Zombie Land Saga

   An anime original series, “Zombie Land Saga” started on Oct. 4, 2018 and is planned for a 12 episode run. The manga dropped four days after the first episode, taking the stage on Oct. 8, 2018 in the magazine ‘Cycomi.’ The anime is produced by Cygames in a collaboration with Avex Pictures with the show being animated by studio MAPPA.

   The show was directed by Munehisa Sakai, written by Shigeru Murakoshi and the music was created by Yasuharu Takanashi, a prolific composer and arranger for a number of anime. He has done work for several iterations of the “Pretty Cure!” franchise as well as “Naruto Shippuden,” which encompasses the movies and even “Boruto.”

   Funimation and Crunchyroll both have licenses for the series and stream it on their websites upon new releases.

   “Zombie Land Saga” starts out with Sakura Minamoto circa 2003 as she leaves for school with a manila envelope. Unfortunately, her day is ruthlessly cut short as, once she steps outside of her house, she is run over by a truck and promptly killed.

   Ten years pass before she is brought back as a zombie along with six other girls that are considered “legendary” in terms of show business from different eras in Japan’s history. The person that brings the girls back to life is a man named Kotaro Tatsumi, where he only has one goal in mind: to form an all-zombie idol group in order to save the Saga prefecture.

   However, at the start, Sakura is the only zombie that has regained her sentience; the others do not become properly conscious until after the group’s first performance.

   As the seven girls come together, they go through a few names for their group (such as Death Musume and Green Face courtesy of Tatsumi) before ultimately coming up with Franchouchou, taken from another member’s odd sneezing sound.

   Each girl is given a number as opposed to using their name since, in some cases, those that knew the girls when they were alive may still be around and it would raise suspicion. They are numbered zero through six and announce themselves as such prior to their performances.

   Member Zero is Tae Yamada, the reason behind the group’s name as well as the only girl in the group that has yet to regain her human consciousness. She exhibits typical zombie behavior such as biting (though it doesn’t turn a person into a zombie), having detachable body parts, and being unable to speak. She’s kept from attacking others by Tatsumi, who carries around dried squid to keep her placated.

   Member One is the show’s protagonist, Sakura. Her circumstances are a bit odd in comparison to the other zombies; she is the only one that was never a professional idol (having planned to audition for the group Iron Frill when she died) as well as the only one to be revived with no memories.

   Member Two is Saki Nikaido, the delinquent leader of a biker gang (and now Franchouchou) who conquered Kyushu during the 1990s.

   Member Three is Ai Mizuno. She was formerly the lead vocalist of Iron Frill before she died.

   Member Four is Junko Konno, an idol from the Shōwa era who was popular during the 1980s. As social media didn’t exist then, modern idol culture comes as a shock to her.

   Member Five is Yugiri, a courtesan from between the Bakumatsu and Meiji Restoration eras in the 19th century. She is the eldest of the girls as she was 19 when she passed.

   Finally, Member Six is Lily Hoshikawa. The youngest of the bunch at age 12, she was a child star prior to her abrupt death.

   “Zombie Land Saga,” which charted as a horror show for the zombie aspect, is absolutely a comedy. The characters interactions are fun and bright along with how the concept itself is a parody of idol culture as a whole.

   It’s an anime that has been outstanding in terms of music and animation, making it an enjoyable watch for all audiences.

Erika Brandenburg
Arts and Entertainment Editor

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