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Sankarea Complete Collection (Essentials Collection) Blu-ray Anime Review

6 min read


What They Say
Zombie-obsessed Furuya is making a potion to reanimate his dead cat when he meets Rea. She’s about as miserable as a girl can get thanks to her creepy, domineering father. When the pain becomes too much, she tries to commit suicide with a sip of Furuya’s weird elixir. The potion doesn’t kill her—but it does turn her into a zombie after she falls from a cliff.

Now that Rea’s undead and ready to finally live, she hides out with Furuya, who’s always dreamed of having a zombie girlfriend. Their one-of-a-kind relationship comes with some challenges, like the fact that Rea is decomposing. Even worse, her freak-show dad is dangerously determined to get her back under his control. As Furuya fights to keep his ghoulfriend safe, Rea finds the secret to resurrecting her happiness: Live like you’re dying—even if you’re already dead!

The Review!
I felt like the audio for Sankarea, despite being Dolby TrueHD 5.1, was somewhat muted. The voices were clear, but the volume was soft. I don’t know if this is a result of the voice acting, the equipment used during production, or something unrelated. Either way, while the quality was not bad, it was not what I have come to expect from Blu-ray quality audio.

The audio might have some issues, but the video quality, fortunately, does not suffer at all. This series is truly 1080p. The artwork is crisp and clear, colors are not blurred unless for artistic purposes. I was really impressed with how clearly defined the light and shadows were in this video.

Provocatively posed on her back, Rea is lying in repose on the front cover. We only see up to her torso. However, the front of her dress is torn open and her bra is ripped, showing a hint of her breasts. Her stomach is covered in red petals. I believe that is meant to symbolize blood. In the anime, her stomach is ripped open. There are also petals underneath her meant to symbolize a pool of blood. It’s a basic package that uses a lot of negative space, but I feel like that works given the slightly horror-esque themes of the anime. The back is also basic with a lot of negative space. The white background is behind the series description, several screenshots are off to the right, and the anime information is on the bottom.

The Blu-ray plays a full screen of recaps from the series, cycling between several videos that use a black and white static screen. Music plays in the background. Beneath the playing scenes is the menu option, which includes playing the series from the beginning, episode selection, settings, and extras.

Like most anime, Sankarea does not have many strong extras. I think the episode commentaries were the most interesting. Everything else was the standard textless opening and ending theme songs, U.S. trailers of upcoming anime, and trailers from Japan.

Content: (Please note that this portion of the review may contain spoilers):
I actually watched Sankarea a long time ago, though I didn’t remember much about the series aside from how cute of a zombie Rea was. Thinking on it, I think Rea might be the one and only zombie waifu I’ve ever had. It makes me feel kind of awkward since she is, well, dead. I will blame anime for any zombie fetish I might now have.

While Rea is a cutie, there are a lot of things about this series that turned my stomach horrifically, which, considering the horror tropes found within this series, is probably a good thing? I think that was the intent in all this.

Sankarea is actually a pretty messed up anime, all things considered. The series starts off with Rea, a normal high school girl, having a chance meeting with normal high school boy, Furuya… except Furuya isn’t really normal. He’s a zombie obsessed dude who wants a zombie girlfriend for reasons that are never explained. Everyone has their quirks and I guess a zombie fetish just happens to be his. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with that except the issues with necrophilia. Ahem. Anyway, she and Furuya meet while he’s trying to revive his dead cat. I think they grew closer during that time.

Even though this series starts off like a budding romance, problems crop up when Rea’s germaphobic and unhealthily obsessed father finds out. He forbids her from ever leaving the house, then decides to have Furuya castrated for coming near his daughter. Completely overboard? You betcha. Rea thinks so too. She goes to warn Furuya about it, but then her father catches her. One thing leads to another and her father actually ends up knocking Rea off a cliff, resulting in her timely demise—and resurrection as a zombie.

Much of the following episodes involve a lot of inner monologing about the characters’ feelings combined with some oddly cute romantic moments between Rea and Furuya. Now that she is no longer under her father’s yoke, Rea acts a lot more freely than she used to, and Furuya has trouble keeping up with her at times, especially because he is worried about her body decomposing. While he is trying to keep her alive… in a manner of speaking, Rea is trying to live like a normal high school girl, something she never got to do when she was living with her father.

As the two grow closer, new revelations are made regarding Furuya, Rea, and the many people surrounding them. In some ways, this anime is symbolic of how relationships between people can change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst. Out of all the relationships this series shows off, the one I couldn’t stomach was Rea’s relationship with her father.

More specifically, I could not stand her father.

Rea’s old man is easily the most disgusting character I’ve seen in an anime. He is so obsessed with his daughter that he not only controls her every life choice, but he also takes naked photos of her every year on her birthday—to keep a record of her growth, he says. The twisted form of love he has for his daughter is disturbing on many levels. While it is later revealed why he has such repulsive feelings and the desire to control his daughter like she is a puppet, I cannot condone his behavior at all. That said, I have to applaud this series for taking such a risk in presenting an unhealthy relationship like this. What Rea experienced isn’t all that rare in the real world. Not only did the anime recreate an authentically disturbing real-life relationship some people have, but it didn’t try to play this off with comedy, which most anime try and do.

In Summary:
Sankarea was a disturbing but heartwarming anime about a zombie-obsessed guy and his new zombie girlfriend. If I had one real complaint, it would be that Furuya follows the typically horrible cliché that most anime protagonists fall into. He can’t confess his feelings to Rea. He acts embarrassed showing her even a hint of affection for her. I always thought this was annoying. Why be embarrassed about loving someone? It doesn’t make sense, and I have seen one too many anime fail to live up to their genre as a romance for this very reason. Does this make Sankarea bad? Of course not. But it does deserve a demerit for falling into the typical anime romance cliches.

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: C
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: A
Extras Grade: C

Released By: FUNImation
Release Date: April, 32, 2019
MSRP: $29.98
Running Time: 325 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 16×9 Anamorphic

Review Equipment:
55″ Class AQUOS HD Series LED TV LC-55LE643U, GL Blu-ray player

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