There’s no shortage of zombies in live-action series and movies. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when it comes to anime, which only has a few shows about the walking dead. But, don’t worry, the ones that do exist will definitely satisfy your craving for dead bodies brought back to life. So, here are five must-see zombie anime for the brain-eater in all of us.
The Empire of Corpses
In the real world, the Industrial Revolution marked our transition from steam to coal. But in the world of The Empire of Corpses, it’s prompted by the dead. Victor Frankenstein has developed a technology that reanimates corpses and programs them to do menial tasks.
Devoid of emotions and thoughts, the zombies do their jobs without complaints — eliminating the need to hire actual people. However, these reanimated corpses are missing one thing: a soul. Shortly after his revolutionary work, Dr. Frankenstein vanishes. However, it’s rumored that his notes reveal the creation of the first and only corpse with a soul.
Back in London, a medical student named John Watson works tirelessly to keep a promise he made to his late friend, Friday. The British government tasks Watson with joining the search for Victor’s notes. And so, Watson and his other companions travel around the world, climbing treacherous mountains and exploring dangerous cities — all in search of those elusive notes.
Highschool of the Dead
Without any warning, zombies attack the people of Japan and the country is suddenly faced with a pandemic it hadn’t planned for. When the undead attack a local high school, second-year student Takashi Komuro has to kill his best friend turned zombie, Hisashi Igou. Vowing to protect Igou’s girlfriend, Rei Miyamoto, Komuro escapes the school grounds with her in tow. However, the situation they flee to is much worse than expected — the city is engulfed in flames and chaos.
Luckily, they meet other students, such as Saeko Busujima, the captain of the Kendo Club; Kohta Hirano, a marksman with many guns; Saya Takagi, the daughter of a powerful politician; and Shizuka Marikawa, their school nurse. The group comes together to search for their families. However, with the world falling apart around them, will their combined strength and skills be enough to fight off a horde of zombies?
Sunday Without God
In this alternate world, God has abandoned humanity and left his children to face a somber future. In this world, people can’t give birth and the dead walk among the living. However, God gives them one last miracle before turning away forever. He creates the “Grave Keepers,” special beings who can put the dead to rest.
A naïve young girl called Ai takes on this responsibility after her mother passes away and now serves as her village’s Grave Keeper. However, one day, a mysterious man named Hampnie Hambert arrives in Ai’s village and massacres all of the residents except for her. With no one left, Ai decides to leave the only place she’s called home to travel with Hambert. Their journey takes them all over the country, with Ai continuing to perform her duties as a Grave Keeper. Along the way, they also try to find out why God left humanity behind.
Sunday Without God is a different kind of zombie anime. While many series, including those on this list, focus on reanimated corpses as mindless creatures who eat people, SWG, instead, explores the fear of getting abandoned and never finding peace.
Is This a Zombie?
Zombies come in different shapes and sizes, and the zombie in Is This a Zombie? happens to be a reanimated boy with magical girl garments. On his way back from the convenience store, high school student Ayumu Aikawa is murdered by a serial killer. Luckily for him, a necromancer, Eucliwood Hellscythe, brings him back to life. But even though Aikawa looks and acts like a typical 16-year-old boy, there’s still one small problem — he’s now a zombie. Expose him to too much direct sunlight and he’ll wilt like a flower.
Things get even weirder when he meets Haruna, a Magical Garment Girl, and accidentally steals her garments — which give him Haruna’s powers. Now, Aikawa must fight against the evil monsters called Megalo in her place. And that’s not all. A few of Hellscythe’s vampire companions drop by and join the already-hectic household.
Aikawa and his friends are set to face any challenge, especially those from the King of the Night — who is after Hellscythe — and, of course, the serial killer who’s going around stabbing people.
Sankarea: Undying Love
Chihiro Furuya has been obsessed with zombies since childhood — he even wants to kiss a zombie girl. So when his cat, Bub, dies, Furuya decides to create a potion to bring it back to life. While working on his concoction, he meets Rea Sanka, a girl who spends each day complaining about her life. The two eventually form a bond, and Sanka encourages Furuya to keep trying to save Bub.
Finally, he manages to reanimate his beloved cat. Unaware of Furuya’s success, Sanka drinks the potion in hopes of taking her own life. It doesn’t kill her, but when she later accidentally falls into a well and dies, she immediately returns as a zombie. Does Sanka’s recent change mean that Furuya will finally get a zombie girlfriend?
While many series portray zombies as mindless decaying creatures, Sankarea: Undying Love does the opposite. Its beautiful female lead forms a meaningful connection with the main protagonist, Furuya. There’s no brain bashing or a struggle for survival. There’s only love for the undead.