Zom100: Bucket List of the Dead (Netflix Film) – Review

Zom100 fans were eating well in 2023, with not only the manga getting licensed but also a twelve-episode anime and this live-action film from Netflix. After watching the anime as it aired I decided to check out this film to see how such a vibrant and “animated” series could translate into live action.

Akira shouting with glee at not having to go to work, taken from a film poster

Akira Tendo is a young man fresh out of university and into his first job at a production company. What initially seemed like a dream come true quickly spiralled into a waking nightmare as he realised he had joined a “black” company, a Japanese term for abusive companies with a toxic work culture including but not limited to harassment, lengthy unpaid overtime, bullying, no holiday or sick leave, and abuse. As the zombie apocalypse begins Akira faces a wonderful realisation, he doesn’t have to go to work any more! What better opportunity to reclaim the time he’s lost than writing a bucket list of 100 things he wants to do before becoming a zombie?

Akira (Eiji Akaso) hurridly cycles away from a swarm of pursuing zombies

Akira is played by Eiji Akaso who brings a youthful energy and vigour to the role that perfectly encapsulates the character, while Kazuki Kitamura is excellent as his manager Gonzô Kosugi, bringing smarm and menace that truly makes you hate him. The rest of the cast on the other hand feels somewhat lacklustre and I didn’t feel as engaged with any of them as I did in either the manga or anime. The visual effects however are what really steal the show with zombies that look absolutely terrifying, lending a level of horror that feels such an antithesis to the humour and light-hearted nature of the rest of the film and yet the two blend together so well.

Kosugi (Kazuki Kitamura) looks off screen with a look of smarm on his face

If you’ve watched the anime or read the manga, you’ll notice some aspects of the story have had to be cut or merged together to fit into a two-hour runtime. While this doesn’t necessarily detract from the story, it doesn’t help the severe pacing issues that plague the film throughout. I found myself becoming bored and disinterested as many story beats lasted too long and some flew by in the blink of an eye. The pacing finally begins to settle in the final act but by this time I suspect many viewers will have lost interest.

Shizuka (Mai Shiraishi) Akira (Eiji Akaso) and Kencho (Shuntarō Yanagi) drive in a camper van

What had the basis for an excellent film with its source material and fantastic visual effects is marred by a mostly boring cast and terrible pacing. This leads to a simply ok horror comedy with occasional high points that sadly aren’t enough to save it. It may be worth a watch with some friends and a few drinks, but if you’re after the story of Zom100, the anime is a significantly better watch, for which you can read our review here.






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