Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead episode 6 aired on Monday after another delay giving us one of the simpler episodes of the season. But with every Zom 100 episode comes character development, a possible life lesson or two, and some unique storyboarding. Even though repeated camera techniques were wildly apparent, Zom 100 still managed to give us yet another enjoyable episode.
Keep Your Heads Up
On a second watchthrough of episode 6, I came to realize a common theme — continue to look for the good no matter how dire the situation gets. At the beginning of the episode, Kencho assures Akira that it’s time to leave Tokyo as the electricity in the city has basically gone dark. While it was uncharacteristic of Akira to accept reality, taking a few moments before their departure to look at the bright stars in Tokyo’s night sky and live in amazement of it all struck a chord with me.
“Major power outages aren’t all that bad, either!” — that type of attitude from Akira is where I start to relate to his character more than any time before this season. It’s an admirable trait in a main character to always look for the good when situations look the bleakest, especially in a genre (zombie apocalypse) that’s almost entirely void of such. Not only did this reflect on both Kencho and Shizuka in this episode, but it did the same for me as a viewer. To add to the stargazing positivity of the beginning of the episode, Akira looks at another reason to be positive for being forced to leave Tokyo — to see his parents.
The middle of the episode presented yet another opportunity for Akira to really be upset, even in the slightest way possible, because he didn’t get to ride in the RV he and Kensho both wanted to. But he looked at the situation, again, as a bonus because now Shizuka is officially part of the group going forward. It’s that constant state of positive outlook on things that have gotten Akira to where he is now. In just this episode alone, he managed to cross off three things from his bucket list.
Even toward the end of the episode when dealing with the intense emotional trauma of having to work under his former boss, he still did his best to grasp onto some sort of positive outlook, in this case good ‘ole reliable beer, to lift everyone’s spirits including his own. But unlike the previous two incidents, Akira is going to have to rely on Shizuka and Kencho to help him, which will lead to wonderful development for all three of them.
Shizuka’s Character Growth
While Shizuka’s character development hasn’t been on the level of Akira’s, she has still shown her fair share of moments, especially in this episode, where she shows that she wants to truly enjoy herself — part of what might stem from her dark past. While her monologue on the heart and mind was short, it was impactful. The close-up framing, intense shadows, and aspect ratio used in a quick flashback in this episode definitely gave her words more weight.
I think what I love most about this entire moment surrounding Shizuka is that it’s the first time she realizes she relates to Akira on a deep, personal level rather than on a material one. She realizes that she’s beginning to understand Akira more as a person and sympathizes with him more than Kencho does, or can, for the first time in the series. While Kencho has been the one to pick Akira back up in the past episodes, it’s on Shizuka to really be there for Akira this time around come next episode.
I think Shizuka’s sentiments are something personal that many viewers may possibly relate to and that’s something we haven’t really received from Zom 100 outside of Akira’s toxic work environment. It brings the series a new dynamic other than just a cute girl who analyzes every situation. Shizuka is someone who can deliver the personal touch that Zom 100 arguably needs at this point in the story and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
Zom 100 Episode 6 Production
I wouldn’t say the production for this episode was the greatest from this season, it quite possibly could’ve been the most average out of the current six episodes. The composite during Shizuka’s shots in the RV wasn’t stellar by any means. And the re-use of shots, like her eyes when they were stopped on the road, were slightly different. So while it’s not necessarily a re-used shot, it’s very close.
I think the episode did a marvelous job of really capturing the feelings of what Akira was enduring. Shizuka being the voice of Akira in this episode and what he was going through was a subtle touch I loved. Akira had trouble finding the right words to say throughout the second half of the episode, while Shizuka found all the right ones. So while Shizuka told us what it feels like to encounter past trauma, Akira physically showed us. It was an interesting dynamic to the episode even with Kencho being the outsider as someone who doesn’t understand those feelings.
What I did love in this episode was Toshihiro Maeya’s storyboard and how he went about portraying Akira’s trauma. The close-ups of Akira’s hands over his throat when he can’t speak, the fear in his eyes, and especially the final shot below with Akira standing in front of the many screens as if he’s looking at his past were brilliantly executed. The use of pull focus in this episode was apparent but it was never repetitive — also an aspect from the production point of view for this episode I enjoyed.
Zom 100 Episode 6 Wrap-Up
Overall, the episode was far from anything “bad”. It gave us great artwork for the most part and some of the storytelling techniques and character dynamics were simply wonderful after watching it a second time. It was a good setup episode for what’s to come that added plenty of unique parts to it in order to make it all interesting.
Episode 6 rating: 8/10
If you enjoyed episode 6 of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead then be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 7 is set to air on Sunday, September 3, and will be available to watch on Crunchyroll, Netflix, and Hulu with English subtitles.
Screenshots via Crunchyroll
© Haro Aso, Kotaro Takata, Shogakukan / Zom100 Project