Zom 100 Shows There's Something Scarier Than a Zombie Apocalypse
Image via Bug Films

Zom 100 Shows There’s Something Even Scarier Than a Zombie Apocalypse

There's more than one way to be turned into a lifeless husk.

Those who have tuned into the first few episodes of Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead were likely blown away by its quality, but also by the fact that its namesake monster isn’t the main source of dread for its characters.

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Despite the snarling, oozing undead creatures seen shambling around the post-apocalyptic world, another force hangs heavy over the head of the show’s protagonists. It’s an insidious thing, and it slowly but surely latched onto him and refused to let go for years on end as his life slowly drained away along with any joy or happiness he once felt. In many ways, it made him no better than the reanimated husks that are currently tearing his world apart.

And the name of this true antagonistic force, which hovers constantly in Zom 100 and puts decaying, flesh-hungry creatures to shame, is something everyone has likely heard of in this day and age: Burnout.

Zom 100 Shows There's Something Even Scarier Than a Zombie Apocalypse
Image via Bug Films

Yes, Burnout the foe of creativity and productivity. It’s a state of being which sees one having little to no drive due to overwork or being stuck in a highly stressful situation for an extended period of time, usually from work. Those experiencing it can feel a lack of joy or motivation in anything and everything they do. In the worst of cases, they can even describe a lack of will to live, hobbling on through life without any sort of drive.

It’s far from a new affliction, but has become more widely recognized in recent years. This is partially due to the rise of the Self Care trend and higher recognition among employers, but also due to the increased need for people to work longer and harder in order to keep up with their daily needs.

Regardless, it has become an emotional and mental malady that can be a gateway to more serious issues such as depression and suicidal tendencies. And, as Zom 100 shows, it can feel nearly impossible to snap out of.

Prior to the zombie apocalypse kicking off, Akira is a poster child for trying to push through Burnout unsuccessfully. He constantly puts his health on the line for his work because he feels those around him need him to, and is left feeling too exhausted to do anything else in his limited free time. He likewise is shown to be less and less human the longer this affliction takes hold of him, barely registering the world around him unless it offers him a possible escape from how he’s feeling.

Even after he breaks out of it thanks to the realization that an apocalypse means he no longer has work to worry about, the symptoms are still there. He has nightmares about being unable to escape this miserable state of being, and has to slowly piece his life back together after years of neglecting his family, friends, and health.

Zom 100 Shows There's Something Even Scarier Than a Zombie Apocalypse
Image via Bug Films

It’s a scarily accurate depiction of what Burnout is like, and those who have dealt with this force before were likely drawn back into memories of its influence. No matter how terrifying a ceaseless wave of carnivorous corpses may be, it pales in comparison to something that can rip the life out of you without so much as a claw or tooth.

And I can say all of this is accurate because I’ve gone through exactly what Akira did. I put in ungodly hours at a job that didn’t fulfill me. I worked sun-up to sun-down because I wanted to make sure I was contributing enough to those around me, and put the people, activities, and simple pleasures that made me happy on the back burner. This all led to me being so burnt out I was a shell of who I used to be, and didn’t find joy or hope in anything I did anymore.

It was only after I left my job entirely that things finally started to get better. I was able to see past the endless grind of a dead-end job, and realize I could exist without working myself intro the ground in the name of results or productivity. Even then, I still had nightmares about being stuck in that state again, and am still haunted by the thought of ever getting stuck in that state again.

At the same time though, Zom 100 offers a positive view on overcoming Burnout. Though it might not be immediate, one can overcome it slowly but surely, taking the time to do the things that make one happy. It could mean cleaning up one’s room after months or years of neglect; enjoying a beer outside of business obligations; or planning a trip to see some family one hasn’t seen in forever.

Will this immediately make one’s issues caused by Burnout better? maybe not, but it will set them on the way to overcoming it. Even if Burnout is scarier than any zombie ever could be, it’s just as possible to overcome, and to reach a happier ending waiting beyond it.

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Keenan McCall
Keenan has been a nerd from an early age, watching anime and playing games for as long as I can remember. Since obtaining a bachelor's degree in journalism back in 2017, he has written thousands of articles covering gaming, animation, and entertainment topics galore.