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Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1: Favorites

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Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1 – Quick Summary

In Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead episode 1, “Akira of the Dead,” Akira Tendou thought he had landed his dream job, in his dream industry. He even met the woman of his dreams on his first day! But things went steeply downhill after his first day. For example, when his welcoming dinner wrapped up, his team went back to work. He didn’t get home for three days. And that was a good week. Not only that, but the woman of his dreams was spoken for – by the company’s CEO. Akira’s job was so bad, he begged for death. Is there any relief for him? Or will he be condemned to work in hell until a heart attack drops him at his desk?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1: Akira had no idea what Saori Ohtori dealt with every day. Not yet.

Akira had no idea of the hell she went through every day. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This episode portrayed Akira’s earnestness with such authenticity that it hurt. It made me remember what it was like when I entered the job force. More on that in a moment. For now, I want to highlight a quote that hit on many levels.

On his first day at work, Akira had just (literally) run into Saori Ohtori. The collision spilled her papers, so he helped her pick them up. The instant he looked into her eyes, he fell totally in love with her. 

Later that night, the staff treated him to dinner (before going back to work – what a moment that was!). He saw Saori sitting at another table. Their eyes met, and she gave him a pleasant smile.

He thought (04:47), “I’ll work hard and show results and make a good impression on her!”

Think of all the assumptions that went into that thought! He thought she was available; he thought that hard work would matter; and he had no idea of the hell she endured every day. That extreme level of poignancy made this my favorite quote.

Favorite Moment from Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1: Akria said what he came to say

He said what he came to say. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Capitalism Has Its Pluses, But…

Did you notice the homage to High School of the Dead? That series included “the Dead” in each of its titles. Well, I guess I’m not sure the reference was intentional, but I appreciated it.

And did you also notice the detailed animation this episode gave us? The shot of her wishing him good luck and walking away from him (03:29) looked fluid in a way that emphasized her character and without drawing attention to itself. In other words, to me, it looked like effective animation instead of a gimmick.

Or the moment that AnonymousTrollLloyd pointed out in their Reddit comment: Akira tore the black bars away to transition the aspect ratio in a way that marked the visual boundary between his previous and current lives. This episode was a treat to watch.

And wow – did this show nail the hell of the inhumane ways corporations can exploit people, or what? Before I get to my favorite moment, please indulge me for a minute. The show portrayed this so well that it reminded me of something I’d forgotten. What I’m about to say does not represent my current employer; and I might be combining previous employers. But the point is valid even if I’m mixing evidence.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1: Some bosses are just evil

Sadly, people like this exist. In droves. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Because it’s all still valid evidence.

I worked for an amazing boss. He cultivated creativity on his team. When I got promoted to an AVP, I so approved his approach that I implemented it, too. Under his leadership, our company dominated our industry. The funny part? We did that with fewer staff than our competitors. 

Conditions changed. My boss moved on. His replacement reminded me a lot of the jerk boss from this episode. I was young and stupid; I tried to work with him. But I saw how he treated people, and I came to the conclusion that if I remained, I would be part of that abuse. So I left.

Delivery: Closing One Chapter, Opening Another

Now? That company no longer dominates the industry. It might be coincidence. Other factors certainly changed. But my interpretation is that treating people with respect and giving them room to contribute in their own way towards the company’s shared goals is the best way forward. Jerks like the manager in this episode only achieve one goal: they stroke their own egos.  And in so doing, demean themselves and everyone around them.

Thanks for your patience! To show my appreciation, here’s my favorite moment. After feeling an initial wave of elation that the zombie apocalypse meant he didn’t need to go to work, Akira thought of Saori. He decided to go after her.

Honestly? I would have felt let down if he found her alive. But he didn’t. He found the CEO’s shoes in the entryway. It was cool how he used his rugby moves to push that zombie through the window. It was a great visual way for him to overcome his past. And then, he turned to see Saori.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1: Saori was in no state of mind to receive his confession

Was later better than never, in this case? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

She had turned. She stood there, gurgling in zombie contemplation, while he tried to master his feelings. But he didn’t break down into tears or beat his chest in gratuitous self-pity. He saw what he saw, and he accepted it. Akira did what he came to do. He confessed his love to her (21:05), saying, “I’ve always, always, always been completely in love with you!”

The animation, the music, the voice actor Shuuichirou Umeda, and the circumstances combined to make it my second favorite zombie-era confession. My favorite remains Takashi Komuro’s desperate subbed confession to Saeko Busujima in the High School of the Dead episode “The Sword and the Dead.” That’s saying something, coming from me!

What did you think of his reaction to realizing he didn’t have to go to work anymore? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 1: Favorites

  1. This first episode was almost painfully relatable and believable (with exception to the zombies). I liked how they had something on the TV which explained how these exploitative workplaces manage to continue on at all, as the abuse self-perpetuates and keeps the employee bound and unable to decide to move on short of some amazing epiphany and resolve or something like that. I know very well that people like that manager exist, who manage to demand completely opposing things at the same time and rake employees over the coals for any manner of infraction against their incoherent instructions. And to find such an astoundingly beautiful woman in such an abominable workplace? Yeah, the boss was definitely keeping her around for one thing only. Detestable.

    There would be more than one person who’d be absolutely ecstatic to be permanently freed from such a horrible job, especially if they didn’t need to worry about getting a new one. Let the world burn, people would still be screaming, “sweet FREEEEEEEDOOOOM!!!”

    1. “especially if they didn’t need to worry about getting a new one. ”

      Doesn’t that sound amazing?

      I’m not saying I want to sit around doing nothing. I get up around 5:00AM (I shoot for 4:30, but, well…) and work until about 10:30PM. If I didn’t need a job, I’d still work — I’d focus on my writing. And I’m sleep way late — maybe be decadent and get up at 7:00AM!

      Man, that sounds like heaven.

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