Calamity of a Zombie Girl (あるゾンビ少女の災難) is an original net animation that released in April 2018. It is a seinen, horror, supernatural anime adaptation of the original light novel series written by Ryō Ikehata and Hagane Tsurugi (artist). Gonzo produced it with direction from Hideaki Iwami. While I was not originally planning on watching this, I ended up picking it up on a whim because I was bored and in the mood to watch something scary. Unfortunately, I had mistaken a satirical comedy for genuine horror, as well as one of the most ridiculous fucking things I have seen in a bloody long time. Wow.
Calamity of a Zombie Girl revolves around a bunch of bored college kids who break into school one evening for the mindless entertainment of finding the hidden stash of Tokugawa cash. Unbeknownst to them, one of the students has an ulterior motive for their act of delinquency: to steal a prised gem from the coffin of a mummy. They come across a couple of well-preserved mummies, but alas, have little luck in their treasure hunt. Once they make it safely back to their dorms, ready to be horny and happy, one of the kids gets brutally slaughtered, which kicks off an evening of bloodshed and boobs.
Where do I begin with this review? Seriously. My mind is jumbled with so many things to say, yet no coherent way of expressing them.
On the one hand, Calamity of a Zombie Girl can be greatly appreciated by people who enjoy B-grade Western horror films, specifically in the slasher subgenre, as it really is a satirical homage to the cult classic style of films. However, folks who prefer a much more serious tone to their disturbingly deathly antics will find themselves to be utterly disappointed and frustrated at the severe lack of quality that laces the anime straight across the board. Me? Well, I fell somewhere in the middle, mostly due to my expectations of something serious, but if I had to choose, I’d say I’m a bit closer to the former because I love a good, cheesy, dumb slasher-themed creature feature.
With that said… Calamity of a Zombie Girl was agonisingly terrible; the worst fucking piece of shit I have seen, and I’ve seen some awesomely horrid shit.
The good parts of the anime include all of the traits that pay tribute to the classic B-horror genre that I briefly touched base with earlier. It tries to take itself seriously yet falls into the goofy and at-times laugh-out-loud silliness category with unintelligent—extremely unintelligent—college kids with a knack of stating the obvious and then dying in brilliantly preposterous ways. There is something so remarkably satisfying about watching brainless, selfish people die in brutal fashion. Mmm. Yessss. Anyway, there is also sensationally graphic violence and gratuitous implementation of breast-shots. My favourite was the headless naked body. Just chilling. Waiting for its head. Yup.
Another tribute characteristic is that at some point you begin to honestly root for the killers/creatures because the people are just so goddamn fucking stupid. You want them to die so you can stop feeling like you’re losing brain cells by watching them be idiotic. I remember while watching Friday the 13th and Scream I wanted all of those kids to get knicked in amazingly unbelievable ways because they were all so bloody annoying.
Nevertheless, even with these facets, the execution (see what I did there, ha ha) was the bleeding duke of atrocious craftsmanship. Firstly, the animation style was consistently inconsistent and choppy, with lazy artwork and drawings, blatant lack of details in pivotal (used loosely) plot scenes only to randomly appear later on. The simplest of animation, such as the brain spilling out of a cracked skull, felt like it was toned done in details so that it would be graphic without actually being graphic; like it was straddling a fine line of what is okay to show on-screen and what isn’t. Couple that with the cartoony aesthetics of the character designs, fight scenes, and reactions—it was a horrific hot mess.
The scenes themselves along with the story narrative also liked to jump around with little to no reference point or explanation, depending on the scenes. Everything that happened either felt way too convenient or forced in order to uphold some level of tension and conflict, which was already rather laughable.
I think the thing that pissed me off while watching Calamity of a Zombie Girl the most was the use of the terms “zombie” and “mummy” interchangeably. Zombies and mummies are not interchangeable terms! While they do have some similar characteristics, they are both inherently different types of monsters with varying mechanics unique to their individual creature types! IT IS NOT A DIFFICULT CONCEPT TO GRASP, geezus fucking Kheb. It drove me baddy as all hell to have to sit there and listen to these morons refer to mummies as zombies. The series should have been Calamity of a MUMMY Girl, but I suppose that doesn’t incite the same level of fear as the word “zombie.” I mean, when I hear “mummy,” I immediately picture Mii-Kun. But… still…
I feel I should also provide a disclaimer for dog lovers and people who cannot watch animal abuse of any sort: there is an extremely disturbing scene where a dog is killed. It is shown in full glory, so be aware if you decide to watch this. The death was also one-hundred-percent useless, which may contribute to your overall hatred for this occurrence.
Calamity of a Zombie (MUMMY) Girl is a horrible anime. If you can keep a super open-mind and think of it as a satirical rompy tribute to old school Western horror films, then it is significantly easier and less frustrating to watch, albeit not much better. But if you are craving a serious horror experience, you will not get it here. I think somewhere along the line the creators just stopped giving any fucks about what they were doing with this ONA. The only reason I gave the anime the extra star is because… well, boobs are boobs. *shrugs*