Netflix has been truly impressing us with some phenomenal Korean series and one of their best as of late is a zombie-focused series that is exciting from beginning to end. All of Us Are Dead—based on a Naver webtoon called Now at Our School—focuses on a high school in Korea being overrun by a virus that obviously transforms those infected into ravenous zombies. The students rally to survive in their now overrun school—and try to deal with their own relationships—and we were immersed from episode 1 onward. As we watched hordes of zombies overtake classrooms with desperate survivors, we here at Honey’s Anime began wondering about what zombie-focused anime series could take from the themes found in All of Us Are Dead...
Fast Zombies Forever
What made All of Us Are Dead amazing wasn’t just the great acting or intense drama but, the main enemy, the zombies. Unlike shambling corpses seen in series like High School of the Dead or the Resident Evil anime, All of Us Are Dead zombies move with extreme speed and maneuverability. They may lack coordination—they are often seen slamming into walls or even falling down stairs when trying to run up them—they still can overwhelm in numbers with their extreme speed. In our opinion, fast zombies are a scarier concept than slow ones. A slow zombie, even in numbers, won’t be a major issue for those who don’t get blocked off or cut off from escape. Yet, when zombies move faster than some Olympic runners…they become a serious dilemma.
School is Cool…At Least Here
A lot of zombie anime try to set their scares in city-like environments or ruined areas. That’s why zombie anime in the future really need to think of utilizing the school setting as a central focus. Schools, in general, are happy places filled with those who are just enjoying their youth but they also can be terrifying in more ways than others. Behind the walls of education lie people with disturbing ideas of what youth is and that makes the school setting a danger beyond just having zombies running amok.
Fans of zombie movies, anime, and anything in between, know that the protagonists of a zombie apocalypse can be a bit…foolish. All of Us Are Dead might have teen-angst protagonists but they are a lot brighter than many zombie heroes/heroines...especially in anime. In series like Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and even—again—High School of the Dead, the survivors were quite idiotic. They would often not examine their surroundings and would react poorly when zombies came rushing towards their brains! In All of Us Are Dead, the majority of the cast are quite intelligent and resourceful, relying on their quick thinking and ingenuity. These teens made fortresses out of everyday school supplies and often would use their combined might to survive perilous situations. They didn’t always make the smartest moves—some of them attacked one another over relationships and paranoia—but nine times out of ten, they mystified us with their survivability. We definitely hope zombie anime will make their lead characters use their brains and not just as food for the zombies.
The anime world, as amazing as it is, has some characters that don’t come off as realistic. High School of the Dead had a slew of sexy females with oppai that went against the grains of reality but they also had characters that came off as silly. As melodramatic as All of Us Are Dead could be—and there is a lot of melodrama—these characters poured their souls when coming off as real individuals. Central survivors like Lee Cheong-san and Nam On-jo fought to survive using what gifts they naturally had that real folk probably would utilize. Nam On-jo’s father is a firefighter/former military man so he taught his little girl how to survive in dangerous situations with minimal resources. Meanwhile, Lee Cheong-san used his quick speed and reaction to elude capture from hordes of zombies all while acting tough despite being just as scared as his fellow classmates. These men and women had lives outside of the zombie invasion and it made All of Us Are Dead feel relatable despite the silliness of a zombie outbreak really occurring.
Oddly enough, despite how popular zombie movies and TV shows are, the anime world still only has a few zombie-focused series. Maybe with the rising popularity of All of Us Are Dead, zombie anime may arise in Japan and then grace our shores! Would you readers love a great zombie anime? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Keep stuck to our zombie-loving hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more articles just like this one!