Sankarea is a manga about a guy who has a zombie fetish suddenly getting the prettiest girl in the school on the other side of the street to fall for him. The anime is being produced by DEEN. Clearly this is the worst anime of the season, right?
To be honest, I really had zero expectations of this being anything but the usual drivel we get from DEEN, which perhaps added to my very much-welcomed surprise. Though the general message of the show is pretty much the same as the manga(read:rubbish), the people behind this anime took this crappy setup and made it something interesting to watch. Good direction and execution clearly makes a difference if you have a rather straight-played story.
Regarding the actual content of the show, there’s nothing much to say. It’s more of the usual instant girlfriend wish-fulfillment anime that are great for introducing someone to the more hardcore world of anime fandom. Random protagonist #578646 meets random girl #673949. Add a couple of quirks here and there and you have random protagonist #578646 who has a zombie fetish and random girl #673949 who happens to have a perverted father and wants to die. Not really going for gold with these kinds of characters, but at least it works for what the show is trying to achieve.
I was informed that the director of this show is actually someone from Shaft, who has worked on stuff from Madoka to Lotte no Omocha to hentai. I don’t watch ero anime, but I did love the heck out of Lotte no Omocha and Madoka, so I guess that makes me a bit partial to his directing style. The way the visuals and the conversation between Chihiro and Rea flowed were awesome. It was also helped by the obvious influence of Shaft shining through the constant changing of perspectives, from Rea in a fetal position, to the random cut to the lamp, and the sudden focus on the dead cat. The bizarre design of the rundown building’s interior did a rather good job of making the whole experience less bland.
But apart from the conversation the two had in the end of the episode, the rest of it was just… bad. No matter how good the directing is, there’s just so much you can do with a source material as trashy as this. The perverted best friend, the childhood friend/cousin, the imouto character – they were all uninspired and boring. Overall, Sankarea’s firs episode ended up to be an enjoyable watch, but I do hope they get rid of the perverted best friend soon, and flesh out the other characters during its run.