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)
Furuya starts wavering in the face of the responsibility of caring for Rea. Is it posssible to give her the normal life he promised, or is he holding her back? Rea insists she’s fine with the way things are, but wants to start going to school. When the fireworks festival rains out, Ranko suggests they have their own. Rea continues to feel uncomfortable with Ranko, but they have a talk while Ranko helps her into a yukata, and make their rivalry official. Furuya and Rea return to the bowling alley where they met, where Rea converts to zombie mode and bite-kisses him.
With Dan’Ichiro’s reluctant blessing and bestowing of his daughter’s welfare upon Furuya, the final episode of Sankarea marks mostly a return to the status quo; a comfortable resting spot upon which to wrap things up (although the very end was a little confusing; more on that later). Furuya doesn’t find a miracle remedy for Rea’s body rot; Gramps doesn’t have another lucid moment in which he reveals anything useful, and even though he has two girls gunning for him, he’s still not interested in making a choice between the two, because he’s more concerned with other things.
Ranko was thankfully toned-down in this episode, with her boobs never occupying a full frame, and her quick, direct “Yes, I love him” to Rea was as good a way as any to make her understand she won’t just let her have Furuya without a fight (Not a physical fight, obvviously; Rea would win easily). So much is left unresolved. Then there was the final scene, where Rea suddenly becomes dead-eyed and embraces Furuya. We imagine forget her hydrangea leaves, but with the series ending right there, it’s one final statement about how neither Rea nor Furuya have an easy road ahead. Perhaps the second OVA will expound on that.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)
Furuya Chihiro is the son of a widowed priest who lives on temple grounds with his little sister, father, and grandpa. He’s always had a fascination with zombie romance. When his cat Baabu is hit by a car, he tries to resurrect it by following a mysterious old book he found. He does this in an abandoned resort, the same place where the troubled Sanka Rea – daughter of the rich and powerful Sanka family – comes to scream her heart out into a well. When she detects him watching her, she promises to do anything in exchange for his discretion. When he jokingly asks her to be his test subject for the resurrection drug, then admits he only likes zombie girls, she agrees to become his zombie…
We like ourselves nice and simple yet novel and quirky stories, and we have one right here. A kid with an interesting family situation has an even more interesting proclivity. He doesn’t just like zombies…he loves them. Does it matter why? Not really. Suffice it to say this kid is weird, and any normal high school girl would totally lose it when he shows her his dead-for-days cat he’s trying to bring back to life. She may even call the cops on him. But not the titular Sanka Rea. She’s not normal. Her father takes nude pictures of her to document her growth. She hates her entitled but strict and sheltered life, and wants a new one, so she understands Furuya. She doesn’t even flinch at his venture – she even pets his damn dead cat.
The somewhat messed-up yet oddly endearing relationship between Furuya and Sanka is the core of this episode. Furuya seems a shy fella (his half-year-older cousin loves to tease him with her bod, in one of the less endearing scenes of the episode), but he’s also aware of how pure and unblemished by the trials of society this girl is, and as such, is a lot more comfortable talking to her. He lays it all out: his fetish, what he’s doing with his cat; what he’d kinda sorta want to do to her (make her a zombie); all of it honest without any beating around the bush. Here I am; take it or…run away screaming. And much to his surprise, Sanka still likes him…and in the somewhat confusing ending, she actually becomes a zombie, entrails leaking out and everything. Furuya just got what he wished for. We’ll see if he can handle it!
Rating: 7 (Very Good)