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File:Sankareaaa 4536.jpg

 Chihiro: Me? I'm not into living chicks! Ah, how I'd like to meet a cute zombie-girl... I want to go out with a girl whose arm is almost ripped out and guts are flowing out! But I guess there's no way that will happen, right?

Rea: Then... if I ever become a zombie... will you take responsibility?

In the vast ocean of manga, there are those about girlfriends, there are those about Magical Girlfriends... and then there's Sankarea. From Mitsuru Hattori, the author of Umisho, comes his latest romance comedy about... a zombie girlfriend.

Chihiro Furuya is a high school student with a fascination for zombies; movies, books, games, plushies... To revive his cat, Babu, who died a few days ago in an accident, he's been trying to make a "resurrection" (read: zombification) potion in an abandoned building in the past few days. Incidentally, there's another person who's been visiting the area: Rea, a Yamato Nadeshiko Ojou from a wealthy family and an idol to everybody in the neighborhood, who lives under the shadow of an oppressive father. After finding out what Chihiro's been trying to make, she helps him with the potion while slipping out a mention that she'd also like to die and be reborn.

After Rea's father finds out what she's been doing, he sends his personal guard to get her. In the middle of the scuffle, she falls off a cliff and dies impaled by a tree... after drinking the zombification potion, however.

An anime adaptation was greenlit, and currently airs as part of the Spring 2012 Anime season (simulcast by Funimation). Quite impressive for a manga that's only 20 chapters in.


Tropes presented by Sanka Rea

  • Bland-Name Product: "Conan HD".
  • Boy Meets Girl -> Boy Meets Ghoul
  • But Not Too Foreign: Implied, since Chihiro's grandfather is named Boyle, which is definitely not a Japanese name.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Darin. Probably because she's 14 years old.
  • Cat Smile: Chihiro has a cat face very often, since his hair itself is shaped like a cat's head. Which also ties into the "Cat & Dog" theme with his cousin Wan[1]ko.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Chapter 16, quite a nice moment, just before things go wrong.
  • Came Back Wrong: The zombification process is nowhere near perfect, and much of the plot is focused around solving these problems.
  • Childhood Friends: Wanko.
  • Censor Box: Apparently, the editors are perfectly okay showing Wanko completely naked, (Link NSFW), but decide to censor the wound that killed Rea Link.
    • The joke being that the latter turns Chihiro on, the former not.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Once Sanka's Horror Hunger starts to kick in.
  • Character Title: The manga's title comes from Rea's full name: Sanka, Rea. For this reason, the official subs keep the reversed name order.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Judging from Kuramiya's reaction, the fact that Rea took the zombie potion while she was still alive seems to have been very important regarding why she's different from other zombies.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Wanko has had a crush on Chihiro since they were very little. However, it is very one sided.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Wanko.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The maids decide to punish Rea...by dressing her up in cosplay outfits.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Chihiro! Not only does he deliver a Reason You Suck Speech to Rea's dad, he also gives him a headbutt... after getting stabbed through the stomach!
    • His grandfather. Apparently, he was the one who developed the resurrection potion. Probably a zombie himself, as he's able to eat hydrangea leaves.
    • Another theory for being able to eat hydrangea is that Chihiro's grandfather had been exposed to amounts of zombie potion that far exceed the lethal dosage. Darin says that it's what made him senile.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Babu without limiters effortlessly kills a large fox.
  • Cute Kitten: Babu.
  • Cute Monster Girl
  • Deadpan Snarker: Chihiro's sister.
  • Distressed Damsel: Actually subverted. Rea gets super-zombie strength from being undead, so the men sent to bring her back to her father fail miserably. Plan B, however, brings us to...
  • Distressed Dude: Chihiro is abducted when it becomes clear that taking Rea isn't going to be a simple matter. Played for laughs when one of the Rea maids brings him a drink, and he quickly snaps out of his courteous thank you to start screaming for help, as we're shown that he's still strapped to a chair.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Darin passionately loves being barefoot to the point she gets a sexual thrill out of rubbing them on Chihiro's face.
  • Driven to Suicide: The zombification potion is made from poisonous plants. Rea steals some, and after her father bars her from ever leaving her house again, drinks it. Unfortunately, being made into the potion detoxifies it. Fortunately, the effect lingers enough to bring her back when she does die.
    • Also, Wanko, in an emotional fit, takes zombification drugs in an effort to get Chihiro to like her. Fortunately, the drugs were harmless, and Wanko realizes that Chihiro would have loved Rea regardless of whether Rea was a zombie or not.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies
  • Evil Stepmother: Aira certainly counts, as she shows no concern for Rea's well being and shows more concern with her career.
  • Evolving Credits: Starting episode 4, the ending credit shows zombie!Rea, replacing human!Rea from the first 3 episodes.
  • Hair Decorations/Flower in Her Hair: Rea.
  • Feel No Pain
  • Fetish Fuel Station Attendant: Darin, through seductive face massages with her bare feet.
  • First Episode Page Spoiler: The very first page begins with a shot of Rea from the back (though her face isn't shown until a few pages later), with her guts hanging out. Hard to believe how cute she looks afterwards.
  • Foot Focus: Darin seems to enjoy using her feet.
  • Freudian Excuse: Rea's father is so so obsessed with her because she resembles her dead mother, who her father loved very much.
  • Fridge Horror: An in-universe example, from Chihiro (paraphased):

  "Rea can't move? Oh, it's just rigor mortis... wait a minute... Oh Crap, she's decaying!"

    • If the flashbacks are any indication, Chihiro's grandfather might have had a hand in the death of Chichiro's mother.
    • Not to mention wondering about what Babu has been doing behind the scenes.
  • Gender Blender Name: Chihiro.
  • Gilded Cage: Rea, to the point she decided to commit suicide after she was restricted even further from even going to school.
  • Head Pet: Babu's favorite spot seemed to be on top of Mero's head.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: Ranko ends up stuck in a tunnel while she and Furuya chase Babu in Chapter/Episode 3.
  • Hime Cut: Rea with Fashionable Asymmetry.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Wanko seems to think of herself as one towards Chihiro.
  • Horror Hunger: Subverted. It initially looks like Rea wants human flesh. She actually eats hydrangea leaves. (Hydrangea is the poisonous plant used in the reanimation potion, and she needs the poison to stay undead.)
    • It's back. As the zombie progresses to the next stage of zombie-hood, their ability to differentiate between affection, lust, and hunger disappears, and Rea states that the thought of eating someone she loves is romantic...
      • It's back yet again. At the final page of Chapter 16 Rea tries to eat Chihiro and bites him on the neck.
  • Irony: At the end of #6, Chihiro gets permission to let Rea live openly in their house. The catch? Their dad is a priest, so their house is technically a shrine.
    • In Hattori's words, "enshrining a zombie".
    • This is just one of many jokes about life and death.

  Rea: "Whatever shall we do if a dead pecrson really does appear?"

  • Jerkass: Aria (Rea's stepmother) who was more concerned about Rea' running away affecting her position as Chairman then caring about what actually happened to her.
  • Karma Houdini: Nobody even thinks of trying to get Rea's dad arrested for taking naked pictures of his own daughter or attempting to kill a high school student out of pure jealousy, mostly because he is a Villain with Good Publicity, so there's not much Rea or Chihiro can do about it.
  • Kissing Cousins: Wanko has an obvious crush on Chihiro. Being the male lead in a romantic comedy series, he's totally oblivious to it.
  • Knight Templar Parent / Abusive Parents : Both of Rea's parents. Her father in particular is really extreme, and it's not played for laughs. When he catches Rea returning home from sneaking out at night alone, and escorted by a boy, he gives her a lashing!
    • The anime even expains upon his Disproportionate Retribution side of his Knight Templar actions: when she was walking to a maid and fell over he immediately fired the maid, when Rea was approached by a kitten she never saw it again, when Rea told a friend about how her father takes pictures of her he has her friend's father's company fire him and transferred far away. When he discovers who Chihiro was that Rea befriended he ordered to have the boy castrated.
    • It Gets Worse. Her father's obsession with Rea and her "purity" gets really creepy when it's revealed that he takes nude photos of her every year "to measure her growth" (he's got a whole room full of them framed on the walls). As for the mother, she seems to care for her daughter only as for how she impacts her job, and so is perfectly fine with imposing strict limitations on Sanka while not giving a damn about her well-being or her problems. Their reaction to their daughter dying and coming back is... well, see for yourselves over the next few pages.
      • At the end of #9, he complies to his daughter's wish following another speech from Chihiro. He hasn't softened up all the way, but at least seems negotiable now. His action stem from the fact that her real mother died giving birth to her.
    • The Mother is worse, as since she never gave birth to Rea, but rather another woman did, she honestly couldn't care less about her. She's actually jealous.
  • Lonely Rich Kid
  • Luminescent Blush: Rea gets a lot of these despite the fact that for being dead no blood should be circulating to do so.
  • Mad Scientist: Kuramiya. Even Chihiro calls her out on that.
  • Male Gaze
  • Mistaken for Spies: A variant. Just when Rea's Dad's thugs are about to grab Rea, Sutaka shows up and abruptly drags her away. The thugs briefly wonder if they were spotted, and "Just who is that guy?" Of course, he turns out to not have anything to do with anything, and just thinks Rea is cute.
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    • Chihiro, Chihiro, Chihiro.

  Chihiro: "[...] I'd like to meet a cute zombie girl... I want to go out with a girl whose arm is also ripped out and guts are flowing out..."

      • And of course, when it finally happens, he takes it very well.
      • However, in chapter 20, he declares that he fell in love with Rea before she became a zombie. He also states that telling her about his zombie fetish was partly a lie, since he was originally aiming for scaring her away so she wouldn't interrupt his experiments.
    • A couple of hints suggest that his younger sister Mero might like ghosts as well. She pretty much looks and dresses like one.
    • Kuramiya is also just as equally obsessed with zombies for research, if not more than Chihiro.
  • Non Standard Character Design: Rea after becoming a zombie namely her eyes.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: This one's cute. Aside from that, they keep their full original personalities and intelligence, and are exceptionally strong. Unfortunately, unless preserved, they rot. Unlike Return of the Living Dead, they don't seem to feel any pain from it.
    • Although as of the chapter 13 it's been revealed this is just Rea's "fresh stage" and in about a week she's going to be turned into a "normal" zombie.
      • She went into the Hunger State and couldn't separate her feelings from her hunger and tried to eat Chihiro, but she snapped out of it.
        • In chapter 27 it's discovered that Rea is a new kind of zombie as she is the first recorded zombie to have consumed the resurrection drug while still alive.
  • Overprotective Dad: Rea's father wanted to have Chihiro castrated just for associating with his daughter.
    • Don't forget the attempted murder.
  • Parental Incest: He takes pictures of her naked on her birthday, collapses in the bathtub with countless images of his daughter around him, wanted to kill a boy for simply being near his daughter, neglects his wife completely. Dear gosh you can pretty much list everything here besides any actual intercourse and expect him to have done it.
  • Pervert Dad
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Babu, who got Chihiro interested in reviving him.
  • The Power of Love: Might be what allowed Rea to regain her humanity.
    • A Squick version is Rea's father, who wanted to "clean her body with his love".
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Rea, she then takes it Up to Eleven after she is revived.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Or the inverse of it, rather. Rea can only keep "living" if she regularly eats a (specific) poisonous plant.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Rea inherited her Purple Eyes from her father. After her zombification, her eyes turned red, symbolizing her freedom by severing that relation.
  • Shout-Out: A Highschool of the Dead wrist communicator.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Chihiro's cousin's name is often spelled as either Wanko or Ranko
    • In Episode 5 one character called her Wanko where another called her Ranko.
  • The Stoic: Chihiro's sister, Mero, who displays a very subdued personality because she feels that's proper for someone living at a shrine.
    • Not So Stoic: There are occasions where she shows more emotion, such as when Babu dies, and when she notices the similarities between her late mother and Rea.
  • Super Strength: Rea. According to Chihiro, it could be because the limiter in her brain is gone because she's dead.
    • Kuramiya. Or at least, super jumping ability. She's human, but giving yourself zombie poison also removes that brain limiter, similar to what happened to Chihiro during his fight with Rea's father.
    • Babu the cat has enough strength to kill a large fox with only a few hits.
    • Chihiro also gets brief bouts of this whenever he's bitten by a zombie, since the injection of small amounts of the poison into his system turns him into a half-zombie.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Kuramiya is able to easily infiltrate Rea's high school, remarking that all she had to do was wear the uniform.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ranko and Rea.
  • Troll: Chihiro does seem to be in the habit of putting people on the spot for his own amusement.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Chihiro's sister seems quite calm at the sight of their naked grandpa running around in the house. Then again, Grandpa's senile, so this has probably happened before.
  • Weirdness Censor: Chihiro's family doesn't seem to be concerned at all that they have a zombie living in their house.
  • X Meets Y: Romantic Comedy meets Zombie film.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Rea. Brutally deconstructed, which is why she follows Chihiro after she dies.
  • Yandere: Rea's father in spades.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Chihiro's 12 year old sister is a big fan of this, if the translators at mangafox are to be believed.
  • Younger Than They Look: Kuramiya is 14. Yeah, that's right. Younger than Chihiro and Rea, but the dress and high heels she wore in her first appearance made her look mid twenties at least. This is constantly Lampshaded by both Chihiro and Rea.

Notes

  1. Japanese onomatopoeia for a dog's bark.
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