, no big deal. If you think of something like Infinite Stratos, try to separate the essentially tsundere attitude of each character when they’re around the generic male protagonist out from their normal personality… Yeah that’s not possible.
I mean they basically destroyed this mental connection of ours between Kyouko and Ayumu in episode 5. In episode 3, we could only think of her as a really shy character around Ayumu. Now, we don’t see her as like yandere for Ayumu, but instead just as a general bitch.
KoreZombie basically takes your generic harem set up, makes you think that it’s going to be a generic harem, then trolls you multiple times along the way as you try to think of it as a generic harem. It trolls you subtly, but it trolls you nonetheless.
Speaking of trolling, I suppose that I should mention the two major trolls in episodes 4 and 5. First off, the ending of episode 4:
I don’t even get how this logically relates to what we saw in episode 5.
On the one hand, it seems like a confirmation that Yuu’s the killer. She came back to silence it, and Kyouko is vindicated of possibly being a liar just by the virtue of her death. On the other hand, Yuu’s characterization in this episode points against this interpretation, which means that Kyouko was lying? And then what happens in episode 5… This scene isn’t even mentioned. So yeah, this scene is just meant to screw with us. It’s really just an example of how this show sets up expectations, then blows them up.
But the other half to this troll is:
So… She’s like everything?
So apparently Kyouko is: a masou shoujo, some spin off of a kyuuketsu ninja, and has multiple lives. I call foul. Ayumu was supposed to be everything. Why the hell else would you start every episode with the line that “I’m a zombie… and a masou shoujo” if you aren’t going to add to the list?
But I digress. By typing Kyouko as basically your generic antagonist, I’m almost certain that the show is setting up another wrong expectation scenario. Given the pattern that’s emerged so far, it certainly seems that way. The show seems to set up really anything and parody it. I don’t expect this pattern to change any time soon. Clearly the females in this show are far more powerful than what we would normally expect. Now it’s just time to see how the series trolls us next in this regard. From the looks of the number of characters in the light novel, there’s a lot more fodder left to just screw around with Ayumu’s “harem”, if you can even call it that.