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Sankarea: Undying Love- The Complete Series Blu-ray/DVD Review

Sankarea- Undying Love-The Complete Series Blu-ray

“Sankarea: Undying Love” has much to admire and dislike.

“Sankarea: Undying Love” is a 13 episode anime series about an all boys high school student (Chihiro) who lives and breathes zombie. He loves zombies so much that he wishes he could date one. When his family cat (Babu) dies in an accident, Chihiro tries to resurrect it via potion experiments. While doing this, he meets a rich girl (Rea) who has a rather a bad life due to her creepy over protective and controlling father (Dan’ichirō) who won’t let her live her own life. Anyway, as you can probably guess, Chihiro’s potion works and Babu becomes a zombie cat. Meanwhile, things become worse for poor Rea when she dies in an accident. However, since she drank the potion (you’ll find out why), she comes back as a zombie as well. With Chihiro desiring a zombie girlfriend and Rea having feelings for Chihiro, it seems logical to assume that a romance will surely blossom between the two.

Aside from the romance between the central characters, there are other subplots involving: Chihiro’s cousin Ranko, Chihiro being kidnapped by Dan’ichirō, Chihiro’s family (his sister Mero, grandfather, Jogorō and father Do’on), and Chihiro trying to find a way to stop Rea from rotting.

While not on par with say the “Warm Bodies” film, “Sankarea: Undying Love” is still a likable enough zombie love story thanks to the charming lead characters (Chihiro and Rea). The two characters are the heart of the series and the story clearly works best when it focuses on their relationship.

Another strong part of the series was the horror elements (not to mention the many clever horror references). I am always happy to see an anime series that steps outside the usual genre and conventions as it’s a refreshing change of pace from the usual mech and zany fan service series that tend to be released.

Outside of the positive aspects mentioned above, “Sankarea” unfortunately has a couple of dismal elements. First and foremost, the tone is all over the place. It can go from focusing on romance one moment and then jumping to an unsettling and out of place plot involving incest or sexual abuse the next moment. The tonal shifts are very jarring and it sometimes feels like the show doesn’t know what it wants to be. Another major drawback here is that there is not enough plot for 13 episodes. Had there been another major conflict, it might have helped fill time, but as is, there’s a lot of filler (see episode 9 randomly focusing on Mero).

Note: There are censored and uncensored versions available for this series. This review is for the censored version.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? The Blu-ray is a definite upgrade from the DVD thanks to the crisp colors.

Audio Tracks: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. How do they sound? The English dub is solid and the Japanese track is fine as well.

Extras:
* Trailers for “Michiko and Hatchin,” “Good Luck Girl,” “Is This A Zombie? Of The Dead,” “Hetalia World Series,” “Maken-ki!,” “Sakura Wars,” “Guilty Crown,” “Fairy Tail,” “Eureka Seven AO,” and Funimation.com
* A decent commentary on episode 3 by Tia Ballard and Aaron Dismuke. The two mostly goof around and chat about the characters, the tone, Disney, etc.
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* A U.S. trailer for “Sankarea.”
* Commentary on episode 11 by Joel McDonald, Terri Doty, and David Wald. The three chat about voice actors, careers, horror, etc. Worth a listen.

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February 21, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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