The cycle has started once more with Natsuyuki Rendezvous introducing us to a flower shop ghost by the name of Atsushi Shimao. He is the latest in a long line of friendly dead things that lurks about as if being dead is nothing but a slight hinderance in the grand scheme of things.
I remember a time when zombies and ghosts were something to be feared and gave me nightmares as a child. But now we have these cute ghost girls and zombie bros who are buddies and potential girlfriends. Normally you’d think being dead is a bad thing but in anime it’s the opposite. When you die in anime you gain super powers but usually there is a small trade off which makes you endearing.
Ayumu Aikawa trades the ability to stand in direct sunlight for super strength and a harem. Something I’d be willing to do.
Rea Sanka trades her crappy overbearing dad for the ability to not feel pain and a boyfriend.
Yuuko Kanoe trades the ability to leave school for pretty much every ghost ability and a boyfriend
Atsushi Shimao trades life for ghost abilites too.
So being dead seems to be a blessing when it comes to anime characters. It’s not all fun and games but nine times out of ten it’s for the best and makes for an interesting story. That is as long as you die before the series starts or in the first episode. This is important to take note of because if you die later on it’s bad news for you.
There is always that one in ten chance that being dead is a bad thing and it makes you are targeted by the townsfolk/students to be killed once more. Both in Shiki and Another dead things are looked down upon and are killed once more. Being revived part way into an anime usually brings about the wrath of all those who are still alive and killing them isn’t helping your cause in the long run…. Unless you are a zombie because killing is something you need to do to survive.
What is the fascination with being dead and why is it so appealing? Is it just a convenient way to make a character unique and give them special traits or is there some underlying desire to explore this genre and exploit it? Lets just be grateful they aren’t aliens; that’s a topic for another day.