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How is Undead Unluck? Community score: 4.1
© Yoshifumi Totsuka/Shueisha/Undead Unluck Production Committee
“Dream” is a perfectly serviceable half-episode of Undead Unluck that unfortunately stretches out to fill a half-hour of running time. The sloppy editing and erratic pacing make it much easier to start ironing out all the episode’s flaws. It’s almost a perfect setup for a cheap joke. In a story where the characters are fighting against clocks that are imprinted into their flesh, Undead Unluck seems equally interested in moving things along.
The episode begins with a recap from the narrator, although the plot of last week’s episode was simple enough to be summed up in a single sentence: “The group travels to a town in Nevada that has been overrun by zombies The spoiler made by UMA is called’Spoil’, and Andy finds a zombie girl to marry for plot reasons. A long flashback to Spoil’s arrival in Longing, NV, occurs immediately after the reintroduction of the sewer children encountered by Shen and Fuko, which exists only to explain that Andy’s new zombie wife is the children’s teacher, obsessed with marriage. Finally, just when it seems like the episode is about to start making some moves, the next few minutes of the episode are filled with confusing edits and even more flashbacks — sometimes scenes in other flashbacks in the same episode — all of which are trying extremely hard to make you care about this zombie girl who was also a kind teacher in life when she and her horde of corpses died in the local town rushing headlong into a fruitless attack against Spoil.
It would be a little silly and cheesy even if “Dream” didn’t sound like a half-finished homework assignment that a student hastily turned in just minutes before the deadline; the strange editing just makes it all that much more striking. It also means that the plot of “Dream” doesn’t really even begin to move forward in a meaningful way from where we left off at the end of “Spoil” until the episode is halfway done , which just kills any sense of tension or excitement that Unlucky Undead had.
Once everything settles down, the plot improves significantly in the last few minutes of the episode. The action here isn’t particularly exciting, and none of our heroes have anything to do until the end of the episode. Fuko’s inspirational and defiant speech about the power of dreams is the kind of dumb anime cheese that’s actually fun when done right, but when my brain starts working again and notices that Undead Unluck ready to entertain again, the credits are rolling. What a disappointment. Hopefully all of this silliness will feel even a little bit worth it in retrospect when we soon see the true conclusion of The Booty Hunt.
Undead Unluck is now streaming on Hulu.
James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop culture, which you can also find on Twitter his blog and his podcast.