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The Importance Of Optimism In A Zombie Apocalypse

How a zombie manga showcases the importance of personal fulfillment

By Jay KobayashiPublished 11 months ago 5 min read

Post-apocalyptic stories are one of the most popular genres right now due to the life or death stakes and the intense drama that comes with it, but what if there is a series that goes against the typical post-apocalyptic genre? With the boom of post-apocalyptic narratives, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead stands out as a refreshing zombie manga that is arguably one of the most optimistic post-apocalyptic stories ever told. So, in this article, we’ll go over what this series is and what we can learn from its optimistic take on the zombie genre.

Defining Basic Zombie Tropes

The zombie genre has been a popular subset of horror fiction for decades, captivating audiences with tales of the undead rising from their graves to prey upon the living. While the origins of zombies can be traced back to Haitian folklore, it was George A. Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead that popularized the modern zombie archetype.

“The movie that started it all!” | Credit: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Since then, zombies have become a staple in literature, films, television shows, and video games. The genre’s popularity explores a wide variety of themes of survival, fear, societal breakdown, corruption of morality, and even the human condition in the face of an apocalyptic scenario. Of course, this has led to the point where every fictional take of the zombie genre has all of the same. exact. themes. This can be frustrating for fans of the genre who are craving for something new and unique.

What Is ‘Zom 100: Bucket List Of the Dead’?

Authored by Haro Aso and illustrated by Kotaro Takata, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is a manga series that follows the story of Akira Tendo, an overworked office worker who suddenly finds himself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

“New Day, new me!”| Credit: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Instead of succumbing to fear and scrambling to find ways to survive, Akira decides to create a bucket list of things he wants to accomplish before he potentially becomes one of the undead. In doing so, we follow Akira as he travels all across Japan and crosses off every little thing off his bucket list.

The Importance Of Optimism

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead distinguishes itself from traditional zombie narratives by cleverly subverting established tropes through its optimistic lens. In fact, one of the core themes of Zom 100 is the importance of embracing optimism amidst chaos and despair. The series especially makes this point known with its protagonist Akira, who was on the brink of suicide due to his company constantly overworking him.

“The joy of not having to go to work anymore.” | Credit: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

When Akira realized that the world was overrun with zombies, he embraced the new post-apocalyptic world because it freed him from his miserable lifestyle. Where most people are faced with a seemingly hopeless situation where they struggle to survive, Akira embraces the optimistic side of a zombie apocalypse and sees it as an opportunity to finally do all the things he ever wanted to accomplish in life.

“Guys, I know we have important things to do, but building a treehouse is something we have to do!” | Credit: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Of course, since this is still a series about zombies, Akira is mindful about his new reality where his life could end at any moment. However, the looming threat of the undead only fuels his desire to make bold decisions that may seem irrational or childish, but is actually personally fulfilling and even inspiring.

“He’s makes a really good point about the importance of getting an RV.” | Credit: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Akira’s journey mirrors the human capacity to adapt and find hope in the most dire circumstances. His decisions to live everyday as if its his last inspires his friends to also carry on this newfound optimism and they all embark on a journey to travel all over Japan to cross things off of their bucket list. This message resonates strongly with readers, encouraging them to reevaluate their own perspectives and approach life’s challenges with renewed optimism.

The Importance Of Personal Fulfillment

“What does your Zombie Bucket List look like?” | Credit: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Another significant aspect of Zom 100 is its exploration of the importance of fulfilling personal dreams. In the face of a zombie apocalypse, Akira discovers that his mundane existence no longer satisfies him. So, he embarks on a journey to compile a “bucket list” of things he wants to accomplish before he dies, not knowing when his time might run out. This pursuit of personal dreams becomes a driving force for Akira, as well as for his friends.

“Go on a Sake drinking spree during a zombie apocalypse? How could we ever say no?” | Credit: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Through Akira’s and his friends experiences, the manga emphasizes the importance of prioritizing one’s passions and pursuing them wholeheartedly. It highlights the meaningful impact of fulfilling your personal dreams and encourages the reader to pursue them even in the most extraordinary grim circumstances. By witnessing Akira’s determination and unwavering spirit, readers are encouraged to reflect on their own aspirations and consider taking steps toward actualizing them.

The Power Of Human Connections

In addition to optimism and chasing after your personal dreams, Zom 100 also underscores the transformative power of human connections. As Akira and the gang encounters various survivors during their journey, they unexpectedly form bonds with them by helping them with what they are trying to do. These connections serve as a reminder that even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, the warmth and support of human relationships can uplift and provide solace.

“The desire to eat sushi for the very last time is a heartwarming experience.” | Credit: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

The manga portrays a diverse range of characters, each grappling with their own fears, regrets, and dreams. Through their interactions, Zom 100 showcases the impact of compassion, understanding, and camaraderie in overcoming adversity. It reminds readers that the strength of the human spirit is often amplified when we stand together, supporting and uplifting one another.

We Only Live Once! Let’s Do That Bucket List!

The significance of optimism and pursuing our personal dreams in Zom 100 stands as a compelling testament to forever remain hopeful even in the most unlikely of circumstances. The manga brilliantly weaves together humor, action, and introspection, presenting a simple but compelling story that resonates with readers on a deeper level.

“Can we? We only live once!” | Credit: Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Through its vibrant characters and thought-provoking narrative, Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead serves as a captivating exploration of the human spirit and showcases how the power of optimism can overcome anything especially in the face of adversity. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead has several volumes out already and has an anime adaptation coming out on July 9 2023.

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About the Creator

Jay Kobayashi

A starving writer from LA who aspires to be plagiarized one day. I like to write about academic pieces that identifies philosophy and psychology in pop culture, and sometimes random fun pieces that interests me or the algorithm!

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  • sleepy drafts11 months ago

    This was such an awesome read! I love this take on the Zombie genre. We all need a little hope and reminders of resilience sometimes. ❤️ Wonderful article. I really want to read this manga now, lol!

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