- Titles: Zombieland Saga: Revenge, Zombie Land Saga Revenge
- Genre: Idol, comedy, supernatural
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: MAPPA
Making it as an idol isn’t an easy task. And every step along the way can be your last! A year ago, Franchouchou put on what was suppose to be their marquis performance and bombed tragically. They’ve been working hard to get out of debt and climb their way back up ever since then. But the legendary girls of Franchouchou aren’t about to give up just like that. They’re going to pick themselves up, pay their dues all over again and sober up their manager cause Koutarou’s looking a little rough. And once they get their confidence back, Franchouchou is going to put on their biggest concert yet! A concert so grand it could save all of Saga! Everyone is about to witness Franchouchou’s revenge!
I just finished the second season of Zombie Land Saga. I’ve been watching it as it airs and reviewing the episodes with Crow. If you can’t get enough reviews, please go read them over of Crow’s site: Here. As for me, I’m still trying to round up all my little stray thoughts. It was quite a season and quite a…revenge!
I am really digging MAPPA lately. I feel like everything I have seen from the studio in the past few years has been visually compelling. They aren’t afraid of playing with art and animation styles which often yields rewards.
Zombie Land Saga Revenge is a little more restrained since it’s a sequel and the look of it is already established. I always did enjoy the look of Zombie Land though so I think that getting more of the same is a good thing. During our reviews, Crow mentioned that he thought the was a visible loss of quality in the art but I didn’t notice. I haven’t gone back to compare with the first season though.
For my part, I thought Revenge looked pretty much exactly like season 1. The only production detail I noticed is that the CG performances (a staple of any self-respecting idol show) seem to be a little less utterly terrifying. That’s a good thing. Other than that, it was pretty par for the course as far as my viewing went.
Story & Characters
For those of you who may not know, I quite like Idol shows. And I think Zombie Land Saga is one of the better ones. Granted I usually watch them for the camp of it all but there’s an undeniable charm. To me, idol anime is sort of a fusion of Slice of Life, with band members trying something new each week and going on inconsequential mini-adventures and Sports! anime with a lot of training and practicing for the big..night!
Zombie Land falls comfortably into that mould. Or at least it did. Zombie Landa Saga Revenge tries something new in that the season is roughly divided into two arcs. The general goal of the season is for Franchouchou to get their stuff together and play that concert at Furusato Exhibition Hall one year after their big flop.
In the first half (three quarters) of the season, it’s a bit of a pipe dream as Franchouchou is deeply in debt and the band has lost a lot of confidence and credibility. Most of these episodes are dedicated to the girls working hard to get back in the black and try to find their footing on stage once more.
Then a wrench gets thrown in the works and Saga is hit by a massive storm and Typhoon. The series shifts gear into soft survival mode as the girls find shelter and try to figure out how to keep their Zombie status secret now that the world is in chaos. Koutarou is also separated from the rest for a few episodes. It gets a little tense.
And all throughout, just like in season 1, we get flashbacks of the girl’s lives or meet up with people the girls use to know. And it’s usually super touching.
If I had to compare, I would say season 1 was a little wittier and more agile. The premise and characters were new and Zombie Land wasn’t afraid to subvert a few expectations, even if it was by adhering to tropes. The zombie twist sort of breath some life into the genre.
Season 2 by contrast is more touching. The characters and style are already clearly established so the show takes a bit more time to just carefully build everyone up and solidify the bonds between characters. It’s much less bombastic. I would find myself often starting episodes trying to figure out whether I actually liked Revenge as much as I had liked Zombie Land Saga. But it is rewarding in a different way. I often ended episodes with my Kleenex box in hand enthusiastically telling myself I like the second season as much as the first.
In the end though, I figure this will be a personal experience.
I don’t think Zombie Land Saga Revenge can really be fully enjoyed without watching Zombie Land Saga first. There is just too much build-up and foundation in the first season to skip it. So if you haven’t watched either, I strongly recommend going back to season 1.
However, I figure a fair few of you are here because you did watch the first season and are curious about the second. Or because you already watch Zombie Land Saga Revenge and want to see if we had the same experience. I do that a lot!
There is a certain charm to Zombie Land Saga that is present throughout Revenge as well. To me, slightly ironically, Zombie Land Saga Revenge was the softer, calmer experience. But that’s not a bad thing by any means.
And then it ended…
OK so I stand behind what I said for all but the last few seconds of Zombie Land Saga Revenge. Oh and Koutarou’s character. Actually, let’s talk about Koutarou for a second. The character has always been divisive. He’s very loud which can get annoying in anime format and even though he clearly cares about the girls, he has a military drill sergeant way of showing it which isn’t all that appealing to some fans. Myself included. But throughout the course of the first season, he grew a lot and soften to a rather likeable character.
Revenge puts Koutarou through the wringer. He starts the season as a washed-out alcoholic. And when he gets over that, he seems to have lost all the growth he did in season 1 and reverts back to his old screaming ways. But we also frequently see scenes of him giving it all he has for the girls and being both truly encouraging and honestly supportive. He also spends quite a while just trying to survive in a flooded basement bar after the storm. And after he is finally rescued, immediately thinks about how to best help the girls.
However, he’s kind of off the whole season. There was a scene of him washed up on the shore with seagulls picking at him as if he was a corpse. And I thought it might have been a flashback to his drunken days or that he had a relapse. But no, and it’s never explained. He’s more fidgety and nervous than we’ve seen him. It might be that Saga is running out of time and that’s why he’s acting this way. But for the entire season, his mere presence tells us that there’s something wrong.
And then in the last episode, he seems to be bleeding. We don’t know why. Was it his near-death experience? Is there something else wrong? Is it ketchup? No clue… Iy’s uncomfortable.
The very last scene of Zombie Land Saga Revenge is…unexpected. In the way that something that characters have been telling us would happen ever since season 1 can be unexpected. I have to see where (if anywhere) Zombie Land goes from here to really make my mind up about how I feel.
For now, all I can say is that if this is the last we hear of Zombie Land Saga then, I’m impressed!
Oh and on a final final note. Revenge doubles down on the theme of saving Saga. We never quite know from what but the subtext points to saving Saga from being forgotten. I didn’t do this in season 1 but there were a couple of historical episodes in Revenge that really piqued my interest so I started looking things up.
Zombie Land is really set in Saga and is uses some of the beautiful landmarks not only in the images but incorporates them into the lore and narrative of the story. I was honestly pretty amazed. I’m not sure if Zombie Landa Saga was created in collaboration with the Saga tourism board or something, but it worked on me. I want to go visit. And I now know and care about Saga in a way I didn’t before. So congratulations Kiichi, a century later on the opposite side of the world, someone still cares about Saga!
You might like this anime if:
You liked the first season. You like adorable Zombie Idols and don’t mind the fact that there’s very little traditional fanservice.
My favourite character:
I have a real soft spot for Death Oji A and B but I also really liked Junko this season. I found her character arc endearing.
- Every time anyone is having sake – join them
- Every time we see the Death Ojis – raise your glass
- Every time anyone says “Saga” – don’t do anything, it happens all the time
- Every time Tae tries to eat something(one) – get a snack
- Every time Koutarou explodes – take a sip
- Every time Yugiri is motherly – take a sip
- Every time we see an idol group other than Franchouchou – take a sip
- Every time anyone cries – oh no!
- Every time we see MyTube – I see what you did there
- Every time there’s a strategy meeting – take notes
- Every time Franchouchou gets a new fan – take a sip
- Every time we see Romero – awwww
- Every time there’s a flashback – take a sip
- Every time any of the girls play an instrument – clap
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.