Sankarea anime overview

Sankarea in one screencap. Cute, but disappointing, though the backgrounds are great.

This anime has too many backstories, and too much wasted potential with them.

In episode 7, we get a backstory on Ranko’s childhood crush on Chihiro.  I actually started to like the Chihiro-Ranko pairing a little, even though it’s cousin-cest. Until then, Ranko was basically just the boob-girl of the show and little else, but that episode brought actual depth to her. She has emotions! Motives! For crying out loud, insecurities too?

…And then she reappreared in episode 8 doing nothing except be naked in a bathhouse. Great character handling, really.

In episode 10, Rea’s stepmom, Aria, gives Chihiro a rundown of her and Dan’ichiro’s backstory, and suddenly, I felt sorry for the show’s two biggest douchebags. Poor Aria, drowning her sorrows because her husband won’t pay any attention to her. Poor creepy Dan’ichiro, chasing the last bits of his dead wife in Rea. Does the anime expand much on this? No. Dan’ichiro’s out of the plot immediately after, and Aria is still a she-jerk when we see her again in episode 12.
In episode 9, we get an entire 22 minutes dedicated to Mero, which was pointless.

Sankarea will probably get a season 2 eventually, but I mostly likely won’t be watching. Not with the way the plot’s been handled.

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[Review] Sankarea ep 7 (Childhood… Friend…) It’s not incest if it’s legal!

GPOY

According to the YouTube comments on the video of Sankarea ep. 7 that I watched, it’s legal for cousins to marry in Japan, which clears up some of my confusion with how ethical this episode is.

(By the way, a user on YouTube has uploaded all the aired Sankarea episodes in HD, so go watch them before YouTube catches on! Go go go!)

It’s kinda nice that we got a little Chihiro x Ranko backstory. After the last episode, I was pretty curious about what’s going to happen next, since everything up until now has basically been us watching the characters come to the same conclusion that we already figured out, like how Rea needs to eat the poisoned leaves. Chihiro’s gramps is obviously a zombie since he eats them all the time too, so we do still need to wait for Chihiro to catch on to that, but otherwise there’s not too many clues on where the plot is heading, so you could say we’ve reached a turning point in the plot, going into the unknown, and the Chihiro x Ranko backstory is a nice break from the Rea stuff.

If only they weren’t cousins, and Ranko wasn’t exploited as such a fanservice character, I would think this pairing is really cute.

[Review] Sankarea ep 1 – If I…Became…a Zombie

If I have to describe my first impression of Sankarea with any word, it would be: weird. Maybe cliche, too. In fact, let’s make a list of everything I’ve gathered from this first episode that falls under either of those two categories.

What’s cliche: Sankarea is about a teenage boy named Furuya Chihiro who goes to an all-boys school [+1]. He has a cute little sister [+1], a goofy relative (his grandpa) [+1], and a female relative whose sexuality can be exploited as much as the creators like without the risk of a romance because she is the main character’s relative and incest isn’t his thing [+1]. Since he’s in an all-boys school, there arises the dilemma of how to make contact with the girls from the all-girls school [+1], which has one famously beautiful girl [+1], Sanka Rea, that the main character meets [+1]. I haven’t seen the episode yet, but it definitely seems like Rea will become his love interest, so I’ll give it another [+1].

What’s weird: Furuya Chihiro is “in love” with zombies [+1], meaning his dream is to meet a cute zombie girl who he can love. After his cat dies, he tries to revive his cat with necromancy [+1] in an abandoned building, and though he doesn’t meet a zombie girl (the anime is still rooted in reality after all, even with Chihiro’s necromancy), he does see human girl Sanka Rea scream her furies into a well near the abandoned building [+1]. At first, Chihiro just quietly watches her with mild amusement, but Rea finally realizes his presence one night when he accidentally dropped his drink out of the shock of hearing Rea scream about her frustration with her father for taking nude pictures of her on her birthday to document her development. [+1000000000 to the power of infinity]

End Tally:
Cliches – 8.
Weirdness –  ∞.

Oh look it’s 8 and sideways 8

But seriously, even though Sankarea sports more cliches than Hyouka, I’m not as concerned about it dulling down its potential because Sankarea is so quirky that it makes up for it. The zombie obsession does seem a bit like it’s trying too hard, but I don’t even mind because it’s sure to take the story in an interesting direction (if Sanka Rea’s secret wasn’t interesting enough already).

I have to mention that right from the start, I loved the background artwork in Sankarea. The detail and colors are amazing, and I only wish they put even a small percent of that effort into making the animated characters more distinctive. Sure, Chihiro’s two cowlicks make it look like he has cat ears, but take those away and he’s unrecognizable. Same with Rea’s asymmetrical bangs. Maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree here, as most anime styles rely heavily on clothes and hair to distinguish their characters, but with some promising artistic potential, I can’t help but imagine what the studio could have done to really make this anime stand out artistically.