With Halloween seemingly creeping up more quickly every year, now is the perfect time to get into a fun, enjoyable zombie-filled anime -- so why not let it be Zombie Land Saga? Set in the titular Saga prefecture of Japan, this anime stars seven girls who star in a new pop idol group known as Franchouchou. Oh, and they're all zombies. That's pretty important to remember.
Here's why Zombie Land Saga is the perfect treat for anime fans to enjoy this Halloween.
What makes Zombie Land Saga so much fun to watch is how ridiculous its premise is. Brought back to life through unknown means, seven zombie girls are forced into an idol group that's meant to somehow breathe life into Saga, a prefecture considered very much on the decline. In most other anime, this decline would be due to corruption or other evil means. In Zombie Land Saga, it's just because people think Saga is a bit boring and underdeveloped. That's where Franchouchou comes in.
The seven girls -- who must keep their identities as undead pop idol zombies a secret -- all come from different backgrounds and time periods, making each of them quite unique in their own right. This helps create a very organic dynamic between them, one that feels surprisingly realistic. The performers in Franchouchou may fight sometimes, but most importantly they are there for each other whenever necessary, making these would-be idols more akin to sisters than coworkers.
Whereas anime like Tokyo Ghoul feature a protagonist who is inherently against their new life as a "monster," Zombie Land Saga has a much more upbeat and positive approach to it. While the girls of Franchouchou aren't exactly thrilled about their undeath, they consistently try to make the most of it. For the group's leader Saki, this manifests as a huge motivation to revitalize Saga, which was her hometown. With so many of Franchouchou's attempts at popularity being so relevant to Saga's own culture, Saki becomes as fervently obsessed as their manager Kotaro in succeeding.
While there is definitely an emotional core to Zombie Land Saga, it never gets too bogged down by it. Instead, it leans in hard on the absurdity of zombie pop stars. Almost every "scary" moment in the show is played for laughs, such as when people accidentally see the girls without their human makeup, or when they are performing and their limbs just start falling off.
The girls' manager, Kotaro, is possibly the most ridiculous character in the show and acts as something of driving force for Franchouchou -- as well as comedic relief throughout the story. While seemingly abusive at first, a deeper side of Kotaro is shown that makes his character incredibly likable. This happens to all the girls as well. Saki was the leader of a biker gang that took over Kyushu when she was alive, making her much more aggressive and confrontational than the other girls at first. Franchouchou's performing and team-building eventually convinces her to lower her guard and try and lead their group to the top of the charts.
With the mention of performances, it's the perfect time to get into Zombie Land Saga's music -- which is fantastic. Most of the songs are in the pop genre, but there are others that venture out into different genres or even different variations of pop itself -- there's even a battle rap. The songs also relate to the episodes themselves, which helps reinforce their meanings as well as giving the audience a clear idea of where the inspiration for them came from. Lily, Saki, and Yugiri's songs in particular reinforce this.
Then there's the show's second season, titled Zombie Land Saga Revenge. In many ways, Revenge raises the stakes from Season 1, while also featuring better animation and even deeper characterization. It is safe to say that this one of those instances where a show keeps getting better after its first season, something many anime fans know cannot be said too frequently.
Overall, Zombie Land Saga is an enjoyable romp of a show. It has great characters, a hilarious premise, and an incredible musical score. The only letdown is that there aren't more than two seasons -- yet. While it isn't the scariest show to watch this spooky season, it might very well be the most entertaining.
KEEP READING: Vampire Doll Guilt-Na-Zan Is a Delightful Vampire Manga for Halloween