AMC’s The Walking Dead won’t be around forever — in fact, it’s looking like it’s nearing its finale. Bad news for zombie lovers? Not necessarily. There’s plenty of cool zombie anime out there, and more is being made all the time! Stock up on necessities, settle in on the sofa, and check out these three very different anime series starring the undead and the people who fight them.
High School of the Dead
If you’re looking for equal parts zombie hunting action and fanservice, High School of the Dead has you covered. Based on Daisuke Sato and Shoji Sato’s action/horror manga, the 2010 series sees a group of high school classmates and their school nurse braving the zombie apocalypse. Much like The Walking Dead, the biggest threat isn’t necessarily from zombies, or “Them” (because these kids are Not Using the “Z” Word). Equally dangerous are the state of the world in general, and their fellow survivors in particular. But their own little crew turns out to be surprisingly capable — and they even know to double-tap.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and the zombie hunters of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress exemplify this. Set in a steampunk Japanese twist on the Industrial Revolution, people are fighting back against the kabane: an extra-durable type of zombie whose heart is protected by a layer of iron. Here to help are the Kabaneri, human/kabane hybrids with super strength and endurance. Our hero, Ikoma, becomes one of these Kabaneri through sheer willpower and a tourniquet. Fans of classic anime Gunbuster and Macross will recognize the art style of Haruhiko Mikimoto in the character designs.
ZOMBIE LAND SAGA
Zombies need love, too! 2018’s ZOMBIE LAND SAGA was a surprising twist on the genre: instead of attacking humans, these zombie idols are saving humanity through the power of music. Each of idol group Franchouchou’s singers was resurrected from a different time period, and include a Meiji-era courtesan, a 90s biker, Showa and Heisei idols, a TV star, and… whatever Tae Yamada is. Protagonist Sakura was an idol hopeful in life, and she — along with the rest — must navigate both the hard life of a pop star and the perils of being one of the undead. Both inside and outside the show, the group is helping to revitalize Saga Prefecture.
With such a variety of zombie anime, you’ll never be short of something to watch… even when The Walking Dead shuffles off this mortal coil.