Zombie Land Saga

Type: And they say comedy is dead!

Synopsis: Thank you, I’ll show myself out.

Pros: The anime is about a group of zombie girls from different times brought back to life to become Idols for a small Japanese prefecture. Saga is apparently a real place, though I don’t know how hard up they are for tourists. I hear their chicken is pretty good. Anyway, this show is known for being one of the best comedies of 2018. The comedy comes from three sources: The clashes of personalities between the girls, the brash nature of their manager (Kotaro), and the shows love for abrupt jokes. I mean, when the opening joke of a girl getting hit my a truck becomes a meme, I think you know what kind of show your getting into. The show has a strong cast, and I especially liked Sakura’s anxiety, Saki’s rudeness, and Yugiri’s slapping ability. If you want just pure comedy, I would say focus on episodes 1-5, which show the girls getting into idol-related situations as a group. From doing a silly commercial to trying to land a promotion deal, Franchouchou’s hijinks do a lot to sell the ensemble nature of the show. And the show does get very silly. The animators were clearly having fun at some moments. Tae bursting into a room will never be not great.

Cons: First off, this is an idol show. Zombie gimmick aside, a lot of the stories revolved around being an idol. So if you aren’t digging the rise of idol shows in anime, this probably won’t change your mind. This is because two of the show’s main characters, Ai and Junko, have story arcs the specifically revolved around being idols. Being only actual girls with idol experience, the show explores Ai and Junko’s hesitation to join another group. The show actually does a lot of character work, despite having a reputation as a irreverent comedy. Episodes 6-12 gives each of the characters (except Yugiri and Tae) spotlights episodes exploring their pasts in some way. Ai and Junko have a philosophical disagreement over idol-fan interactions. We learn how Lily and Saki died, and the people they left behind. We also get a three-episode exploration of Sakura’s character as the season finale. While all this is great, is does take away from the comedy of the earlier episodes. So from a comedy scale of Adam Sandler to Adam Sandler, I’d give this a Adam Sandler in Click (2006). Solid, but some of the emotional beats don’t quite mesh well with the comedic nature of the story. (p.s. Those 3D performances were also not great!)

Watch it: Better than dying, resurrecting, then becoming a singer (4/5)

MVP: The Rap Battle in Ep. 2

With one season out, will I live to see season 2? The way the anime industry is going, I don’t know….

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “Go Go Neverland SAGA” (Apparently there was some controversy over Lily being trans, but honestly? It’s a very sweet and funny story. Father-daughter stories get me ever time).

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