How many of you grew up with a hobby? With something you just in general, love/loved? Living in Hawai'i, I've grown up on a mix of Asian and American culture. A long time ago, I was introduced to anime by my brothers best friend. He taught us about the late, great, Toonami; with Rurouni Kenshin, Tenchi Muyo, Gundam Wing, and the ever popular Dragon Ball Z. As we grew older, he introduced us to Saturday night Adult Swim, and with it the gore and sex every puberty ridden boy needed; Inuyasha, Yuu Yuu Hakusho, Case Closed, Fullmetal Alchemist, Outlaw Star, and the life changer, FLCL.
Needless to say, i've grown up on anime; i've had my hating phase, loving phase, and the one most people go through, the "wait, no one thinks anime is cool, I should hate on it" phase. The fact that i have a MAL account and am writing a review for a manga should tell you that I went through the "wait, I don't give a fuck about anybody else" phase. Now, the big question. Do I find anime/manga girls attractive? Why yes, i do. Would i date one? Probably not, while attractive on paper, anime girls would just look ridiculous in person.
Now that my biography is done, Go back and read this entire paragraph again, except replace 'Hawai'i' with 'Japan', 'Asian and American' and every existence of 'anime' or 'manga' with 'Zombie(s)', and every anime show named replaced with the name of a George Romero zombie flick. Finally, change that last sentence to "Yes, i would in a heart beat". You're probably thinking WTFBBQ...no? Anyway, I've just described the main lead Furuya, the only hitch in this great zombie romance by Mitsuru Hattori.
I don't like to review something I haven't finished. There's so much uncertainty about any manga/anime series that a great story, could become terrible just because the author decided that the main character should wake up (fuck you smb 2, fuck you). Sankarea is only on chapter 8, and it's impossible to say where the story is going and be 100% right. The story so far is good, it's a good mix of comedy with romance, with a little seasoning of action and suspense. It wasn't until recently i realized that this romantic zombiexhuman was actually not unique (There are two recommendations down below), but i like the way Sankarea handles its story. The zombie element is presented scientifically in most cases (you know, aside from the reviving the dead part) and it's not overbearing, especially in comedy. I can imagine some people going "Zombie comedy? Why would i wanna see some stoopud zomby fall apart over and over again"? Well Sankarea doesn't do this fortunately, comedy stems from the science or perverted nature. It's pretty funny to see a 15 year old fragile looking girl place her soft hand down...where upon she picks up the bench she "gently" placed her hand upon and swings it like a 8 year old boy with a poostick. Essentially, the zombie element is there, but Sankarea is at it's core, a romance with a zombie theme, not vice versa.
The story is the best so far of Mitsuru Hattori, which isn't saying much actually, but it's got some mature themes which makes the bad/good guys very black and white. You know who to hate and you boy do you hate them. I need to see where this goes though, I'm hoping the personality of her father (no spoiler) isn't a constant with other characters and i hope he doesn't around. If Mitsuru has to resort to such a disturbing way of making us hate the villain, he isn't a good writer and there won't be much depth to the story
Furuya: Furuya, ah what a great character. He's the kind of guy i can empathize and feel for. He's very determined to help his..."friend"... when she's in a time of great need, giving her a place to stay, and even researching a way to help her..."condition"... Probably my favorite about him, is that he's Furuya, he's not the MF'ing coolest kid in town. When he's confronted by a scary old man, he doesn't stand infront of a light, look up with one eye (his other covered by his hair) and say something cool that make the bad guy go "GAH, MY WAYS MUST BE CHANGED"; Furuya fucks with the guy; he jokes and he tells him why he's a bad guy, all in a playful manner. It's great, it's courageous, and i felt like this was so much cooler than acting cool and pretending to be on top of the world. Furuya does what Furuya wants, he's not Ichigo, he's not Luffy, he's F'in Furuya.
BUT, the only thing i hate about him is the centerpiece that makes this a unique manga, his zombie addiction. He dates exclusively zombie girls and barely even stares are human girls (cough keima cough). Fine, understandable, bitches be bitches. But the idea of a zombie girl being hot? Nothing says love like open bloody sores, puss, flies, skull broken open, limbs falling off, OH, and the fact that she wants to rip you open and eat your fucking guts. While you /b/tards are probably in need of a change of underwear, us normal people are grossed the hell out. Of course, in classic romantic comedy fashion, the zombie is hot, cute, sexy, innocent, etc etc. I didn't like this Mitsuru, i don't like the idea that our main character wants to get it on with a dead body. I don't know about laws in Japan, but that's 4-5 in America. It seems like Furuya, however, likes Rea for who she is, not a zombie (He actually doesn't think about it till much later). That move alone saved me from dropping this series. It's not that i hate zombies, but it's strange to think that a guy who's watched Zombie movies would want to stick a dick in them.
The art is smooth stylish with that Mitsuru style written all over it. Character blush permanently, it can take a little getting use to, but when you see color pages you'll see that Mitsuru has a great sense of colors. Don't read Sankarea thinking about other manga's, or at least don't think that everybody is drunk. He does this to bring a sense of life and color to these characters and when/if a anime comes out, you'll see how well it translates. However, Mitsuru isn't one for details, backgrounds are about as average as the main characters, which are still nicely drawn and beautiful. He's great with shadow, especially in the recent chapter; Mitsuru may not be the best artist, but he definitely understands what he's doing. I'm probably a little bias by the way, I've read Inu Neko Jump and Umisho, two of Mitsuru's more famous works. I'm not bias in that i'd like anything he writes, but bias in that I've seen how much he's improved over the past 10 years. In Inu Neko Jump, the college and high school students look midgetized and strange. Umisho was better, but it still kinda looked like a sketch book half the time. Sankarea is such an improvement that is just unbelievable in everyway.
+ Zombies, nuff sed
+ Relatable Main character
- ...besides the fetish
+ Great female lead
- Not really haremy nor too ecchi
Character: 9 (generous here)
Enjoyment: 10 (I'm a sap for a good RomCom