2D Idols Come to Challenge Necroma on Their Home Base: “Zombieland Saga”

So, it has come to this. As the now-reddish maple leaves are accumulating on the ground, this maiden needs some pick-me ups. And I’ve just found one of the offerings for this fall is most interesting.

As the seasons turn, so does the TV schedule. One of my main para-Homicidols interests being manga (and anime, by extension), I dived into one of the new titles and found myself dumbfounded, as we have the closest thing to an Alt-idol anime there ever was. SO YOU GET A REVIEW.

The title is Zombieland Saga, an original anime series announced this summer as a collaboration between Avex Pictures and Cygames, which just debuted this week. Detailed (spoilerific) synopsis on the first episode under the cut:

An aspiring happy-go-lucky idol, Sakura Minamoto, gets hit by a car while going to mail her file for an idol audition. She wakes up in a bizarre mansion, surrounded by zombies. She escapes, only to realize she is one of them. She is saved by their bizarre producer (I mean, the guy collects cute girls’ corpses, there is clearly some dubious stuff going on here) a dried squid-obsessed, manic, dapper young man, whose wish is to put the Saga Prefecture back on the map.

He sets them up to perform at a local Death Metal festival, and they pull a Babymetal, convincing skeptical metalheads that idol is a whole lot of fun.

The anime seems like the culminations of many recurring trends of the past few years. While Asobi Asobase last season had a charming metal-y ending by the voice actresses, a feat also occasionally pulled by Love Live, I have never seen any mainstream fiction acknowledging the new genre branching out of idols. And as any of you with even a faint interest in that type of thing likely knows, idol anime are all the rage, going from the popular franchises Idolm@ster, Love Live and Aikatsu to one-season anime like Locodol and Idol Incidents, to only name a few.

While Zombieland Saga is vastly fantasist, it seemed a bit closer to the reality of chika idols than what I have seen in school idols anime. Also, considering one of the producers is Cygames, responsible for many popular mobile games, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this series will be turned into a video game as well if popular enough.

The Papermaiden Rating

Is it great? I wouldn’t go that far. Only the first episode is out and, a general rule, I definitely prefer flesh idols to 2D idols. However, although I went into it without knowing the premise and not being a big fan of that type of comedy, I found it quite enjoyable. It’s really fun to predict the next plot points as they’re evident if you’re familiar with the scene. The writing seems very indulgent and the writers’ fun working on this is contagious. While it’s not the best animation or art, it’s more than decent. I even have a favourite, Saki Nikaidō, because you can’t really get better than Sukeban characters. Although the voice actresses are also the singers and they don’t have the most powerful screaming voices, I love that most of them are already established, which helps cement the differences between V.A. and idols. While the two are not mutually exclusive, each of these jobs implies a very different skill set and working conditions, after all.

Music-wise, what does it sound like? As with most recent idol anime, the songs are performed by the voice actresses, including the opening and the ending. It’s definitely more anisong than idol.

In short: Could these girls kick our beloved former Queen of the Scene‘s ass? Not in a hundred years.

Could this anime use some contributions by Broken By The Scream? Absolutely.

But so far, this is the most mainstream thing referencing alternative idols in popular culture. Please let me know what you think about it. I won’t review each episode, but I might do a wrap-up at the end of the season if it’s worth it.

You can catch Zombieland Saga on Crunchyroll worldwide (except Asia).

2 thoughts on “2D Idols Come to Challenge Necroma on Their Home Base: “Zombieland Saga”

  1. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem they are going to continue with this. The next episode preview mentioned it was a Hip-hop theme. I guess they are going with a different music genre every episode but I’d love to be proven wrong.

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