Film Column – Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

BASED on the manga series written by Haro Aso and illustrated by Kotaro Takata, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is a self-love zombie rom-com with real heart.

This is the sweetest and most uplifting film about the undead I have ever seen. Lighthearted and packing an all-grinning, skip-in-your-step feel-good factor, it is the kind of quirky and happy-go-lucky movie that the Japanese are absolute experts at.

Totally off the wall, sickly sweet, and over the top in its unfeigned warmth, Zom 100 is a horror film for people that don’t like horror films. In fact, it’s not a horror film at all, despite its legions of brain-chomping corpses and apocalyptic themes.

If anything, director Yusuke Ishida’s film is more a musical without the big show-stopping numbers.

Throughout the film’s 129-minute runtime, one of the biggest surprises is that the bubbly and beaming characters don’t ever burst into song.

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For those coming to this anime adaptation without any previous knowledge of the comic book high jinx, Netflix’s bouncy feature gives you a wonderful and warm-hearted snapshot of the source material without ever detracting from it.

Zom 100 tells the story of Akira Tendou (Eiji Akaso), an over zealous young man who is so keen to make a good start in life that he ends up  miserable, zombified even, by his exploitative employers, who take total advantage of his willingness to please.

Akira works round the clock, is treated like dirt, and his social life and love life are totally nonexistent. It’s not until he wakes up one morning in his pokey Tokyo flat and heads out for another day on the hamster wheel to find a world ravaged by zombies that he feels alive. He is finally free to live, follow his dreams, and do the things he always wanted, to pursue a life that makes him happy and fulfilled.

The loveliest and most lighthearted zombie film you are ever likely to see. A pure and utter joy.