Zombies have infected just about every branch of pop culture, and anime is no exception. Here are 5 zombie-themed anime that are available on streaming services in both Japanese sub and English dub!
Zombie Land Saga (24 episodes + upcoming movie)
I want to start off this list with one of my favorite anime of all time. Sakura Minamoto dreams of becoming an idol, and her dream comes true! …But only after she gets hit by a truck and dies. A strange man (voiced by the incredible Mamoru Miyano in the original Japanese version) turns a group of dead girls from different eras into zombies in order to form an undead idol group called Franchouchou. This show is absolutely hilarious if you have a dark sense of humor, but also poignant as we learn the circumstances of the girls’ deaths. Plus, some of Franchouchou’s songs are surprisingly good!
There are currently two seasons, both 12 episodes each, and a movie is in the works, although its release window is currently unknown. Zombie Land Saga is available for streaming on both Crunchyroll and Funimation.
School-Live! (12 episodes)
Don’t be fooled by the cutesy art style: this anime is a melancholy survival story, and the cute characters only increase the effectiveness of the psychological horror element. The main character, Yuki Takeya, copes with the zombie apocalypse by pretending that everything is normal and she and the other survivors are simply members of a club whose activities include having sleepovers in the school. But her mind can only do so much to protect her…
School-Live! is available for streaming on HIDIVE.
High School of the Dead (12 episodes + 1 OVA)
This is one of the more well-known zombie anime out there, for better or for worse. As with the previous entry, High School of the Dead follows high school students as they fight off zombies and do what they can to survive the apocalypse. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), this anime is also an ecchi. It’s hard to focus on or appreciate the plot or the action when every episode is full of inappropriate shots of high school girls. Let’s just say that some of these girls defy the laws of physics with their bosoms…
The 12 core episodes of High School of the Dead are available for streaming on Hulu.
Sankarea: Undying Love (12 episodes + 1 special + 2 OVA)
Some boys are so desperate for a girlfriend that they’ll date anyone with a pulse… But for Chihiro Furuya, even a pulse isn’t a requirement! After concocting a potion that will bring his deceased cat back to life, Chihiro ends up with both a zombie pet and a zombie girlfriend when a beautiful but abused and suicidal girl named Rea drinks some of the zombification potion herself. I guess romance isn’t dead after all! In all seriousness, though, this anime contains some extremely dark themes including incestuous pedophilia and emotional abuse, so be warned.
The 12 core episodes plus the special episode (included as episode 13) of Sankarea are available for streaming on both Crunchyroll and Funimation.
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (12 episodes)
Most people would react to the advent of the zombie apocalypse with fear, hopelessness, worry, and despair. But not Akira Tendo: he responds with relief, because for the first time in three years he doesn’t have to go to work! The imminent end of the world makes Akira realize that since he has spent adulthood as a slave to his job, he has essentially been living as a zombie, so he creates a list of fun things he wants to do before he joins the undead for real. To reduce the horror aspect of this anime, the zombies’ blood is rainbow colors (sort of like how the blood in Danganronpa is neon pink), and the show is far more funny than scary.
At the time of this article’s publication, only 9 episodes have been released, but it is expected to have a total of 12 episodes once it finishes airing. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is available for streaming on both Crunchyroll and Netflix.
BONUS – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean episodes 13 & 14
Nothing about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is conventional, and that includes their portrayal of zombies. While we don’t see a zombie apocalypse in this anime, in two episodes of Part 6, the protagonists encounter an enemy whose ability allows him to reanimate corpses and control them as invisible zombies.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean is available for streaming on Netflix.