In recent years, it seems that zombies have become a mainstay in almost every aspect of entertainment that comes to mind. Such as the hit AMC TV show, The Walking Dead, the video game franchise, Dead Rising, and even novels like World War Z and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Jane Austin is probably turning in her grave). Most portrayals of zombies are depicted as slow, revolting beasts that only care about quenching their thirst for human blood. But in Is this a Zombie?, we see a zombie living a typical day to day life as a high school student who also happens to attain the power to cross-dress/transform into a chainsaw-wielding magical girl; this is something you’d only find in anime. This show centers around Aikawa as he meets a couple of peculiar girls who start living in his apartment without his consent.
As far as animation is concerned, the quality for this anime in my opinion was a bit underwhelming. I didn’t necessarily find it bad, but it wasn’t something to gush over. You get your standard cute anime girls and a shameless amount of excessive ecchi moments. This anime also has quite a bit of fighting sequences, but don’t expect gorgeously shot and meticulously detailed action shots like you’d find in Cowboy Bebop or Hellsing Ultimate; most of these scenes are pedestrian in stylistic execution and looked fairly low-budget in terms of scope.
The OP track is a typical J-rock composition that you’d hear in so many other anime shows. While I do think it’s alright as a whole, I found it to be tonally dissonant from the series since it gives the impression that this is an action-oriented series when it’s mostly a comedic ecchi-harem anime. The ED track is a lot more bubbly and cheerful and was a better fit for conveying the overall tone of this series, and I did find it very catchy and melodious. The rest of the music within the show were pretty meh and not really that interesting to go over.
While I did find the overall story to be this anime’s weakest aspect, I would like to give the creators some kudos for presenting a uniquely distinctive premise with the main character being a zombie, which is something you normally wouldn’t expect. With that being said, the narrative was unremarkable and didn’t take any risks. The plot slowly introduces girls that fit within a certain archetype that you’d expect to find in most harem anime. You have the quiet yet caring girl, the tsundere, the tomboy, and the scathingly cynical girl who continuously ridicules the main protagonist.
After we get acquainted with all the girls, the story then ultimately leads up to a rather shoddy climax that tries to take itself seriously, but ultimately fails in the process. I wish that this anime just embraced it’s hilariously ridiculous premise rather than just pointlessly instill drama out of thin air as some sort of juggling act. The second half felt way out of it’s element and unfortunately squandered all of the aspects that I loved in the opening episodes. The last episode is pretty much just fanservice. It’s basically an episode where all of the characters meet at an indoor waterpark, and it also includes some egregious vocal performances from the girls that I’m sure would have been better used as interrogation music to get criminal suspects (who aren’t weebs) to start talking.
All in all, this was a pretty disappointing anime. While Is this a Zombie? does have a fairly interesting premise in a Zombie genre that’s so homogenous and lacking originality, it has so many shortcomings that prevent it from being enjoyable. The animation quality is abysmal at times, the humor loses steam by the halfway point, and the cast of harem girls are pretty much just a carbon copy of all the tropes from more exceptionally developed characters in other anime shows. If you are looking for an anime that delivers in both gratuitous ecchi and well crafted storytelling at the same time, then you should avoid this anime since their are some others that fit this criteria a lot better.