The Cambridge Geek

Zombie Land Saga

I will confess to some wariness about this. I'm not very fond of idol shows generally, as I find the forced musical interludes mostly annoying, and the plots tend to get repetitive.

But apparently all is forgiven if you include zombies.

In the opening scenes of the anime, Sakura is hit and killed by a van. Bit of a bugger. Luckily, a decade later, the mysterious music producer Kotaro is capable of a bit of voodoo, and decides he's going to put together a legendary idol group. Thanks to the voodoo, he can assemble the world's seven greatest (dead) singers and dancers.

Which is how Sakura finds herself in a house full of dead girls.

"Thank goodness I'm dead."

That producer is probably my favourite part of this entire show, because he is a complete and utter tosser. He doesn't care about the fact that the girls might be adjusting poorly to being posthumous, he just wants them to give their all to improve the lot of the small town of Saga. And is prepared to shout at them until they feel better.

His management style could be described as "inconsistent". This includes eating icecream in important business meetings, killing any possible important emotional moment with the classical "shoo, shoo" out the door onto a stage, and always wearing shades indoors. He's totally cool. And possibly hiding a secret of his own.

I'm going to pretend he's swearing.

The music actually isn't terrible, especially the opening which should give you hints of how mad this is going to be. (Think Samurai Flamenco.) There's some entertaining death metal in the first episode that leads to a completely off the wall scene. I also suspect they got Retsuko to voice that one. It's screamy.

But then the second episode gives us a nice bit of rap battling, which is weirdly foretold by a cute scene in which our zombie girls are defended by a copper from some overly friendly men in the street. He happens to wander into view and immediately starts up his own rap battle with the troubling blokes. Excellent fun.

Both original sound and subs rhyme. Kinda impressive.

Absolutely a comedy, with missing limbs, heads popping off all over the place and some delightful people scaring. You occasionally get a view through the eyes of someone who isn't in on it, and the girls are always horrifying, but I don't think I ever stopped laughing, particuarly at the Ring reference. This is a show with characters who will happily tear each other apart, both figuratively and literally, and it's nice to see them not hold back.

Decent cast of characters as well, with a selection of idols who run quite a range of personalities. We've got the reluctants, the enthusiastic, the rebellious and the bitey. The interactions between them never feel overly sappy.

Try not to stare into their eyes for too long.

Easily going on my best of the season list, and recommended almost entirely without reservations. The one problem with it is that it's started dropping skinning in during some of the later music scenes. That's a trick that I pretty much always find irritating, but as long as it keeps it minimal, I can let it pass.

Score 5

Tagged: Anime Comedy Contemporary Monstergirls Friendship Crunchyroll Subbed