Recently, I started watching an anime called: Zom 100: Zombie ni Naru made ni Shitai 100 no Koto or Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead, in English. I then noticed there’s a Netflix live-action film of the same name with the same plot. Because I love the anime so much with its focus on finding the joy in a zombie apocalypse, putting wellbeing before despair, I wondered how I could turn Zom 100 into a full-fledged wellbeing advice article. This is what I came up with. Enjoy.
What’s A Bucket List?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary and Merriam-Webster, a bucket list is a list of things that someone would like to achieve before dying. But in the case of Zom 100, it’s a list of things to do before they become a zombie. Basically, think of a to-do list.
The Plot For Zom 100
The protagonist of Zom 100, Akira Tendou, is an overworked office worker on the road to becoming another Karoshi (death from overworking). He lands his dream job but soon finds that dream to be a nightmare as the company he works for exploits him and everyone else who works there. But as Akira slowly works himself into an early grave, the zombie apocalypse happens.
Now, most people who found themselves in a zombie apocalypse would likely fall apart at the sheer terror of the situation, but not Akira Tendou. Instead, he finds this newfound freedom liberating and sets about creating and completing his bucket list of the dead: 100 things to do before you become a zombie.
How Could A Zom 100 Style Bucket List Benefit Your Mental Wellbeing?
Waiting for the zombie apocalypse to do your bucket list like they did in Zom 100 is one way of doing things, but why wait? What’s stopping you from doing them now? Well? Hopefully, the following reasons will help you tackle your Zom 100 style bucket list now rather than waiting. Your mental wellbeing will thank me for it.
A study by Masterson et al. (2018) composed of 223 advanced cancer patients, found that 72% of these patients experienced distress because of feeling like they had unfinished business. As I have talked about in my article on grief, the five stages of grief were designed to help those with terminal conditions, rather than for those who have lost someone to help them come to terms with death. So it’s not a surprise that people who may die as a result of a disease would experience regrets.
This is supported by Portman, Thirlwell, and Donovan (2018) who found a man with advanced metastatic lung cancer who wanted to complete a Zom 100 style bucket list as part of their palliative care. This man identified this as an important goal as part of their care plan. The patient wanted to use this time to live, create memories, share moments with the people they cared about, and connect. This was a form of legacy-making, according to this team. That’s because those precious times together will be remembered by their loved ones after they’re gone.
Although we often live regretting the choices we made, according to Armitage (2018), when we come to our twilight years, we only regret the things we didn’t do. That seems to be the big difference with age. We change from regretting the things we did to regretting the things we didn’t do. So why not avoid future you regretting the things you didn’t do and create your own Zom 100 style bucket list?
A Zom 100 style bucket list will vary depending on the age and other personal circumstances of the person creating the bucket list. But one thing will remain the same, and that’s how useful creating a bucket list is for identifying and prioritising our goals and aspirations (Zascerinska, Sharpley, and Wright, 2022). This is one of the reasons creating a Zom 100 style bucket list can be useful for our wellbeing, because, in times of stress and unrelating pressure, it can help us focus on what’s important to us (Armitage, 2018).
Not only can it help us find what’s important to us, but just the act of planning our bucket list can help us feel happy (American Heart Association). Thus, not only will you get something from creating your Zom 100 style bucket list, but as you plan to do each item on the list, you’ll also benefit positively from it.
According to Armitage (2018), talking about, considering, and planning for death is a healthy way to live. While “YOLO” (you only live once) grand gestures can help people feel alive in the moment, it’s not the same as reaching your goals and aspirations, which can give you a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life. If terror management theory (our death anxiety) has taught me anything, it’s that meaning and purpose are far more important to us than skydiving. Reaching for our goals and aspirations is another form of legacy-making, one where you don’t have to be the main character.
As the American Heart Association states, a bucket list doesn’t need to be elaborate like tracking across a mountain range. Even small items, such as taking up a new hobby, can rid you of that regret that might come later in life. Plus, you get the bonus of having a hobby to focus on, which is really good for your wellbeing as well.
Then there’s the to-do list style benefits of crossing each item off your Zom 100 style bucket list. Each time you cross an item off your bucket list, you’ve accomplished something. Basically, creating a Zom style bucket list will help you enjoy life through the act of creating the list and by sharing that list with others, having new experiences, and having more fun than you otherwise might have done (Verywell Mind).
But why stop there? Why not journal about your Zom 100 style bucket list as well? Fully embrace the experience that this bucket list can bring and write about each item as you work through your bucket list.
The concept of a bucket list has been around for a while, but it never really got on my radar until I started watching the anime, ‘Zom 100: Zombie ni Naru made ni Shitai 100 no Koto‘. Watching Akira Tendou go from a massively overworked and depressed office worker into a young man having the time of his life just really got my attention. I wonder why?
As the research suggests, there will come a time in our lives when we will start to regret the things we didn’t do, and there will be circumstances where we’ll switch our focus to what actually matters to us. But why wait for those circumstances to happen?
I know it might not always be easy to work on your Zom 100 style bucket list, but that’s also part of the experience, figuring out how to cross each item off your list. So what would you put on your Zom 100 bucket list?
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, please share your experiences with creating a bucket list and your thoughts on the anime Zom 100 and its live-action film in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget, if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.
Armitage, R. (2018). Now is the time to work on your bucket list. The British Journal of General Practice, 68(671), 281. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6002016, https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Fulltext/2015/11000/So,_You_Want_to_Make_Your_Bucket_List__Where_and.35.aspx, and https://bjgp.org/content/bjgp/68/671/281.full.pdf.
Masterson, M. P., Slivjak, E., Jankauskaite, G., Breitbart, W., Pessin, H., Schofield, E., Holland, J., & Lichtenthal, W. G. (2018). Beyond the bucket list: unfinished and business among advanced cancer patients. Psycho‐Oncology, 27(11), 2573-2580. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pon.4821 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6219918.
Portman, D., Thirlwell, S., & Donovan, K. A. (2018). Completing the bucket list: Leveraging telemedicine in oncologic palliative care to support legacy-making and dignity. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 55(6), e1-e2. Retrieved from https://www.jpsmjournal.com/article/S0885-3924(18)30072-1/fulltext.
Zascerinska, S., Sharpley, R., & Wright, D. (2022). Living life or denying death? Towards an understanding of the bucket list. Tourism Recreation Research, 1-14. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02508281.2021.2015673 and https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02508281.2021.2015673.