Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is settling into a comfortable groove with a blend of high-energy zombie action and introspective storytelling. In each episode, Akira’s mission to cross items off his bucket list puts him in danger but also allows him to reflect on the regrets and missed opportunities he holds onto. As such, “Flight Attendant of the Dead” begins focusing on what seems to be a shallower item on Akira’s list and ends with him making an important addition to the list.
The series also gains new energy with the addition of Kencho. Kencho opens up new avenues for learning more about Akira and proves to be an interesting character in his own right. Kencho and Akira were friends before they started their careers and it shows immediately now that they’re reunited. The friends who have known you the longest always know how to push your buttons, and Kencho’s big personality affecting the dynamics of his and Akira’s friendship reflects that. He pushes to add his items to Akira’s list and teases him about his bad luck with dating, but it never feels malicious. Instead, it’s the type of gentle ribbing that is common between good friends. Having that comfort and safety in a relationship can also help with opening up, which occurs while on a mission to score a big-screen TV and Akira and Kencho discuss their dreams. Kencho has locked his dream down but Akira is still unsure of what he wants. He has spent so much time just surviving his job that he’s lost touch with his original dreams and goals. Before Akira has time to explore those feelings, another zombie attack forces the two to shelter in an underground shopping mall.
Inside, they discover another group of survivors has also taken refuge in the shopping mall. Akira and Kencho can’t believe their luck when they realize they have a perfect opportunity to wine and dine a flight attendant in the group. “Flight Attendant of the Dead” finds a lot of humor in Akira’s efforts to keep up with Kencho’s charm. Akira becomes so wrapped in comparing himself to Kencho that he’s oblivious to his own strengths. Since his awakening in the first episode, Akira has demonstrated great change: he’s now decisive, quick on his feet, and more driven. All of that is on display in “Flight Attendant of the Dead”. Whether it’s escaping zombies by jumping a motorcycle or inhaling a bottle of tequila, Akira is willing to jump head-first into any experience now, but none of this is what makes him compelling.
In truth, Akira’s best strength is his willingness to be vulnerable and connect with people. Eventually “striking out” with flight attendant Yukari, Akira is able to have a real conversation once he stops trying to impress her. The perspective that he’s gained since the outbreak started has enabled him to look for the positive in whatever situation he finds himself in. It’s this hopefulness that Akira embodies that is the core of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead. Even in an episode where these new relationships end in pain and heartbreak, the series manages to close out on a hopeful note. Kencho comes through in the clutch and cheers Akira up by securing them a TV. Akira crosses a couple of fun items off his list and uncovers another important goal that he wants to achieve. “Flight Attendant of the Dead” keeps the run of great episodes going and sets up plenty more for Akira and Kencho to look forward to.
Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is available on Crunchyroll, Netflix, and Hulu.
Featured Image ©Haro Aso, Kotaro Takata, Shogakukan/Zom100 Project
‘Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead’ - “Flight Attendant of the Dead” - 9/10