‘Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead’ (Original title: Zom 100: Zombie ni Naru made ni Shitai 100 no Koto) is an action fantasy film directed by Yusuke Ishida. The Japanese-language thriller tells the story of a newly-appointed corporate worker who soon gets caught up in a life-threatening adventure. Written by Haro Aso, Tatsuro Mishima, and Kotaro Takata, the script navigates the nature of corporate slavery and how it sucks the life out of a person. With his death possibly on the way, the protagonist decides to finish his bucket list. The thoroughly entertaining movie is now available to watch on Netflix.

*Spoilers Ahead* 

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis

What is ‘Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead’ about?

Akira Tendo (Eiji Akaso) is over-the-moon about his first full-time job. He walks to the office believing ‘Office is Family.’ The first day goes by like a breeze and ends with him having drinks with his colleagues, Yamaguchi & Yoshida, and his senior, Gonzo Kosugi (Kazuki Kitamura), as a part of his welcome party. Right after, he realizes how the slogan means people expect you to work overtime without any rewards. He gets tired of this struggle within days and wishes to find a way out. His friend, Kencho (Shuntaro Yanagi), refuses to have such a corporate slave mentality. Akira’s co-worker, Onitori, who’s often praised by others, also does not like her job. Nevertheless, Akira develops a crush on her.

After a while of suffering in the corporate rut, Akira notices a zombie on his way to the office. He runs away to save himself. This gives him a reason to finally be happy – since he does not have to work anymore! He lies on a rooftop and relishes his freedom for some time. Then, he suddenly thinks about whether Onitori is safe. He climbs down and asks a married couple if they want anything delivered. Later, he gets hold of a bicycle and rides it to Onitori’s place. He notices that her partner is a zombie. Since he bites her, she also becomes a zombie. As a result, Akira’s dreams of having a life with Onitori shatter. It also gives him a reality check – things are not as dandy as he thought & death is inevitable.

Since Akira now understands the possibility of death, he starts listing down all his wishes on a bucket list. He decides to make the most of the life he has left. Akira rides a motorcycle, cooks dishes, and sets off a fireworks display. But by Day 5, he gets tired of fulfilling them. In the supermarket, he sees a woman, masked under a helmet, who kicks him down. The ever-desperate Akira also develops a crush on her. This woman – Shizuka (Mai Shiraishi), saves him from a group of zombies by cutting their throats. But she hates Akira’s savior complex and refuses to let him tag along.

Akira and Kencho

Back home, Akira calls Kencho out of loneliness. At the time, Kencho was stuck in a love hotel, surrounded by zombies. He was too afraid to make any move. So, Akira considers it as a chance to be a hero and save his friend. He puts on made-up armor and rides his bike to Kencho’s place. With loud music, Akira diverts the zombies and heads toward the love hotel. He rescues his friend and then apologizes for his past behavior. While having drinks, Akira talks about his bucket list and his desire to be a superhero. The next day, he also finds out about a shark suit that can protect someone’s entire body from shark bites. Kencho does not take Akira’s wish too seriously.

The two friends stumble upon a place where they can create a safe heaven. They invited two female flight attendants who were also looking for a place away from the zombies. Shizuka also happens to be hiding there. Akira thinks that he can fulfill one of his wishes by being with one of the women. Unfortunately, he fails to impress them, and Kencho effortlessly attracts them.

Meanwhile, Shizuka helps Akira bandage his wound. When the two women are trying to entertain Kencho, a zombie arrives behind her back and bites her. Both the women turn into zombies, leaving Akira, Kencho, and Shizuka to run for their lives. The three open the shutter and get out. Then they drive away from a found van.

The Aquarium

Zom 100 Bucket List of the Dead (2023) Ending Explained - HOF
Eiji Akaso in Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (2023)

Shizuka gets upset that Akira keeps feeling like he needs to save her. Soon after, she loses her anger and starts bonding well with her companions. They go have fun with activities from Akira’s bucket list and forget about zombies for a while. Shizuka slowly starts to ease up and become more comfortable around the two men. One morning, while heading to an aquarium, their car skids on the road.

The next thing Akira sees is his previous boss, Kosugi’s face. He thinks he’s dreaming, but it is, in fact, his reality. It turns out Kosugi started using the aquarium as an endless source of food and getting people to work for him like in a corporate job without any complaints. Like other humans, he also sways Akira’s mind toward servitude.

Shizuka and Kencho learn how the people in Kosugi’s aquarium business partake because of the safety net it provides. These people fear the constant threat of zombies in the outside world. Like them, Akira gets brainwashed and refuses to leave the aquarium. Shizuka sees the bucket list Akira made about 100 things he wanted to do before becoming a zombie.

She tries to remind him of the same desires and sway his mind against tyrannical Kosugi. Her heartfelt appeal makes Akira consider refusing compliance with Kosugi’s system. Soon after, chaos ensues in the facility due to the presence of some zombies. Despite being the chief, Kosugi ran away instead of standing up for his workers.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead (2023) Movie Ending Explained:

Do Akira, Kencho, and Shizuka stay alive in the end?

It turns out the humans inside the aquarium don’t need to fear just the zombies. They find another threat through a shark, who breaks out of the glass. The humans run away and find a safe spot for the time being. However, Kosugi is not there with them. So, Akira decides to be brave and save the man, despite how terrible he is. Kencho helps Akira get ready in a superhero costume. Then, Akira goes out and bravely fights the menacing shark. It still does not turn Kosugi into a good person, and he continues to act selfishly.

Eventually, Kencho drives a car to save Akira from the shark’s capture. Akira fights with the zombies and still suffers no effect from their bites. While he and Shizuka manage to win against a group of zombies, the shark is still a threat. Shizuka decides to electrocute the Shark to weaken it—the three work as a group to defeat the shark. Later on, all the humans leave the aquarium with the available resources and deny working tirelessly. Soon after, Kosugi walks out and is furious at them for leaving.

The humans make Kousugi realize how one can never be a hero if they bail on people when required. In the end, they consider Akira to be a hero since he selflessly works for them. In a way, this fulfills Akira’s dream of being a superhero. On their way out, Akira asks Kenchi and Shizuka to work on making their wishes come true. The entire film is a commentary on the corporate world disguised as a zombie apocalypse flick. Akira’s refusal to leave his steady job due to the fear of its safety net reflects how corporate structures work. After all, you will never find the joys of your life or fulfill your desires without confronting the threats present in the world around you.

Read More: Netflix in August 2023: New Shows and Movies to Watch


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