Posted on 16 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Few anime combine both shounen- as shoujo-roots in their premises. I’m not sure why there are so few of them, because Zombie Loan shows that this can become pretty successful, as it combines the good points of both styles. The personalities of the characters are those typical in shoujo-anime. A female is surrounded by two bickering guys, there’s one guy who has a lot of similarities with Ensei from Saiunkoku Monogatari (they also share the same voice-actor, and you can recognize Shuurei in the main female character as well), and the dialogue is written in a very shoujo-esque way. And yet, the entire premise of the show revolves around busting zombies and there are a few Yuri and shoujo-ai scenes once in a while.

The shoujo-roots become even more welcome when they provide good and well-defined reasons for out characters to be involved in the story. Unlike shounen-series, none of the characters are plot-devices to become the best X in the world. The two main guys are just zombies that try to pay off their debts by killing other zombies (the anime explains this better), and the main female, while she does have hidden powers, they’re not some strange hidden powers to kill off zombies in an instant at the last possible moment. She’s just got a talent to spot zombies, something the two main characters can’t do for themselves, so the three of them come together.

In addition to this, Zombie Loan manages to deliver some powerful character-studies throughout its episodes. Shito, Michiru and Chika’s characters have all their unique and well-written problems that make you think for once. On top of that, it knows exactly when to be funny and when to be serious, resulting in some hilarious banter between the different characters.

I wish I could keep raving about this series, but unfortunately it’s got its flaws. It’s too damn short!! The length is only 11 episodes, and a dvd-only episode will be released in a few months (I may edit this review after seeing that one), and that’s all there is to this series. This series could have been so much more, and it would have easily had enough material for 26 episodes. Right now, Chika, Shito and Michiru may have had enough background, but there are so many threads left open and worst of all: nearly none of the side-characters gets any decent form of screen-time, while they’ve all got really interesting personalities and so much potential. I would have loved some in-depth look at their own cases. Isn’t there really going to be some kind of second season?

Then there’s a second flaw, which is more on the technical side. Zombie Loan has awesome-looking art, but the animation has issues on so many levels. The entire series looks so stylish, but the pictures we see are often still frames or unnatural-looking movements. Even somebody like me who knows almost nothing of animation can see that a lot of corners were cut in this department.

You could say that if I want to see the rest of the story, I should just go and read the manga. But when I watch an anime, I want to watch an anime; not promotion-material for a manga. Here’s hoping that a second season will be arriving someday.

14 Responses

  1. Totali says:

    I totally agree with you. The animation has never been extraordinary in this show (take the “running” in episode 11), but I tried to ignore those flaws after awhile. I actually found the story to be very interesting after I got past the cliched premises in the beginning, and 11/12 episodes is just way too short. They haven’t even began to touch on anything! Zombie Loan also seems to be one of those shows that isn’t noticed by many people this season. I guess the unpopularity could be a good reason for the cutting short of the series. =\

  2. saris says:

    Sorry if I sound offensive, just wanna express my opinion ^_^ but I think this is one of the worst shows in summer season. Despite all my love for the seiyuus who appeared in this anime like Suwabe-san, I can’t really bring myself to appreciate it. It’s a very very very typical shoujo anime with nothing original , nothing exciting, a little character development and you can see the plot from thousand miles away. It’s the pure fan-service with a little yaoi or yuri implied which I often like if it is done in other animes but in this one I feel like it ‘s forced. The only good thing I found in this anime is actually the top-name seiyuus which attracts many fangirls’ attention to keep watching. Other seiyuu fans like me also said this show is boring as well but they just keep watching it because of their beloved seiyuu are in it.

  3. Senna says:

    I feel the same way; until I read it on a blog after I had watched the 10th episode, I didn’t even realize this was going to be an 11/12 episode series rather than a 24 or 26 episode one. I wouldn’t say Zombie-Loan has been fantastic, but it has been alternately interesting and funny and engaging, and the last arc felt like a middle of the series arc rather than an end of series one. There’s obviously a lot more of the story still to be told, and if a second season isn’t in order, then *sigh* I think I will have to dig up the manga.

  4. totoum says:

    like Senna i didn’t realise there was only an 11 episode until recently,though seeing i’m not alone doesn’t make me feel so stupid lol.

  5. tecnopaul says:

    Personally, I got a kick out of this series. It seems bizarre to end it at 11, when at least 3 major plot threads open in the last 5-7 minutes. For me, I’ll definitely buy the dvd of the series and the next “episode”, and hope to hell it’s a 2 hour movie, not another 22 minutes. Yes, it’s got flaws, but what doesn’t? It’s a fun and hopeful series about people who want to live. I think thats a good thing and a darn sight better than some of these shows that kill every character off at the end.(hope that doesn’t happen in the dvd). Again, 26 eps makes sense. maybe even 16-18 (I could see dozens, if not hundreds of eps depending on who’s background and what you want to go into) but 11 episodes… wtf?!?!?!

  6. Miyu says:

    I just watched finish this anime and I loved it. It’s just too bad there’s only 11 episodes. I can’t wait for the DVD to come out >.

  7. Miyu says:

    I just watched finish this anime and I loved it. It’s just too bad there’s only 11 episodes. I can’t wait for the DVD to come out. Oh and btw, I love the cast of seiyuus that they put together. Their chemistry enhances the show and gives it life. I feel that the anime could have expanded more especially with the amount of material given. If possible I’d really wish for the second season. I hope to be looking forward to it. Thx I do believe they just cut my comment…

  8. h3artofic3 says:

    I totally agree that the serie was too short and hoping for a 2nd season. I didn’t really notice the flaws of the anime, probably ’cause i was so into the “story” lol. But i loved it. Its amusing, funny, and interesting.

  9. Andrea says:

    Yup, I totally agreed everyone we should says to the animators that they should produce a second season of zombie loan and i believe you people knows that the ending 11 episodes is only the begining of the manga series. That’s what my friend told me. And this is going to be waste if they stop here. I heard from someone that if in JAPAN they Demand on this matter then the animtors will take action on the continuing of zombie loan second season. So if any of you stay in Japan Voice out man, and if you have friends staying in japan should ask your friends in japan Voice out about this matter says we want zombie loan second season. But then we need a Voices of 100,000 people or near to that figure of peoples to Voice out about this matter so people pass the message to the animetors ok.

  10. nicole says:

    can anyone tell me where i can read all the manga, cause i’ve only seen up to number 16, and the anime as well… online that is.?

  11. Faith says:

    where can i find the manga that is closely keeping with the most recent updates?

  12. thingy thing says:

    I loved this series I was like woah! An anime series about Zombies woooooah! But then the downfall was the sudden endings. I haven’t read the manga but I have a feeling I’m going to start going against the Anime o.0

  13. the spoiler says:

    sorry to ruin the hunt guys but zombie loan doese continue the 11 epesode is the final episode of the first season if you do not belive me go check the website http://www.animecrazy.net
    that is were it continues but sadly no one knows that it continues cause it dose an in the seconde seasone it gets way better so spread the news tell evyone theres is a continueing.

  14. June says:

    I wanna see the second season too. But manga is pretty interesting so I recomend it^-^

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  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:24 AM)
    oh, when I said “more or less the same,” I meant that it’s easy to tell when they did something because you can recognize their trademarks from other works.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:22 AM)
    You’re not going to see any sudden, steep climbs of improvement, they’re already past that stage and into the subtleties of mastery.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:22 AM)
    They all have a style that’s more or less the same. It improves, but it’s only noticeable if you follow them closely. We’re talking about pros that are getting better at what they do, not just in purely visual means, but output efficiency, layout design, frame rate control, etc, while still trying to keep two subjects happy: their dedicated audience and themselves.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:19 AM)
    and I still don’t understand “stagnating.” It still sounds like “more of the same old, just in different strokes” which would refer to progressing consistency. Hiroyuki Imaishi, Mitsuo Iso, Masaaki Yuasa, Yo Yoshinari, Masahiro Ando, hell, let’s even throw in Shinichiro Watanabe.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:17 AM)
    even without the edits, they employ a nice modern style, focusing on sharp, sleek designs with lots of symmetry and emphasis on form. “detail” is exactly what I think when I see their architecture and environments just spiraling with mathematical forms and stylized lighting.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:09 AM)
    @K-Off as for Shaft’s backgrounds, Rebellion is enough to blow any viewer’s mind, new or veteran. Their TV series undergo tons of BD edits (as sites like Sankaku Complex will lovingly detail with hundreds of screenshot comparisons). Granted many of them can seem insignificant, but that’s attention to detail, no mistake, even if it’s unnecessary attention lol.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:04 AM)
    In either case, South Korea doesn’t have strong enough support for the animation industry to launch series of their own (else they’d probably go through everything Naver has). Not much point when dramas and games are more popular, thus draw in more money, and people can get their anime fix from Japan. Although with more global successes, it seems like there’s some rumbling in the industry, but likely most of these series are going to be like weekend morning offerings in the US.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Although that could also be because of the shifting to digital procurement of media.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 09:59 AM)
    @K-Off just like in the US or even in motherland Japan, the hardcore anime communities are a small percentage of the overall population. I said stigma, but it’s not solely present in Korea. Animation in general is usually aimed at a younger audience. You could even say animation is somewhat suffering in the US, compared to perhaps back a decade ago when animated cartoons were filling timeslots to the brim.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 09:56 AM)
    @Friend Satoru Kosaki generally does good, fitting tracks, along with the rest of Monaca.

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