Here it is, a flashback to the beginning of the outbreak. In a market as over saturated with zombie media as ours it’s rather hard to do this kind of story without treading on old ground. The start of the outbreak is the focal point of every beginning for a zombie movie. Rarely is it explained and always during an unsuspecting day. In this case a day in the life of Megumi, a teacher at the school. But I think this stands out in how it was presented, namely this episode focused on Megumi’s day. We see her go to work and teach as well as help out students all the while waiting for hell to be unleashed. The thing is that this is likely the way anyone would act in a zombie outbreak. Going about the usual routine while ignoring the likes of Sirens and news reports cause you got your own things to deal with and it’s not as if those things affect you. It’s only when it hits you headfirst that everything comes crashing down. This episode gives good insight into just what our characters were like before the outbreak and from the looks of things Yuki’s pre-apocalypse life wasn’t quite as rosy as her delusions made it out to be. She’s certainly more depressed and from the looks of things, bullied. It’s rather depressingly morbid to see that Yuki is happier after the tragedy and after going insane than she ever was before it all happened.
We didn’t see her go insane yet but it looks like its beginning with her freakout on the roof. We did see however how Kurumi got her shovel and how her killing of the zombified senpai really went down. Some people say this show is censored but from the way I see it these cuts to black are more a stylish choice and they are much better presentation that simply showing gore. In these kinds of things less is more. This show isn’t about going around kicking zombie ass, it’s about these girls running away from a harsh reality. So cutting to black and reaction shots to Kurumi beating her crushes skull in with a shovel does so much more than simply showing it. In the end imagination fills in the blanks better than visuals ever could. One thing I might say is a flaw is when the series moves to portray the Moe side of things such as here where the girls camp together inside the building. Unlike other shows the Moe does have a point which makes it at least tolerable but even so it is fairly standard drivel to put up with.
Speaking of direction, it remains fantastic. I am not sure whether I should attribute that to the director, Masaomi Ando, or to the script/series composer, Norimitsu Kaihou, who just so happens to be the creator of the manga series. That may be just why this series is turning out so well, as we have the original creator on the team to make his story work within a new medium. A lot of anime suffer from being too constrained to the source material which normally has to use different methods of showcasing action or visuals. The most common case is in Shounen anime where you have characters describing how a attack works during a fight instead of just showing it. But by giving the author creative control over the anime it allows him to better change the story for a visual medium. After all, he created it so naturally he would know the best way to present it, instead of an unrelated director attempted to place their own creative filter over someone else’s work. It’s the little touches in the episode that really rewards those who keep a close eye, one such example being a point on the roof were Megumi just realized that something was wrong and there’s a perfect shot showing the shadow cast from the building covering Megumi while the two other girls remain in the light. This series remains solid though the real turning point will be when Yuki’s imaginary world is broken. I complain that the moe drivel of this series is something bothersome but it’s undeniable the factor that heightens the dark side and prevents this from being just another zombie show. It shall be a dangerous act of juggling two opposites in perfect harmony and keeping that act interesting is something that I truly hope this anime succeeds with.