There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to zombies. From feelings of hopelessness to notorious action, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Highschool of the Dead
Highschool of the Dead is a notorious zombie anime for its over-exaggeration of sexual content. The story isn’t the most complex either, but that doesn’t stop some fans from enjoying it.
The story follows a group of renegade high school students that finds themselves amid a zombie apocalypse. Their mission is to find their relatives and discover what on earth caused the apocalypse.
While the story could’ve benefited from developing its characters and world, the action scenes are over-the-top and fun to some degree. Even though the characters feel like cookie-cutter protagonists, some will get a chuckle out of you for their antics.
If you enjoy witnessing bizarre but fluently animated fight scenes and can withstand excessive fan service, Highschool of the Dead might be worth your time.
Kabaneri Of The Iron Fortress
From the same studio that brought you Attack On Titan, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a steampunk take on the zombie formula. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress contains jaw-dropping animation, intriguing character and monster designs, and a compelling story.
This tale takes place during the industrial revolution, where zombie-like beings called Kabane attack humans to fill themselves and convert them into one of their own. Only highly guarded civilizations survived, where our main character Ikoma comes into play.
Ikoma is a steam smith that helped build the wonderfully-guarded structures in his homeland. Not only that, but Ikoma creates a device that he argues will end the Kabane. However, he’ll be putting that invention to the test faster than expected.
Though Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress borrows many concepts from Attack On Titan, the characters stand out immensely in design, personality, and motives. The soundtrack was well-executed in many areas and never felt overpowering or out of place in the narrative.
It’s an intriguing original series with incredible design and characters that will astound and excite you.
Imagine taking the “cute girls doing cute things” trope from the most “moe” anime and mixing it with a zombie apocalypse setting. You’ll end up with School-Live, a series that follows four girls and their dog aiming to live happily during this outbreak.
While the series doesn’t lean heavily into the darker aspects of the zombie apocalypse, viewers can expect the characters to undergo realistic internal conflicts. Some of these conflicts regard to stress, mistrust amongst each other, and immense pain.
Fans of the zombie genre may also find some intriguing Easter eggs hidden in the episodes featuring works by George Romero and Stephen King. It’s a series with well-developed characters and emotional scenes. It will surprise and comfort you when you least expect it.
Sometimes many shows like to take a well-known concept or genre and flip it on its head. Zombieland Saga is an unusual comedic take on idol anime that features loveable and hilarious characters that’ll keep everyone entertained.
The story follows the resurrection of an aspiring idol named Sakura Minamoto and six other girls from different eras. She meets the man responsible for the act and hears him out.
He wants the girls to revitalize the Saga Prefecture, their homeland, by creating an idol group. Sakura happily accepts, and the rest of the series follows the wacky adventures of Sakura and her friends’ lives as zombie girls.
While most zombie flicks incite fear, tragedy, and despair, Zombieland Saga aims to entertain its audience through excessive humor and colorful character personalities. Everyone is well-developed and different enough for viewers to choose a favorite.
While it’s not a spooky zombie anime, it’ll give horror-comedy fanatics a wonderful time.
Corpse Princess: Aka
While most zombie series focus heavily on survival, some prefer to feature a formidable main character who can overpower the strongest of zombies. Corpse Princess: Aka has a unique storyline, phenomenal action scene, and well-developed characters.
The story revolves around a resurrected living corpse named Makina Hoshimura, who sets on avenging her death alongside family members by hunting down their assailants. Her friend Keisei Tagami and his younger brother, Ouri, also join her on the journey.
The anime is reasonably paced, giving time for the story to develop alongside the characters. The anime contains some twists and cliffhangers that make its second half enjoyable.
While the action scenes are neat, the designs for the characters can come off as simplistic. However, the animation sometimes alleviates that issue by setting the characters in gloomy environments.
Corpse Princess is a zombie anime for fans that adore the “monster of the week” formula and seek a classic brutal adventure.
Sankarea: Undying Love
As with vampires and werewolves, romance always finds a way to slip into horror-related content. While there aren’t many zombie love stories, Sankarea: Undying Love features a storyline about love, death, freedom, and comedy.
The story follows Chihiro Furuya, who must help Rea Sanka adjust to her new lifestyle as a living zombie. Although Chihiro always wanted a zombie girlfriend, he’d later discover that loving a flesh-craving zombie girl won’t end with a happily ever after.
For the most part, the anime’s pacing is a bit slow, but the series does pick itself up near the middle of the season. Furthermore, viewers will receive an in-depth look at Rea’s past, which is intricate to the series’ plot. These segments will also add a layer of darkness amplified by the series’ music.
If you’re looking for a zombie romance story with a decent plot and intriguing characters, check out Sankarea: Undying Love.
Sunday Without God
Whenever tragedy or hardship befalls us, we seek guidance from a local friend or higher being. However, in the case of the anime Sunday Without God, there isn’t an omnipotent figure that’ll grant you a happy life.
The story follows Ai, a young Gravekeeper whose purpose is to grant people on their deathbed a proper burial. She later meets her father, who slaughters all the humans in her small village. With no goal in mind, she accompanies her father on a journey to fulfill her GraveKeeper duties and discover why God abandoned them.
The concept and plot itself are unique and different from most zombie anime. The anime’s animation is gorgeous, often evoking feelings of charm and sadness. The characters are wonderfully developed and have specific kinks that help them stand out.
Sunday Without God is a zombie-like anime with a lot of passion and thought put into it, and with only 13 episodes, it’d be unfair not to give it a chance.
In most zombie stories, many sub-plots concerning seeking vengeance or rescuing a fellow human occur in the overarching narrative. Gungrave makes that thirst for revenge its focal point by following the journey of a gunslinger.
The story follows friends Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell, who join a large mafia syndicate because of their criminal expertise. Although ranked among the lowest individuals, the story is about Harry’s quest to overthrow their boss as leader and Harry doing whatever it takes to make his friend’s dream a reality.
Despite being based on the game before it, the Gungrave anime’s structure feels like a theatrical play with three acts. Each segmented arc feels genuine and different from the last, emphasizing new emotions and developments.
The characters develop nicely throughout the anime, and the side character’s contribution never feels forced or unneeded. The animation in the action scenes and the art style, in general, is gorgeous to look at and is arguably one that still holds up alongside newer series.
Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack
If you think Zombified humans are terrifying, then you wouldn’t last a minute in Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack. Gyo features a new take on the zombie formula through mechanizing and reanimating human and aquatic organism corpses.
The story follows Kaori Sawahara and her friends at a lodge in Okinawa. Kaori’s waiting to hear from her fiancé in Tokyo. However, an outbreak occurs involving dangerous mechanized fish that only seek to murder anything in their way. Worried about her fiancé, Kaori flees to Tokyo in hopes of finding her fiancé before it’s too late.
While the story gets too chaotic, viewers will feel fear and angst for the character’s safety. The characters’ dramatic dialog, internal conflicts, and reactions to chaos are realistic and never forced. The art style is okay, and the creatures, while frightening in concept, are animated poorly in CGI.
However, if you’re willing to overlook those slight issues and want to see one’s take on zombie fish, then Gyo’s worth checking out.
Is This A Zombie?
Although horror-themed monsters installed dread, worry, and suspense on viewers in the past, nowadays, most series like to implement them in wacky, bizarre stories. Is This A Zombie is an anime that moves forward with this process and somewhat nails it.
Ayumu Aikawa is the series’ main protagonist and gets murdered while investigating a mysterious establishment. He’s later resurrected as a zombie by a necromancer and proceeds to search for the being that killed him.
This anime may feel a bit wonky because of the number of clichés it has. Despite the lack of originality, the anime finds a way to tie all those weird tropes into the story.
While most of the side characters may be overwhelming and a tad annoying at points, viewers will find some traits about them to adore. Considering this falls in line with Harem anime, it does have slight fan service for anime character shippers. The animation isn’t out of this world, but the action scenes have some essence of flair and care put into them.
Although it isn’t a perfect zombie series, it does contain various elements that make it a worthwhile watch.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about zombies!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!