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What better reason to scratch off your bucket list than the Zombie Apocalypse?

"I don't have to go to work anymore! It feels like a dream! I'm gonna have fun, fun and more fun! Until I've had three years worth of holidays!"
Akira Tendo as he flees a zombie horde on his bicycle
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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 and 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 to Do Before I Become a Zombie".

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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~) is a Seinen Zombie Apocalypse Dramedy written by Haro Aso and drawn by Kotaro Takata for Monthly Sunday Gene X since March 2019. 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.

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Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead provides examples of:

  • Anything That Moves: A dog named Charo tries to mount a chicken at one point, only to get pulled off by his owner, a girl named Anju.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Thoroughly averted. 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, allowing her and Akira to temporarily hold off the zombie horde when push comes to shove.
  • Artistic License – Biology: 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. Although, in a case of Aluminum Christmas Trees, there has been a precedent for a Japanese aquarium taking in a great white shark even if it did die 3 days later. So such a scenario occurring isn't impossible if highly unlikely.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Chainsaw Good: Kanabeyashi wields a chainsaw against Beatrix, shattering Beatrix's Sengoku-era weapons and leaving her thoroughly outmatched skill-wise thanks to Kanabeyashi'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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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's come to blows over Gunma's water wheel, which Beatrix needs to break in order to deactivate the electric fence trapping the villagers.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Akira's and Beatrix's shark suit and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 what the zombies are, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Granola Girl: Shizuka's desire to maximize her chances of survival as well as her insistence on doing the logical thing makes her exercise on a treadmill while taking all kind of supplements to improve her fitness.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 certainly emphasizes this. Beatrix gets the same treatment.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Shizuka, 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.
  • "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 aforementioned Dawn of the Dead.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 sometime since his last run. Then it's subverted when they're revealed to have escaped. 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.
  • 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:
    • Akira repeatedly states that he'd rather be eaten by zombies than miss out on simple pleasures like drinking beer, bathing in a hot spring, or missing out on sushi made by a master sushi chef.
    • Shizuka makes it clear that she'd rather turn into a zombie than be forced to french-kiss Atenbou.
  • Zombie Infectee: 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 Shizuka and Akira, biting the former as the latter is forced to flee for his life.

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