The settings in zombie anime can range from your everyday locations to completely fantastical landscapes, and the plots might surprise you with their cleverness. While there’s plenty of the expected gore and thrills, don’t be shocked if there’s a bit of philosophy or social commentary hidden in there too.
Characters often evolve from the terrified survivors into skilled zombie dispatchers, wielding anything from baseball bats to swords and guns. And of course, there’s usually room for humor, whether it’s through witty one-liners, quirky characters, or just the sheer absurdity of some of the scenarios.
Best 8 Zombie Anime to Watch Right Now
- Zom 100: Bucketlist of the Dead
- Zombie Land Saga
- Sankarea: Undying Love
- Is This a Zombie?
- Sunday Without God
- Highschool Of The Dead
- The Empire Of Corpses
Zom 100: Bucketlist of the Dead
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead anime takes a unique spin on the typical zombie apocalypse story. While most people would be horrified by the undead taking over, Akira Tendo finds it a perfect opportunity to quit his dead-end job and start living life.
Rather than barricading himself in a fortress, Akira crafts a bucket list of 100 things he wants to do. It’s not your usual post-apocalyptic fare, either. He’s out to try new foods, make friends, and even find romance.
The series offers a humorous and refreshing take on a world overrun by zombies. It’s like a coming-of-age tale for the middle-aged, set in the most inconvenient circumstances imaginable. Forget the doom and gloom of the apocalypse; Akira’s too busy having the time of his life.
Studio: BUG FILMS
Episodes: 5 (ongoing)
At first glance, School-Live! seems to depict an idyllic high school life, focusing on the members of the School Living Club: Yuki Takeya, Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Yuri Wakasa, and Miki Naoki, along with their dog, Taromaru. Yuki adores her school life, spending joyful days with her friends, oblivious to the reality outside the school premises.
However, the reality is much more grim. The school is actually in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and the girls are staying in the school for survival. Yuki’s cheerful school life is, in fact, a delusion, a coping mechanism for dealing with the traumatic reality. Her friends play along to protect her fragile state of mind.
The anime artfully balances lighthearted slice-of-life moments with the looming dread of their zombie-infested world. It explores themes of psychological trauma, survival, friendship, and the lengths one would go to preserve normalcy in an abnormal world. It has been praised for its unique concept and the unexpected depth in its narrative.
Zombie Land Saga
Zombie Land Saga is a unique blend of the zombie horror and idol genres. A picture perfect zom-com…
The story begins when high school girl Sakura Minamoto suddenly dies in a tragic accident. However, her life doesn’t end there. She wakes up in a strange old mansion in Saga Prefecture, only to find out that she’s been resurrected as a zombie by a man named Kotaro Tatsumi.
Kotaro has the ambitious plan of reviving the Saga Prefecture through the power of… you guessed it… zombie pop idols. Sakura and her fellow zombie girls form an idol group called Franchouchou. The twist is that these girls are not just any zombies – they are legendary figures from different eras of Japan’s history.
The show becomes a hilarious romp through their journey to become idols, all while keeping their zombie identities secret from the public. Each episode generally involves the group preparing for or performing at an event, interspersed with comedy from their various misadventures as zombies trying to live (or unlive) in the human world.
Zombie Land Saga tackles the themes of life, death, and the struggle to make a difference in the world. It also explores the intense world of Japanese idol culture, showing the challenges and pressures of being in the industry. It’s a unique take on the zombie genre, providing plenty of laughter and heart.
Episode count: 24
Sankarea: Undying Love
Our protagonist, Chihiro Furuya, is a high school student with a keen interest in zombies, to the point where he dreams of having a zombie girlfriend. After the death of his pet cat, he attempts to resurrect it using an old manuscript describing resurrection methods.
During his attempts, he meets a girl named Rea Sanka, who comes from a very sheltered and abusive family background. Out of desperation and a desire for freedom from her current life, she drinks the resurrection potion that Chihiro had prepared for his cat. After an accidental fatal fall, she becomes a zombie, but she retains her human consciousness and emotions.
The anime then revolves around Chihiro trying to keep Rea’s condition a secret while dealing with the everyday life and struggles that come with having a zombie girlfriend.
Sankarea explores many themes beyond the typical zombie genre, including love, life, death, family issues, and human desire for freedom. It provides a blend of comedy, romance, and horror elements, while also delving into darker themes due to the circumstances surrounding Rea’s transformation.
Studio: Studio DEEN
Is This a Zombie?
Is This a Zombie? is a delightful mishmash of genres: it’s part comedy, part horror, part magical girl, and even part harem. Imagine if a zombie apocalypse met a school rom-com anime, then stumbled into a magical girl transformation scene… Yes, it’s as wacky as it sounds.
The story follows our hero, Ayumu Aikawa, who’s living (or should I say unliving?) proof that high school is tough even when you’re a zombie. After being killed by a serial killer, he’s resurrected by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe. Ayumu is now an immortal zombie who has to deal with things like avoiding sunlight, trying not to dry out, and keeping his body parts intact.
If being a high school zombie isn’t enough, Ayumu’s life becomes even more complicated when he accidentally steals the powers of a magical garment girl, which means he’s the one who has to don a frilly outfit and fight off evil megalo creatures. Now there’s a wardrobe change no one was expecting.
Ayumu’s unlife is filled with plenty of hilarious moments, from learning to live with his new powers to dealing with a house full of supernatural roommates. And let’s not forget those uncomfortable moments when you’re a high school boy suddenly finding yourself in a pink ruffled mini-dress.
Is This a Zombie? offers a comical and refreshingly different take on the zombie genre, combining it with elements of magical girl anime and harem comedy. It’s a fun-filled rollercoaster ride where you can expect the unexpected, and it’ll surely keep you entertained. Just remember, it’s all fun and games until someone loses a limb… but hey, that’s just a typical day for Ayumu!
Studio: Studio DEEN
Sunday Without God
The story is set in a world where God has abandoned humanity. As a result, people have stopped being born, and they can no longer die in a traditional sense. The only way to truly die and find peace is to be buried by a special type of person known as a “Gravekeeper.”
The protagonist is a young girl named Ai Astin, who happens to be a Gravekeeper. She lives a quiet life in her village until a gunman named Hampnie Hambart shows up. After a series of tragic events, Ai discovers that her world isn’t quite what she thought it was.
Ai sets off on a journey, encountering new friends and enemies alike. The series follows Ai’s adventures and revelations as she navigates this strange world, grappling with deep questions about life, death, and the nature of humanity.
Sunday Without God weaves a philosophical narrative, exploring themes such as the meaning of life and death, the concept of God, and human resilience. Despite its melancholy premise, it presents a story full of mystery, intrigue, and moments of warmth and beauty.
Highschool Of The Dead
The story of the Highschool of The Dead anime is set in present-day Japan, beginning as the world is hit by a deadly pandemic that turns humans into zombies, euphemistically referred to as “Them” by the main characters. The narrative follows a group of high school students (and the school nurse) as they fight their way through the zombie apocalypse.
The primary characters are Takashi Komuro, Rei Miyamoto, Saeko Busujima, Saya Takagi, Kohta Hirano, and Shizuka Marikawa, each bringing their unique skills and perspectives to the group. From the kendo club captain to the genius-level intellect, these students aren’t your average survivors.
While Highschool of the Dead certainly has its share of action and horror elements, it’s also known for its fan service, with quite a bit of sexual content and suggestive themes. It’s as much an exploration of social breakdown and human nature as it is a survival tale against zombies.
The series is marked by intense action sequences, strategic planning, and showcases not only the horror of the undead but also the darker side of human nature in the face of societal collapse.
Unfortunately, the series was left incomplete due to the sudden death of the author, Daisuke Sato, in March 2017.
The Empire Of Corpses
The Empire of Corpses is a science fiction adventure anime film that was released in 2015. It’s part of a series of movies known as Project Itoh, each based on a novel by the late sci-fi writer Satoshi Itō, who wrote under the pen name Project Itoh.
The movie presents a version of the 19th century in which Victor Frankenstein has discovered a method of reanimating the dead. These reanimated corpses, devoid of soul and free will, serve as a labor force, which has led to significant advances in industrial development.
The story follows John Watson (a nod to the character from Sherlock Holmes’ stories), who is scouted by the government to become a secret agent. Watson is tasked with finding the lost notes of Victor Frankenstein, which detail the process of creating a soul. Watson, who has his personal reasons for taking on this mission, embarks on a global adventure, encountering various dangers and philosophical dilemmas along the way.
The Empire of Corpses offers a unique take on the idea of zombies, exploring the implications of a society built on the labor of the undead. It delves into deep philosophical questions regarding the nature of the soul and the ethical implications of using reanimated corpses. With its blend of historical and fictional elements, the film presents a rich, alternative view of history with an intriguing narrative.
Studio: WIT Studio
Length: 126 minutes
That’s our best zombie anime watch list! Let us know if you agree or if we missed some of your favorite zombie shows!
Thumbnail copyright: ©Aso Haro, Kotaro Takada, Shogakukan/Zom 100 Production Committee