Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is easily my favorite ongoing manga. The series takes the tired premise of a zombie apocalypse and uses it to create a compelling story about living life to the fullest. So, when an anime adaptation was announced for the series, I was beyond excited, but also cautiously optimistic. Can an anime capture the feel of Haro Aso and Kotaro Takata’s work, or will it be a compromised experience? Now that the anime has finally premiered, I can safely say that my concerns were unfounded. Not only is Zom 100’s anime a fantastic adaptation, but it also fully takes advantage of the animation medium to enhance the source material.

Zom 100 focuses on Akira Tendo, a young office worker who is stuck working for an exploitative company. After reaching his breaking point, Akira wakes up one day to find Tokyo infested with zombies. Realizing that he longer has to go to work, Akira’s life is reinvigorated, and he sets out to create a bucket list of things that he wants to do before he turns into a zombie himself.

The first episode of Zom 100 adapts the first chapter of the manga, but it adds visual flourishes throughout the story in order to emphasize the key moments. Half of the episode is dedicated to showing Akira’s life before the zombie apocalypse, as he goes from being an upbeat new employee to losing all enjoyment in his life. During this first half, the anime’s color palette starts off vibrant and varied, but as Akira falls further into despair, the colors in each scene become darker, until they eventually become fully monochrome. This is contrasted in the second half of the episode, where Akira finally encounters the hordes of zombies outside his apartment, all of whom have splotches of color on their bodies. This culminates in the vibrant colors returning once Akira realizes that he doesn’t need to go to work anymore, freeing him from the lifestyle that locked him out from the rest of the world’s beauty. This entire visual sequence blew me away, as it’s something that wouldn’t have been as easy to convey in a manga format, but it fits so well with the tone of the opening story. There are numerous moments like this throughout the episode like Akira pushing his zombified boss out of a building while fragments from his memories of playing rugby are interspersed in the shards of broken mirror glass, and it makes it clear that the team at BUG FILMS are putting a lot of love into this adaptation and presenting it at its very best in animation.

What also makes this premiere so effective is the amazing performance of Shūichirō Umeda as Akira. Umeda is able to perfectly convey Akira’s range of emotions through the key points in his life, from his soulless mindset during his life as an office worker to his overbearing excitement after achieving his freedom. This helps further establish the overall tone of each scene, while also allowing the viewer to more easily connect with Akira as a character. Akira is the heart of Zom 100, and the anime is doing a fantastic job of showing why he’s such a great protagonist.

Between its beautiful visuals and compelling story, Zom 100 is looking to be the best anime of the Summer 2023 season. The anime is taking everything that I love about the manga and elevating it to even greater heights. This is one hit that you shouldn’t leave off your bucket list!


Check out our further discussion of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1 on Varun’s podcast Saturday Night Shoggy (in partnership with Weekly Shogakukan Edition Twitter & Blog)!

9.0 10


Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, Series Premiere

Between its beautiful visuals and compelling story, Zom 100 is looking to be the best anime of the Summer 2023 season.


About The Author Varun Gupta

Varun Gupta is a BI Engineer that works in the entertainment industry. Throughout his entire life, Varun has had an immense love of animation and comics. An obsessive manga collector, he spends his free time attempting to read through his massive backlog of series, hoping to one day finish them all. Will he succeed in his perilous quest? Probably not, but at least he’s having fun doing it!

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