WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 5, "Little Bodda Bope SAGA," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 5 focuses on everyone's favorite sickenly adorable, trans zombie girl, Lily Hoshikawa. The rest of the Franchouchou ensemble, in the meantime, takes to the sidelines as Lily represents the group on the TV competition show Japanese Got Performance (a non-copyright-infringing substitute for the Got Talent franchise). Lily's certainly "got performance," but the competition is fierce, and as is often the case in Zombie Land Saga, the line between victory and failure is blurred.
Lily's first performance is a piece of traditional rakugo storytelling. Lily's stage name of "Number Six" is "rokugo" in Japanese, so this somewhat unexpected talent of hers is also a pun. She easily outshines Kotaro Tatsumi, whose impression of a mudskipper in heat is not the sort of talent the judges are looking for. Her serious competition in the preliminary rounds is Light Oozora, another child star whose juggling routine excites the audience.
To put it bluntly, Light's a brat. Fame has gone to his head and he's the sort of kid who wants to act like he's more grown-up than he really is, chiding Lily for her childishness (unaware that Lily is permanently a child). He deviously plots to steal Lily's act for the second round, telling himself "Just as planned," as if he was Light Yagami from Death Note. Lily had been planning to sing "Life," a song set to the tune of "Amazing Grace" that she used to sing with her dad. Sure enough, Light goes on stage first... and sings the exact same song.
Fortunately, Lily comes up with a plan to salvage her now-stolen act. Redesigning her dress, she goes on stage also singing "Life" -- but this time, it's an improvised skat remix with energetic dance moves. The judges ultimately award Light the win, sending him off to the finals in Tokyo while Lily will stay in Saga with Franchouchou (at this point, it kind of seems like the zombies are cursed to be unable to leave). However, Lily's dance goes viral online and brings a fresh, younger crowd to Franchochou's audience. Even Light recognizes that Lily's performance was superior, and she has to reassure him of his own abilities.
This episode is nowhere near as surprising or emotional as Lily's previous spotlight episode in Season 1, "Go Go Neverland SAGA," but it's a likable half-hour nonetheless. It's sweet getting to see Lily's dad rooting for her as he watches the TV, and the skat performance continues Revenge's impressive track record for musical performances. Lily Hoshikawa will always sparkle, and we'll always love her for it.
New episodes of Zombie Land Saga Revenge premiere Thursdays on Crunchyroll.
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