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Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6: Favorites

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Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6 – Quick Summary

In Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead episode 6, “RV of the Dead,” Akira and Kencho realize that with the power out and water exhausted, there’s not a big future for them in the city. So, they decide to head for Akira’s family’s home out in the country. They’ll need a ride, and they reason that an RV is the way to go. But when they get there, they find a major impediment to their fun: Shizuka! Her idea of a “fun” RV is very different from theirs. Will they go their separate ways after meeting again? Can they come together and decide on an RV? Most importantly – will the zombies give them time to decide?

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

Favorite Quote from Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6: Akira's words comforted Shizuka

Shizuka liked where Akira’s thoughts were leading him. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This show has done a fantastic job of putting a spotlight on what’s wrong with capitalism. This episode in particular, with its dark messages surrounding Akira’s reunion with Gonzou Kosugi, is a perfect example. But this episode gave us a hint of what capitalism might be, under the right circumstances.

Akira drove the RV down the empty freeway. Shizuka sat beside him. They had segued from talking about why the roads were so empty to Shizuka theorizing that the patterns they observed might mean there’s a cure somewhere – if they could only find it.

She ended by saying that for every virus, there’s a potential vaccine. If they can get ahead of it, there would still be hope.

“Does that mean,” Akira said (11:22), “somewhere out there… there are people out there whose job it is to stop the infection and save the world?”

You could see the idea felt odd to him – like that idea of a job being fulfilling, not only for the participant, but for society as a whole, seemed too good to be true. Shizuka seemed to get what he was saying – and it’s too bad it took something like the zombie apocalypse (shade of COVID, you know?) for them to realize it. Still, it’s nice to see the show can present such a nuanced idea.

Favorite Moment from Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6: Shizuka knew it wasn't Kencho's fault

Shizuka knew what happened wasn’t Kencho’s fault. She has a keen understanding of what’s going on. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Evolution Takes Time

I knew about TikTok, but I avoided it. It looked like a temporal black hole. But my wife convinced me to look at it from the perspective of book marketing. If you follow my novel writing site, you know that book marketing and I have an uneasy relationship. And now, I have an uneasy relationship with TikTok – as I feared, it inhales my time and only gives me vague memories of memes in return!

But it did introduce me to a Northwestern university commencement speech by Governor JB Pritzker from Illinois. The speech, which you can find here, articulated something I’ve been wrestling for a long while. The interesting part starts around 1:20. He says, “The best way to spot an idiot? Look for the person who is cruel.” He explained that being apprehensive about unfamiliar people or actions  is part of our hard-wiring. It kept us safe in waaaay ancient times. In and of itself, it’s neutral.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6: Gonzou knew how to press Akira's buttons

There are people who understand the remnants evolution has left in us – and how to manipulate them. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

He then said, “In order to be kind, we have to shut down that animal instinct and force our brain to travel a different pathway. Empathy and compassion are evolved states of being.”

Click. This helped me understand something that’d been bugging me: how normally decent people could embrace political trends that result in demeaning, harming, or even murdering marginalized populations. Unscrupulous individuals — demagogues — can use those evolutionary remnants to trigger tribal behaviors. The real goal is to bolster that demagogue’s power base. The harm done is just a side effect.

That’s why when capitalism, or politics, go bad, they can go very, very bad – to the point where people consider themselves virtuous for committing murder. Or, turning it around, people feel obligated to participate in such behavior – on pain of being ejected from the tribe. That explains Akira’s reaction to meeting Gonzou again.

Delivery: Evolution, for Humans, Takes Effort

My favorite moment is an example of a more evolved state of being. Shizuka impressed me in this episode – it took her about zero seconds to see through what Gonzou was trying to do. In fact, she saw it so clearly that I was afraid for her safety. Intelligent women in the presence of such demagogues often have a rough way to go.

She stayed close to Kencho, and at least for now, Gonzou seemed okay with that. As she bandaged Kencho, he loudly blamed himself for what happened.

“They had this all planned out,” she said (17:36). “This isn’t your fault.”

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6: Kencho tried to accept responsibility

More evolved individuals are often prone to more self-doubt than demagogues. That self-doubt is productive in the long run. But in the short term, the cost can be considerable.

Her insight, in the context of Governor JB Pritzker’s speech, made Gonzou’s actions seem chillingly plausible – even clever. With law and order just behind them, all Gonzou had to do was spread a thin veneer of respectability over whatever he did – and folks would accept it. Especially if he had an armed baseball team to enforce his will. It was so realistic that, combined with the PTSD flashbacks that Akira obviously experienced, the second half of the episode was uncomfortable to watch – in a good way. And Shizuka’s opposition to it spoke to me.

Could you identify Zombieland Saga’s zombie idol group members of Franchouchou in some of the background shots? What were your favorite moments from the episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Episode 6: Favorites

  1. I’ve been reading a novel – which I will *HIGHLY* recommend when I review it on my blog – entitled “Hikikomori: The Girl Who Couldn’t Go Outside.” It delves pretty deep into some pretty significant subject matter, including Japan’s work culture. It is built on some sound principles and practices, but has become extreme in their application, resulting in tremendously exploitative environments and attitudes. The initial success of these practices has been corrupted into a stagnating, cancerous blight upon the whole of Japan. The suffering of so many people in a dehumanizing work culture is impacting the entire nation in profoundly negative ways.

    That, I would say, is not the fault of capitalism. Quite the contrary, I would say the basic principles of capitalism – that of fair and free trades for mutual benefit – provides the answer: improve working conditions so employees are happy, vibrant, and productive, that last one being the result of the first two.

    However, no matter what system one uses, there will always be vile, putrescent, two-faced bastards like Kosugi who excel at manipulating, using, and breaking people for their own use. They find ways both within and outside the rules, and once they have their claws in you, they do not let go. And every crisis is an opportunity for them to do that on a grand scale.

    Shizuka understands why Akira is once again in thrall to Kosugi – and knows that he has no intention of honoring their two-day deal in any sort of good way – in a way which only someone who has also suffered abuse can truly comprehend.

    1. I’m looking forward to your review of “Hikikomori: The Girl Who Couldn’t Go Outside”!

      “The suffering of so many people in a dehumanizing work culture is impacting the entire nation in profoundly negative ways.”

      We see something similar here in the US. I’m not condemning capitalism, but I am condemning its abuses. Anything dehumanizing is a bad thing. Like you said, capitalism can be good. It’s been part of a lot of positive things! But we have to keep both eyes on it!

      I felt so bad for Akira in this episode. It was like his nightmares came back to get him. And the poor dude just wasn’t up to shaking it off.

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