Zombie Land Saga
|Zombie Land Saga|
Zombie Land Saga key visual
(Zonbi Rando Saga)
|Created by||MAPPA, avex pictures, Cygames|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Munehisa Sakai|
|Written by||Shigeru Murakoshi|
|Music by||Yasuharu Takanashi|
|Original network||AT-X, Tokyo MX, Sun TV, BS11, Saga TV, TVQ|
|Original run||October 4, 2018 – December 20, 2018|
|Anime television series|
|Zombie Land Saga Revenge|
|Written by||Megumu Soramichi|
|Original run||October 8, 2018 – present|
Zombie Land Saga (Japanese: ゾンビランドサガ, Hepburn: Zonbi Rando Saga) is an anime television series produced by MAPPA, Avex Pictures and Cygames. The series aired in Japan between October and December 2018. A second season titled Zombie Land Saga Revenge has been announced. A manga adaptation began serialization on Cygames' Cycomi website in October 2018.
In the year 2008, high school student Sakura Minamoto is abruptly killed by a truck on the morning she plans to submit an idol application. 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 revitalize Saga Prefecture by putting together an all-zombie idol group known as Franchouchou (フランシュシュ, Furanshushu).[a]
Franchouchou (フランシュシュ Furanshushu) is an idol group founded by Kōtarō Tatsumi, which is made up of 7 legendary girls/zombies and one normal resurrected by Kotaro. His goal is to save Saga and revive the trend of local idols in the process thanks to the zombieland saga project.
Because they can be persecuted when their real identities are exposed, they are presented with their aliases in public. Because they do not all come from the same period and some are unaware of the contemporary, they tend to show a conservative and old-fashioned stance. Tatsumi's original idea is to "support everyone's feelings beyond the ages" as a reason to collect members from different ages together.
At the beginning of the story, Sakura was the first to awaken her senses; then the others except for Tae Yamada, awakened their senses after the first performance. The group's names were provisionally "Death Musume" and "Green Face" respectively in their first two performances; but at the decision of the members of the group it was changed by "Franchouchou".
For all of them it is possible to eat and drink normally like a living human being, but because they are zombies, their bodies have injuries, scratches and stitches wrapped in bandages that would reveal the cause of death of each one in addition to having red pupils. When their bodies are under too much pressure, they cause their joints to click and loosen, causing eyeballs to open, limbs, torso, and head detach from the body.
When performing as normal idols, they take on an appearance no different from normal people thanks to Kotaro's abilities, however, being makeup, it easily comes off with water or rain. In addition, in their current state, they are unharmed by serious and fatal injuries such as gunshots, lightning or traffic accidents.
The work that Tatsumi offers them always wears them down because they are from one day to the next and two of the seven maintain a relaxed attitude. They practice singing and dancing in a studio located in a western-style house.
- Sakura Minamoto (源 さくら, Minamoto Sakura)
- Voiced by: Kaede Hondo (Japanese); Brina Palencia (English)
- Portrayed by Sakiho Motonishi
- A high school girl and aspiring idol who dies in 2008 after being hit by a truck following a rather dull life. She is the first of the zombies to regain consciousness after being resurrected, but initially retains no recollection of her life, only remembering parts of her past when she performs until she fully regains her memories. Her idol nickname is Zombie 1 (ゾンビィ1号, Zonbii Ichi-gō).
- Saki Nikaido (二階堂 サキ, Nikaidō Saki)
- Voiced by: Asami Tano (Japanese); Caitlin Glass (English)
- Portrayed by Yuriya Suzuki
- A delinquent girl and leading member of the all-female biker gang Dorami, which conquered the entire Kyushu region before her death during a chicken race in 1997. She is the appointed leader of Franchouchou. Her idol nickname is Zombie 2 (ゾンビィ2号, Zonbii Ni-gō).
- Ai Mizuno (水野 愛, Mizuno Ai)
- Voiced by: Risa Taneda (Japanese); Bryn Apprill (English)
- Portrayed by Rie Matsuoka
- The former lead performer of Iron Frill, a 2008 idol group Sakura idolized in life, who was killed after being struck by lightning during a concert. Not wanting to be remembered only for her tragic death, she resolves to work hard in her second chance at life. Her idol nickname is Zombie 3 (ゾンビィ3号, Zonbii San-gō).
- Junko Konno (紺野 純子, Konno Junko)
- Voiced by: Maki Kawase (Japanese); Amanda Lee (English)
- Portrayed by Yūna Kitahara
- A soft-spoken idol from the Shōwa period who was popular during the 1980s before dying in a plane crash. Coming from an era without social media, she has reservations towards personally interacting with her fans. Her idol nickname is Zombie 4 (ゾンビィ4号, Zonbii Yon-gō).
- Yugiri (ゆうぎり, Yūgiri)
- Voiced by: Rika Kinugawa (Japanese); Stephanie Young (English)
- Portrayed by Mioka Sakamoto
- An oiran who lived between the Bakumatsu and the Meiji Restoration eras in the 19th century. She has a bad habit of criticizing others for giving up, even if they do not have such thoughts in the first place. Her idol nickname is Zombie 5 (ゾンビィ5号, Zonbii Go-gō).
- Lily Hoshikawa (星川 リリィ, Hoshikawa Ririi)
- Voiced by: Minami Tanaka (Japanese); Sarah Wiedenheft (English)
- Portrayed by Rin Takanashi
- A prodigious transgender child actress, born Masao Go (豪 正雄, Gō Masao), who died from a heart attack caused by occupational stress and mental shock upon growing facial hair in 2011. She has no qualms about being a zombie, seeing it as a way to continue being a child forever. Her idol nickname is Zombie 6 (ゾンビィ6号, Zonbii Roku-gō).
- Tae Yamada (山田 たえ, Yamada Tae)
- Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (Japanese); Dawn M. Bennett (English)
- Portrayed by Asami Morita
- The only "legendary" girl with no other title, and the only zombie who has yet to regain her human consciousness. She is the one who officially names the group Franchouchou, which is derived from her sneezing. Her idol nickname is Zombie 0 (ゾンビィ0号, Zonbii Zero-gō).
- Kotaro Tatsumi (巽 幸太郎, Tatsumi Kōtarō)
- Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano (Japanese); Ricco Fajardo (English)
- Portrayed by Noriyuki Ohashi
- A manic producer and necromancer who resurrects Sakura and the other girls as zombies to revitalize Saga Prefecture by forming the idol group Franchouchou, tentatively titled Death Musume and Green Face by him. He is a skilled make-up artist, able to make the zombies look like normal humans during their public appearances. He also carries a supply of dried squid with him to appease the zombies. It is eventually revealed that he is Sakura's former high school classmate named Inui (乾), and that he wants to make her dream come true.
- Romero (ロメロ)
- Voiced by: Yasuhiro Takato (Japanese); Alejandro Saab (English)
- Kotaro's undead pet toy poodle.
- Male Cop A (警察官A, Keisatsukan A)
- Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Japanese); Austin Tindle (English)
- An unnamed police officer who repeatedly encounters Sakura and the other undead girls.
Related with Franchouchou
- Takeo Go (豪 剛雄, Gō Takeo)
The ex-manager and father of Lily. He is a large man whose face is often mistaken for that of a bully.
- Reiko Amabuki (天吹 麗子/霧島 麗子, Amabuki Reiko)
First captain of the motorcycle gang Dorami, who retired to give birth to Maria and lead a normal life. She saves a photo with Saki and the tamagotchi she used to use and owns her old motorcycle locked up.
- Shinta Okoba (大古場 新太, Okoba Shinta)
A chief reporter who works alongside his photographer Inuhashi. Both began investigating the band after recognizing Junko in the Drive-in Tori commercial.
- Master (マスター, Masutā)
The Master of "BAR New Jofuku", a mature man with a beard. Unknown real name. Tatsumi is an old friend of his and has knowledge of the Zombie Land Saga Project. He has a deep knowledge of Hagakure and other things, and the conversation with Tatsumi in Episode 11 suggests that he had a relationship with Yugiri in his life. The name of the bar "New Jofuku" is a clear reference to the legend of the same name in the Saga prefecture, Jofuku is the Japanese name of Xu Fu, Qin Shi Huang's court sorcerer, who was ordered by his chief to search for an "elixir of the immortals" on the top of the mythical Mount Penglai.
Cygames announced the series, in collaboration with Avex Pictures, on July 5, 2018. The series is directed by Munehisa Sakai and written by Shigeru Murakoshi, with animation by studio MAPPA. The series' character designs are provided by Kasumi Fukagawa, Kazuo Ogura is the art director, Takashi Yanagida is serving as director of photography, Azusa Sasaki is the color designer, and Masahiro Goto is editing the series. Yasuharu Takanashi is composing the series' music, which is produced by Avex Pictures, while dugout is producing the sound. The opening and ending theme songs respectively are "Adabana Necromancy" (徒花ネクロマンシー, Adabana Nekuromanshī, lit. "Fruitless Necromancy") and "Hikari e" (光へ, lit. "To the Light"), both performed by Franchouchou (Kaede Hondo, Asami Tano, Risa Taneda, Maki Kawase, Rika Kinugawa, and Minami Tanaka). The 12-episode series aired between October 4 and December 20, 2018, and was broadcast on AT-X, Tokyo MX, Sun TV, BS11, Saga TV, and TVQ. The series was simulcast with Japanese audio and English subtitles by Crunchyroll and with English audio by Funimation. On July 27, 2019, it was announced that the series is getting renewed for a second season, titled Zombie Land Saga Revenge.
The opening and ending themes were both released as singles paired with "FANTASTIC LOVERS" and "Jellyfish" (respectively, both sung by Iron Frill, Ai Mizuno's in-universe pre-Franchouchou idol group) on November 28, 2018, and they charted at #13 and #19 (respectively) in the Oricon Singles Chart on December 10, while the opening theme single topped the Billboard Japan Download Songs chart on the same day.
|No.||Title[b]||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Good Morning SAGA"|
Transcription: "Guddo Mōningu Saga" (Japanese: グッドモーニング SAGA)
|Shigeru Murakoshi||October 4, 2018|
|Sakura Minamoto, a high school girl with aspirations of becoming an idol, is suddenly hit by a truck. Awakening with amnesia, she finds herself in a zombie-filled mansion in Saga Prefecture, discovering that she has become a zombie herself when she is shot by a frightened police officer. A man named Kotaro Tatsumi explains that he has resurrected Sakura, who has been dead for ten years, along with several other zombie girls from various eras to form an idol group and revitalize Saga. Needing stimulation to awaken the other girls from their braindead state, Kotaro brings everyone to perform at a death metal concert. Despite Sakura's doubts, the girls react to the music and make it through the performance through screaming and headbanging alone, during which Sakura recalls some of her memories from when she was alive. Although the performance ultimately ends in disaster, almost all of the other zombies manage to regain their senses the next day.|
|2||"I♡HIPHOP SAGA"||Takashi Ishida||Shigeru Murakoshi||October 11, 2018|
|Displeased with their situation, the zombies Ai Mizuno and Junko Konno attempt to leave the mansion, prompting a worried Sakura to follow after them. The girls try to evade a group of rappers trying to hit on them, only to encounter the same policeman from before and run back to the mansion after being shot at again. The next day, the girls put on a show at Saga Castle, in which they nearly break their masquerade as regular humans when Tae Yamada – the only zombie yet to regain her senses – is accidentally decapitated on stage. Sakura gets into an argument with her rebellious bandmate Saki Nikaido over Tae's head, which escalates into a rap battle that convinces the audience that the fiasco is another part of their act.|
|3||"DEAD OR LIVE SAGA"||Tatsufumi Itō||Takuya Masumoto||October 18, 2018|
|As Kotaro makes plans for a live flash mob performance in front of Karatsu Station, the girls try to decide on a name for their group, ultimately settling on the name Franchouchou after the sound of Tae's sneezing. While the others motivate themselves to practice their routine overnight, Ai and Junko remain skeptical, leading the others to begin the performance without them. The performance runs into trouble after Sakura forgets her lyrics, but Ai and Junko step in to save the show, managing to attract at least one fan.|
|4||"Warming Dead SAGA"|
Transcription: "Wōmingu Deddo SAGA" (Japanese: ウォーミング・デッド SAGA)
|Shigeru Murakoshi||October 25, 2018|
|With their budget running out, Kotaro sends the girls to perform at a hot spring resort in Ureshino to earn a sponsorship deal with a pharmaceutical company. After taking a sightseeing tour and discussing their goals as idols, the girls discover that the skin patches they are promoting are effective at loosening their stiffened muscles, which they use to good effect during their performance. Later that night, Sakura, Saki, and Junko sneak into the hot springs against Kotaro's instructions, only to be spotted out of their human disguises by the pharmaceutical company's president, terrifying her and resulting in the girls losing the sponsorship deal.|
|5||"The Nice Bird SAGA in Your Heart"|
Transcription: "Kimi no Kokoro ni Naisu Bādo SAGA" (Japanese: 君の心にナイスバード SAGA)
|Takeshi Satō||Takuya Masumoto||November 1, 2018|
|To raise their profile, the girls perform in a commercial for the fried chicken restaurant Drive-In Tori in Imari, which is edited with footage of Tae attempting to devour the company's mascot. Later, the girls participate in the Kashima Gatalympics while wearing promotional Franchouchou T-shirts as a publicity stunt. When the girls get covered in mud in the first round, they are forced to keep themselves dirty to avoid washing their human makeup off, which ruins their self-advertisement. After Tae wins first prize, Sakura remembers giving her a spare shirt and tells her to remove her muddy clothes, only to discover that the clean shirt underneath is actually for Drive-In Tori. Meanwhile, a journalist in attendance named Shinta Okoba recognizes #4's resemblance to Junko Konno after viewing the Drive-In Tori commercial and decides to investigate her.|
|6||"Because It's Sentimental SAGA"|
Transcription: "Datte Senchimentaru SAGA" (Japanese: だってセンチメンタル SAGA)
|Yasunori Gotō||Shigeru Murakoshi||November 8, 2018|
|As Franchouchou hold a photo-op session with a small group of fans, Ai and Junko clash with each other over their different opinions on how idols should interact with their fans. Sakura hears from Junko about how hard she tried to become an idol in life, only to die in a plane crash before her first tour in Kyushu; feeling her outdated mindset on idols is hindering the other girls, Junko contemplates leaving Franchouchou. Meanwhile, Saki learns from Ai about how her death from a lightning strike during an outdoor concert at Tosu Stadium left her with a fear of lightning and a determination not to be overshadowed by her own death. The next day, Kotaro announces that Franchouchou will be a part of the Saga Rock Festival, where Ai and Junko are to perform a duet, causing the group to feel uneasy.|
|7||"But It's Zombiemental SAGA"|
Transcription: "Keredo Zonbimentaru SAGA" (Japanese: けれどゾンビメンタル SAGA)
|Shigeru Murakoshi||November 15, 2018|
|Junko refuses to practice for Franchouchou's Saga Rock performance and locks herself away, forcing Ai to cover her portion of their duet. On the day before the show, Kotaro assures Junko that she does not need to follow the modern standards of the idol industry, convincing her to rejoin the group. When a thunderstorm strikes during their performance, Ai breaks down on stage and struggles to sing, but Junko lends her support and Ai recovers. In the middle of their song, the zombies are struck by lightning, which illuminates their bodies and electrically filters their voices. The audience and media are impressed by these effects, and Franchouchou are reported as Saga Rock's breakout idol group.|
|8||"Go Go Neverland SAGA"|
Transcription: "GOGO Nebārando SAGA" (Japanese: GOGO ネバーランド SAGA)
|Takashi Ishida||Shigeru Murakoshi||November 22, 2018|
|As Franchouchou enjoy a string of new gigs and events, a large man named Takeo Go comes to one of their events after recognizing child star Lily Hoshikawa. Lily reveals that the man is her father and former manager, and that she is a transgender girl formerly known as Masao Go, who died from the shock of growing facial hair during her stressful television career. Realizing how much Takeo cared for Lily, Franchouchou invite him to a special concert where Lily performs a special song to give him a proper goodbye.|
|9||"Though My Life May Have Ended Once by Some Twist of Fate I Have Risen, and If Song and Dance Are to Be My Fate, Then Carrying the Memories of My Comrades in My Heart as I Sally Forth Shall Be My SAGA"|
Transcription: "Ichido wa Tsukita Kono Inochi, Nan no Inga ka Yomigaeri, Utai Odoru ga Sadame Nara, Tomo e no Omoi o Mune ni Hime, Tsuranuku Made yo Onore no SAGA" (Japanese: 一度は尽きたこの命なんの因果か蘇り歌い踊るが宿命なら親友への想いを胸に秘め貫くまでよ己のSAGA)
|Takeshi Satō||Takuya Masumoto||November 29, 2018|
|Saki stops a public altercation between Franchouchou and the remnants of her former biker gang, Dorami, whose current leader, Maria Amabuki, is challenged by the rival gang Korosuke to a chicken race towards a cliff at Mt. Kagami. Maria accepts the challenge in defiance of her mother, Saki's friend and former Dorami boss Reiko Kirishima, who retired from the gang for a normal married life following Saki's death during an identical race in 1997. Learning of the challenge, Saki takes Maria's place using Reiko's motorcycle, which she destroys in an explosion after jumping over the cliff a second time. After Saki returns unscathed, Reiko punches and scolds her for her recklessness, regaining Maria's respect. Saki and the rest of Franchouchou celebrate Reiko and Maria's reconciliation by performing an idol concert for both gangs.|
|10||"NO ZOMBIE NO IDOL SAGA"||Yasunori Gotō||Takuya Masumoto||December 6, 2018|
|Franchouchou are scheduled to hold a concert at local performance venue Arpino, which Sakura feels may be a clue to regaining her memories. When the girls are sent to the mountains as part of their training, Sakura becomes annoyed that everyone is more focused on wilderness survival than practicing for the show. As things start to become more awkward between Sakura and the others, she observes the others' teamwork and realizes she was acting selfishly. A week before the concert, Sakura gets hit by a truck again, causing her memories to revert to when she was still alive.|
|11||"A One-of-a-Kind SAGA"|
Transcription: "Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no SAGA" (Japanese: 世界にひとつだけの SAGA)
|Kōnosuke Uda||Shigeru Murakoshi||December 13, 2018|
|Losing her memories of being a zombie on top of regaining her old ones, Sakura is left with a pessimistic belief that she can't make it as an idol. After the others fail to reason with her, Sakura leaves the house, recalling how every attempt at trying hard at something in life led to something going wrong, including her death. Despite Sakura's negativity, Kotaro remains determined not to give up on her.|
|12||"Good Morning Again SAGA"|
Transcription: "Guddo Mōningu Agein SAGA" (Japanese: グッドモーニング アゲイン SAGA)
|Shigeru Murakoshi||December 20, 2018|
|With Sakura remaining defiant as the show draws closer, Tae grows particularly frustrated and attempts to scold Sakura out of inaction. Tae is unable to adequately convey her message but her actions move Yugiri and Ai out of their passive treatment of Sakura and together succeed in convincing Sakura to rejoin the group's rehearsal, regardless of their chances of success. On the day of the concert, heavy snowfall causes the venue to collapse and wreck the stage, but the girls continue their performance regardless, encouraging Sakura to do the same. Together, they manage to give a successful performance, with Sakura regaining her full memories in the process. In a cliffhanger at the end, Okoba begins to notice a connection between Franchouchou's members and the people they were in life.|
Steve Jones of Anime News Network described the revelation of Lily's gender identity as "the episode's biggest talking point", and described her death as "[t]he most bizarre detail of [her] past" and "com[ing] across like slapstick". Kate O'Neil of The Fandom Post gave the episode "Go Go Neverland SAGA" an A, stating "It’s so incredibly rare to see a transgender character in anime that isn’t being a stereotype or played to some horrible trope that I missed it. Even rarer to show a supportive, loving parent of a transgender child." The Daily Dot described Lily as "trans Twitter’s latest role model".
During a May 2019 session of the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights where executives from Facebook and Twitter faced accusations over the way they handled abuse and harassment of parliamentarians on social media, Scottish National Party Member of Parliament Joanna Cherry cited, among several abusive tweets that were not removed swiftly by Twitter, one involving Lily Hoshikawa.
Gadget Tsūshin listed "nice bird" (referring to the fifth episode) and "Masao" (Lily's birth forename) in their 2019 anime buzzwords list.
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