Irina: We are continuing this fun, odd little trip into the genre mashing experiment that is Zombieland Saga. The audience for this show seems rather divided. Crow (crowsworldofanime.com) and I made our first impressions stand pretty clear but let’s see if the enthusiasm keeps up.

I generally prefer my cute girl shows to have a genre beside “cute” but I realize that the balancing act isn’t always easy to pull off. Being only 3 episodes in, it’s much too early to judge but we can at least try to see where this is going. Yeah…I’m trying to analyze Zombieland Saga, I took a wrong turn somewhere. Scratch that, let’s just have fun!

Crow: I think you’re onto something with the balancing act. The show veered perilously close to normal this week, and that’s scary! But I think it’s part of a larger plot — more on that later.

Zombieland Sage episode 3
go on…

The GooD:

Now that I’ve seen it again, I really love that OP. It has a fun old school TV show Batman feel to it. It just makes me happy when I see it.

The episode wasn’t as goofy as previous ones but Yuguri’s scene was pure comedy gold to me. When she slapped Sakura so dismissively right in the middle of her inspirational speech, I was already cracking up (because I’m pure evil). There was just something in the way that slap was animated that was both satisfying and hilarious to watch. This show really knows how to draw an impact!

At first, I figured they were just mocking the usual optimistic cute girl trope. I was happy with that. But when Yuguri subverts even that by blatantly stealing Sakura’s speech and spotlight and claiming all the glory for herself. Like I said – pure comedy gold. Yuguri just skyrocketed as favourite Zombie girl.

Zombieland Sage episode 3
just brilliant!

And what about Sakura’s faceplant? Tae had the merry-go-round going so fast that when she abruptly stopped it, Sakura went flying to land face first. I was like, “Oh, no! She’s a zombie! What happened her face — she can’t heal!” Then the camera hesitated to show her face. Was I the only one half afraid she’d turn around to reveal a new face made entirely of dirt? I think the director was messing with us…

Gorilla idol shows remind me of flash mobs and I really wish my life had more of both.

Once again, we have the pervy (He’s not actually pervy, just in my head) cop character making a comeback. And I still am enjoying seeing what should be throwaway characters serve as a through-line in the narrative. It’s a little shaky but it’s still a device I enjoy.

Surprisingly, I feel like manager had one of the best lines in the episode: “…they are trying to live, how long do you intend to just rot?” I wasn’t expecting anything so poignant from him.

That made me almost feel sympathy for him. Almost! But it was a suspiciously great line. I wonder if we’ll learn more about his back story?

They did bring us classic pop this week, continuing the changing trend and I’m all for it but…

Zombieland Saga episode 3
this looks like both the best and worst show ever

The BaD:

This episode really played out much more like a traditional CGDCT episode. Despite the name of this section, I don’t think that’s a bad thing per see, it’s just not really what I was looking for in this show.

I think it’s a set up. Really!

The actual idol performance was bad. I mean it was supposed to be, that was part of the plot. The dance moves were actually pretty fun and seemed simple enough to recreate at home. They really did look like a real idol show as opposed to anime one. However, there was some type of CG during that scene that just didn’t mesh completely. I was making faces at my screen trying not to tumble into the uncanny valley the whole time. Am I the only one? Was I seeing things? Don’t you hate it when that happens?

It didn’t mesh perfectly, that’s for sure! To me, it looked like a cross between the kind of CG I’m used to (and like!) from Arpeggio of Blue Steel or BBK/BRNK, and standard animation. It looked like they tried to soften the edges of the CG to mesh. After I saw what they were doing, I went with it, but yeah, the uncanny valley was calling!

Screen-Shot-2018-10-19-at-2.22.14-PM.png
I take it back it was a great performance

Franchouchou is really fun to say but it’s still my least favourite band name so far. I wish they had let her write in with Kanji.

I’m wondering when the last girl will awaken. I’m afraid she’ll stay Zombie forever. That’s also not a bad thing in the show structure. I just think it’s a little sad for her…

Although Manager was still a bit too much in the first act for me and that delivery gets grating, I think he improved from last week so I’m bumping him up from Ugly to Bad… My rating system is pretty random.

At least he’s moving up in the world!

Zombieland Saga episode 3
they really are quite cute

The UglY:

This is more of a sinking suspicion that a failure of the episode itself. I have this uneasy feeling that with the girls choosing a name for themselves and an actual authentic idol performance where everyone practice, this will mean an end to the musical genre hopping and name changing. And this will make me very very sad.

The slight tonal shift away from Zombie comedy and decidedly towards cute girl idols also makes me think that the show is about to settle down into a much more classical idol show with the idea of Zombies as just a background quirk for flavour. I really hope I’m wrong as that would strip away all the zany, frantic weirdness I particularly enjoy.

If the show had to settle, I would have preferred if they had chosen a more unusual musical genre than idol pop…

Don’t get me wrong, the episode itself was still mostly charming. I do like idols and I enjoyed the show in all it’s cheesy glory. Part of me is simply afraid that they are about to sanitize the more unusual elements and that will leave us with a rather run of the mill show, which would be a shame. What do you think Crow?

Zombieland Saga episode 3
see- it’s weird

This is where I think the writer’s setting us up! Just look at the wonderful OP — do you think the crew that brought us that satirical masterpiece will settle for a standard CGDCT show?

Would the writers who had Yuguri slap Sakura just to perform a two-level parody be happy with repeating this episode’s formula every week?

I think (okay, I hope) that they gave us this episode to lull us into a false sense of complacency! Not only that, but wasn’t it kinda of triumphant when Junko and Ai finally came to the rescue? Yeah, it was corny, and yeah, it came awfully close to cliche, but it was still fun.

What do you think, Irina? Another case of me being too optimistic?

Actually Crow, you have an excellent point! I’m so glad you’re here. Alright, can’t wait to see what next week brings!

Also, I’m a sucker for these things so of course I cheered when Ai and Junko showed up and even more when the little girl was dancing….

Zombieland Saga episode 3
you go little girl! find your bliss

And here are some more screencaps:

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24 thoughts on “Irina and Crow in Zombieland (Saga) ep3: Guts and Glory”

  1. The opening for this show is so fun! I’m expecting my interest in this one to incrementally decrease with each new ep, as it inevitably turns into an average idol show. For now, though, it’s pretty fun :’3

  2. As I said to Karandi, this is a show that doesn’t warrant critical analysis, – it’s a silly show so I enjoy it as such! 😛

    1. You know,i think simple yet pleasant things that bring people joy aren’t that common. There may be some value into figuring them out. Like recipes with few ingredients but a delicate balance that create really yummy dishes. Maybe i just have more free time…

      1. I guess what I mean is, for me, worrying about the details and logic of something that is patently daft isn’t a concern otherwise I’ll never enjoy it, so I prefer to take it at face value.

        If this show starts crossing certain lines or doesn’t develop further then I’ll have something to say about it, but at the moment just the idea of zombies being idols is enough for 20 minutes of light fun a week for me. 🙂

  3. This is my current go to for balance. What I mean by that is, after watching the first episode of Goblin Slayer, I urgently needed something pleasant haha.

    It’s charming and very simple but that’s exactly what I needed! I do hope it plays on the zombi-com element more though.

    And yeah, this does seem in danger of falling into the idol factory but there are perhaps hints of a grander scheme (or is that just wishful thinking?).

  4. The best part of the first two episodes was the “so crazy it has to work” element of the performances. Sadly, this was missing during the third episode.

    Hopefully next week’s onsen episode will let them play up the zombie hijinks again.

  5. This was easily my least favourite episode so far, but I still had fun. The CGI was bad, but I’d like to tell myself that’s a deliberate dig at the idol genre: bad CGI is fairly common in non-dedicated shows that have idols in them, and sometimes even in full-on idol shows, so choosing CGI for the sequence that focusses on full-out idol performance makes sense. It’s just… even if it was deliberate, bad CGI scenes are bad CGI scenes.

    I did like the solitary fan dancing along. That was fun.

    I’m hoping this was a one-off, too. First, it makes sense that we’re going the idol route in the episode dedicated to the actual idols. Second, as far as we know so far, they’re trying to save “Saga”. Region invigoration might have a different set of requirements than a Tokyo cash magnet. We’ll see.

    Also, that screen shot from the OP opened my eyes to the Robert Palmer videos of the 80ies.

      1. Well, we have a master of makeup…

        Mamoru Miyano: “I didn’t mean to turn you on.”

        That would make a scene.

  6. The fun thing is that as you know I’m not a fan of comedies and I have seen a lot of bloggers that are not really liking this one anymore since the pilot episode. But…I’m still enjoying this one quite a lot (maybe I just have a way too weird sense of humor lol 😂😂).

    1. Puhshaw. You know, since I’ve heard you a say you are not a big comedy fan, I’ve regularly seen you enjoy the genre.
      I think this is all just comedy prejudice!

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