DVD Review: Is This a Zombie? of the Dead – The Complete Series

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MVM’s DVD release of Is This a Zombie of the Dead will soon be making its appearance into the UK but what exactly do we think the series has to offer? Find out in our DVD Review of Is This a Zombie of the Dead – The Complete Series.

Synopsis:

Season Two gets off to a shocking start as Ayumu breaks Haruna’s magic chainsaw and accidentally exposes his fondness for pretty pink dresses to the entire school! Next there’s an incident with a dreadful dance that turns out to be a curse – and an embarrassing trip to a maid cafe where all the zombie’s roommates work! But the shenanigans take a backseat to bigger problems when Ayumu’s mysterious drinking buddy turns out to be the most powerful magical girl of them all!

To save his friends and defeat this adorable new menace, zombie boy must do the unthinkable: throw a mixer for his own murderer! With a little help from his loyal harem of vampires, magical girls, and the world’s cutest necromancer, Ayumu just might survive to rot another day!

Our View:

The undead harem of “Is This a Zombie” returns in its second season and for those hoping for something ‘different’ to the previous season’s comical antics then look again as it is the same perverse comedy entertainment wrapped under the guise of magical girls, vampire ninjas and undead zombies, except this time a new “enemy” threat is lurking in the shadows.

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Since the first season of Is This A Zombie  left me unimpressed I wasn’t expecting much from its sequel, Is This a Zombie of the Dead, and as expected the series remains as predictable as ever with Ayumu (the main protagonist) suffering the brunt from all of the girls in the household, especially from Haruna and Seraphim. It’s the same comical routine on a “repeat” cycle with only minor differences being the cause and effect. However notable differences do occur in this second season, such as Haruna, Sarasvati & Mael Strom (Yuki) showing their real emotions to Ayumu and a comical moment that sees everyone witness what Ayumu really is, a guy who likes to cross dress, or in truth a magical garment girl.  Is this a Zombie of the Dead features a fair amount of comical moments, most notable the episode that sees Ayumu build mecha robot from Full Metal Panic, but unfortunately they are either ridiculously stupid or unmemorable – most of which are the later.

Of course these are only a few positives that Is This a Zombie of the Dead has to offer, as majority of the series contains negative comments (and not just abuse being thrown at Ayumu either). For instance the progression of the story is extremely slow with the main enemy threat not making an appearance until well over the half-way mark by which she then disappears only for the “team” to create a plan to defeat her – its slow and dull.

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Is This a Zombie of the Dead focuses on the fan-service,harem and comedy elements – all of which are painful obvious throughout the series. For instance the first episode, which infact is an OVA, is a continuation of the final OVA episode from the first series and while it does see Haruna get closer to the necromancer everything contained within the episode is pure fan-service (it’s the bikini episode). It’s this constant theme that, for me, makes Is This a Zombie of the Dead disappointing to watch as the overall story, of a new enemy threat seeking revenge of the magical garment girls, actually sounds rather good.

Extras:

While “Is This a Zombie of the Dead” maybe a slight disappointment the quality (and quantity) of extra features included in this DVD release by MVM Entertainment (with the disc being authored by Madman Entertainment) is quite surprising, mainly because it includes some informative extra features.

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Highlights of the disc is of course the “English Video Cast Commentary” for Episode 1, as this shows four of the main voice actors explaining their opinion on the show and what it is like to provide the voice work. While this may not seem unique the fact that it is a “video commentary” rather than a standard audio commentary (which are also included) makes it an entertaining viewing experience.

Disc 1:

  • Episode 4 English Cast Commentary

Disc 2:

  • Episode 1 English Video Cast Commentary
  • Episode 10 English Cast Commentary
  • Text less opening song
  • Text less closing song
  • English Trailer
  • Trailers

As you can see the extra features, majority of which are located on the second disc, provide some additional viewing material once the series has ended. Both audio commentaries are just as insane and witty as the series itself, while the Video Commentary on the other hand provides the most insight into the production of the series – it even has a slight cameo where the voice actors are dressed up as the characters that they play. In regards to the trailers we have trailers for Patlabor (OVA Series), Infinite Stratos and Linebarrels of Iron, each of which are just the opening song in text less form except for Linebarrels of Iron which is an actual trailer for the series. All in all it is a nice collection of extra features.

Specs:

Media:  DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time:  2:45:24 (Disc 1), 2:01:18 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 448Kbps (English), Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Is This a Zombie of the Dead continues the story left off by the first season, Is This a Zombie, with Ayumu attempting to lead a normal human life despite being a zombie, a magical garment girl and living in a house filled with mysterious beings of the underworld. With this second season the ‘excitement’ hots up with the female cast showing their affection for Ayumu, meanwhile an old acquaintance of the Magic School appears on the scene to cause some comical havoc but is Ayumu and his friends up to the challenge – probably not – but it’s what makes Is this a Zombie of the Dead rather amusing to watch.

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As I mentioned the story of Is This a Zombie of the Dead takes awhile to get anywhere and when it does its over before you know it. Interestingly despite this release including 12 Episodes, 10 of them are only tied to the second season with the other 2 being bonus OVA episodes – one which finishes off the previous season and the other for a bit of fun, but that’s mostly what Is this a Zombie of the Dead attempts to provide, comedy at the expensive of Ayumu and sexual taste. It doesn’t appeal to everyone but it sometimes provides a few laughs.

This DVD release by MVM Entertainment provides the same visual and audio as seen in the first half of the release, with DVD Menus being easy to navigate and the picture quality remaining consistent throughout the series. It’s the same for the audio as the English dub is provided in 5.1 Surround with the Japanese audio track provided In 2.0 Stereo meanwhile the English subtitles, which are yellow, are optional but are a direct translation of the original Japanese script. Basically if you tried watching the English Dub with the English Subtitles there will be a difference – interestingly the Dub offers a more “mature” theme when compared to the original Japanese version.

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Is this a Zombie of the Dead acts as a continuation to Is This a Zombie with old characters returning to repraise their roles in this hellish anime of perversion and comedy. Of course those who enjoyed the first season will enjoy this second instalment but for me I just found it to be wasted potential and everything that appears on screen has been done before in the previous season (With a few minor suggestions) so put simply its rinse and repeat.

Score: review-stars-2

Is This a Zombie – Season 2 will be available on DVD from the 20th January 2014.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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