Manga series Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is getting the adaptation treatment this summer, with the anime series premiere on July 9 and a live action movie on August 3. The story follows Akira Tendou, a corporate slave who one day finds out zombies have taken over the city. Filled with joy that he no longer has to work his job, he creates a bucket list of 100 items he’d like to complete before he becomes a zombie. At Anime Expo, APA sat down with Eiji Akaso, who plays the protagonist, in the live action film about his role and experience filming Zom 100.
To start off, Akaso shares a lot in common with his character. Akira thinks that a zombie apocalypse is like heaven (because it means he doesn’t have to work anymore), and Akaso shared to a cheering crowd at Anime Expo that his #1 dream was to be chased by zombies, which he accomplished through filming Zom 100. Playing Akira was enjoyable for Akaso for other reasons as well. “It was fun to cross off all the items Akira had on his bucket list. Things like doing a barbecue at home, lighting fireworks, and riding a motorcycle. Those were all fun experiences for me, and it was like I was enjoying my life through Akira.”
Even if a zombie apocalypse may be a good tradeoff for not working, it would be pretty lonely without friends. “I got along really well with my co-stars,” shared Akaso. “We went out for dinner often and talked a lot in between filming about everyday life, and other things like psychic powers and YouTube videos. It was really fun.”
While Zom 100 is a humorous take on the zombie apocalypse, it isn’t all fun and games. The biggest showdown of the film is against a horrific shark zombie that can walk on land with its dozens of human legs with flippers on their feet. “When filming, the shark zombie wasn’t actually there, so I did have to use my imagination. The only real part on set was the face, and there was some weight to it, so I was able to do some action around just the face,” said Akaso. “As for the rest of the shark zombie, I had no idea how it would react or move. I had to imagine how to interact with it, which was challenging.”
At its core, Zom 100 is about living your life the way you want and following your dreams, big or small. As for big dreams, Akaso shared that he’d like to travel to Egypt and visit the pyramids. As for small ones, he said he wanted to clean his room with an embarrassed chuckle. Although not present at Anime Expo, Haro Aso, creator of Zom 100, prepared a letter for the convention audience. “Regardless of whether our lives last one more day or 60 more years, life is too short not to do whatever we want to do,” he wrote. “I wish for everyone to check off as many items on your bucket list before you become a zombie.”