Anime Movie Review: Aru Zombie Shoujo no Sainan (ONA)

aru zombie shoujo no sainan

 

This ONA was brought to my attention by YR’s favorite low-key BL fan, B-M. Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜›

And it’s a good thing it was, because this anime needed documentation, and also, it kind of has a tiny bit of yuri. But what did we do to deserve this punishment?! That response alone should be enough to let you know that this anime just wasn’t good…


Year: 2018
Length: 1 hr. 19 min.
Genre: Action, Horror, Supernatural
Studio: Gonzo

 

Synopsis: Late night at Kikka University when all the students have gone home for summer break. However, five people who are members of the Occult Research Club have not gone home. Calling it โ€˜the first cool of the evening questโ€™, the girls have decided to investigate a rumor about the Tokugawa buried treasure and sneak into the universityโ€™s data warehouse. What they find is not the rumored treasure, but rather, two extremely well-preserved mummies of two young girls.

Sayaka Kamoshida, who is the one to originally get her friends to sneak with her into the warehouse, secretly steals the mysterious โ€˜stone of lifeโ€™ that was placed inside both of these mummies. Disappointed in the outcome of not being able to find the hidden treasure, they leave the data warehouse. The theft of the โ€˜stones of lifeโ€™ is actually the trigger to resurrect these two mummies.

One of the resurrected girls was the daughter of a former Baron, who, due to an unexpected incident, became an undead being via magic. Her name is Euphrosyne Studion. The other is Euphrosyneโ€™s maid Alma V, who was created from a homunculus. Now, the two girls attack the members of the Occult Research Club in order to get the stolen stones back.

Can the members of the Occult Research Club survive this development? Also, why were the stones of life stolen? A bloody tragedy of the late-night student dormitory attacksโ€ฆ


Since there were simply too many screenshots that were comedy gold, the slideshow below is supersized and contains heavy spoilers. You’ve been warned!

Contrary to what you may be thinking after reading that synopsis, this isn’t the anime directorial debut of God’s gift to cinema, Uwe Boll. That said, just reading that already let’s you know that this is going to be pretty bad, and bad it is. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Calling this the anime equivalent of a B-horror movie might be giving it too much credit…

The story is your standard horror movie plot, a group in search of hidden treasure finds two mummified corpses and one of the members steals a stone from one of the bodies, reviving the undead and drawing their wrath. What commences is a series of events where the story manages to continuously outdo itself and get dumber and dumber as it goes on. Animal cruelty, death by flying toilet, a zombified dog, insanely stupid characters, other ridiculuois twists, this anime has so many things that evoke a facepalm and/or laugh. Yeah, this is one of those movies that actually becomes funny, and I’m not totally sure if that was intended or not…

The only positive to come of me watching Aru Zombie Shoujo no Saira (ONA) is my newfound appreciation for other anime, because this makes all those other ones seem so much better in comparison. If you like campy horror movies, this might be right up your alley, but for everyone else, you just might be better off renting a movie from Troma Entertainment like Poultrygeist. ๐Ÿ˜›


Even though itโ€™s not officially listed among the genres, this anime works much better as a comedy, so if you want to laugh, go right on ahead and watch it.”

 


Have you ever seen an old-school horror movie like Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street? If you have, I’m sure you’ve seen those annoying teenagers that you look forward to seeing get killed in brutal ways. Well, this cast is comprised of kids just like that.

I don’t mean to take glee in the suffering of others, but these characters just don’t bring anything of note to the table. I’m probably being generous, but out of the five members of the Occult Studies Club, only two have any sort of presence about them, so the others might as well be nameless and faceless. More than the mummies/zombies themselves, they’re the ones who are really the villains, so I enjoyed seeing them die horrible deaths.

And there are other terrible people as well, like an evil professor who kills an innocent dog by strapping it to a gurney and smashing it in the head with a sledgehammer. But don’t you worry. He was conducting an experiment on it, so it comes back to life as a zombie dog. No, I’m not making this stuff up. ๐Ÿ˜€

Since I’ve made it clear that I think the club members are terrible (in more ways than one), let’s talk about the true protagonists, Euphrosyne Studion and her faithful maid, Alma. There isn’t much yuri in this ONA, yet those few moments are some of the best highlights this anime has to offer, which just speaks to how bad most of the other stuff is.

Without question, Euphrosyne is the most likable character in the anime, and it’s not even close. It seems so out of place here, but Euphrosyne actually comes across as charming and cute, no doubt thanks to voice actress Saori Hayami. Despite being the walking undead, she’s upbeat and cheery, and her naivetรฉ makes her appear even cuter. Don’t get me wrong, she’s incredibly strong, yet she seems so sweet compared to those meddling kids.

By Euphrosyne’s side is the maid that was created to serve her, Alma. Unlike Euphrosyne, Alma has a mostly serious personality, and she takes the reins on their mission to get Euphrosyne’s life stone back. It certainly helps that she can shapeshift, but only if she eats a part of the person she’s wishing to turn into. It happens on more than one occasion, so this is the most obvious sign of the two of them being zombies.

At one point, Alma kisses Euphrosyne in order to transfer the information that she’s learned, and despite appearing to be sweet and innocent most of the time, when Alma gets put in danger, Euphrosyne will act as her protector and defend her at all costs. Together, they’re cute and do their part to try and offset the blood and gore, but that’s simply an impossible task. I would have liked to have seen more of the lighter moments involving these two (and some legitmate romance would’ve also been nice), but in an anime as bad as this, these two characters provide as good a reason to watch as any you’re going to find.

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This is 2018, right? Whether it was deliberate or not, this anime could probably pass as being released in 2005. It’s almost as if half the shoestring budget was used to secure the voice talents of big-name seiyuus like Miyuki Sawashiro, Tomokazu Sugita, and Saori Hayami, leaving nothing left for the animation.

The animation isn’t good, but I think it’s the art that’s the bigger problem. There are fan-made anime that look better than this, but the only people I can imagine liking this anime from a visual standpoint are the ones who are simply watching for blood and gore, because this anime has plenty of that. Brains leaking through a skull that’s been smashed (of course, the brains get eaten), a decapitation, severed limbs, a Mike Tyson-esque ear chomp, and a poor character’s eye dangling from their extremely broken face are some of the things that those people have to look forward to. Have a blast, you guys! ๐Ÿ˜€

If there’s one positive thing I can say about this anime, it’s that the sound isn’t bad. Not the greatest of compliments, but at this point in the review, anything that’s positive should be welcome. In addition to the previously mentioned voice acting, the music is actually quite commendable, really playing up the horror aspects for maximum effect. This anime is by no means scary, yet at least the music adds a lot to the atmosphere, whether it’s going for something supernatural or something more action-oriented.

Let this review be a cautionary tale for anyone who was thinking about watching it. This isn’t the worst anime I’ve ever seen or anything (congrats, Mars of Destruction!), but this is still really, really bad. Even though it’s not officially listed among the genres, this anime works much better as a comedy, so if you want to laugh, go right on ahead and watch it.

This is a yuri blog after all, but aside from a kiss, there isn’t much in the way of yuri. I heard that the main characters kiss, so I wanted to watch it. At least those who read this review won’t feel the need to follow my lead, so this one’s for you, folks. ๐Ÿ˜›


Story: 2.5
Characters: 4.5
Animation: 4
Sound: 7.5
Yuri: 2.5
Total Enjoyment: 3

 


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24 thoughts on “Anime Movie Review: Aru Zombie Shoujo no Sainan (ONA)

  1. This was more or less my impression of it. It was just bad and every single thing that happened just seemed more stupid than the last. By the time we got to the final fight I just wanted everyone in this movie dead. While I don’t mind bad horror, I think this suffers from being pretty boring as well as not particularly good which means it isn’t even really all that amusing (though certainly there are a few moments that are amusingly bad).
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    Like

    • Well, thanks for commenting~

      And I’ve read some people say that it’s in on the joke, but I don’t know about that. I like to think that it’s just really, really bad. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouch, well at least you got a few chuckles out of this one. ๐Ÿ˜›
    Once again, thanks for taking a bullet for us so that I don’t accidentally watch this…actually now I’m flashing back to when I stumbled into ‘Master of Martial Hearts’ *shudders*
    Overlord probably summed it up best:
    https://yurination.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/128th-g-view-zettai-shougeki-platonic-heart-warning-mature-content/
    Yeah…stay away from that one…

    Like

  3. I loved it personally XD

    Was laughing quite a bit, and I’d say the yuri content is much more in there than your’e saying, but I also got way more into the story than I think anyone else on this planet did ._.

    Of course, I also enjoyed the campy horror to its fullest!

    Much a great laugh was had as I said already. I thought Alma was pretty great a character too. Am sad we probably won’t ever get more animated of them ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Would kill for more ๐Ÿ˜€

    (Also, I actually cried during this movie >.>)

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was funny, for sure, but almost everything else was just so bad. ๐Ÿ˜€

      I thought Alma was alright, but she can’t beat Euphrosyne’s overall cuteness~

      And it must’ve been the scene with the dog that caused the waterworks, right? Or maybe you have a soft spot in your heart for elderly janitors? ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

      • lol….no it was not the dog scene. And definitely not the janitors
        But more when I learned that Alma was alive. it was tears of joy really. Oh, and Euphy’s backstory. Those were not tears of joy…

        Like

    • For the record: I loved it too. โค

      I was a bit annoyed at times with certain characters who had a choice between doing something smart or something stupid and chose doing the stupid thing… but, overall, I liked the story and the campy humor and the obvious homage to (parody of) B-horror movies.

      Plus, in the end, the undead yuri couple wins and the pathetic humans are defeated, which is always a good conclusion, lol. :p

      (In fact… I wish *all* the humans had been properly disposed of! Argh! Leaving a witness alive, and letting her go with a "don't tell anyone about us" warning, is always ALWAYS a bad idea…)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Firstly, sorry about making you suffer! Haha it was one kiss and I could probably tell you a lot of anime with no significant yuri that have yuri kisses I’ve come across lately – Shamanic Princess had some supernatural-meaning kiss despite there being 0 room for yuri, and Vampire Princes Miyu had an episode that gave a surprising pair of lesbian lovers (if you wanna check it out in isolation, it was episode 19, but then again it was written by the director of Devilman Lady so no surprises there). Point is: Aru Zombie was a big EH.

    I like B Horror and, to Aru Zombie’s credit, it managed to mix the fluff with the gore quite well and its horror timing and cues were on point. It’s such a shame that the animation varies between mediocre to non-existent and the art is pretty throughout. Worst of all is the storyboarding which is barely function cinematography outside of the horror scenes (this is one of the worst insults you can give a horror film, too!)

    Still, I kinda enjoyed it. The main ship were kinda adorable at times, and the super vanilla story was almost refreshing for its gore content, I think? I ended up giving it a 4/10 myself, but if it were given a bit more time in the production my score would likely shoot up, possibly even doubling.

    I’m gonna continue my hunt finding super obtuse and obscure yuri media for you! My next lead is Soukou no Strain, ask me for the deet’s in a couple of weeks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like the kisses list could be adding one or two more. Thanks~

      Woar! Double? It’s hard to say how much my score would increase, but I still don’t think it would be incredible high… ๐Ÿ˜€

      *searches for that show*

      Only thirteen episodes? Nice. Decent score on MAL? Moop. At least it’s an improvement from the last one! ๐Ÿ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really feel the main thing holding Aru Zombie back was the sloppy animation and framing. Fix that and it’d be a really fun romp I think ๐Ÿ™‚

        I’ve gotten a bit disillusioned with popular and well liked anime so I’m just gonna go watch a bunch of obscure stuff and become one of those super wise hermits. Soukou no Strain seems like one of the best leads, and in fact the studio that made it (Studio Fantasia) was known to drop yuri into some of their works. Though it’s also true that they do a *lot* of hentai so I’m assuming even the non-hentai stuff is gonna have some serious ecchi content

        Like

        • Awww. But if you ever make it to the final round of a quiz show and they ask you a question about obscure anime, you’d surely win! ๐Ÿ˜›

          Since you always give me recommendations, I’ll recommend some stuff for you this time. There’s an entire series of claymation horror anime that’s really short and weird. Bloody Night, Bloody Date, Bloody Date 2, Chainsaw Maid, Maid of the Dead, and Shitcom. Almost all of them are on MAL, so even though they’re claymation, I’ll still consider them anime. ๐Ÿ˜›

          Something a little more serious is Gyo. Another horror anime, but it’s also pretty campy, so maybe you’d like it. Keeping with the horror theme, there’s also Pupa. Hey, I didn’t say these were good recommendations… ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          • Heh, I’m looking forward to this inevitable quiz show. I’m tempted to check out those claymation horrors just for the hell of it haha, though Gyo looks genuinely intriguing. Thanks for this Rock โค

            Like

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