Oh boy... This show. I find myself torn while writing this, on one hand there were some extremely funny and enjoyable moments where I could not stop laughing. But on the other hand there were some downright terrible moments where I was raising my head to the ceiling praying for the scene to end. Is this a Zombie is an anime that makes it's mark by throwing in every genre, every character type, every trope, just everything really. If you can think of it there is a high probability you'll find it in this show. But despite throwing everything under the sun into this anime, I would never dream of calling it cliche, and actually say it is extraordinarily unique.
Guy meets girl, they kind of like each other, plot ensues, girl now lives with guy, more girls live with guy, etc, etc. While some of the specifics may be new, the overall concept is nothing we have not seen.
The Zombie and Necromancer (a.k.a servant and master) relationship was well done. Tack onto that the school life setting with a guy just trying to pass through along with his nerdy best friend; it was all well done, though a bit unoriginal. The eccentricities and unique nature of this show come in when we meet a chain-saw wielding Magical Girl (though she uses her magic a whole lot less than Ayumu...) and a busty Vampire Ninja with a leaf sword. Not gonna lie, her concept is fucking amazing. This show throws in every concept you can think of but somehow manages to make it work.
I would be remiss if I did not mention my largest gripe with the show, the fact that Ayumu is more or less our magical girl... Maybe I am alone, but I do not find cross-dressing to be a very funny plot point, I just don't. But even then I can sometimes see how it could work in a story if well done. But sadly, I did not find this to be one of those times. You see, Ayumu doesn't like it, first time, first episode, he dislikes transforming into a magical girl with a pink frilly outfit complete with panties and a bow. Hates it may be a more accurate statement. But every time he is forced to do so, he gets an unbelievable amount of shit from the other characters for doing it. Forced to cross dress in pink to save them all, and they insult him for doing so. Sorry, not a scenario I found even remotely amusing or entertaining.
I can't really say much here, it felt exceedingly average. But since the average these days (for 2011) is still good, it gets a 7. Though I should mention I really liked the character designs. I can't say anything on their artistic value, just a specific aspect I found really nice.
I found that the OST really just did it's job. Set the scene, nothing more. But what I absolutely loved was the voice acting. I came into this show long after it aired, long enough that there was in fact an English Dub, and that is what I watched. Stone me, go ahead. Spout your insults and hate for the one who neglected to watch it subbed but had the audacity to write a review. Ignoring the hate though, I loved the English Dub. I thought the voices were perfect and added to the hilarity of the scenes, while also capturing some of the more emotional moments fairly well.
This was a rather fun cast of characters. They all seemed to fall into archetypes, but were extremely memorable despite that.
Ayumu Aikawa- Our zombie protagonist who is a nice enough guy but with that laid back, bored disposition. I rather liked Ayumu, he was fairly similar to other harem leads in that he isn't the most popular, isn't extremely capable physically or intellectually, but still sits in the back right side of the classroom next to a window. He gets a lot of abuse in this show, verbal and physical. Being immortal the characters feel no guilt in stabbing him. Being the nice guy he takes it all with a bit of disbelief but really just goes along with it.
Eucliwood Hellscythe- I thought I had seen the quiet character exhibited perfectly in Yuki Nagato. Boy was I wrong. Eucliwood (though everyone calls her Eu) is the character that I consider to be the ultimate moe blob of adorable. She takes the quiet nature to a whole new level by literally not saying a word, but writing everything on little notepads. Though giving off an uncaring persona, she is actually extremely kind hearted. Where I truly applaud the creators is the way Eu had a different voice actress for every episode. Now for a character that doesn't speak it may seem difficult to have a voice actress; luckily our perverted main is here to imagine Eu complimenting him in a suggestive format. It was well done and extremely enjoyable.
Haruna- The resident Tsundere Magical Girl who is a self proclaimed genius and makes great eggs. She really is just a fun character with a ton of energy. She doesn't have the best memory and freeloads at Ayumu's home eating more food than anyone else.
Seraphim- The busty Vampire Ninja, she is extremely cold towards our main character but gets along with others well enough. My issue with Seraphim is that she is accurately summed up by the word bitch. Obviously there is a bit more to her than that attribute alone, but that forms the crux of her character and it left liking her a very arduous task...
My biggest issue with the characters is that they all seem to give Ayumu a bit too much crap. Don't get me wrong, at times it was hilarious to watch them all insult Ayumu. But in my not-so-professional opinion this show needed a character that Ayumu could get along with. In my head this equated to a character that acted in a more playful manner rather than a degrading one. Sexual innuendo or playfully teasing, just someone that alleviated the constant barrage of shit Ayumu received.
My enjoyment overall is limited to a 7. When this show was good, it was GREAT, but when it wasn't great I honestly considered it be rather bad. My opinion in this facet is probably rather polarized from the majority, but for every scene I loved I found one I disliked as well. My enjoyment did swing in a positive manner on the whole, but nevertheless I had my issues.
This show takes every thought that could pop into a writer's brain and throws it into an oddly coherent plot. Combined with a fun cast and good voice acting, comedy, some action, and even the occasional emotional moment, you get a genuinely good show. This show is definitely good for a laugh. Even if you are like me and dislike main characters who get a ton of shit, I would still recommend this show. If you're on the fence about the show than I would recommend watching the first two episodes as they perfectly exhibit what this show is: A fun 12 episodes that is even complimented by a second season. Is This a Zombie is a good anime that combines every cliche into something unique.