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Adding life to the undead

Exploring the unconventional comedy horror anime ‘Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead’.

I feel that I’ve said this before, but there really is just something about anime that piques the senses and stimulates the mind when you dive into your genre of interest.

Following the new list of Netflix Originals released in August, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (Zon 100: Zonbi ni Naru made ni Shitai 100 no Koto) was among the many animes included.

As you’ve probably guessed it by now, Zom 100 is the focus for today.

The Japanese manga series was written by Haro Aso and illustrated by Kotaro Takata, serialised in Shogakukan’s seinen manga magazine since October 2018.

In July 2023, the anime television series adaptation, produced by Bug Films, made its debut.

The rights for distribution are held by Viz Media for regions outside of Asia, and Muse Communication handles the licensing for South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Furthermore, both the anime series and live-action film adaptation premiered on Netflix the same month.


Classified as a comedy horror and dystopian zombie genre, this animated adaption centres on a 24-year-old man named Tendo Akira, voiced by Shuichiro Umeda in Japanese and Zeno Robinson in English. (Although, if you ask me, his character’s stature looks more of a meek high-schooler instead of a 20-year-old).

It’s not much of a spoiler, but the earlier part of the first episode sees Tendo joining an exploitative company, ZLM, and toiling away tirelessly from day to night on repeat, never having the chance to go home for reprieve. Fast-forward to the middle of the first episode, a nationwide zombie epidemic hits Tokyo after a bio-weapon impact.

With Akira having the notion that he may one day turn into a zombie himself – like everyone else in the city – he ultimately makes the decision to embrace life to the fullest by making a bucket list.

Accompanied by his close friend Ryuzaki Kenichiro, or Kencho (voiced by Makoto Furukawa in Japanese and Xander Mobus in English), in a later episode, Akira embarks on a series of exhilarating and often unconventional escapades within the zombie-ridden city.

From light-hearted endeavours such as indulging in lavish meals without cost to more extravagant adventures, their mischievous exploits know no bounds, leaving you either cackling at the plot’s ridiculousness or even feeling sadness in some.

Each episode sees the duo navigate the perilous streets teeming with carnivorous zombies and encounter fellow survivors, each driven by their unique reasons to endure.

Amidst the journey, they form peculiar alliances, confront their fears, and gain profound insights into the significance of camaraderie and the indomitable resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Take note that it’s not for the underage. Although it’s quite colourful, the scenes are full of graphic violence, bloodshed, gore and other mature themes that aren’t suitable for younger audiences.


Zom 100 definitely does capture attention with its revitalisation of the zombie genre. Unlike most zombie series, it infuses dynamic visuals and a kaleidoscope of colours.

When we look at it from the anime series’ graphics, viewers can see that it’s characterised by a balance between detailed character designs and slightly exaggerated aesthetics, contributing to both a sense of realism and a touch of whimsy.

Even the gruesome elements, such as blood, are undergoing a mesmerising and innovative transformation, embracing an overabundance of bright neon colours.

It is particularly striking as the rich and varied palette transitions seamlessly between light-hearted, comedic moments and more intense, dramatic scenes, effectively capturing the wide range of emotions and scenarios presented in the series, thus enhancing the overall storytelling.


It’s currently in its seventh episode on Netflix, and I’ve found that with each passing episode, this series manages to intensify its grip on my attention, delivering a thrilling narrative that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

The combination of post-apocalyptic chaos and the protagonist’s quest to fulfil the bucket list of his gives a refreshing spin to the whole zombie genre, on top of character development, humour and unexpected plot twists.

Zom 100 offers a fresh take on a well-worn concept, and it’s only getting better with each new episode – so far. So give it a go and see if it’s your cup of tea. – Izah Azahari

A scene from ‘Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead’. PHOTO: NETFLIX