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

‘Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead,’ the live-action Netflix adaptation of the eponymous anime series, is a dystopian comedy film directed by Yûsuke Ishida. After a nationwide zombie apocalypse hits Japan, Akira Tendo, a young office worker, finds an escape from his soul-sucking corporate job. No longer under the torment of his boss, Gonzô Kosugi, Akira comes up with a list of the 100 things he wants to do before turning into a zombie. Embarking on a road trip with his best friend, Kenichiro “Kencho” Ryuzaki, and a tough, no-nonsense Shizuka Mikazuki, Akira sets out to cross everything from his bucket list, including his lifelong wish of saving people and becoming a superhero.

If you’re curious to see how the end of the world brings about a new age for Akira and his pals and where it takes their stories, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Plot Synopsis

When Akira Tendo joins his first corporate job at Master Shot, he expects it to be the best workplace for him with friendly co-workers, charming higher-ups, and his team leader, Gonzô Kosugi, a legend in the field. However, he realizes the reality behind the job when he has to work overtime on his first day and pull consecutive all-nighters. As an entire year flies by, Akira finds himself living in a nightmare where he’s worked to the bone with barely any respite.

Soon, the young man finds it hard to get out of bed but drags his feet to the office regularly for fear of reprimands and punishments. Therefore, when one of Akira’s mornings starts with undead zombies chasing him through his apartment complex, it’s one of Akira’s better days in a while. As the realization that society’s collapse means his freedom from work and Kosugi dawns on Akira, he’s quick to celebrate. Shortly after, Akira contacts Saori Ohtori, a superior, whom he has been in love with for the past year, and learns about her location.

Nevertheless, when he arrives at her flat, he finds her under attack by their company director, whom she’s been having an affair with. Although Akira tries to save her, Ohtori gets bitten by their zombie director and succumbs to a similar fate. As a result, Akira realizes the importance of living life to the fullest and starts working on a bucket list to ensure he dies without any regrets. As Akira continues to mark off the list of items day by day, he realizes he’s incredibly lonely after a brief interaction with another survivor.

Consequently, Akira reaches out to his best friend, Kencho, on day five. Even though the pair had a falling out before the apocalypse started, Akira decides to help Kencho when he learns that the latter is stuck in a “love house,” overrun by zombies. After saving Kencho’s life, Akira finds another item to add to his bucket list: become a superhero. As such, Akira and Kencho plan to travel to Ibaraki, where an aquarium has a “shark suit” made of steel.

Eventually, Akira and Kencho come across Shizuka, the survivor Akira met a few days ago. Shizuka, a guarded loner, doesn’t wish to travel with the duo, but after they save her life and offer her a ride to their shared destination Ibaraki, she reluctantly agrees. Over the next few days, the trio makes the journey to the aquarium in their camper. Along the way, they cross off several items from Akira’s bucket list, like sup yoga and paragliding.

However, their cheerful journey comes to an end upon their arrival at Ibaraki Aquarium, where they find Kosugi running a tight shift, having turned the place into a survival camp reminiscent of Akira’s old company. Under his boss’s influence, Akira reverts back to his old self, unthinking and following orders. Eventually, Kencho and Shizuka find an escape from the aquarium by fixing up their old camper. Nonetheless, when they try to persuade Akira to leave, he hesitantly turns down their offer.

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead Ending: Does Akira Leave Kosugi’s Company?

At the story’s start, Akira is immensely unhappy at his job but completely lacks the conviction to quit. In fact, it takes the end of the world for Akira to start enjoying life again. Akira has always romanticized the idea of the corporate world, which is evident by his overexcitement at the start of his first day on the job. Therefore, even after he realizes the harrowing truth behind such a workforce, he’s unable to quit.

Akira thinks he’s lucky to have an opportunity to work for such a company, regardless of their over-exploitative work culture. The same thing happens when Akira crosses paths with Kosugi again at the aquarium. Since Kosugi and his employees were at the location when the apocalypse hit, they took over the place, taking in refugees and keeping them under their thumbs. Essentially, Kosugi reinvents his office within the aquarium with workers doing the grunt work while he and the other high-ups indulge in luxury.

Kosugi instills the belief in everyone that they can’t survive without him. The aquarium is a shelter that provides the safest bet at survival since the building provides good protection and its fish offers plenty of food supply. As such, by being at the right place at the right time, Kosugi has asserted dominance over the area backed by his workforce. Due to this, Kosugi convinces Akira that by staying at the aquarium, Akira can ensure he and his friends remain safe.

Although the manipulation works over Akira for a while, he’s able to break through it with Kencho and Shizuka’s help. The duo helps Akira realize that living a dangerous and unpredictable life is better than becoming a mindless zombie in the corporate world. They remind Akira of his bucket list, which showcases Akira’s true fun-loving self.

Throughout the film, Akira runs headfirst into danger if it stands in the way of what he wants. Akira only becomes anxious and stressed when Kosugi reminds him to be fearful of the unknown. As such, Kencho and Shizuka successfully break Akira out of Kosugi’s control, and Akira happily quits Kosugi’s company, choosing to live by his own rules instead.

How Does The Trio Defeat The Shark-Zombie?

Shortly after Akira quits and discards Kosugi’s influence over his life, a horde of zombies breaks into the aquarium after the building’s defense system fails. As infected zombies take over the place, they throw several of their victims into the aquarium’s giant tanks. Due to the same, the great white shark in one of the tanks eats a few zombies, turning itself into an undead being as well. Still, as it flops out of the tank to the outside, it can hardly hurt the people considering it can’t walk on land.

However, in the film’s more outlandish turn of events, the zombies inside the shark’s belly come to life with their feet protruding from the shark’s underbelly, granting it the means to chase after humans. Thus, the shark zombie is born. At first, Akira and his friends guide the survivors inside a supply closet to keep them safe from the zombies outside.

Nevertheless, once Akira realizes Kosugi is still out, vulnerable against the monsters, he decides to help his former boss. Luckily, the closet holds the infamous shark suit, lined with steel that would prevent the zombies from biting into the wearer’s skin. Akira dons the suit and goes out to help Kosugi by facing off against the army of zombies and the shark-zombie.

Near the final showdown, Shizuka and Kencho arrive to help Akira. As Akira tries and fails to fight the shark zombie, Shizuka comes up with a plan. She attaches two batteries together and instructs Akira to smash them into the shark’s nose. Sharks have an ultra-sensitive tool inside their heads that helps them detect prey. As such, since Akira is basically a walking conductor in his metal suit if Akira smashes the battery into the shark, it will create a reaction that will defeat the monster.

Kencho throws the battery at Akira, marking his growth as he overcomes his anxiety that makes him freeze during intense, high-stakes situations. Akira smashes the batteries into the shark, defeating it through electrocution, but more importantly, teamwork.

What Happens to Kosugi?

After Akira and his friends save the aquarium from the deadly zombie attack, the residents, whatever’s left of them, realize that Kosugi never had their best interest at heart. Although it is always blatantly clear that Kosugi is exploiting everyone, the people stay with him because they believe he will keep them safe from the threat lurking in the outside world. Consequently, when Kosugi abandons everyone, choosing to save his own skin, it makes people see his true colors. In contrast, Akira protects everyone by risking his own life. He even refuses to leave Kosugi behind, depicting a remarkable sense of honor and kindness.

As a result, the people realize that Kosugi is only a coward and that they will be better off without Kosugi. Inspired by Akira and his friends’ passion for making their way into the world, the people leave the aquarium. Even Yamaguchi and Yoshida, Kosugi’s employees that have been with him since they started working in Master Shot, quit, claiming Akira made for a better leader than Kosugi ever did.

In turn, Akira also returns to his cross-country road trip with Shizuka and Kencho on their quest to complete their bucket list. Kosugi is all alone in the end, left to fend for himself with no one to boss around.

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