Caged Rage – ‘Zombie Land Saga’ Episode 2 Review

Caged Rage – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Zombie Land Saga’ Episode 2

What’s the show? Zombie Land Saga, Episode 2.

So, uh, you weren’t too fond of last week’s first episode of this, are things any better this week? First of all I just want to say I thought about it a lot and I know exactly why I had such a negative reaction to last week’s episode. I was legitimately shocked by the opening death scene and not in a good-way. And I liken it to this hypothetical, imagine you’re meeting someone for the first time and rather than greeting you like normal they decide to scare you by jumping out when you least expect it—that’s forever your first impression of this person now. That they’re just the kind of person who likes to shock for the sole purpose of getting a rise out of someone. That’s Zombie Land Saga for me.

Stop. Get some help.

People aren’t anime though? Well I have no irl friends so anime is my only friend and I don’t like this friend—it’s no friend at all!

(So we’re still going with this analogy) Okay then, so what can your “friend” do to make up for this faux pas of a first meeting? It’s not that simple, I still resent the first encounter so everything for this anime is an up-hill battle, I sat watching this with my arms crossed not enjoying it in the slightest because I was still so worked up over it. And honestly, I don’t think this is a case of ‘time heals all wounds’ if you want to call me being angry at anime a ‘wound’. I think I’m just not into this anime, it can try and win me back all it wants but I’m just not ~feeling it~ in any way, shape or form.

Then find a better show to be in!

Sounds to me like you didn’t even want to give it a second chance. Any truth in that? Tch. Maybe… But whatever, who cares about the extenuating circumstances, if I’m not enjoying something that that’s all there is to it! I don’t like the jokes, I don’t like the music, I don’t like the characters—even the one bright spot I had last week, weird manager guy, was grating on me this entire episode. And what’s more this whole premise is kind of sexist and problematic—a guy is basically holding a bunch of girls (some of them children) hostage and forcing them to perform to further his agenda, berating them if they disagree or dissent and keeping them imprisoned like animals. What just because they’re dead we shouldn’t be seeing them as human any more? If ‘Monster Musume’ taught me anything it’s that Monster Girls deserve to be treated with respect like everyone else in this society.

Imagine this man shouting at non-undead girls with such demeaning language, not so funny anymore is it?

B-but, what about the cop who tries to shoot the girls again (and who shot the main girl last week)? You want me to solve all this show’s issues easily, here: have them where make-up whenever they’re outside and let them live normal lives. Done. You want another, more permanent fix? Hold a press conference to the world, say zombie’s exist, say zombie’s aren’t a threat to anyone once they ‘wake-up’ from being their brain dead versions, give them rights like the rest of people. Done. Maybe this show will acknowledge them as zombies and turn into a Monster Girl positive anime, but as it is now, it’s just creepy and wrong. I don’t see any comedy in this scenario and the more I think about it the more I want to never watch it again!

Someone save these poor girls.

Calm down. Nope, I’m done with this review and I’m done with this show.

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Cute Girls Doing Dead Things – ‘Zombie Land Saga’ Episode 1 Review

Cute Girls Doing Dead Things – An Anime QandA Review of ‘Zombie Land Saga’ Episode 1

What’s the show? Zombie Land Saga, Episode 1.

And what’s it about? Sakura Minamoto is a normal high school girl who dreams about being an idol, when on her way to an audition she is struck by a passing car and killed. 10 years later she is resurrected, along with other girls from various eras by a man named Kotaro Tatsumi who intends for them to become an all-zombie idol group to help save the flagging interests of Saga prefecture.

Well… that’s certainly an interesting premise! Did you enjoy the episode? Not really. Well, not at as a whole.

“Despite all my rage…”

Oh, well that’s a rather ~vague~ answer do you want to elaborate on why exactly? Well I guess it makes sense to start from the beginning. So we see Sakura getting ready for her day, she steps out into the street and is hit by a small truck, her body begins cartwheeling through the air, which we have to watch for a minute and a half as the opening credits play—now already they’ve got me off base, this is the kind of edgy bullshit that I loathe. Added to that I watch anime to see cute girls doing cute things, not cute girls being killed.

Gotta love that rain symbolism.

So you didn’t like it because it was dark? No I didn’t appreciate it because it felt like it was trying too hard to be shocking but the biggest problem isn’t even that, while yes it was shocking and I’ll admit it ~triggered~ me, there’s a way to recover from that. And that’s by being tonally consistent, which it did for a little bit, Sakura escaping the “haunted house” full of other zombie girls, stumbling into the rain-drenched streets only to find a police officer who straight up shoots her in the chest because she’s a zombie and she didn’t even realise it at the start. That’s dramatic material and it was well paced and tense and then he shows up…

*insert death metal screams*

Who is this “he” you’re referring to? That’d be Kotaro, who bursts in like a fifty-ton freight train of energy and derails all dramatic potential this show once had and instead turns this into a zombie version of last season’s Music Girls only with more head banging. Seriously, the tonal whiplash from the first third of the episode to the last two-thirds is enough to break my neck.

Seems legit.

So you don’t like the main guy? No, he’s great, he’s played by Mamoru Miyano—who voices Okabe from Steins;Gate (and Steins;Gate 0) and he’s in full Hyouin Kyouma mode with the ridiculous laugh and exaggerated poses. It’s a whole lot of fun and contrasts perfectly with Sakura’s kind of deadpan delivery and total “not having any of this” attitude. What I don’t think it contrasts with is the first part of the episode. It starts off as one kind of show and more-or-less sells what it’s trying to achieve and then pretty much abandons it in favour of a slice of life, cute girls doing cute things series just with the fact that they’re zombies being the only major change to the formula. And the second part is good too, I mean it’s pretty predictable but that’s what CGDCT shows are so it sells that too.

Contemplative zombie.

So let me get this straight, you ended up liking the first “darker, more intense” part then you ended up liking the “lighter, more tropey” part too but you still somehow have a problem with this show? I can’t say I have a problem with a whole show after a single episode—but I do think its something of a failed combination. I’ll keep watching to see if it sticks to how the show felt in it’s latter half or if it continues to flub it by flip flopping between the ‘edgy’ stuff and the ‘lighter’ stuff or maybe even if it just learns to integrate the two sides better.

*party hard*

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