Sometimes it's hard to imagine that hell would really want a guy dressed as a magical girl wielding a chainsaw.
What They Say:
I ordered a pizza and got the watchdog of the underworld. He's here to drag me back to hell. All sorts of characters keep showing up. Whether it's the king of fear or nuclear missiles, I'll take them all on. If that's all it costs to be with Yuu, bring it on! ...is what I thought, but this is far beyond my expectations.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ayumu's life is the kind that just can't seem to catch a break at this point. With several women of different stripes landing on his doorstep and one of them turning him into a zombie, he's not all that surprised when a watchdog of hell comes ringing his bell. It's actually an interesting little turn of events because while Kerberos is called a watchdog, his real job is bringing back those that somehow escape from the underworld. With Ayumu having died once before and come back, it makes sense that someone like this would show up to try and bring him back. Of course, coming across Yuu in this setting is the last thing that Kerberos every expected.
While this lets Ayumu get off the hook since he's not going to go up against the Hellscythe, Kerberos is off to collect another soul that is about to die and bring it down to the underworld. This has Ayumu wanting to get involved, likely to stop it in some way, so he tags along with him. What's really intriguing is that Ayumu learns something about Yuu that she hadn't revealed to him in that when she healed him by turning him into a zombie, she took on all of his pain as a price for it. That tightens up the relationship between the two in a new way since there has to be a reason for it, or that she simply finds him to be really special. With the things we've learned about how they met, the kindness he showed her obviously meant a lot more than was let on for her to go this route and to now live with him and these other women who have arrived.
The encounter also gets Ayumu to be a bit more forceful with Yuu later on in asking why she doesn't talk, though he at least thanks her for taking on his pain. It's a quiet and heartwarming moment of an awkward manner as the two talk, or at least as he talks and she writes her notes, as it has a very somber feeling about it. The combination of the music and visuals allows her writing on the notepad to be conveyed in a very strong way, something that can be really hard to do, similar to how you have to make someone working frantically on a computer exciting. The dialogue between the two here really helps to cement their relationship even more in a way a lot of shows never achieve when both characters can actually use their words. Yuu hasn't been the most engaging of characters in the first three episodes, but here she becomes something far more. The connection that's built to the viewer here, through Ayumu, is a very strong one and can potentially cement this series as something very different.
Kore wa Zombie desu ka? does go for an action component in the last quarter of the episode and it is pretty nicely done, but it almost feels like something they were obligated to do after such a strong emotional sequence that really worked its character magic. Going to Ayumu in a magical girl outfit with a chainsaw is the perfect comedic effect of course to lighten the mood, and you can really only imagine what Yuu must think of him in it, but it still feels a little unnecessary. It's a nice team building effort overall with the other girls coming to help out, but what makes this episode memorable is the time with Kerberos and the heart to heart that Yuu and Ayumu have. I've enjoyed this series and its quirky style so far, but that sequence cemented it as something to really keep an eye on.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.