This extra episode, curiously not available until after episode “14”, is a “The Story So Far” as told by Babu the cat (who we’ve never heard talk before, let alone narrate), and an exercise in slice-of-life – or slice-of-undead, as it were. Babu enjoys his only slightly-different cat life, while Rea enjoys her new-found freedom and immense strength. Furuya is ever the scolding, worry-prone companion, but both Babu and Rea are on the same page: they’re living “life” to the fullest, for they never know if or when their bodies will rot away to nothing.
And then, just when you thought this was just one last parting peek into their lives, a plane flies overhead, with a woman on board with a zombie owl, who may be a zombie herself, musing on a zombie’s “Confused Period”, in which it mindlessly devours its family and friends. Which seems to be a prelude to some kind of continuation of Sankarea down the road. Which wouldn’t be unwelcome; just surprising. After all, it’s been a most enjoyable series, and it was nice to hear that hauntingly beautiful ED theme one more time.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
As Chihiro helps her with her family’s restaurant deliveries, Ranko reminices about her long relationship with him, starting when he found her crying in a cemetary. She fell in love with him on the spot, but fell out of love when she learned he was a shy crybabywho only cared about zombies. She fell back in love when he saved her from a stray dog, and has likely loved him ever since, but now that Rea is in the picture, she’ll have to fight to win that much harder to win his heart.
As we cross the midpoint of the series (quarter-point if it goes 26 episodes), we’re presented with an episode of Sankarea with no Rea. In fact, the protagonist of the series switches from Chihiro to Ranko this week; a risky move considering she hasn’t been the most impressive of characters. As we suspected, all of her teasing thus far has been due to her not being able to properly express her true feelings to Chihiro, and now that he has the zombie girl he always dreamed of, Ranko is jealous of their intimacy (after all, Rea’s already kissed him, a milestone Ranko took very seriously). Frank(enstein)ly, she has an uphill battle ahead of her. Especially since Chihiro obviously doesn’t see her as a potential girlfriend, but as more of a caring, annoying older sister (for the record they’re cousins, but it’s not frowned upon in Japan, even a recent prime minister married his first cousin).
The flashbacks paint a decent picture of why, despite his eccentricities, she likes/loves him: in moments of despair or vulnerability – right up to when he stopped Rea from…er, doing whatever she was planning to do to her – Chihiro’s been there to protect and console her, even if coincidentally. Setting aside the fact the love triangle here doesn’t seem all that thrilling moving forward, we left this episode liking Ranko more, not less, and better understanding her position. Chihiro’s Yasutaka, on the other hand, is a wretched waste of screentime. Why does every anime need an overly horny theatrical male classmate?
Rating: 6 (Good)
Sanka has stopped moving and Furuya is concerned she’ll rot away if he doesn’t do something, but in the meantime he must help his family clean the temple grounds, so he turns up the A/C and stashes her in his closet. Gramps mentions seeing not only Babu, but ‘Sada’ alive, having mistaken Rea for her, as well as a ‘resurrection potion’. Wanko stops by and enters Furuya’s room to borrow a DVD, but she is attacked by Rea, who starts licking her chest. Hearing Wanko scream, Furuya rushes to his room, where Rea pounces on and starts kissing him.
Well, the zombie cat is officially out of the bag: the first Wanko hears about Sanka Rea going missing is the same day she finds out where Rea went: to Furuya’s house. This week she plays the ‘first victim’, although rather than going for the brain, apparently the hungry Rea can be satiated by persperation coming from Wanko’s rack, or Furuya’s saliva. Either way, she’s acting very frisky, but her motivations are probably more primal – requiring sustenance – than amorous.
It’s interesting how she said nothing, but only made a bunch of zombie-like sounds. Will her personality return? Of course, most importantly, now somebody knows he’s resurrected a girl. He’ll have to tell her the whole story about Rea’s father and falling from a cliff if he’s ever going to get her silence, because at this point he can limit the exposure to just Wanko. But with Rea’s father already issuing a fatwa against him, this is one more example of mo’ zombies mo’ problems.
Rating: 6 (Good)