THE LEGENDARY TAE YAMADA!!!!!!! Let’s start the review you UN-LEGENDARY, bitches! Your dumbasses better appreciate it!
GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!
You know, you gotta be pretty damn brazen to feature young, teenage girls walking around like a bunch of brainless zombies, in an attempt to portray the modern fatuousness in the pop culture world. But that ain’t shit!!! Because having the zombie versions of Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash (MY LITTLE PONY, PEOPLE!!!), break out in a rap battle while TAE YAMADA’s head goes flying into the audience during a rock/pop/rap concert was about as excessively
bodacious as you can get, because………wait a minute? Where the hell was I going with this statement? Oh, yeah.
THE LEGENDARY TAE YAMADA!!!!!!!
Show the green face in your hearts!
GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!
Koutarou is the tweaked out, drug-fueled motivational speaker we all need in our lives; Leonardo da Vinci’s (DiCaprio?) Wolf of Wall Street character, Jordan Belfort, ain’t got nothing on this slick mother f—ker. Koutarou exhibits all the extraordinary qualities each man should be striving for in their lives, including: excessive yelling, being a bad-ass, shouting profusely, dressing to the nines, screaming at the top of his lungs, wearing shades inside a dimly lit prison cell, etc., etc., etc.,………….and shrieking with reckless abandon. I LOVE this character! He needs his own spin-off series — GET ON IT!!!
THE LEGENDARY TAE YAMADA!!!!!!!
It should go without saying how exceptional the performances of the rest of the cast are; therefore, I won’t say it. Although, you should be aware that Tae Yamada is easily the best girl, so much depth to her character — SO MUCH! We need backstories, asap!
The premise is fantastic, and the opening episode plot twist **SPOILER ALERT!!!!*** where Sakura got plastered by an automobile had me on the edge of my seat. The heavy metal rock music during her death sequence was a nice touch — timing people, timing. Everything about this show is on point, the writer’s of Gintama could learn a thing or twelve from this masterpiece of Japanese comedy.
Cute girls + heavy metal rock music + THE LEGENDARY TAE YAMADA + a chicly dressed manager, who emanates awesomeness + LOUD YELLING = MASTERPIECE!!!!
It was so obvious, I can’t believe it has taken this long for some to figure out the magic formula — but there it is.
And don’t forget, bitches: a zombie that doesn’t dance, is just a regular zombie (**snifles** awe-inspiring).
Doesn't it feel like in today’s world, there’s way too many horror media that does same things over and over again? I’m not solely talking about anime alone but the horror genre has gotten to a point where it feels like we’ve seen just about anything. One of the most iconic type of horror is the dead coming back to life. In this case, I’m referring to zombies. Franchises like Resident Evil and The Walking Dead are among just a few well-known ones that comes to mind. But what if I told you that Zombieland Saga manages to revitalize a bit of the horror genre
instead of falling to common cliches?
To be honest, Zombieland Saga isn’t really a horror show at all although the first episode’s opening suggests so with a cliché setting and a young girl facing a crisis between life and death. It manages to trick viewers through its opening and does a 180 degree turn after revealing the series’ real concept – a horror comedy that satirze Japanese idols with an absurd character cast. As a collaboration project by Cygames and Avex pictures (with studio MAPPA), they managed to keep this show a secret from the start.
Now that we got that out of the way, it’s time to realize what Zombieland Saga really offers. I watched plenty of zombie shows in the past and most of it attempts to do the same things over and over again – evoke a sense of fear. Zombieland Saga does the opposite and creates a sensation of genuine entertainment with its comedy elements. In fact, I’d say the show is self-aware enough to satirize the idol industry. In the first few episodes, protagonist Sakura Minamoto ends up dead after being hit a trick. But rather than awakening in some fantasy world, she is reborn as a zombie. It doesn’t take long for her to join a group with other zombie girls together. This group collectively is formed by a man named Kotaro Tatsumi with the purpose to save the Saga Prefecture. Say hello to Franchoucou.
Ideally, a show like this sounds like it took a big risk as it sounds like a dumb joke of itself. Watching Zombieland Saga does feel like the show plays with itself a bit too much but it didn’t take long for me to accept and grow attached to the main characters. That’s because each of them have a life of their own with colorful personalities. As an inspiring idol, Sakura’s dream became a reality when she steps onto the stage. Sakura’s friendly personality enables her to easily get along with everyone. That’s the opposite of delinquent yankee, Saki Nikaido. Unlike Sakura, she is difficult to get along with because of her tough personality. Deep down though, Saki isn’t a malevolent character and in fact manages to develop some deeper bonds with her idol comrades. We also meet Ai Mizuno, a girl who desire to make the best of her current life. Junko Konno, Lily Hoshikawa, and Tae Yamada make up the rest of the group after being reborn. Despite dying under different circumstances, they all serve the same purpose and that’s to make their group into a sensation.
You’re probably asking yourself if Franchoucou really is a sensation in their world. They didn’t start out with popularity and instead had to work their way up. Through hard work and motivation, the group does gain popularity as Sakura leads them to stardom. My interest for the show grew more and more as I wanted to see this group succeed. It also helped that the show constantly got me feel attached to the characters through effective storytelling. We learn of their past, their motivations, and what they hope to accomplish in the present. There are also some episodes that throws in some surprising plot twists and bittersweet ending moments. I’m not going to spoil it but it manages to become even emotional at times so prepare for some tissues.
As a horror/idol comedy, the show contains countless amount of humorous gags. Most of the humor revolves around the concept of zombies. Characters retain personalities from their past lives but sometimes finds themselves surprised by unnatural events. This often includes body parts coming off unintentionally that’s played with absurdity. The guiltiest member of the group that people will point fingers at would be Tae Yamada, the legendary title-less girl. Unlike the rest, she has yet to regain her personality and behaves like a zombie. She has an unhealthy appetite that seems to have a personality of a kid stuck in an adult’s body. The show constantly pokes fun at her character by showing what zombies can do. It’s the type of satirical humor that is aware of its intentions and seeks to make the audience laugh. And to be honest, it works.
So now what? Is this just a show of humor nonsense or is there something bigger that meets the eye? It honestly depends on how you approach this show. The more I watched Zombieland Saga, the more I felt compelled to see how different this anime is compared to other genres of similar nature. In fact, I’d say that Zombieland Saga offers an experience that is refreshing by mixing in comedy with musical themes. It’s not often you get to see these two mixed together in today’s world. The project creators managed to effectively create a fakeout of the show from the first episode while ultimately making this into a parody. Don’t get me wrong though. You’ll still occasionally see some “horror” content pop up but it satirizes to make it absurd as possible.
It should also be said that the voicing cast of this show deserves recognition for their talent. In particular, voice actress veteran Kotono Mitsuishi plays her role as Tae Yamada flawlessly. She’s able to step into the shoes of her character with the mindset of a zombie. Others such as Asami Tano is able to take on their character role as a yankee and her accent proves it. As a show about idols, you should also expect tons of catchy songs. While most of them relates to J-pop, there are occasional times when the show throws in a surprise or two such as a battle rap in one particular episode. The bottom line is, this is so much more than just a horror-idol comedy as it also manages to embrace its music culture.
Studio MAPPA did it again. They managed to create a show that not only surprised me but also give the zombie concept a breath of fresh air. Zombieland Saga manages to reinvent itself by stepping out of the comfort zone. It satirizes the idol industry by combining its self-aware humor and absurd character cast. Yet, it manages to deliver effective storytelling that is important for the overall direction of the show. As I learned more and more about the characters, it felt hard to let them to go when everything concluded. By accomplishing such a feat, this anime is definitely a sensation to take attention to. The secret is out now and it’s easy to say that I need more anime like Zombieland Saga in my life.
Zombieland Saga is unironically the best anime of the season.
Let me tell you a little story. Once Upon a Time, I got hooked on the idol genre, and descended into what is commonly referred to as idol hell. However, contrary to popular belief, I was able to snap out of my zombie like trance and escape from idol hell, and I can happily say that I’ve been clean for over two years. No longer having an interest in idol anime, I had no inclination to watch Zombieland Saga, and had planned on skipping it. What a sad, misguided fool the me of three or
so months ago was…anyway, I eventually got around to watching it thanks to my weak mind being influenced by Youtube videos that told me to give this anime a shot. In this review, I’ll explain to you why Zombieland Saga isn’t just great for it’s drop-dead hilarity and entertainment value, but for its unexpected complexity that you might just miss out on if you just skim the surface of this surprisingly great anime.
That’s right, this is actually going to be a somewhat intricate review since Zombieland Saga is totally worth analyzing. So if you don’t have much time and have to Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!, here’s a little tl;dr for you: I came for the quirky idol shenanigans + zombies combo, stayed for the amazing comedy, and left absolutely loving the diverse and both figuratively and literally fleshed out characters (Get it? Cuz they’re zombies?)
This anime really hits like a truck in how quickly it transitions from a seemingly typical idol anime opening sequence what with our heroine Sakura’s upbeat and energetic disposition to an intense and hilarious death scene backed by heavy metal music after like 30 seconds into the first episode. I was instantly hooked after this unique beginning, and the anime just got better from there.
It’s no spoiler to say that our protagonist is as dead as someone who, well, died. However, she is revived via necromancy by a sunglasses wearing manager dude named Koutarou who also brought back six other SUPER LEGENDARY girls from the dead all for the purpose of them forming an idol group with the monumental goal of saving a declining Saga.
If that sentence long synopsis doesn’t get you to tingle with excitement in anticipation to see where the heck this anime goes, then I don’t know what will.
It’s no secret to say that I didn’t watch this anime hoping to find something with a compelling narrative and developed characters and was instead looking for something that would make me smile in amusement. And I can happily say that Zombieland Saga made me die of laughter (Don’t worry about me though, I was brought back to life…Though sadly not as a LEGENDARY zombie idol) This is the funniest anime that I’ve seen all year, even beating out good comedy anime like Grand Blue and How Not to Summon a Demon Lord. Each episode contains a plethora of comedic moments, and there was always something new and creative so it never felt like I was watching the same routine with each passing episode. Now if the good comedy was all Zombieland Saga had, I would have been perfectly content with the anime and left satisfied. However, there is so much more to this anime than that, and its greatest strengths revolve around the cast.
You really can’t go wrong when your characters are a bunch of LEGENDARY girls in an idol group called FranChouChou. Outside of Sakura, who suffers from memory loss, a typical anime trope that Zombieland Saga actually executes better than literally every other anime that utilizes memory loss, our girls include my personal favorite, the LEGENDARY Saki Nikaidou, a fiery, outgoing girl whose voice and character design are so hot that they make me catch on fire. Plus she’s a rapping biker girl who likes chicken and goes down in a blaze of glory TWICE. I guess the perfect girl does exist. We also have Ai Mizuno, a girl who was a successful idol in life who had a simply LEGENDARY death after giving one last electrifying performance. Let’s not forget the soft spoken yet powerhouse vocalist Junko Konno, whose LEGENDARY rise to stardom may have been cut short by an unexpected crash and burn, but she lives on in our hearts…and as a zombie. Lily Hoshikawa is a kawaii girl who was a LEGENDARY child actress who unfortunately ended up in a hairy situation that her little heart just couldn’t take. Still, she’s a true star, and her cuteness is infectious. Next, we have the ever enticing and LEGENDARY Yuugiri, who is the most experienced of the girls in more ways then one.
Finally, we have THE LEGENDARY TAE YAMADA, and thanks to her inclusion as the star of the show, I was practically mandated by the animu gods to bump up my score for this anime by a full point. So yeah, the girls in this anime are pretty…Illustrious.
You’ll notice that the girls all lived in different eras, so they obviously were exposed to different cultures based on the times that they lived in. A lesser anime would have glazed over this fact, but not Zombieland Saga, and this was the point that I realized that this anime was something special. Junko and Ai were to first to go through compelling character arcs, and their stories were pretty engaging, and set the stage for the upcoming character arcs. The episode dedicated to Lily was, to put it bluntly, LEGENDARY. Zombieland Saga had done it. It became the first anime I’ve ever seen to make me laugh hysterically AND be brought to the verge of tears thanks to an incredibly well produced character driven episode. I didn’t think anything could top the epicness of the rap battle, but the emotions I felt thanks to Lily’s story certainly did. I was trapped in a sea of emotions throughout the entire episode, and I could probably write an entire review just dedicated to that episode alone. Seriously though, I have never seen an anime handle Lily’s character type nearly as well as Zombieland Saga did, and at the end of the day, Lily is Lily.
And of course, it goes without saying that Saki’s episode was pure greatness. Saki is just that good.
A strong demonstration of camaraderie between characters is something that I rarely see sufficiently executed in anime. So imagine my shock when I realized that Zombieland Saga of all things was able to pull it off. The bonds that these characters have with each other grew from constant arguments and not being on the same page in the first few episodes into an in sync family who would do anything to help each other out. This is demonstrated the clearest near the end of the anime. I won’t spoil exactly what, but something happens to Sakura that causes a rift between her and her fellow zombies. The way that all of the girls try to get her back to her old self is extremely heartwarming, and it really goes to show how far these girls have come. And thanks to their positive relationship with one other, they’re able to put on some spectacular performances. And now we get to the other great part about this anime.
Its music is hella good.
For the past several weeks I’ve been listening to the opening theme song, Adabana Necromancy, constantly. I play it when I eat. I play it when I sleep. I’m playing it as I’m writing this review. It’s a pretty damn good song. And you know what else is good? Literally every insert song in this anime. I’ve already mentioned the rap battle, which was pretty off the chain. Lily’s song and Saki’s song are two personal favorites of mine, and every musical number in this show is just really catchy. If FranChouChou ever put on a show irl, you better believe I’d buy tickets to go and see them, and I would be screaming and crying at the awesomeness alongside those two heavy metal guys who’ve attended every show that the girls have put on. Seriously though, those two guys really are the unsung MVPs of this anime.
When it comes to the voice acting, as Phil from Hercules would say, I’ve got three words for ya: My Man Miyano Mamoru! This boi is my favorite male seiyuu, and his performance as Koutarou is simply LEGENDARY. Some of the best comedy from this anime comes from the combination of Koutarou’s absurd lines plus Mamoru’s expert delivery of them. And of course, the ladies voicing our lovely zombie idols do an exceptional job. And they even got the LEGENDARY voice actress of Usagi from Sailor Moon to voice the LEGENDARY Tae Yamada. I didn't expect anything less.
Visually speaking, this anime is animated quite well. I love the character designs, and the fluidity of their movements during scenes like the rap battle and Lily’s song is very impressive. But there’s one glaring issue with the visuals, and I’m sure you know exactly what I’m referring to. You guessed it, I’m talking about none other than the CGI.
Which is an acronym that I made for Cute Girl Idols.
That’s right, as I said before, these cute girl idols are drawn to look pretty attractive, but they’re, you know, rotting corpses, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not into necrophilia. Yet the girls’ cutesy designs have consistently tempted me throughout the anime’s run time, which has been problematic since it’s called into question my morality and…Oh wait, you thought by CGI I meant the Computer Generated Imagery that this anime scarcely deploys? The CGI implemented during some of the dance sequences that is literally used for less then ten minutes of the entire anime’s run time and doesn’t look nearly as bad as people make it out to be? Well personally, I have absolutely no qualms with the CGI. There’s definitely worse out there, trust me.
Zombieland Saga impressed me. It put a fun twist on the idol genre that not only made it incredibly entertaining to watch, but also allowed it to develop some truly great and unique characters. I haven’t enjoyed watching an anime this much in a long time. And if you haven’t watched this anime yet, you really should Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! and watch it as soon as possible. It just isn’t right to miss out on such a LEGENDARY anime.
Zombieland saga takes all the rules of what you expected about a Idol show, or a zombie show, and throws them out the window. It is a comedy, but less about individual gags and more about the absurd concepts presented in general. I'd definitely recommend you at least try it out, though it will not be for everyone.
Also sports a cameo by everyone's favorite Truck-kun.
Story - So far the story itself is quite simplistic, but it is full of charm and humor, which is rare for me to like but it meshes well.
Art - Typical of the art style in this decade, its the weakest
part of the show. Not because it is bad but because it is rather generic.
Sound - The sound design itself is the most surprising element once you get past the shock of the opening few minutes, the songs are well put together, and the sound design is catchy. It is rather unconventional, which may turn away potential viewers.
Character - Many of the characters are yet to be developed as of episode 2, but so far the MC and Tae are definite stand outs. I look forward to the development of the cast, and the character designs are fantastic.
Miyano Mamoru has particularly good voicework for his character.
Enjoyment - So far I have laughed out loud at least once an episode, a rarity these days. I quite enjoy it.
Overall - A solid 8 so far, with potential to slip to a 7 or raise to a 9 depending on how the show develops.
If this had been my first idol anime, I would have been gravely confused when watching the second.
Zombieland Saga is a story about these cute anime girls who die, then come back as zombies and start making badass heavy metal music / stand up comedy / rap battles in a comedic manner.
The creativity of this series pretty much ends with its idea for main characters. Outside few nice ideas, such as diving into the audience before the music even starts playing and the Hunter x Hunter parody seen in episode 02, I can't say many scenes have made me laugh or felt satisfactory. Vast
majority of the events that occur and scenes that play aren't nearly as bizarre or weird as they have potential to be. It's pretty basic stuff which pretty much anyone could have written. For example, the rap battle lyrics are pretty much just filler.
Much of the comedy is executed with and relying on voice acting. The guy who voiced Okabe is here as the main dude and once again offering zero personality, all yelling. It's not entertaining the least, just stupid. Same thing occurs with great many side characters who realize that our girls are actually zombies. Cop yells, other side characters yell, our female main characters yell. End of story. I am not personally finding much enjoyment from scenes such as these. If I want to watch people yell, I watch shonen anime.
The character design from heavy metal audience to the main chicks gets a plus. This is pretty based MAPPA production for that matter. It looks glorious outside the weird lipsync issues that are over exaggerated mouth movements to a point that it comes highly visible. Or that's what I thought before I saw episode 03 and that god awful CGI dance scene they used there. Beyond ugly.
Overall this series doesn't have much to say nor do I have much to say about it. It relies on the slice of life side of being a zombie, it is already getting old because it's lacking in content, becoming repetitive and the cast isn't strong enough to carry anything with their miniscule personalities. Yamada is pretty hot tho.
It’s pretty clear that in today’s society, anime seems to be churned out in droves. You bear witness to the regurgitation of carbon copies, causing the medium you hold dear to fade into the bleakest grey...
And then Zombieland Saga busts in through the fucking window in a speeding minivan going 156 mph, shouting “FUCK YOU; GET IN” before flooring it faster than you can say “The Legendary TAE YAMADA!” It’s fun, it’s quirky, it’s loud as all hell, and most importantly, it’s as vivid as a sunset. Sure, your weeaboo mancave of a room is busted and your waifu collection is in pieces, but we
all know you’ll replace that with a shrine dedicated to a bunch of zombie idols in no time. You’ll get used to it anyway.
We should probably get the most colorful, charming parts of this show out of the way. These visuals pop. The colors strike like God’s lightning, especially in both the opening and ending. These character designs are as bombastic as the personalities of the girls when they’re off doing weird hijinks. Their facial expressions and clothes are so glorious that it’s easy to forget that you only give a shit about like half the characters until their pasts get revealed. Sure, there are some fugly CGI idol models in a couple of dance sequences early on, but then we get oil paintings for menus and real-life footage. Studio MAPPA poured their blood, sweat, and tears into injecting nothing but style into this show.
Speaking of hijinks, there’s a ton of variety in these spectacles. Horror movie/game parodying, playing hot potato with Tae’s severed head, fucking chicken performances and rap battles?! How can anyone object to this?! This is a perfect venue for vibrant character chemistry, as evidenced by the two best characters in the show, Saki and The Legendary Tae Yamada! These two embody the best aspects of the show, with them getting a majority of the best gags. Saki’s loud and abrasive personality makes for perfect chemistry fodder with the rest of the cast, and the inner machinations of Tae Yamada’s mind are an enigma. She is a joy to witness.
The rest of the characters took a while to become even remotely interesting, and this is for a few reasons. For one, several of the main characters are often more drama focused. While this isn’t a bad thing on its own, not only are the personalities of characters such as Junko and Ai not very interesting, but given the limited time spent on drama in comparison to everything else in the first 4 episodes, the drama often feels like a detour. Admittedly, very few of these characters are that great when they aren’t dealing with absurd scenarios, but some are especially dull early on. The latter half thankfully has episodes designed around fleshing out the characters and giving them an emotional arc, but not every character gets this luxury. Granted, none of the main 7 idols are as grating as their manager Kotaro (cuz that guy can get fucked by a cactus more than half the time) but the show still has a hard time giving everyone the spotlight. Thankfully some of the side characters introduced in some of these character-centric mini-stories are written and explored efficiently. Without them, the drama-centered focus of the second half would have felt like an agonizing shift considering how lackluster the more serious portions of the show felt beforehand.
The only thing left to touch on is the music. The background tracks are catchy, with neat jingles to compliment the lighthearted and comedic moments. However, the real meat comes in the form of the songs by everyone in this idol group: Franchouchou. The OP "Adabana Necromancy” is as vivid as the visuals that it plays over, and the watercolor visuals really help sell the emotional ED "Hikari e”. As for the insert idol tracks, several of them are pretty nice to listen to as well, with the only real exception being the ear-piercing Vocaloid-esque song that plays at the end of the 7th episode. It would be rather ghastly if these performances sounded dead, so thank the maker this ain’t the case.
It’s refreshing to have an anime run you over, screaming. It calms down, and there are some growing pains, but I’m happy to see some life here. There’s a vivid pulse to this one, a wild and unique expression so charming and sincere that I nearly overlook how uneven and easy to break this show can be. With this performance now over, it’s your turn to take part in the saga. What are you waiting for? Do it while you’re still alive!
Also, Tae Yamada dabs in episode 7, so that’s an Easter egg to look out for.
“Another idol Anime!” A lot of eye rolling and sighs going into this series, though the fact that it was an original, I was intrigued enough to give it a chance. The first episode makes a loud statement on what it’s about, taking only a few minutes to set up its “first day of school” cliché before crashing the premise of the show which is under the guise of everyone’s favourite automobile in “Truck-kun,” into our main heroine in Sakura Minamoto, and the audience. It’s so unexpected, it’s so shocking and the timing couldn’t be any better, it immediately has you in a fit of
The story doesn’t end there, luckily, exactly ten years later, the mysterious music producer Koutaro Tatsumi decides he's going to put together a legendary idol group called, Franchouchou. Thanks to some behind-the-curtain methods, he can assemble the world's seven greatest singers and dancers—who are dead in order to inject some liveliness into Japan’s Saga prefecture. Which is how Sakura finds herself terrified and confused in a house full of dead girls. If you couldn’t tell at this point, Zombieland Saga is an imitation on the popular sub-genres of idols and zombies with a twist to create many bizarre, strange, amusing, hilarious and unexpected moments. It uses exaggeration, inversion and trivialization effortlessly—zombie addicts will be surprised to find that it’s not your typical “survive the zombie apocalypse” archetype but uses the trope of zombies to establish a unique stage for an idol series.
There are breathing moments as it cleverly takes a step away from the blistering comedy, every now and then to pull back the curtain a bit on the main story for some social commentary on the dark side of the idol industry as well as alluding to some interesting themes that provokes a lot of thought and feelings which was more prevalent in episode six, “Because It’s Sentimental SAGA.” Unfortunately, the latter end of the series, it lingered on this aspect a bit too long when chronicling Sakura’s origins. It upsets the tone too much, taking away the charm and hilarity that gives this anime much of its punch. Luckily, there are characters who prove to be the perfect counter-balance when these tonal shifts occur, like Koutarou, the manager of the girls, an over-the-top type of persona, voiced by the legendary voice actor Mamoru Miyano. He is the perfect casting choice, he makes Koutarou special in a way where every time he appears on screen, you know something special is about to take place, which normally leaves you in hysterics.
Furthermore, there is a colourful cast of characters as well, with a selection of idols who run quite a range of personalities. The interactions and dialogues between them never feel overly sappy or dull, most of the shows best moments come when these personalities are colliding with each other. Each one gets there 1 or 2 episodes of shine time that sheds light into their backstories, their current conflict and then a resolution to said conflict where we can see some character development and chemistry take place. Zombieland Saga is the type of anime that has characters who will happily tear each other apart, both figuratively and literally, and it's nice to see them not hold back. It is absolutely a comedy first, with missing limbs, heads popping off all over the place and some hilarious ways of dying, yes, I am looking at you, Lily! And when it sticks to the winning formula, the show doesn’t feel derivative but, feels refreshingly unique, and all it took was mashing GCDCT and horror elements together.
On the technical side of things, MAPPA has been nothing short of impressive, seeing that this is an original series. Surprisingly enough, they were able to maintain a solid consistency level throughout the show with its art and animation with the occasional drops in production value. Character designs alone tell the personalities of each character, they are somewhat distinctive but when assembled, it’s easier to see that certain features are generic. And for a parody show such as Zombieland Saga, it works. The zombified looks go hand in hand with the slapstick, and as to be expected, along with the facial expressions and the way their limbs were flying around all over the place was very well animated. The colour palette is very bright, vibrant and sometimes has this watercolour paint look to it. The downside here is definitely in several moments when they did their idol performances, the sequences were in cringe CGI and it wasn’t the pretty kind at all. Apart from that, the job they did on performances such as the Babymetal scene in episode 1, the Battle Rap scene in episode 2 and the Fast food commercial scene in episode 5 won me over.
In addition, MAPPA nailed the OP with the perfect song choice and visuals. "Adabana Necromancy" by Fran Chou Chou is a tribute to the music used in anime series openings from the late sixties to late seventies. Especially anime of the genre in action and mecha. The musical arrangements dominated by trumpets, violins, the background lyric chorus and quick tempo. Some of these openings also used sound effects in the action sequences. Its bodacious and balls to the wall seeing these power ranger-like zombie girls throwing shapes. The ED "Hikari e" which is also done by Fran Chou Chou, is sincere and beautiful, full of farewells and gratitude, similar to graduation songs. The soundtrack has a few memorable songs, very catchy and although they are repeatedly played often, it’s never annoying. The idol songs are the type of musical items that you’d get from your typical idol anime. The casting for this show is perfect and it is very hard to imagine each character being replaced.
What’s nice is that each of these girls’ lives was cut short, they have been given a second chance to live out their dreams. The sentimental moments are good in between all the goofs and laughs. It is similar to Asobi Asobase in terms of a good unexpected comedy, it’s absurd yet grounded when it needs to be. Despite a few glaring flaws, it definitely feels as if it achieved what it set out to be and Zombieland Saga deserves its credit for taking the idol show rulebook and rewriting some pages, changing the game in the oversaturated sub-genre that is filled with shows that shy away from taking chances. You'd have to be dead inside not to laugh while watching this. In fact, they're head and shoulders above most comedy anime this year, not giving it a chance would be a grave mistake.
If there was a word to describe Studio MAPPA it would be disappointing. Being the spiritual successor for Studio Madhouse many of the shows least, in my opinion, fell flat in they face mainly because MAPPA loves the play the field spell card called style over substance where the writing for these shows seemed to fall by the side in favour of pretty colours and flashing scenes. Because of that I grown to dislike MAPPA as a whole as they seem to prioritised flashing visuals over storytelling. Zombieland Saga is, unfortunately, no exception to this as despite the show being advertised as a parody idol
anime that had a lot of potential to be good. Unfortunately it the end it ended being another generic seasonal anime that you will easily forget once the anime season is over.
In the year 2008 high school girl named Sakura Minamoto is abruptly killed in a traffic accident by a truck. Ten years later, Sakura, along with six "legendary" girls from various eras of Japan's history, are brought back as zombies by a man named Kotaro Tatsumi, who seeks to save Saga Prefecture by putting together an all-zombie idol group known as Franchouchou.
If where was a two words to describe the story of Zombieland Saga it would be missed potential as the series had potential to be this fun parody of the idol genre as a whole would made me laugh for days. Unfortunately as the series progresses the series starts falling apart as it eventually showed it's true itself where it ended up being a generic idol anime that barely doesn't do anything different apart from the zombie-idol gimmick. Before I talk about the problems with Zombieland Saga I'm going to talk to quickly talk about the things that I liked about Zomebieland Saga.
The one thing that sold me watching Zombieland Saga is that it was a nice parody of the idol genre as it showcases all the tropes and elements that were using in the idol anime genre and no surprise the first 4 episodes actually did just that as it never took itself too seriously.
The best and most memorable part of Zombieland Saga was the rap battle in episode 2. Not only the rap battle was very hilarious and entertaining to watch from start to finish, but it was very well set up and timed narrative and visually
If only the rest of the series was as consistently good as the rap battle in episode 2 and with that said it's times to dive into this show problems.
Remember when I said that Zombieland is a nice parody of the idol genre. Well the second half did something that it should have not done and that is devolved into a generic copy and paste idol anime where not even the zombie idol gimmick can fully save it. Many character drama aspects in this show were copied and pasted from other anime of it's generic and the dialogue just became trying. It did have some story moments with Saki and Sakura but other than that the show complete loss of what it made it unique in the first as it sadly devolved into a generic idol anime.
The worst thing about Zombieland Saga is that simply not all that funny as many of the comedy comes in the form of characters doing dumb things and screaming. The comedy timing was terrible for the most part and many of the jokes ended up becoming forced and boring.
Overall, despite the show being a decent parody of the idol genre that has an interesting zombie gimmick it ultimately ended falling apart into this generic style over substance anime that lost a lot of charm.
The characters in Zombieland Saga were just okay. Not memorable but at the same time they are not bad.
This may come off as an unpopular opinion, but I don't like the producer Tasumi all that much. Yes, he had some cool moments every now and then but a lot of the time I found him pretty irritating especially when most of his dialogue is consistent screaming and screeching at set idol.
As for the zombie-idol girls themselves well I thought there was one note. Yes, there was 2 expectations being Saki and Sakura (which I will talk about in a bit) but other than that the zombie idol girls are nothing more but idol cliches on screen.
Saki was by far my favourite character in Zombieland Saga as well being the most entertaining. She may appear to a typical badass jerk at first especially to Sakura as the series progresses she slowly starts open up to Sakura after proving that she isn't as completely gutless. I really liked her character development in the series and it really shows in episode 9 where she meets up with her old best friend and biker gang. She proves to Reiko daughter that if she contiines acting the way that Saki did when she was alive then she would end up falling in the same fate that caused Saki to die.
What really made Saki my favourite character happens in episode 2 during the rap battle with Sakura " Who cares if you've got memories" "you won't get to see your friends and your Tamagotchi's long dead" We're done got it?!
Sakura herself was a pretty good character. She as this typical idol protagonist archetype at first however as the series progresses she becomes more of an interesting and somewhat relatable character that we can relate. Her backstory in episode 11 was the prime example of this as perfectly showcases of what Sakura would have been as a person if she didn't get hit by truck kun and as a result, she starts going into heroic BSoD.
Overall the characters in Zombieland Saga for the most part were pretty forgetful and at times lame. Yes, there was Saki and at times Sakura were good but it ultimately cannot save this gimmicky generic cast of characters.
The visuals in Zombieland Saga are a mixed bag. While it had a solid colour art-style that fits well with the setting of the series I feel the animation especially the CGI moments hold the visuals back from being great. The models both the human, and zombies are nicely drawn appealing to look at. The background scenery was decent, and lighting was solid.
The animation itself ranged from pretty good to okay. That's about it really. The only thing left I say about the show visuals is the use of CGI which was absolutely horrendous. I understand the show was meant to parody CGI in idol anime but there's a difference between actually parodying the CGI and actually making worse than thing that your parodying and Zombieland Saga officially hit the jackpot. MAPPA what the hell were you thinking?
For a show that mainly focus of music I thought the soundtrack for Zombieland Saga to be underwhelming at best. It's not a soundtrack I consider to be awful, but it failed to impress me especially when many of the tracks in Zombleland Saga just comes off as generic background idol noise. While the soundtrack was lacking the insert songs completely make it up because they are actually pretty damm good. My favourite insert songs in the show would be Mezame Returner and Dance.
The opening theme Adabana Necromancy sung by zombie idols was a decent opening theme. While I really liked the opening visuals for it, I cannot say the same thing for the song itself which I found to be pretty forgetful.
The ending theme Hikari e sung by the zombie idols was a pretty enjoyable ending that has a nice clamming song that contained good-looking visuals art.
Now for sub vs dub.
The Seiyuus in the sub did a pretty good job with the roles that they were given. As much I don't like Tatsumi I thought Mamoru Miyano did a fantastic job voicing the character. Asami Tano as Saki was a also another great performance as she really made this hot headed badass girl come to life.
The dub, on the other hand, is pretty bad as it's filled with mediocre to bad performances that actually ruins key scenes in the anime. Not only that but the comedy in the dub version is pretty insufferable to listen. Also let's not forget how Funimation was incredibly lazy when they decided to do the rap battle episode 2 because frankly they didn't bother to dub at all.
Stick with the sub for this one.
Zombieland Saga is a bizarre series to judge. There were some strong areas that I really liked like Saki and Sakura, the rap battle in episode 2 and the idol parody stuff unfortunately the flaws in Zombieland Saga outweigh the good. Not only that but the same the series got to the second half the series devolved into this generic flashy idol anime that has a zombie gimmick that contains repetitive/forced comedy and underwhelming characters. If the series actually stocked to of idol parody routes than this show would have been one of the better animes of 2018 but we ultimately didn't get that and what we got instead was an idol anime that kinda overstayed it's welcome and should have been 10 to 6 episodes long instead of 12.
It's not a bad series by any means but at the same time it's not all that memorable outside the rap battle and Saki's character development.
Final Score 5/10
Spoiler free review:
Just like many other animes I have seen, I decided to go in blindly without researching absolutly anything about it. At first I thought this anime would just be another copy of "Highschool of the Dead" but boy I was wrong. The cover art you are seeing now on MAL wasnt the first one that was displayed on the anime, the first one just had a bunch of spooky zombies on it, and that at first had me skeptical about the anime, as I first thought it would be nothing but chaos, gore and a failed attempt at copying "Highschool of the Dead".
But it turns out that this anime has absolutly nothing to do with the previous mentioned one, in fact if you look at the genres of this anime, it has the "Comedy" and "Music" tag on it. Overall, I didnt expect the Story to turn out the way it is and I consider the story to be absolutly hilarious in a good manner. In fact, I have never laughed this hard after the first 2 minutes of an anime EVER! Overall I rate this anime a solid 7/10. Give it a go! Its quite funny indeed! <3
Zombieland Saga is a comedy about a group of zombie girls being marketed as idols by a red suit-toting weirdo through unconventional and sometimes embarrassing means of gaining popularity.
Zombieland Saga is an idol drama about a group of zombie girls on a quest to become idols but are held back the the implications of their deaths, their past traumas, their memories and the era they lived in.
Zombieland Saga works great as either show.
Zombieland Saga doesn't work at all as both.
By trying to juggle these two ideas, it becomes a tangled up and comes short of fulfilling either of those premises satisfyingly. It's not that the
show transitioning between these ideas are jarring (in fact, it does that just fine), but rather, by trying to keep the first half of episodes comedy then leaving all the heavier stuff for later kind of chokes the pacing of those. As a result, character arcs and story threads, while fine, leave so much to be desired, especially with regards to Sakura.
The animation is fine. I enjoyed a lot of the comedic storyboarding, the hilarious character acting and expressions in early episode (1-5), as well entire sequences of Tatsumi Kotarou's screentime and dialogue.
Music is kinda shit. I didn't remember a single track, much less the BGM, so not much comment there other than forgettable.
The voice actors did a splendid job and, again, a ton of the script from the comedy episodes were fantastic and the did a good job with those.
Overall, it's a fine show. It's freaking hilarious when it wants to be and the writing is pretty alright, if not really unsatisfying. I recommend it if you have the time. (6/10)
Although having not watched much if not any idol anime, it was intriguing to see a spin on this conventional genre. With a synopsis such as "The peace these seven girls experience will suddenly be destroyed. By the living dead... zombies," I couldn't help but check the show out. Unfortunately, by the end of it all, it just felt like it fell flat.
To get straight to the point and not waste any time, let's look at the positives of this show. Firstly, I'll admit that it was quite enjoyable for what it was at times. For
example, our main girl getting hit by truck-kun was a nice addition to the amount of destruction he has already done throughout the entire history of anime, and he may never stop... Events such as the infamous rap battle, and the general interactions between the idols could be pretty funny at times.
Next, the character designs like of Saki and the rest of the group gave a unique style to each of the characters (exceptions being Junko and Ai, they look like copies of one another to an extent). Facial expressions were pretty nice, and to each of their own had a distinct sense of personality. The aforementioned Saki with her rough and daring ways of going about things, Lily being very ecstatic, and Yuugiri with her calm and collected tone made for characters that could stand on their own. It all may have felt pretty generic I might add, but for me it's at least worth mentioning as something it didn't completely fail on. However, it's nothing to ride home about.
The opening theme was pretty cool with the visuals I guess.
However, the negatives of this show made for the biggest gripes.
The art was mixed. I had mentioned the character designs before as being fine, and the backgrounds and style of the show were pretty good and felt appropriate , but the consistent use of CGI dances however were absolutely horrendous.
The story, obviously being a parody, wasn't trying to take itself too seriously. This isn't a negative in in of itself, and is actually completely fine, however it seemed as if it couldn't hold that mentality together. Character development is fine and all, but serious overtones and unneeded drama was apparent throughout multiple parts of the story, and it almost felt like it was straying away from it's own purpose that it established from the beginning, as being a fun comedical straight forward show.
The music didn't catch on with me, and wasn't really engaging, just sounded pretty meh.
The manager could not manage himself. His loud and obnoxious yelling was not funny, and only set himself up as a failed comedian. Loud does not equal funny, and he should have either stuck to being mature as shown occasionally, or just a running gag. Combining the two just doesn't sit well (even if being voiced by Miyano Mamoru).
Talking about running gags, the whole policeman and sudden interaction between the Idols was just as equally as bad, but thankfully it wasn't so repetitive and recurring that I had to sit through it constantly like the manager.
Lastly, possible spoilers or not, but it was hinted at several times where a couple of guys were interested in finding more about these idols and their true identity so to say. However, absolutely nothing happened with this, and only seemed to waste time, falsely leading the viewer to expect something interesting and dramatic to happen.
Overall, this anime could have been better. If it had only stuck with what it set out to do, it could have been a pretty decent, or even good show. If you like the show and enjoy it despite my personal criticisms, that's totally fine, to each of their own. It was alright while it lasted, but again, ended falling flat with the issues I had with it. Thank you for taking the time to read my review, and if their is anything I can improve on, feel free to let me know!
The first 2 episodes are decent. But beware, they're just a jebait
The rest of the episodes are utter garbage and those who claim different have watched too much anime that they can't differentiate between something that's just awful and something that they find "okay"
I really don't have much else to say, the first scene of the first episode is 10/10 but it's just downhill from there.
I sincerly would recommend at least watching that first scene due to it's comedic value the way it's set up, but other than that I wouldn't recommend wasting your time on this anime.
There's 6 episodes out currently, and only the
first 2 episodes were enjoyable in the slightest. The comedy goes from "haha okay that's kinda funny" to "just shut up, is there anything interesting at all anymore", not kidding either that is my sincere view on this anime.
I was originally planning on giving up just right away after I saw that third episode, but I gave it another episode and pretty much just skimmed through episode 5 and 6, there were moments that could have been done different that would have served great for comedic purpose and been in the same kind of flow like the first two episodes.. But no, just.. Basic idol stuff
And just incase you're wondering, no I absolutely hate idol animes, they're usually just slight fanservice and garbage combined into one.
Story, it's trash, it's just made up on the spot.
The art is decent but I'm not going to give it a higher mark since it literally doesn't matter if everything else is shit.
The sound is.. Meh, as I said I really dislike idol animes so I wont like the songs in this for obvious reasons other than the first 2 episodes as previously stated.
Character, it's just bad, it's just stereo types, one screeching idiot and a couple of whiners.
Enjoyment, if I only watched the first 2 episodes I would actually give it a good score, but seeing as the majority of the episodes that are out makes me rather watch Boruto should speak volumes. There is no enjoyment to be had.
Overall, trash anime with 2 jebait episodes that it wont be the typical trash idol anime. If you're going to watch more than 2 episodes anyway, I really do apologize that you have to suffer for your own curiousity.
With that said, I'm pretty much dropping this in the trash where it belongs. I wont be watching anymore episodes, it's clearly a waste of time.
This show is amazing in the first two episodes, if you haven't seen them give it a watch. The voice acting and the writing has some parts that left me laughing hysterically. I went into the show expecting nothing and by the end of the second episode I was ready to give it an extremely high score.
plus the opening is my aesthetic.
The sad thing is that it goes on to parody idol shows (I guess?) in the next episodes and really falls flat for me. Maybe I haven't seen enough idol shows to get the jokes but it really seems more like a copy than
a parody. Don't get me wrong there are some funny parts and the writing isn't awful, it just starts to feel like a different show. It starts to be more slice of life and less full blown comedy. Since the first two episodes were so good this makes episode 3 and 4 feel more like filler.
Hoping they go back to their initial style in the coming episodes, still on the fence about this show.
MAPPA, you genius. Had someone told me a year ago that I would watch an idol show featuring zombie girls nonetheless, and whole heartedly enjoy it, I would´ve laughed said person straight up in the face. Honestly, I´ve never seen an idol anime before Zombieland Saga (ZS) and will probably never see one again. Because ZS came and rocked my world (yes, pun intended), with what doubtlessly is mostly a great grand parody of the idol genre. MAPPA has gone and done it again, and this time with genres that I for my life never thought I would ever appreciate. So why is ZS the
only idol anime you ever need to watch? I will tell you right now.
And since the synopsis nowhere near doing the show justice, I will elaborate it a bit.
The fabulous and self-proclaimed zombie girl idol producer Koutarou Tatsumi has a mission, and one mission only - to save the district Saga. Saga´s population is declining; especially young people is leaving to find their luck elsewhere. Koutarou-kun want to fix this ASAP, and what better way to do it then with a Saga idol group, right? And if you can´t find living young girls who´s up for the task, what better way is there than revive a bunch of dead ones and create an idol group of zombie girls?!
You might wonder how the hell Koutarou-kun made them into zombies? To cite the grand man himself when asked; “A little bit of this, a little bit of that and bang, you´re out of the grave, right?! Isn´t that all you really need for zombies?!” So, there you have it.
Sakura were in her teenage prime, with big dreams of becoming an idol. But one day when she is running in excitement with her song-CD to the mail-box, a truck hits her and bang! Sakura is dead, and no more idol dreams for her. At least until Koutarou-kun revives her 10 years later and informs her that she now is Zombie nr 1 and is going to be an idol together his little group of zombie girls to save Saga. Only one problem for Sakura though, she has lost her memories!
What follows is the groups hilarious strive to be THE idol group everyone talks about to save Saga, in an era where the concept of idols is almost extinct. As you can guess, they have to start at the bottom, with all kinds of odd jobs. And all the while they have to hide the fact that they are zombies, which often leads up to violently comical situations. Even if I haven´t watched any idol/music anime, I expected an endless succession of disgustingly sweet love songs and girly group dances. Boy was I wrong. Ok, there are such later on, but the texts and songs actually have personal meaning for the girls, which made it kind of cool, but let´s get to the point. Their first gig is on a local freaking heavy metal event. Has Koutarou-kun prepared his zombie girls for such an event. Hell no. That scene set the bar for the rest of the show for me, and it did not disappoint. I laughed my ass of multiple times during most episode, and I´m no easy to entertain with comedy. Brilliant.
Sure, there is a little more serious moments with what I only can guess is the classic idol show concepts of a striving group towards success and for filling a dream, and of course the girls’ personal issues. But such scenes didn´t ruin the all over mood of the show at all, they just gave more filling to the story and the characters.
Speaking of the characters, such a great bunch of zombie girls!❤️Saki the hardcore ex biker gang boss, Yuugiri the elegant ex courtesan, Lily the sweet little ex child actress, Sakura the kind and positive ex idol-dreamer, Ai and Junko the only revived ex-idols, and let us not forget the LENGEDARY Tae Yamada! No ex- before legendary here, Tae were and is the one and only legendary Tae Yamada. No explanations needed. All the girls get some nice backgrounds and episodes dedicated to them, which explores there past, cause of death and personalities, which often was really entertaining. Koutarou-kun is the best producer, often screaming in the girls faces when asked stupid questions (or often highly relevant questions, but whatever), throwing the group into situations they have no clue how to handle, and is a master at body make-up. He also has a super awesome seductive move, which works on women and men, both living and the dead. Who could´ve asked for more! It´s music on its own to hear him screaming “Ohayōgozaimasu!!!”, “GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!!!”, “YOU STUPID ASS ZOMBIES!!!” or “COME ON!!!” on the top of his lungs.
As expected by MAPPA at this point, they have put their unique touch to ZS. Their trade mark is, unlike many other studies that make all their works looks similar, giving each project their own exclusive look and feeling. In ZS case they used bright and vivid colours, with lots of red, yellow, orange, pink and purple. Great and memorable character designs, with Saki being extra cool. Per usual they play with alternative angles, facial expressions and motion pacing’s, and per usual hit the jackpot. I even found their use of CG pretty inventive.
Since it actually is an idol show, of course it’s a lot of music. As I said mentioned before, the music they performed was a very mixed bag with everything from heavy metal, rap to ridiculous commercial songs. I´m freaking loved the rap battle, Sakura & Co owned it! If not watch the show, I highly recommend you to look up at least that part. Even if the music performance goes more toward what maybe I would´ve expected from a regular idol anime along the way, most of the songs and dances have clever texts and choreography. And the OP is in a league on its own -> LOOK IT UP. The VA´s (Japanese) very all more than perfect for the roles, so arigato gozaimasu!
Since I´ve never ventured into the genre only anime could come up with before, I had almost no expectations. And I was blown away. MAPPA once again has proven that they can do something different, and not only get away with it, but shining while doing it. I had a blast this fall watching the legendary Zombieland Saga and is proud to say that this is and likely will be my only idol anime. Because this is probably completely different from your regular idol show. I can highly recommend ZS to all you good and fine people out there. Take part of the legend!
Zombies and idols. Both are oversaturated in their respective parts of the world with zombies in the west and idols in the east. I'm pretty sure that we are fed up of both and don't take interest in watching them and just look for something else to watch. I imagine it is going to take a lot to get people into watching an idol or zombie show. But along comes this show. This show which combines these two together into one caught many people off guard and provided us with something we did not expect. So why, I ask, did I keep watching this show
to the end while knowing what kind of show it is?
Sit back, relax and bow down to THE LEGENDARY YAMADA TAE!!! as I present to you the anime review for Zombieland Saga. Lets begin.
Our story begins with Sakura Minamoto looking forward to what she thinks will be the best day of life. She gets dressed; rushes down the stairs; out the front door; looking into the sun with a smile on her face and then gets immediately hit by a truck (that's right, TRUCK-KUN STRIKES AGAIN!). She finds herself awakening in a seemly abandoned old mansion crawling with Zombies. She then finds out she is also a zombie and has been for 10 years. Under their charismatic but self-absorbed leader Koutaro Tatsumi, she joins several other girls who are considered legendary in their own time with one goal in mind. To become the ultimate idol group in order to save Saga, the location where these girls will perform and revive the idol industry there.
The way this show was built up before its airing was interesting. We pretty much had no idea what it was going to be. Going from the trailer and the poster, it looked like it was going to be an over the top, zombie slaying action series. When the show aired its first few episodes, I think the show just went ahead and said:
"Oh you thought this was a zombie action series? Well PSYKE, it's an idol show. Except PSYKE, it's not really an idol show but rather a parody of the idol industry. Except PSYKE, it's an genuine idol show but you don't care because you are already invested."
And you know what? I was invested. The way this show is structured is very well done. It starts off with something so abrupt, it is absolutely hilarious and sets the tone pretty well. It follows up with some unconventional music that doesn't really associate with idols. It then gives us actual idol s**t when we are invested into the show and when we get invested into the characters, we learn more about them. The show knows when it is a good time to change the focus of the show and then develop on it in order to keep it fresh, making the show's pace very well executed.
Now, since this show's idols are also zombies. It leaves a question that it asks us. Does the zombie aspect add anything to Zombielad saga or are they mainly used for comedy? Well yes, they do add something. Considering that these girls have all been resurrected from different time periods, they also bring their backgrounds, ideals and personalities from that time period with them. This creates some conflict between the characters as their ideals are different from one another. Creating tension and also character building. Of course, them being zombies also means that some people will start catching on that these girls who are supposed to be dead have started to walk around again and are performing as an idol group.
Each of our main cast of female characters are rather distinct from one another and each have their own personality. It is important that each character has their own personality in this case in order to stand out in their own way. Whether it is Saki's brash nature or lily's love for everything cute, they all have their own quirks that all make them stand out in their own way. Sakura is the only character I have some gripes with due to being a blank slate character due to her having amnesia. But I can forgive that because she really comes into her own near the end of the show.
Each get some development as well and and we get some insight of what their lives were like before they became zombies. Well maybe except Yuugiri and THE LEGENDARY YAMADA TAE!!! They don't get as fair of development than the rest of the cast. I can forgive THE LEGENDARY YAMADA TAE!!! due to her actions speaking for herself. But Yuugiri, not so much. Either way, the characters are enjoyable, likeable and their deaths are hilarious.
However, the best character in this show is definitely their manager, Koutaro Tatsumi. Basically, he's as if Houoiun Kyouma decided to ditch the mad scientist gimmick and decided to become a manager instead. He's loud, he's brash, he has no sense of personal space, loves the sound of his own voice and is a complete idiot. He's basically a parody of the standard idol manager considering he has little interest in the girls' feelings or health whatsoever and will do his own thing while the girls have to practice. He's pretty much is looking to advance his own fame rather than the girls because they are zombies and everyone would want to kill them if they find out. Thankfully, he does get his s**t kicked in at times by Saki and Ai at different points of the show due to his idiocy. He is where the comedy is at its best due to Mamoru Miyano's performance and delivery (and we will get to that) but he is genuinely funny and is definitely the highlight of the show.
MAAPA has done a good job here animating this show. Everything about the animation of this show feels vibrant with the colour especially feeling lively or when the cinematography changes like whenever Koutaro shouts at people or saying "MUSIC, COME ON!!!" It really is a nice treat for the eyes. The character designs as well are well done, especially with the girls' zombie aspects. Each character is designed in correlation to how they died. This includes bandages, stitches and scars. It's that nice attention to detail that makes the animation quality that much better. Also, those faces. Whether it is from getting shocked, their scary zombie face or Saki's smug face on episode 4, they add to the comedy which is especially important as body language can also make the scene more humorous.
Now there is also CGI used in this show when the girls start performing actual idol performances. At this point I've come to the belief that CGI is to anime what microtransactions are to video games. You don't want it to be there, but you'll know it will be there. Thankfully, it doesn't look bad as the CGI doesn't look stiff and doesn't look too out of place.
This being an idol show, the music must take high priority. Otherwise, what's the point? The soundtrack used is very catchy and enjoyable to listen to. Very diverse as well with different types of songs and music across the entire show to hammer it home that this is an unconventional idol anime. The rap battle sequence from episode 2 ALONE deserves a point as it is so well done, so catchy and so f***ing funny that it was the highlight of the show for me. Of course it can take itself seriously as well. The song played at the end of episode 8 is a heartwrencher that made me shed one single tear when I watched it.
The opening "Adabana Necromancy" that is performed by the main cast of girls is also very well done. It just has so much style and character to it as it looks like the opening is just trying to have some fun. Power ranger idols, a zombie dance number and Koutaro showing off his moves. It just relates to the unconventional nature of the show. The music as well is done well with bombastic trumpets and trombones combining well with the drums and violins. Combine this with the sound effects to make a fast paced, well done opening altogether. In fact, the sound effects are so crucial that when I listened to a version of the opening without the sound effects. It felt off as if the opening lost a key part to it.
The ending sequence is a standard calm down ending where after the events of the episode, you need to listen to something that will calm you down and make you feel relaxed as you reflect upon the episode you just saw. So yeah, pretty standard.
Now I was curious as to how the english dub would be handled. Mamoru Miyano's performance as Koutaro Tatsumi is absolutely brilliant with him constantly changing the tone of his voice and shouting at the top of his lungs. It was like Makoto was made specifically for him. It sounded like he was having so much fun with the role. So I was interested to see how the English dub would compare. And you know what? Ricco Fajardo did a damn good job as Koutaro as he also brings a charismatic and bombastic performance that is also an enjoyable. The rest of the cast also does a good job with each of their respective roles. But considering Mamoru Miyano's performance and the fact that the idol performances have not been dubbed and are still in Japanese. I would still choose the sub over the dub. But if you want to watch the dub, go right ahead.
I didn't know what to expect from Zombieland Saga and after watching the entire series, I was surprised as to how I managed to watch an idol show without considering on dropping it altogether. But I would say it earns that right of being an idol show by giving us something different to start with before giving us all that idol crap while still realising its roots. Its characters are likeable and enjoyable for the most part, its animation is great and the opening is something I will remember for years. It has cute zombie girls, Truck-Kun, Mamoru Miyano, a rap battle, more Truck-Kun and a whole lot of comedy. I would even call this the surprise show of the season. Some people may argue Bunny Girl Sempai or that Isekai slime show, but at least you got some idea of what you were getting. This being many peoples' first idol show that they have watched (myself included), it caught everyone off guard as to how enjoyable it was.
If you are looking for your first idol to watch, this is a great starting point as it does something different before it does the idol stuff and is a show I highly recommend you watch.
My personal enjoyment: 10/10
Overall score: 9.1/10 Recommendation: Go f***ing watch it
Zombieland Saga is your stereotypical horror show with zombies.Nah,of course not,I'm just pulling a leg here.But,that is actually what MAL portrayed the show to be in its initial stage and with very little information,low expectations were immediately setted for the show.However,those very expectations will soon be exceeded.Let's start the actual review.Zombieland Saga is an anime about a group of undead zombies forming an idol group under the brilliant leadership of their manager,Kotarou,in their quest to accomplish Kotarou's goal of saving the Japanese prefacture,Saga.(I feel like this may be the show's way ofmaking a parody of idol anime settings like Love Live that requires the group
to save the school.)This general plot was whipped straight at the viewers after the 1st episode which disguised itself as the stereotypical zombie horror show that it isn't.I got to say that it was pretty good publicity as this is the first "horror" anime that anime fans will see in Fall 2018 and will watch this show purely to see whether this "horror anime" will turn out great.To generally summarise this anime,this is a comedy idol show that throws a lot of ridiculous moments and a huge meme on its own while it is also able to get serious when the show requires it to be.Now,I'll start discussing on the various parts of the anime that made me give it a score of 8.(There will be spoilers in this review as examples to substantiate certain points.)
The story in its own is of course,ridiculously simple.Our main protagonist,Sakura,gets whacked by a van,just normal everyday problems,and became a zombie,gets pulled in the idol group under Kotarou and the story continues to show the exploits of our zombie friends.The story is not particularly amazing but it is pretty good as compared to other "idol" shows due to its innovative ways of presenting the idol genre through the funny and interesting perspective of our zombie friends.
The Art of this show is not particularly noteworthy in general.But,there are a few instances where the aesthetics of the show shines.For example,the show uses CGI during the earlier episodes to highlight how awkward and bad our Zombie idol group was when it comes to performing while simultaneously making a joke out of how other idol anime uses the CGI effect on a daily basis.The show then contrast this with using 2D animation when the group starts improving to show the visual improvement of the group,something that is lacking in most idol anime.The animation is also pretty fluid when the characters make over the top actions which made the scene extra hilarious.Therefore,although the general artstyle is mediocre,the way they animated the show is brilliant and innovative and is something other idol anime can learn from.
Let us move on to the audio aspect of the show.The OST is ok,nothing praiseworthy but good noneoftheless.The idol songs are surprisingly good,I enjoyed every single one of them.They are generally on par with other idol anime in terms of its good quality.However,the most noteworthy thing about the audio of this show is the intro.The way the absolutely mind-boggling visuals were complemented by the equally ridiculous intro song made the intro a must-watch,this brilliant masterpiece should not be skipped.Lastly,the ending isn't as good as the opening but it is a good reminder that the show is not pure comedy and does have serious elements to it.(Backstory of some of our zombie friends and their respective arcs)
Let us talk about the characters now.With a huge of 7 zombie girls and our godly manager,there will definitely be good and bad points about the characters of the show.On one hand,characters like Yugiri(lily to a smaller extent,outside her own arc) are certaintly neglected and feels like the cast may have expanded too much and have filler characters.But,the show still manages to add colour to the rest of the main cast,even though some of these characters have little screen time.Firstly,THE LEGENARY YAMADA TAE,an all-time favourite among fans of the show,certaintly lives up to her legendary status.Even though Tae doesn't talk in the show and little is known about her past self,she still manages to captivate the hearts of the viewers with her hilarious and insane stunts.Next,out idol pair,Ai and Junko,although not as amazing as Tae,are still essential to the show as a whole in providing serious analysis on the generation gap and their conflicting ideals on how an idol should act.Lily,although a weak character outside her arc,has shed light on how someone could lose their initial vision after acquiring fame and fortune,hurting their child unknowingly.Her arc is pretty good and is one of the most emotional episodes of the anime.Sakura,our main main girl,is actually not particularly amazing but is often the "sane" one of the group,though this is not the case for some of the episodes.The last of the zombie girls,Saki,is a reckless biker gangster whose own undoing is her own recklessness,she is also the leader of the group though she does not act like one well,which actually adds to the comedy aspect of the show.Lastly,we have the wise yet most ridiculous character of the show,Kotarou.Do I even need to spell it out?This man's weird antics never fails to make me laugh and on top of that,he is like a father figure of the group who is helping the zombie girls during difficult times under the guise of his crazy persona,this man is a godsend,best character of the show easily.
Overall,this show is pretty enjoyable,there will be WTF moments initially but once the show gets going after their whole publicity stunt,it gets really good and will sure to bring smiles to you.If you expect a horror anime,this is not the show for you,but if you want to watch a comedy show that will help you get through tough times and bring you a smile after your busy day at work,then this is the show for you.This show,in my opinion,is a revolutionary idol anime that brings a whole new option to the idol genre,therefore,this show is also easily one of the top idol anime out there and imo,is better than even Love Live and the other top idol anime.
SPOILER ALERT (Kind of. I'm gonna talk about some of the themes of the story)
Before watching Zombieland Saga, I had never watched an idol anime.
It's not that I had anything against the concept of the "genre", I just didn't have an interest in watching any of the few shows I knew of.
But when I looked at the anime of this season, I saw Zombieland Saga. And I had seen a clip of the first scene of the internet, so I knew what kind of show it was. And I decided that I was going to watch it.
The basic plot of the anime is that Koutarou
revives 7 girls, who he gives the mission to save SAGA. They're basically zombie idols.
And something I found very interesting was how important it was for the plot that the girls were zombies. Cause a major theme of the show was how idols have to hide their personality and relationships to be successful as an idol. It is pretty disgusting, to be honest, and I appreciate how this is the first anime I have heard of that tackles the issue.
Cause the zombie literally have to paint over their skin to not scare the public. The only difference is that it makes sense for them to do that since the public would logically try to kill them.
But yeah it would have been easy for the creators to make them zombies so that it sticks out of the crowd just a little. But they thought of it a little more and made something great.
Something I didn't say in my synopsis is the "era difference" of the girls. Yuugiri, one of the main characters, dies in 1880, while Sakura dies in 2008. And the time difference shows a lot. You can see the different styles that the girls sing in reflect "idols" of the time.
Again, they could have gone with it easy and just make them look their age. But they took time to make it a little more interesting.
So yeah. If you want to see a show that tackles issues that idols have, or just talks about idols realistically. Then this is the show for you.
Zombieland Saga, a show about 7 girls from different time periods that are all brought back as Zombies to be a pop idol group. Probably one of the craziest ideas for an anime but none the less it works. However while I say that there are many flaws that make this show not as popular as people made it out to be while I waited for it to finish. For everything Zombieland does well there is something to counteract it. Overall it becomes a interesting watch that sometimes makes you laugh and other times make you yawn.
Animation (9/10): I loved the animation of
the show. The detail of the zombie skin and when they had makeup on made the girls look so beautiful and gave them the ability to stand out. Side characters were also not rushed/bland and allowed for some design to make them recognizable throughout the show. Locations were very well done as well and gave a somewhat lifelike feel. As for the concerts I can’t say anything else other than….Perfect.
Music/Voice Acting (8/10): I watched the show half subbed and half dubbed. I personally liked the dub much better as I felt that the sub relied on animation for humor while the dub was able to use both dialogue and animation. However I will give major props to the Japanese cast, who most never had any major roles, for doing a great job and singing beautifully examples episode 7 and the rap scene. As a voice actor in training I love to see people put such effort into brining a character to life and it makes the show what it is.
Characters (7.5/10): The characters of this show are very hit or miss. I rather like the diversity of the girls but at the same they all seem to….nice. At the beginning I was predicting Yuugiri or Lily were going to turn out to be problems. But they just turned out to be normal girls and generally friendly. Even Saki was only a “punk” for a couple of episodes. Junko and Ai fought a little but that was more a difference in time periods then in character. The characters are memorable but like the rest of this show not life changing.
Plot: (6.5/10): While the show establishes a overarching plot to save Saga...they never really go back into it. The character development episodes while interesting often times became boring and easily skippable. While the underlying plot of Kotaro and his relation to the girls, mainly Sakura, was much more interesting and sadly never brought to the front. Something I hope they make a priority if the show gets another season. Overall the show relies to much on single episode plots and not on a overarching.
Enjoyment (7/10): This kinda falls into the same as plot, some episodes I loved watching and others I felt like skipping. The lily episode was a touching example of how death affects one’s family while the Saki episode felt like a kinda filler episode that tried to explain Saki’s past with few emotions. This doesn’t make Zombieland a bad show by any standard but I can never give a great grade to a show that I felt bored watching sometimes.
Overall (7/10): I waited all season long for this show and after watching it all I can say is….okay. I didn’t hate it but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It’s not really a idol show but I wouldn’t really call it a comedy either. The lack of a overarching plot and reliance on animation over a mix of script and animation really hurts its overall value. If you watch this show, you will probably like it, but it won’t stick with you.
Well, this was not quite the anime people expected when they started watching it... As the synopsis of this anime is quite misleading, people where expecting just another anime about zombies. This was totally not the case as the anime appeared to be a quite unique idol anime, even pulling in fans who normally do not watch idol anime.
The beginning of episode 1 would let you believe that this would be just another typical idol anime, starting out in a very stereotypical way (If you have not read the anime title), with that suddenly changing around 1,5 minutes into the episode when the main
character Sakura Minamoto gets run over by a truck. Then the anime makes you believe that this will be just another zombie anime, before introducing the main storyline of the anime. Episode 1 was made very well using all kinds of stereotypes about idol and zombie anime and parodying them. This made it to be quite a unique anime episode. At the end of the episode the main storyline finally gets introduced: Koutarou Tatsumi wants to make an idol group out of zombies to make the group the most popular of the Saga region and 'take over the Saga region'. The rest of the anime follows this concept making for a pretty good story, but not doing anything really exceptional anymore in the story department.
It is pretty interesting how absurd this anime can be in its comedy. The several deaths of the characters, causing them to become zombies are an example of this, like how Sakura died in the first minutes of episode 1. Its absurdity is also seen in what happens during several of their performances. The characters themselves can also be really comedic, enhanced by the amazing performances of several of their voice actors.
Art and animation: 7/10
The art and animation is overall pretty good, but sometimes gets ruined by CGI used in the several performances, which does not look very good. It could be argued that the bad CGI is used to parody other idol anime which constantly use CGI in the performances, for example Love Live, but that still does not make up for how it looks. However, the animation used in the opening is very well done, also making it a very unique opening.
The music in the anime is pretty good with some pretty nice themes. Where the anime really stands out though is how the voice actors performed the characters. For example, you can really hear the effort and enthusiasm Mamoru Miyano put into the voice of Koutarou Tatsumi. Kotono Mitsuishi also shows this very well, with really giving that zombie vibe to Tae Yamada (as she is the most zombie-like of the idol group). The other characters are also voiced very well, with the voice actors really putting life into the characters (no pun intended). Lastly, the sound together with the animation makes for (in my opinion) one of the most unique and best openings of the fall 2018 season.
I would say the anime is too short with 12 episodes to really show all the characters with their personalities and character development, but what is shown in the anime is very well done. Several characters get a pretty detailed backstory and are also given character development through new experiences. Some of the backstories and developments could even be experienced pretty emotional for some people.
My overall enjoyment of the anime was very good. The first 2 episodes where very enjoyable, able to give plenty of laughs by breaking stereotypical events. The third and fourth episode where somewhat worse in my opinion through less interesting events and pretty bad CGI used in these episodes. Luckily, from the fifth episode it started to become very enjoyable again, further elaborating on backstories of different characters and developing them as well. The comedy also improved in these episodes, returning with many absurd situations.
Overall: 8/10 (7,83/10)
Overall, Zombieland Saga is a very good anime with a good story and very good characters. It is also very enjoyable, as the anime uses many absurd situations in its comedy and uses stereotypical situations in idol and zombie anime to its advantage. I hope there comes a sequel, as there still seems to be much in store for a continuation.
Out of 100 Nobles watching...
75 were impressed!
10 were the same CG critics that leave every time in the modern anime era.
10 Would like a more unified tone and desired more coherent explanations.
5 don't like the premise.
Zombieland Saga is a show with an ambiguous title that makes perfect sense once you actually find out what the premise of the show is. Zombie girl pop idols in Saga prefecture Japan. Ohhhh I get it now (I don’t get it). In all seriousness I don’t want to give away too much of how this show starts as it has some great first episodes that serve to hook you
The show is essentially an Idol anime with a Zombie flavor, but first and foremost the show is a black comedy. It’s been fairly standard practice these last few seasons as seen with Uma Musume that it’s necessary to put an extra twist onto an Idol anime for it to stand out and get noticed and Zombieland has quirk in spades.
The story follows aspiring Zombie-girl idol group Franchouchou in their quest to revitalize the prefecture of Saga, Japan with their music. The various members are all “Idols” of sorts from their own time period spanning decades to centuries (in the case of one member who is a feudal era Courtesan). The show uses a mix of comedic situations, dark humor, and fast paced scene transitions to present what I would have called an extremely bizarre experience as a whole if I hadn’t watched Pop Team Epic already. The girl’s designs are all unique and they mostly have their own qualities to spur proper best girl debates (although everyone knows Tae Yamada is best).
What seemed to keep the show down was trying to deal with its own premise. Episodes never seemed to settle on exactly what kind of tone they wanted to take with characters later in the show tackling issues unique to being undead such as being a performer when you were alive, someone might recognize you as a performer now or how about dealing with the trauma of everyone you know having grown old?
Even in the episodes where the show decides it’s going to tackle these sorts of issues, we get a very Japanese payoff. “My father thought I was dead all these years and seeing me on stage yesterday is really messing with him because I look just like his dead daughter, but I can’t just TELL him I’m a zombie because…uhh…hrm…Oh well he’s accepted my passing.”
No sir I don’t like it.
Not one bit.
I need closure, but maybe that’s just me?
The songs from the performances in the show were quite good. I would say they’re a solid level of enjoyment over what comes to mind when thinking of typical idol songs. The OP however is absolutely fire. Grade A stuff. It’s going right into the mix list. Unfortunately, about 3/4ths of the dancing performances in the show were the same low-grade CG garbage that’s typical of the genre. I get it, it’s cheap, but having portions of the dances in the show be gorgeous and others flip back and forth to stiff 3d models is painfully jarring. The rest of the show was very visually appealing for the most part. The show had a very nice light palette, great stylistic choices, and certainly produced some fine memes for the anime community.
Overall, I’d say Zombieland Saga was an enjoyable experience that’s worth a watch and deserves a second course. I felt a genuine joy at some of the inspiring moments and empathy during the sad moments. It definitely had some loose bits that could use better stitching together, but the power of comedy and genki charm goes a long way to make a show worthy of being in someone’s anime collection.