A series like Zombieland Saga doesn’t come around very often. This series finds a way to break out of tropes and become something more. What does it do to make itself stand out so well? Time to dig in and find out.
Sakura Minamoto is dead. The good kind of dead where she can still head-bang to heavy metal and sing in an idol group fresh from the grave. When the crowd comes begging for more, can she put on a show that will knock ’em dead?
Idol shows are a dime a dozen, and it takes a special aspect to make them really stand out. Enter Zombieland Saga, a series where all the idols in the group are zombies. Despite this being a crazy premise it actually allows for both dramatic and comedic moments to occur. The humor comes from having to hide their identities as zombies from others. The group has to wear a large amount of makeup when they go outside and sometimes have to worry about limits falling off at inappropriate moments.
The drama comes from showing the back story of different characters and what their lives were like before becoming zombies. Since all the girls are dead and are unable to reclaim their former lives. This means they have no choice but to move on and still claim a place for themselves even though they are dead. The backstories of Lily, Saki, and Ai reveal some very deep character moments through their exploration. This element allows for a level of drama absent from other idol shows.
The series has a way of switching seamlessly between dark tones when the girls are in their zombie forms and into lighter ones when they are fully dressed up and disguised as humans. This adds to the visual appeal of the show. There also are different costumes for different performances throughout the series and not just the same old stage outfit every single time. In fact, the only downside is the occasional stitch to CGI for a few performances which has become popular in idol animes as the creators feel it helps represent the more fluid aspects of singing and dancing. News flash everyone! The audience notices and its the one aspect we don’t like.
Though the series eventually settles on idol pop. there are a few songs spread throughout the series of different genres. Most notable is the rap battle two characters have with each other in the second episode. It is a fantastic moment as you don’t see it coming but it helps to turn the entire episode around.
On top of dubbing the songs and the rap battles (which are a highlight for the entire series), the limited edition comes with a few cute physical collectibles. There are some art cards, some mini magnets of the characters, and a 20-page art book featuring character designs and the different screencaps before and after the commercial breaks. These extras seem more appealing to those who would already be fans of the show but are still welcome extras.
Zombie Land Saga seems like an idol show made for people who don’t like idol shows. Basically, a series even those who aren’t fans of the genre can get into. The show was so successful, a sequel entitled Zombieland Saga Revenge has been announced. Take the time to prepare for the sequel by checking out this first season for yourself.