Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manga / Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zom_100_bucket_list_of_the_dead_anime_promo.png

"Man, I can't believe I don't have to work anymore! I've got three years of vacation to get outta my system! And I intend to make each day count!"
Akira Tendo as he flees a zombie horde on his bicycle

Akira Tendo's life is a living hell.

He was once a young office worker brimming with dreams, ambition, and a passion for his work. But now he's a 24-year-old trapped in employment at a black company. His life is an endless cycle of miserable labor for awful pay and little fulfillment. These days he'd rather be the protagonist of a zombie film than go back to work. As if something like that would happen...

Yeah... About that...

Akira wakes up one morning to find his landlord eating one of his neighbors. Soon all of his zombified neighbors come crawling out of their apartments to sink their teeth into his flesh. He's barely able to lock himself on the roof as he worries about being late for work. But then it hits him.

He never has to go to work again.

Liberated from his perpetual torment, Akira uses his newfound freedom to do everything he's ever wanted to do in life, writing it all down in his bucket list, "100 Things I Want to Do Before I Become a Zombie".

To him, braving the Zombie Apocalypse is a vacation compared to a dead-end job!

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (ゾン100~ゾンビになるまでにしたい100のこと~ Zombie 100 ~Zombie ni Naru Made ni Shitai 100 no Koto~, literally "Zom 100: 100 Things I Want to do Before I Become a Zombie") is a Seinen Zombie Apocalypse Dramedy written by Haro Aso (creator of Alice in Borderland) and drawn by Kotaro Takata, which began serialization in Monthly Sunday Gene X in October 2018. It follows Akira Tendo's quest to complete his bucket list in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse, all while rediscovering a zeal for life he thought he'd long lost.

An official English release by VIZ Media began in Feburary 2021. A live-action adaptation was broadcast on August 2023 in Netflix, starring Eiji Akaso as Akira. An anime adaptation by OLM Incorporated offshoot BUG FILMS also aired from July to December 2023. The series premiered on Toonami on March 30th, 2024.

Bucket List #XX: List all example tropes on this page.

  • Adaptation Distillation: The Netflix live-action film combines certain key events in order to fit into its two-hour runtime.
    • Akira reuniting with Shizuka is brought forward to the "dining with flight attendants" event, where the latter replaces Yukari as the only woman to accompany and talk to Akira, and the Big Damn Heroes moment that changes her opinion of him happens here when he saves her from the zombified flight attendants. The gang also encounters the abandoned RV they ended up using right after escaping the mall.
    • Akira reuniting with Kosugi was combined with the zombie aquarium and subsequently the zombie shark event, the former being justified in-universe as Kosugi setting up a fort right there due to him running a movie shoot there when the apocalypse happened.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: The Zombie Apocalypse has caused many people to try drowning their sorrows with alcohol. Unfortunately, several places, such as a sakagura (sake brewery) and a geisha teahouse, ended up being overrun by zombies because of a single drunkard's carelessness.
  • Alien Blood: In the anime, the zombies ooze and bleed brightly-colored fluids, which helps further tone down the horror. It's implied to be normal-coloured blood, but Akira's brightened and positive outlook on life literally colours the world around him into resembling a Sugar Bowl, showing how the horror of the apocalyptic reality can't dampen his renewed spirits.
  • The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: The Zombie Apocalypse may have been the best thing to ever happen to Akira. Since the apocalypse started, it had done wonders for his mental health, and this quality helps other people they meet. Even Shizuka, who is very aloof when she's near him, manages to open up around her new friends. And side characters they meet on their trip manages to gain their resolve due to his unwavering positivity.
  • Arc Number: 100, used by various characters as the amount of listed tasks to achieve for their various goals. Akira makes a 100-item bucket list to achieve before becoming a zombie, Shizuka makes a 100-item to-do list to avoid becoming a zombie and even the Kousakas make a goal of travelling 100 countries before becoming zombies.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Inverted. Akira and Kencho manage to procure a shark suit from the abandoned aquarium, allowing Akira to act out his childhood superhero dreams by rescuing people from the zombies. While it doesn't stop him from feeling the pain of the bites, the chainmail links do an excellent job of preventing any of the zombies from breaking his skin and infecting him.
    • Beatrix also has a historically accurate suit of Japanese samurai armor as part of her Occidental Otaku hobby. Old-fashioned it may be, it prevents her from getting bitten. She and Akira can temporarily hold off the zombie horde when push comes to shove thanks to their athleticism and suits of armor.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: The aquarium Akira and Kencho visit has a great white shark on display. It's borderline impossible to keep a great white shark in captivity due to their nomadic lifestyles, leading to injuries when bumping against the walls of the tank on top of their demanding feeding requirements and how they need to move to breathe.
  • The Atoner: Naoki Atenbou, the Sole Survivor of Higurashi's group, becomes one after his defeat, spending all his time working the fields in Gunma to make up for his awful actions.
  • Bait the Dog: At first, Akira's company seems reasonably good. They take him out for drinks on his first day, his coworkers come off as rather friendly and he appears to be having a good time. But then, as Akira starts to go home, he's told he'll have to work an all-nighter, and things get worse from there.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: A Double Standard example. In the first three chapters of the first volume alone there are two females and three males depicted with their chests exposed. The two females were recently zombified while they were in state of undress showcasing not just simple circle nipples but realistically drawn ones. Meanwhile all three males don’t even have the luxury of simple circle nipples when depicted shirtless and it is highly unlikely that all three have athelia.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: The story repeatedly hangs lampshades on the many zombie movie clichés the heroes run into, such as zombies hiding in a swamp to ambush passerby, only the swamp is one of the hot springs they were trying to enjoy, much to everyone's chagrin.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Akira has plenty of moments of these throughout the manga. Especially when donning his superhero getup. A notable example occurs in Chapter 7 when Akira saves Shizuka from a giant zombie shark that was just about to attack her.
    • In Chapter 21, when all hope of escape from the zombie horde seems lost after the Rope Bridge collapsed, Kumano Masaru, the carpenter from Chapter 14, brings his own rope bridge to help the town escape.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Akira and Shizuka share theirs in Chapter 57 to cement their Relationship Upgrade. Also counts as a Now or Never Kiss considering they were cornered by zombies at the time and didn't know if they would make it out alive.
  • Bioweapon Beast: A dozen or so frog-like creatures, each larger than a grown man and equipped with claws that can shred an elephant to pieces, were found in a top-secret area of Umbriel's Japan laboratory. According to the laboratory data, these monsters were codenamed "Crushers". Lambda Chop speculated that the Umbriel Corporation produced the Crushers (using a refined, stronger version of the zombie virus) to be sold to the highest bidder, ready to "crush" those who oppose Umbriel's customers.
  • Black Comedy: The bulk of the story's comedy is built on the absurdity of enjoying yourself in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. Akira and co. are way happier now than they were in their previous lives slaving away to meet corporate and societal expectations.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • While the manga name-drops popular brands like Harley-Davidson, the anime adaptation chooses to use lawyer-friendly alternative names like "Laurie-Richardson".
    • There are other lawyer-friendly products seen in the series, such as Akira's notebook being a Kokuyo Campus notebook simply labled "Notebook" on the cover instead of "Campus."
  • Body of Bodies: At a dinosaur museum, a number of zombies got entangled within some of the dinosaur fossils, making it almost look as if the fossils came back to unlife as zombie dinosaurs. When Kencho climbed up a spinosaurus fossil to escape a group of zombies pursuing him, said zombies become thoroughly entangled within the fossil itself. With the zombies inside it and all over it eerily acting in unison as its muscles, decaying flesh, and primitive brain, the fossil became a terrifying approximation of an undead spinosaurus, complete with roars simulated by the zombies' moans.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In Chapter 57, Shizuka uses Akira's own Mad Libs Catchphrase when telling Sakaki she wants to hear Akira confess his feelings to her, straight to her face.
    Shizuka: I'd rather be eaten by zombies than walk away from that idiot... before he admits his feelings for me.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Thoroughly refreshed by the fact that he never has to go back to work, Akira takes in all of the colors and sights he'd long forgotten. Blue skies, green trees, and bright red blood.
  • The Cameo: The zombie idol cast from Zombieland Saga appears as some of the zombie horde in episode 6 of the anime.
  • Captain Ersatz: The anime expands on Akira's childhood to include a green Kabuto Raiger as the inspiration for his Akiraiger hero persona.
  • Career Not Taken: Many characters in the series had a career path they wanted to take, but were unable to do to restrictions imposed on them by society in one form or another: Akira wanted to be a superhero when he was a kid, but wound up doing blackwork at an exploitative company; Kencho wanted to be a stand-up comedian, but worked in real estate job because it paid better; Shizuka wanted to be a doctor, but became an accountant for her domineering father; Akira's father Tenruo wanted to be an astronaut, but wasn't academically inclined enough to do it and stayed as a farmer in his home village, and so on. Since society has basically collapsed thanks to the Zombie Apocalypse, many of these characters decide to live out their dreams with this fresh start.
  • The Cavalry: The elderly of Gunma village rush to Shizuka's aid as she's cornered by Atenbou, shooting Atenbou's gun out of his hand before dogpiling him to ensure that he can't hurt her. After beating him unconscious, the Gunma villagers then turn to Shizuka to ask if she's alright.
  • Censored for Comedy: Many of Kencho's Naked People Are Funny antics will censor his privates when he throws off his clothes, usually by covering them in Censor Steam or pink swirls.
  • Central Theme: The story doesn't shy away from anti-capitalism, which is commonly found in most Zombie Apocalypse stories, but it also explores the themes of finding their own happiness and living their lives to the fullest. The main characters themselves represent those who wanted to feel alive, be free from social expectations, and pursue their own dreams and happiness. The side characters also get to explore the latter theme, even if they get a few moments of screentime.
  • Chainsaw Good: Kanbayashi wields a chainsaw against Beatrix, shattering Beatrix's Sengoku-era weapons and leaving her thoroughly outmatched skill-wise thanks to Kanbayashi's experience in kendo.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: A movie makeup artist and a salon owner are among the people from the city who came to Akira's hometown in search of shelter from the zombies. They're incredibly good at their work and can make it look like he has dreadlocks despite his short hair, letting him cross another thing off his bucket list. The same ladies help him disguise himself as a zombie to fool Higurashi, letting Akira save his father without getting anyone else hurt.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kencho come across a huge manure pit which he is initially disgusted by it being the village public bathroom. However, he saw the bright side when he and Kurasugi were surrounded by a zombie horde. He jumped into the hole of poo without hesitation to escape the horde. Bonus points for knowing that zombies wouldn't eat bad meat.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • One of the things on Akira's bucket list is to enjoy a mixer with some flight attendants. Kencho points out how weirdly specific that one is and how unlikely it is to happen in the middle of the apocalypse. But while fleeing zombies on their way to nab a huge flatscreen TV, they encounter a group of flight attendants taking shelter in an underground mall. They then sit down, drink, eat, and introduce each other, letting Akira have that mixer he wanted after all.
    • Shizuka believes she'll never see Akira and Kencho again after the incident at the aquarium. Just a few days later, they all end up visiting the same conventional hall in search of a camping van to escape Tokyo with.
    • While traveling through Hokkaido, the camping van runs out of gas exactly 246 km away from the northernmost point of the country. When Akira sees this, he immediately realizes that this is his chance to complete the 246 km Spartathlon he always wanted to. Soon after accomplishing this, they stumble upon an AI-operated hotel that lets them also accomplish staying at a luxury suite.
    • In general, Akira and his friends tend to run into bizarrely unlikely circumstances that help them scratch everything off the bucket list they put together.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: The survivors of post-apocalyptic Japan adjust to their new status quo pretty well with most businesses such as casinos and Geisha still operating and food and other necessities are often plentiful. Even the utilities like electricity and water still seem to be functioning. And of course, with his soul-crushing job no longer a priority, Akira can't help but find his new circumstances to be paradise by comparison.
  • Crossover: To celebrate the release of the live action series of the author's first famous series, a bonus chapter was made where Akira gets stuck in the Borderland world and he falls in love once he learns he never has to work again and can just play games now.
  • Dancing Theme: Part of the anime's opening credits features the main characters dancing and singing along to the theme song. Bonus points for having an entire flash mob of zombies dancing along with them, and Shizuka initially not joining in until the others rope her into it.
  • Death by Genre Savviness: A hitchhiker named Mercy is a fan of slasher films (including mentioning that Jason Voorhees doesn't use a chainsaw and his mother was the real antagonist in the first film). He ends up being separated from Takeru and Izzy while looking for supplies, and he gets his head smashed in by an actual serial killer's hammer, thinking he was a mochi maker.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Played positively. Kanbayashi complains about how no one ever respected her viewpoint as The Perfectionist while ranting about how she never did anything wrong. Beatrix responds by saying that it's normal to chew gum at work in Germany, that it's frowned upon to clean on Sundays when everyone else is resting, and how people celebrating their birthdays are expected to be responsible for their own parties, all things a Japanese person would find abhorrent. In doing so, Beatrix says that no viewpoint is absolutely correct and just, as everyone has different standards and customs.
  • Designated Girl Fight: During the "Hometown of the Dead" arc, Beatrix and Kanbayashi come to blows over Gunma's water wheel, which Beatrix needs to break in order to deactivate the electric fence trapping the villagers.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: After Shizuka gets caught off-guard by a zombie in a nearby car, she gets bitten in the arm. She collapses in Akira's arms, with Akira desperately pleading for her not to leave him, with the following panels showing him carrying her to the others, believing she would succumb to the virus. Ultimately subverted, when Tsuru snaps everyone back into action and bring her inside the Umbriel Corporation offices, where he administers a blood serum to Shizuka that undoes her infection.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: Zombies in the live-action film are blind and rely solely on sound to find victims, compared to the manga and anime versions that can see.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Akira's shark suit and Beatrix's armor dramatically reduce the amount of risk they're in, as the zombies simply can't bite through them. Because of this, the heroes run into several situations where they're forced to leave their protection behind, such as when the camping van is stuck behind a blocked tunnel or it runs out of gas.
  • Dramedy: The story is built on the absurdist comedy of how someone can find more freedom and happiness in the zombie apocalypse than working an awful desk job. The bleak situation around Akira and his friends doesn't stop them from getting into one hilarious hijink after the other while having the time of their lives. But the threat of the Zombie Apocalypse is always looming, and even the absurdity of the premise doesn't detract from the horrors the heroes face when one bite can mean the end.
  • Drowning My Sorrows:
    • Akira used to only drink to dull the pain and exhaustion he felt from his Soul-Crushing Desk Job. He only realizes just how tasty beer is to him once he's freed of said job and can drink it for relaxation.
    • One of the first things Reika says on panel is how she needs a drink to cope with the Zombie Apocalypse. Even after she's turned into a zombie, she still has a bottle of whiskey in her mouth until she lunges at Maki to turn her.
  • Everybody Knew Already: In Chapter 55, Akira opens up to his guy friends about how he's in love with Shizuka. Neither Kencho nor Takeru are particularly surprised at the revelation, with Kencho even saying they already knew about his crush.
  • Evil Is Petty: The NEETs in Gunma try to wipe out the entire village and turn them all into zombie chow for the crime of being able to feel satisfied and find happiness with each other when the NEETs could not.
  • Fanservice: There's plenty of female nudity in the manga. However, the main three girls will always have their chests covered up by Censor Steam or a piece a clothing. Even someone bustier like Beatrix has her female parts covered. However...
  • Fan Disservice: There is a lot of frontal nudity and women in underwear in the manga. Unfortunately, most it is placed on female zombies, and the anime adaptation decidedly avoid this.
  • Flesh-Eating Zombie: The zombies in the story have a stereotypical craving for human flesh, eating anyone they don't manage to turn. Akira encounters his landlord eating one of his neighbors before narrowly avoiding the rest of his zombified neighbors.
  • Forceful Kiss: Atenbou's thing he wanted to do before becoming a zombie was to "forcefully french-kiss a girl". He tries to do this with Shizuka when he finds her. To say she's not comfortable with this would be a massive understatement.
  • For Happiness: The driving theme of the story is how you shouldn't let yourself be bogged down by anyone's expectations but your own and to make the most of the one life you have. Akira spent three years as a miserable office zombie until the world goes to hell from a zombie plague. Only then does he actually try to do what makes him happy rather than what makes him money.
  • Formula with a Twist: The story is your standard Zombie Apocalypse setting, but rather than focusing on survival and figuring out how to keep more people from becoming zombified, the plot is instead focused on the sheer feeling of freedom Akira and his friends feel now that society has been upended and they have the opportunity to do what makes them happy rather than meeting expectations. The zombies are more of a motivator and a backdrop than the center of the characters' conflict.
  • Friendly, Playful Dolphin: One of the items on the bucket list is to swim with dolphins, which the group manage to do in the "Dolphins of the Dead" arc. They are depicted as playful and friendly, where they have no problem swimming alongside the protagonists. That said, they actively avoid Akira and Shizuka, the dolphins being able to detect the awkward air around the two of them (where Akira and Shizuka are partially avoiding each other due to the latter remembering how he confessed to her while she was delirious). Near the end of the arc, when Akira and Shizuka manage to confess to each other for real, they manage to be saved by the dolphins from the zombies that cornered them on the beach. The group wonder if the dolphins did this intentionally, while Lambda Chop tells them about how there are heroic myths and stories about how they saved people from drowning or shark attacks, though note the dolphins view it as "playing" instead.
  • Gasoline Dousing: To get rid of the zombie horde between them and the last master sushi chef alive, Akira and the others douse the horde with water balloons filled with gasoline from a nearby gas station before lighting the zombies all on fire with a match.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The party of main characters consists of Akira and Kencho, two guys, and Shizuka and Beatrix, two girls. Akira and Kencho are both ecstatic to be traveling with two pretty girls while Shizuka rolls her eyes at their antics. Beatrix is also happy to experience Japan with them, even if it's not in the manner she imagined it would be in. In later volumes, the number of human men and women increased to three each with the addition of Takeru and Izuna.
  • Giver of Lame Names: When Akira ends up punching a shark using his electricity charged diving suit, he yells out his attack as "Crackle Thunder Punch." While both Akira and Kencho think the moment was cool, Shizuka believes he needs to work on naming his attacks.
    Shizuka: Not that it's my business or anything... But you've got a bad taste in names.
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Kencho ends up having sex with the flight attendant Maki after they hit it up while taking shelter in an underground mall. Unfortunately for them, Maki is soon infected by Reika, who then tries to bite Kencho before he hightails it with Akira to safety.
  • Go Mad from the Apocalypse: While most characters take advantage of society's collapse in the Zombie Apocalypse to live out their dreams, the human antagonists are people who try to do the same in ways that harm their fellow survivors for selfish reasons, many of them driven to it either out of desperation or nihilism.
    • Kanta Higurashi and his gang were all losers who, disillusioned with their lives, found freedom and camaraderie when the zombie apocalypse destroyed society. Being Shadow Archetypes of the main characters, they all take the opportunity to live out their wildest fantasies, but all of their desires are innately selfish and destructive; Higurashi wants to destroy and vandalize everything around him, Kurasugi wants to slap his "bitch of a wife" (even though it's his own fault his marriage fell apart), Kanbayashi is a Control Freak who wants revenge for things not going her way and Atenbou is a Gonk who wants to force himself on a woman. They even formulate a plan to overrun Gunma with zombies because they can't stand to see its people being so content while they themselves are miserable.
    • Dr. Shoichiro Edogawa was the world's foremost expert in Artificial Intelligence to the point where he staffed a luxury hotel entirely with robots. When the apocalypse happened and his late assistant Rui died, he snapped and attempted to upload a copy of her consciousness into Shizuka's body. Thankfully, the rest of the cast are able to talk him out of it.
  • Greed Makes You Dumb: A theme throughout the "Millionaire of the Dead" arc. The protagonists, after struggling for the first few chapters, manage to build a bar that gets them plenty of food cans, which are Osaka's form of currency after the Zombie Apocalypse. Akira Tendo then literally gets blinded by greed (represented by the food cans covering his eyes after their newfound success) that he ends up taking the food cans and buying himself into the Castle Elite, seeing himself as the reason why they got so many cans despite it being a group effort. He then finds himself unsatisfied with the constant talk of money with the other fat cat members of the castle, with an old man spelling out how badly greed will blind people in obtaining the most capital. Greed ends up being the downfall of Castle Elite, and through both Akira's old friend Takemina and the old man's words, they manage to show how dumb Akira had been for abandoning his friends in the pursuit of wealth.
    Old Man: You know the point of gaining capital? It ain't about... having enough to make your life feel better. It's about having the most. [...] You got 10 billion? Next, you'll want 20 billion. It'll pull ya from your friends, your family... till the greed's all you got room for.
    • The first time is when the people of Osaka pool their cans into playing a game of "Canning or Zombie" at the Elite Castle's casino. The goal is for the contestant to run into a door in order to land in a hole with their winnings or in a hole to meet a grisly end with zombies, with no upper limit for betting. Takemina ends up almost losing his life, though thanks to Akira's hint, he ends up winning instead. After winning, however, Takemina then declares a double or nothing bet with their current winnings, which the fat cats believe is a foolish move that will give their casino an easy victory. However, doubling the amount of cans causes them to overflow and make it easy to see where the prize is above the doorframe, making it a guaranteed win at the casino game that was initially designed to drain the poor of their cans. Coupled with the game's "No Upper Limit" policy, this allows Takemina to keep winning until he cleans out the Elites entirely.
      Takemina: Your pit... became your pitfall. Y'all were confident you had all the cans on your side. You never imagined we'd ever hold this many cans... even if we pooled together everything we had. Your greed... cost you.
    • This theme is hammered home a second time with the "Canning Chief" who has the most amount of cans, but had holed himself in his teshu. When Akira and his friends meet the man himself, he's already been turned into a zombie, with Takemina commenting that his greed blinded him so much that he never realized that he can't take his capital with him if he ever died.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment: The Establishing Character Moment for Akira and the series is him taking a moment he's safe from the zombies to actually consider his life now and what that means for the world...and then he realizes his Soul-Crushing Desk Job is definitionally gone for reasons that aren't his fault now. He unleashes The Scream in pure ecstasy.
  • Henpecked Husband: Deconstructed with Kurasugi. He definitely believes this is the case given his overbearing wife and their loveless marriage, thinking himself to be "a victim of marriage". However, Kencho points out that the real reason behind the failure of Kurasagi's marriage is his inability to show that he cared about his wife or properly communicating with her, calling Kurasugi out for expecting marriage to be All Take and No Give on his end.
  • Heroic RRoD: Played for Laughs. As Shizuka predicted, the heroes break down long before reaching the finish line of the 246 km Spartathalon Akira roped them all into joining as they didn't do any of the training required to complete it. They only finish because a zombie horde forces them to run for their lives with the exception of Akira, who hallucinates that Pheidippides is encouraging him to keep going.
  • Heroic Spirit: Parodied. After running out of gas in the middle of Hokkaido, Akira realizes that he's just the right distance away from Wakkanai, the northernmost city in Japan, to run the Spartathlon, a 246 km marathon. Shizuka (correctly) complains that without training, they won't even make it a third of the way, but Akira and Beatrix believe they can make it there through sheer Hot-Blooded determination. They're already breaking down by the 60 km mark, and that's before it starts snowing around the halfway point. After collapsing, Akira hallucinates an image of Pheidippides encouraging him to keep going, only for a zombie horde to show up to motivate the others to run the rest of the way rather than their heroic spirits.
  • Horror Comedy: While there are moments where zombie attacks are played for horror, the series still mines a lot of Black Comedy out of how the main characters are actually enjoying themselves during the Zombie Apocalypse, since despite how zombies are overrunning Japan, this frees them from slaving away at their miserable former jobs and allows them to live life to the fullest.
  • Hot Springs Episode: One of the things on Akira's bucket list is to relax at the hot springs, though he and the others run into plenty of trouble while looking for a hot spring that isn't infested with zombies.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter in the manga and every episode of the anime is titled "[X] of the Dead". This even extends to the anime's opening and ending themes, titled "Song of the Dead" and "Happiness of the Dead", respectively.
  • The Idiot from Osaka: The zombies in Osaka retain the personalities of their previous life, making them hyperactive, loud-mouthed and harder to be killed.
    • Takeru zig-zags this. While he's not dim-witted by any means, he's from Osaka and is a college dropout who also happens to be a Bunny-Ears Lawyer and a master gambler.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat:
    • Akira is a downplayed case. While he learned how to fight by watching Toku shows as a child, he wears a shark suit to safely fight zombies head-on.
    • Beatrix is so in love with in Japanese culture (which naturally includes books and video games) that she dresses herself in Samurai armor and wields feudal Japanese weapons to slaughter zombies.
    • Since Izuna was a professional gamer prior to the outbreak, she puts her gaming skills to good use against zombies, such as mowing them down with a flamethrower and pulling a Pac-Man tactic with Kencho to get away with the zombies chasing them.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: There are no child zombies seen among the hordes, and the one and only child in the story is a girl sheltered in Akira's secluded hometown of Gunma.
  • Improvised Weapon: When the flight attendant Reika gets turned into a zombie, Kencho grabs a nearby suitcase and whacks her hard enough to knock her jaw off.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: This is Reika's response to the Zombie Apocalypse, constantly getting drunk so she doesn't have to think about it. This leaves her addled and unable to defend herself when a Zombie Infectee approaches her, leading to her infection.
  • Jump Scare: While the zombies are incapable of fine critical thinking, they still have some level of predatory instinct that allows them to hide in wait for prey. This lets them hide in supply trucks that survivors are likely to open or even in hot springs that people are trying to bathe in.
  • Last of His Kind: Beatrix managed to call the man who may be the last master sushi chef alive after Japan is overrun by zombies. Given that pigging out at a non-conveyor sushi place is on Akira's bucket list, he instantly agrees to help her get fresh fish to the sushi chef despite the zombie horde in the way.
  • Lens Flare Censor: As part of his symbolic resignation from his job as a real estate salesman and the start of his new career as a comedian, Kencho strips down as he jumps to the safety of another rooftop. His naughty parts get covered by the glare of the sun as Akira laughs it up.
  • Lighter and Softer: While there's still blood, violence, and fatalities, it's one of the more bright and upbeat Zombie Apocalypse stories in the same vein as Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and Z Nation due to its themes of happiness and being alive. The zombies' blood are even painted multiple colors in the anime to emphasize the Horror Comedy tone of the story.
  • Living Is More than Surviving: The other part of the story is all about this. Akira and his friends wasted no time doing things that made them truly happy and living for the moment. The zombies on the other hand, are a metaphor of oppressed people hopelessly trying to meet society's capitalist standards.
  • Living Out a Childhood Dream:
    • Akira's driving goal is to live out his bucket list in the midst of the Zombie Apocalypse that freed him from his Soul-Crushing Desk Job. Among the things on his "100 Things I Want to Do Before I Become a Zombie" is living out his childhood dream of being "Akiliger", a Toku-esque superhero back when he used to be a costumed Bully Hunter. He and Kencho sneak into a now abandoned aquarium to grab the biteproof (but tacky-looking) shark suit to protect Akira from zombie bites while he goes to rescue any other survivors they find. While confused by his actions, the people that he does rush to save are immensely grateful for Akira's support, letting him cross another thing off his bucket list.
    • Akira's enthusiasm is infectious and all of his companions soon write their own dreams into his bucket list. Kencho wants to be a comedian, Shizuka wants to be a doctor, and Beatrice wants to enjoy Japan as much as she can.
  • Lost in Translation: Several of the Japanese neologisms like "vlamping"note  don't carry over well to English, so they get replaced with rough equivalents such as "stay-at-home camping".
  • Love Confession:
    • At the end of the first chapter, Akira confesses to Ohtori how he's been head-over-heels for her since the day he arrived to work. Unfortunately, she'd already been infected by the chairman and was already in a relationship with the chairman before being bitten. Akira doesn't take it too personally though and takes solace in knowing that he still got to see her breasts. The anime and live-action film make this moment much more dramatic, with Akira tearfully making his confession instead.
    • Later in Chapter 44, Shizuka, after coming to the conclusion that she might like Akira, confesses to a shadowed figure who she assumes was Akira. This is mitigated by the fact that the "Akira" she confessed to is actually a zombie; the real Akira was taking a drum bath while it happened.
    • One made out of despair in Chapter 46, where Akira realizes that he "met the woman of his dreams," Shizuka, right after she got bitten by a zombie. While she survives thanks to Tsuru's blood serum, she doesn't remember that Akira confessed to her while she was in her delirious state. Akira realizes he jumped the gun and ended up crossing off the item from the bucket list, which goes unnoticed up until the "Dolphins of the Dead" arc, with Shizuka remembering his confession at that moment too.
    • Happens again during the "Dolphins of the Dead" arc, where Akira and Shizuka, who are surrounded by the pursuing zombies at the beach, share a passionate "do-or-die" kiss and profess their love for each other until the dolphins whisk them away to safety, with the additional bonus of completing entry #45 on the bucket list. This one sticks, with Akira and Shizuka becoming a couple from that point forward.
  • Love Epiphany:
    • Shizuka has one, during the "Desert Island" arc. The previous arc had her accidentally discover Akira and another woman naked, though Akira wanted to clear up the misunderstanding and was rejecting her advances. Despite Akira managing to clear it up, Shizuka is still dismissive of him, especially when they wash ashore on the desert island and he spends more time goofing around than trying to survive. She spends the first chapter of the arc consistently angry at him, wondering why she even is angry in the first place. After recounting their past encounters, she realizes that she might like him, leading to the confession in the following chapter.
    • One of Akira's goals on the Bucket List is to "meet the woman of his dreams," with hints throughout the story that it's Shizuka. The two dance around how they might love each other, with their time on the cruise ship and deserted island gradually pushing them closer. He only realizes that he already met the woman of his dreams in Shizuka, right when she gets bitten by a zombie in the arm. Thankfully, Shizuka is saved thanks to the blood serum injected into her, preventing her from turning into one herself.
  • Love Hotel: Kencho is introduced at one, having gotten so drunk that he'd taken a girl to an S&M love hotel. It winds up saving his life, as he's able to use the restraints to lock up his zombified date, though he's running out of food and water by the time Akira shows up to rescue him.
  • Male Gaze: The manga is clearly intended for a male audience, and the way some shots focus on Shizuka's boobs and butt emphasize this. Beatrix gets the same treatment, especially with her tank top showing her full cleavage and how she can barely fit into a men's size yukata.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Ohtori and the company chairman have sex at work in the middle of his office not far from Akira's desk. The chairman claims that the walls are thick and no one will be able to hear them, but the story makes it clear that the walls are anything but soundproof and Akira is forced to listen to them make out while fighting to stay awake.
  • Militaries Are Useless: The JSDF is helpless to contain the spread of the zombie outbreak, retreating and isolating itself in Toudou, leaving the few survivors in Tokyo to fend for themselves.
  • Never My Fault: The NEETs who try to destroy Akira's hometown of Gunma blame everyone but themselves for their lots in life. Higurashi was never able to work up the courage to actually make friends and speak to others to achieve anything, Atenbou blames all of his carelessness and lack of effort on bad luck, Kurasugi complained about a loveless marriage but was an All Take and No Give husband who never appreciated his family, and Kanbayashi never accepted anyone's viewpoint but her own and was fired for it. All of them get chewed out for it before their defeats.
  • No Indoor Voice: The gang often get themselves into trouble whenever they start screaming in excitement and attract the zombies.
  • No Zombie Cannibals: The zombies seem to function based on smell and sound. If you don't smell like a human or make any loud noises, they'll ignore you. This means obscuring your scent with something strong (i.e. manure) can render someone practically invisible to the zombies so long as he or she stays quiet.
  • Not Quite Dead: Takeru baits Sugizo into hitting a wooden bar trying to hit Izzy, then gets Buried Alive. Then his zombified grandmother finds him and gnaws on his leg, causing him to rise up as a zombie and pissed off as hell.
  • Now or Never Kiss: After being cornered by the zombies at the beach in Chapter 57, Akira and Shizuka do this while confessing their feelings for each other. They were bailed out by the dolphins immediately afterwards.
  • Older Than He Looks: Kurasugi looks like a middle-aged man at least. He's only 27. Might have something to do with his unhappy marriage.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The zombies here are depicted like Dawn of the Dead (2004) zombies (flesh eating, and fast runners rather than shambling), and their infection rate can depend how the Zombie Infectee was bitten, which is either instantaneous or a few minutes/hours. However, they are drawn by noise and smells, and will eat even animals, and animals can be infected.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: Akira and Kencho escort a group of survivors attempting to flee the zombies on the bus into the safety of an aquarium. Unfortunately that's when the zombie shark in the tank sprouts the legs of the divers it ate and starts running at them.
  • Out of the Inferno: Akira and Beatrix clear the way to a sushi restaurant by holding off the zombies in their armor while Shizuka and Kencho drop gasoline-filled water balloons all over the zombies from the nearby building. Kencho then lights the zombies ablaze with a match while Akira and Beatrix slowly walk out of the fire, apparently unharmed.
  • Painting the Medium: In the anime's first episode, Akira's increasingly dimming view on life is Deliberately Monochrome with letterboxes. Once the zombies hit, their blood is in a multitude of bright colors. When Akira realizes he doesn't have to go to work anymore, he rips the letterboxes out before the scene fully bursts into color.
  • Plague Zombie: No one knows what started the Zombie Apocalypse, but Shizuka speculates that it's a virus, which would explain how rapidly it spread while dismissing any kind of magical or supernatural force.
  • Police Are Useless: No police officers are seen among the zombie horde or the survivors, and it's mentioned that the police haven't made any announcements about trying to rescue anyone.
  • Plot Armor: The protagonists have survive multiple zombie encounters when others around them don't. For example, a zombified Reika attacks a drunken Kenchou but misses him completely and hits Maki instead. It becomes jarring when a group of highly equipped and trained soldiers were completely massacred by Crushers while Akira's group manage to kill them without suffering a single casualty despite their poor coordination and their only experience with firearms are either with airsoft guns or through video games.
  • Product Placement:
    • One sidestory short has Akira and Kencho visit a strip club run by Burlesque Tokyo, an actual show club franchise, in Harajuku, where the zombies are still trying to do the dance routines they learned in life. This is then followed by a short thank you to Burlesque Tokyo for making this possible.
    • Numerous in the Netflix adaptation. Halfway through the movie the cast took refuge in the Don Quijote supermarket chain (with the iconic cartoon penguin mascot) and the RV the group took escape from is a Winnebago attached on a Ford. Kencho's foldable smartphone unique to this adaptation, a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, was also given a considerable amount of on-screen focus.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Traffic Jam: There are cars and other vehicles left behind by survivors whenever Akira's group are traveling (Akira has his mobile home, Kencho has Akira's motorcycle, and Takeru has his own truck). And then their vehicles will be forced to be left behind whenever there's an obstacle or they run out of gas, and have to travel on foot. Though luckily, their vehicles will be recovered by the end of an arc once it's been resolved.
  • Raising the Steaks: The infection can also affect animals as seen at the aquarium with the zombified fishes including a Great White Shark. Akira's group later encounter even more zombie animals such as boars and bears.
  • Rescue Romance: Shizuka's feelings for Akira begin after he selflessly (but thoughtlessly) rushes to save her from the zombie shark even after she chewed him out earlier for his illogical actions. These feelings of hers only get stronger over time as she grows to admire Akira's honesty and compassion. This comes into fruition later in the "Dolphins of the Dead" arc, where they finally went into a Relationship Upgrade through a Now or Never Kiss before the dolphins drag them out of the zombies' reach.
  • Roof Hopping: Akira leaps from the roof of one office building to another to escape the zombies chasing them. He barely makes it to the other side and winds up bloody and scraped up in the process, but he manages to coax his Best Friend Kencho to make the leap too despite the latter's fears and doubts.
  • Running Gag: Kencho repeatedly waves his "delicious ass" in the zombies' faces as bait to draw their attention away from something else. This works every time, often buying Akira and co. valuable time to pull off their latest plan.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Yukari is a kind, sweet, and beautiful flight attendant who is just Akira's type, but he's dismayed to learn that she already has a boyfriend. Despite this, the two of them are happy to be Just Friends and find common ground over the stresses of their former jobs. That's when the Zombie Infectee businessman jumps them and bites Yukari, who tearfully tells Akira to run for his life as the businessman comes back around for another bite. Their conversation ends up making Akira think long and hard about what he really wants out of life and reminds him to try to follow his dreams rather than simply indulging in his desires.
  • Sex at Work: Ohtori and the company chairman have sex at work in the middle of his office not far from Akira's desk.
  • Sex Signals Death:
    • Ohtori meets this fate in the early stages of the Zombie Apocalypse when Akira went to her apartment, and her boss had already turned, and Ohtori turned soon after judging by her bite marks, and her gown is pulled down.
    • In Chapter 58, Kazuki and Selena, a couple who pick up Takeru and Izzy as well as another hitchiker named Mercy, decide to have sex inside their van while the others search for gas at a seemingly abandoned property. The two were murdered shortly after.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: "Dating App of the Dead" is a chapter revolving around Kencho's attempts to find the woman of his dreams via a dating app. After swiping left on a number of women with creepy responses (including "Want to watch the world burn together" and "All men should turn into zombies"), Kencho finally finds a pretty girl who's newly single. But as soon as he and Akira arrive at the scheduled time and place, it turns out that the girl was infected by her ex-boyfriend just as she finished typing her response to Kencho.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The English localization title is a clear send up to classic zombie movies like Dawn Of The Dead.
    • The names of several famous zombie films and books can be seen on the DVD boxes on Shizuka's desk, including World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide, The Return of the Living Dead, and the Living Dead Series.
    • Shizuka quotes Records of the Three Kingdoms while proclaiming that the team's hopes for all-you-can-eat sushi aren't dashed yet and that she deserves a cut of it too.
    • Higurashi's own "100 Things I Want to Do Before I Become a Zombie" list is scrawled in a black notebook with white lettering labeling it, making it appear oddly similar to the Death Note. Fittingly enough, the book details his bucket list of destructive ideas, including destroying Gunma for daring to be happy when he never found any happiness.
    • The bearded zombie driver in Episode 2 strongly resembles the truck driver in the beginning of Resident Evil 2 (Remake). Both are also shown eating hamburgers, and their vehicles (gas tankers no less) similarly crash and slide afterwards.
      • On top of this, the mysterious organization that Akira and co. come across later in the series, the Umbriel Corporation, are likely a reference to Resident Evil's infamous "Umbrella Corporation".
    • The man shown in the fashion magazine Akira has circled in the beginning of episode 3 is clearly Ryan Gosling.
    • Inn Chapter 41, Joji, a ship captain in a cruise ship, misses a piece of paper that says "Zombies Inside, Do not open". A clear reference to the memetic "Don't Open Dead Inside" warning from The Walking Dead.
    • The serial killer/cannibal family that Izzy and Takeru meet during "Horror Mansion of the Dead" is a blatant parody of the Sawyers from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Higurashi lays out his reasons for trying to destroy Gunma, Kencho, Shizuka, and Beatrix all have a quippy line to snipe back at him. Akira is a Double Subversion, sympathizing with Higurashi's motives as someone who also wants to make the most of his one life. But then he points out that Higurashi shouldn't have to take away the freedom of others to do the same, especially for people Akira cares about so much, and tells Higurashi not to lump their bucket lists together.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!:
    • Shizuka begins the story as The Cynic only trying to maximize her chances of survival during the Zombie Apocalypse. She repeatedly dismisses Akira and Kencho as people who are bound to get themselves killed by their desire to enjoy themselves rather than simply live. But Shizuka only finds happiness once she lowers her guard and allows others like Akira into her life.
    • Higurashi believes that there's no point in morals or ethics when the world is going to end, taking every opportunity to indulge in his worst vices and darkest desires, including trying to wipe out Gunma for being happy and thriving despite having so little. His attempts to turn all of Gunma into zombies are thwarted by Akira and the villagers, and Higurashi is bitten by the same zombies he sicced on the populace. It's only after Akira shows him compassion that Higurashi realizes that what he really wanted was a connection and people to rely on.
  • Sole Survivor:
    • The Kosakas are Akira's only surviving neighbors when he wakes up to the zombie apocalypse. He gets things for them on his supply runs so they don't have to leave the safety of their apartment. Then it's subverted when he returns one day to find their apartment in tatters and covered in bloody handprints, implying that they were caught and killed. Then it's Double Subverted when a side chapter reveals that they in fact escaped and are on their way to the airport to live out their dreams of traveling the world thanks to Akira's example.
    • In the anime, Shou is the only hostess club employee to survive against the zombie horde, while all of his men have turned into zombies.
    • Anju lost both of her parents to the zombie hordes before coming to Gunma for shelter. The only company she has left is her dog Charo, and she doesn't smile despite the kindness of Gunma's villagers.
    • Atenbou Naoki becomes the only member of Higurashi's group who isn't dead or a zombie by the end of the "Hometown of the Dead" arc.
    • Unbeknownst to Akira and the others, a single mercenary from the squad sent by the Umbriel Corporation managed to survive, accomplished his mission of retrieving virus samples from the Japanese Umbriel laboratory and delivered the samples to his employers.
  • Soul-Crushing Desk Job:
    • Played for Drama. Akira's old job as a commercial writer and producer was so awful that he has lingering PTSD from the experience. He wasn't even allowed to go home on his first day on the job, his coworkers regularly bragged about how much unpaid overtime they got, and was repeatedly chewed out for missing deadlines that changed on a whim. He was so exhausted that he couldn't even work up the energy to clean his apartment for three whole years. It's telling that the first thing Akira does upon realizing he's in a Zombie Apocalypse is cheer about how free he is now that he never has to go back to his awful workplace.
    • While not as physically or mentally damaging as Akira's job, Kencho's job in real estate left him miserable. He wanted to be a comedian and make people happy, but instead he spent three years tricking people into bad deals while wearing a fake smile. Much like Akira, he's thrilled to cast away the memories of his job and live for himself again.
  • Tainted Veins: Zombie bites cause the surrounding veins to turn black as the infection spreads.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: The protagonist of the zombie movie that Akira and Shizuka watch manages to escape the horde chasing him and celebrates being safe on a rooftop. Mid-cheer, a zombie bites him from behind.
  • Take That!: The manga is one long jab at the awfulness of corporate work culture: the long, slavish hours, horrible pay, and lack of fulfillment for the majority of office workers like Akira. He and his friends all begin to enjoy life more in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse compared to their previous lives. Kencho even says that Akira looked deader than the actual zombies while working at the black company.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: Akira vocally resigns from his job in front of a zombified CEO of a company he worked for, as he then proceeds to tackle him through the window. Then he meets his former boss, Gonzo Kosugi, who employs him back as part of deal to treat Kencho's wounds from a bike crash trap they themselves set up. Shizuka brings out his diary, she shows a brainwashed Akira an entry she wrote there. After Gonzo tries to stomp it down, Akira stops him and gets snapped out of his trance he was in, and calmly says that he is resigning.
    "Tell it to my stupid superior like it is."
  • Tempting Fate: Whenever the group meets a new person for the chapter, they start the mini arc by saying "We're totally safe. Don't worry". Lo and behold, suddenly it becomes infested with zombies, and the introductory character may or may not survive the encounter.
  • Toilet Humor: During his battle with Kurasugi, Kencho jumps into a manure pool to hide himself and his scent from the zombies. He then spends the rest of the "Hometown of the Dead" arc naked and covered in feces with his entire body pixilated.
  • Too Good to Be True: Whenever the situation becomes too idyllic for Akira and the others, it will spiral out of control just to remind the audience what kind of world the story takes place in. Usually, a horde of zombies will overrun a sanctuary, but other dangers such as nihilists, a Mad Scientist, ex-convicts, and monstrous mutants have appeared as well.
  • Undead Laborers: In Truck Stop of the Dead, Kosuki uses captured zombies to tow large vehicles and trailers in order to reduce fuel consumption. He even boasts that they're more useful than living workers since they don't have any needs and can't complain.
  • The Virus: The zombie plague appeared out of nowhere, upending all of Tokyo in the span of a single night before Akira got up in the morning. It's spread via biting and turns people into Flesh-Eating Zombies who chase after loud noises and human smells. Its rate of infection is also inconsistent. Some people turn immediately after a bite, while others change painfully slowly or get bitten multiple times before turning or dying. There is however, someone who didn't turn after getting bitten, and that was Izuna.
  • Weapons of Their Trade: When zombies invade Gunma, the villagers defend themselves with everything they have, including the hoes they use to rake the fields and the rifles they used to hunt game.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye:
    • Many of the more minor characters are offed the chapter they're introduced, emphasizing that even with the darkly comedic tone of the series, it's still a Zombie Apocalypse where death is a real possibility at any given time. Akira's co-worker and crush Ohtori, the flight attendants Akira and Kencho meet while looking for a TV, several of Kosugi's followers, and some of the villagers in Akira's hometown all bite it.
    • Akira's sole surviving neighbors, the Kosakas, are first seen when Akira is shimmying down a drain pipe to get some food and supplies. He offers to get them some, but the following day their apartment is covered in bloody handprints, revealing that they died some time since his last run. Then it's subverted when they're revealed to have escaped and the bloody handprints came from the zombies that broke in via the balcony. We then learn their names, Mikio and Sumire Kosaka, and their former jobs as an airline pilot and violin teacher respectively, and they make their own bucket list as they prepare to head for the airport to go on a trip around the world. They also hope to meet Akira again so they can bring him along for the ride, as he inspired them to find joy in their predicament.
  • Wham Line: Ukaji's line near the end of chapter 64 brings out that The Virus wasn't as recent as they thought.
    Ukaji: There is... one concern though... We haven't had any communication with them... Over the past year!
  • Wham Shot: In chapter 64, Hirotaka Ukaji states they lost communications with the I.S.S. space station for the last year, before the Zombie Apocalypse started. And thus, the I.S.S. crew were infected in space.
  • Wingding Eyes: Akira and Kencho's eyes tend to turn into sparkles when they're truly excited about something. Try as she might, Shizuka gets in on this too as she loosens up, and Beatrix is more than happy to as well.
  • Would Rather Suffer:
  • You Shall Not Pass!: In Best Friend of the Dead, the employees of a host club in Shinjuku try to hold off a horde of zombies to protect the people hiding inside. While the manga leaves the outcome of the battle unknown, the anime adaptation reveals that most of the hosts are killed, with the number 1 host surviving only thanks to Akira luring the horde away.
  • Zombie Gait: Zombies vary in speed, with some having the traditional slow shamble and others being able to run.
  • Zombie Infectee: Many times Akira and his friends encounter another group that has an infected person among them who concealed their bite before turning:
    • The unnamed businessman taking shelter in the underground mall with the flight attendants is in fact infected, and he turns while everyone else is either away or drunk. He then turns Reika before going after Yukari and Akira, biting the former as the latter is forced to flee for his life.
    • In the anime, one of the survivors on a bus that Shizuka was on concealed a zombie bite wound on his arm. Just as the survivors on the bus decided to stay quiet and wait for the surrounding zombies to leave, the infected survivor turns and kills the woman sitting next to him. Panic ensues and the survivors immediately flee the bus with predictable results, with only Shizuka and a handful of others making it to safety.
    • Later on in the manga, Shizuka is caught off-guard and got bitten by a zombie hiding in a car while she was talking to Akira. Fortunately for her, the serum made from Izuna's blood undid the zombification process, saving her life as a result.

 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Zom 100, Zom 100 Bucket List Of The Dead

Top

Beatrix Amerhauser

The main characters are surprised to see that the multi-weapon wielding samurai is a foreign girl.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / SamusIsAGirl

Media sources:

Report