Zombieland Saga Review: Not the zombie series you signed up for

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Sakura has the best faces

This series ended up being a crazy set of ups and downs for me. It had an explosive opening that definitely caught me off-guard. I didn’t really have an issue buying into the premise of zombie idols attempting to save Saga, and I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed the first few episodes. I preferred the show when it was at its most insane levels, delivering absurd parodies of typical idol shows. When it winds down, though, it ends up being not too much different than the shows it satirizes, albeit with more ridiculous character backgrounds.

The legendary rap battle

Additionally, the story feels incomplete in the end. Sakura, the main character, ends up being a bummer in the show’s final moments, and her ultimate significance is only hinted at. Given that she’s the core of the story despite being a purported normal girl, it makes sense that the show revolves around her, but I didn’t feel too satisfied with the explanation.

Tae mimics Saki

Overall, I can’t be too upset with the general theme of the series. It takes the standard idea of overcoming individual flaws with the help of friends and amps it up to absurd levels by giving the characters the bad luck of literally dying. From a character perspective, I also liked some of the stories, like Saki’s story, but it was a bit sad that some of the characters didn’t seem to get any focus, like Yuugiri and Tae. Tae happened to be my favorite character, so it was sad that Sakura got a second awakening while Tae was pushed off to the side.

The girls get covered in mud

At the end of the day, the series was an enjoyable experience. It definitely wasn’t the show I was expecting to see when I loaded up the first episode, but I think it still ended up being better than I could have expected. The highlights of the show for me are probably the rap battle in episode 2 and pretty much everything that Tae does.

Overall Score: 6/10

Good for a lot of laughs, but the show gets really weird when it tries to be serious.

Fall 2018 Grab Bag Week 8: Zombieland Saga

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Junko locks herself in

Zombieland Saga Episode 7

This show is one of the weirdest ones to talk about, not only because it’s a comedy series but also because it can be a bit of a wild ride. For me, it tends to be strongest when it’s at its most absurd levels. In contrast, I think the series tends to become more monotonous when it falls back towards the hallmarks of a typical idol show. I get that it may sometimes be necessary since the show is an idol show even if it’s trying to make fun of them, but it’s just not as entertaining for me.

Koutarou confronts Junko

In this episode in particular, I think we’re just missing too much background on Junko. I get that her memories of her previous life are weak because she’s a zombie, but it’s harder to understand her based solely on her constant insistence that idol culture has changed too much. Maybe if I was someone who was more versed in idol culture, I might know this, but I’m really not that guy.

Koutarou lectures Junko about herself

That being said, Koutarou had a pretty decent speech in this episode, encouraging Junko to stay true to her roots regardless of the modern social climate. The joke that she’s a zombie, not a robot, was funny because zombies tend to be even more mindless than robots.

Junko is hit by a van

I appreciate a good call back to the first episode.

Tae mimics Saki

For me, Tae is a really consistent source of comedy in this show, and I think it’s hilarious that she’s finally starting to speak by copying Saki, the “leader”.

The zombies are struck by lightning

Having the girls get struck by lightning anyway is a funny way to get Ai over her issues. I appreciate that the lightning strike is incorporated into the song too, but it ends up sounding like cheap autotune, which is less great.

Zombieland Saga First Impressions (1): Just an average, everyday idol show

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This series doesn’t even make me sad to be watching an idol show. It does make me feel bad writing about it, though, since I think a lot of the episode relies on surprise to deliver jokes. Personally, misdirection humor tends to work pretty well for me, so I had a blast watching the episode. So yeah, zombies forming an idol group. What could go wrong?

The opener really does a great job of setting the tone for the series. Truck-kun is merciless. I probably should have noticed the giant 2008 calendar in the beginning, but the typical idol girl introduction really disarms you. I also loved the way the screaming music starts just as the camera zooms on Sakura’s dying face.

I’m not going to lie. I was really hoping that Sakura’s appearance in this whole section was just a result of her own personal perception. I think showing off the manager’s makeup skills makes more sense, but I like the idea of messing with perception, and it reminds me of Gakkou Gurashi.

This is a good representation of what it feels like when you’re the only person paying attention in class. Also, can we talk about the sound effect that was playing when the morning sun was being shown? I don’t know if it shows up in other media, but it sounds exactly like the sound effect that plays when you “wake up” in 7 Days to Die (which is a game I’ve played a lot).

It’s a funny joke…but I actually do want to know how Koutarou managed to bring everyone back as zombies.

I don’t know how I feel about the fact that extreme headbang is the only appeal of these zombies. I guess they’re just starting out, so I shouldn’t be so harsh.

I’m relieved to see the other zombies waking up. Dealing with a single sentient zombie would probably get old pretty quickly. We should give zombies more personality, right? That being said, it does bring up a troubling question. Just what exactly does Sakura do in this show? Before, she was just “the sane one”, but what now?