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Sankarea: Undying Love (2012)


I took a two-week break since I wrote about Revolutionary Girl Utena. During that time I have been watching:


  1. Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985): Post coming soon

  2. Kitty Girl -And (2009): I was originally going to write a post on this series which is the fan service sequel to Kitty Grade (2002) but I thought about it... and there is not much substance about it. It starts out like a bullshit comedy no one asked for similar to how Soul Eater NOT starts out and then gradually gains a deeper plot but then the escalation dies down as soon as the "villain" reveals his purpose and the main characters from Kitty Grade come back from a time warp so it made the new characters seem irrelevant to me.


I would like to disclaim that I do not know what most of my series that I have watched has some type of outlandish theme like incest. This series does contain child pornography and "soft" incest. I will go into detail further into the read.


So Sankarea was a rewatch for me. I first watched this when I was a freshman in high school. At this time it was a new series based on its manga. During this time it was assumed that there would potentially be a second season but it was pretty clear that the series was not going to evolve beyond the 13 episodes that it had. I say this because the plot was very "self-explanatory" from why the characters are the way they are and what is going to happen moving forward for them.


When Chihiro Furuya was a child he has a weird obsession with anything zombie-related. He even found himself attracted to zombie women (though zombie women are not real he would justify and say he does not like "living women" when "zombie women" were living women in movie make-up). One unfortunate day, his cat gets run over by a car. Instead of accepting that Baabu has passed he decides to find a way to bring him back from the dead. During his experiments in an abandoned hotel, he overhears Rea Sanka, the known rich girl in town, was yelling into a well about how her life was being oppressed by her father. After formally meeting her, they team together to bring Baabu back and discover the secret to the undead is a flower that can be found in Rea's back yard, hydrangeas.



Not aware of the success, Rea drinks the "cure" in order to kill herself and escape from her life. Instead of killing her, it brings her back to life when she is accidentally killed by her father. She is reborn as a zombie with super strength with physical limitations when she is hungry. With help from Chihiro, she is able to live life as a "normal" girl with undead tendencies. For Chihiro, this is a dream come true, because he was already attracted to Rea and now he is attracted to her times ten because she is the living undead fantasy that he never thought would be possible.

 


There is literally nothing special about this man, Chihiro. My only question is why does he resemble a cat so much. Though he is one of the main characters he appears to be a supporting character to Rea. Everyone around him is also weird like his younger sister has a thing for ghosts. Then his grandfather is the person who curates the poison to create zombies in the first place. He does not explain why he created but he implies that he was going to use it for a love one in his youth when he discovered it. He also suffers from dementia so he is unable to recall everything about his past or what the purpose of the serum was for but his mind goes in and out.


More about his relatives, his cousin, Ranko Saouji. This is the small bit of incest I mentioned. They're cousins. Ranko has been in love with Chihiro since they were children but she has yet to tell him. She covers up her feelings and tells him she does the things that she does because she is his "old sister" because she is older than him. She is also one of the few people who are aware of Rea's transformation and is jealous of her because she fits his fantasy type and is willing to compete for him.



 

Rea, on the other hand, does not have a complex plot. Instead, she has a complex background provided by her supporting characters. She is just a girl who is manipulated by her father.


A father who has a twisted mindset because he lost his first wife due to her birth and does not want to risk losing her either. So how does he try to protect his daughter? He limits her friends, tracks her location, decides her education and hobbies, becomes highly involved with her personal life, takes naked pictures of her and makes her think it is normal (her body reminded him of his late wife), and lastly, he has all his servants help him manage her.



She is overall controlled and oppressed and finds no freedom until she dies and seeks refuge at Chihiro's home.


Her father in his youth met her mother after a professional fencing match.



He was a professional fencer but he always won by default. After a thrown match, a handicapped woman in a wheelchair complimented his skill and took notice in him. He decided to marry her and though his family told him not too due to her illness. Shortly after they were married she got pregnant and died from childbirth. Her death cause such a shock, Rea's father suffered from trauma and was unable to get out of bed or take care of himself so he was given a bed-side nurse/maid, Aria Sanka.




While taking care of her husband, Aira fell in love with him. Unfortunately, he did not love her. He did not need to marry her either. He married her for appearances and the idea of providing Rea a mother. Rea is not aware that Aria is not her mother. Aira does become an alcoholic and has a hateful attitude. This is not because she hates Rea but because she hates her husband. For the entire 15 years of marriage, they have never had sex, he never included her into the relationship he had with Rea, and the butler is the one who revealed that the head of the Sanka household was taking naked child photos of Rea.


I don't feel as if she never meant to be rude to Rea. I felt as if she was just a horrible drunk. She used alcohol to cover her broken heart. Also instead of just filing for divorce, she was going to stick it out just because she likes the perks of being wealthy but she missed the touch of a man, that is why she probably would have rape Chihiro when she had the chance if Baabu didn't distract her.





I think she would have made a wonderful mother if she was given the chance because she seemed jealous that she should not be included in not only the couple relationship dynamics but the overall family dynamics. If she was embraced more so as a wife than just an object she may have been able to fill some type of void for Rea. Rea felt alone in her own home while Aira was able to gain freedom because Sanka was not worried about her. But a potential reason she could have been ignored because he did not want to share Rea and also did not want his parenting style challenged or interfered with.


Before the father exists from the series he does challenge Chihiro to a fencing match and attempts to kill him and successfully did. But he was able to become a half-zombie as to why he was able to survive a fatal stab in the stomach. At the end of Rea standing up to her father after that challenge, he agrees he will give her freedom and will allow her to be in Chihiro's custody as long as he can keep her a functioning zombie and protect her while he travels to America in search of a cure to the zombie disease she has.



 

This series is considered a supernatural romance but it barely touches on the romance. I do not know what the manga has to offer because the anime is missing a lot of key details. In the end, Rea does confess privately that she is in love with Chihiro and ware that Ranko is competing for him and refuses to back down. But I feel as if there is a lost cause in trying to win his love because she is dead. She will no longer age or be able to contribute to his future; children, marriage or grow old together.


In a perfect world if Rea were alive I do feel they would have made a perfect match. This is a cute romance but I do not believe it would have ended happily. Someone would have had to die or get injured but their relationship would have ended heartbroken.







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