Last time, ZOMBIE LAND SAGA parodied idol anime by playing it almost entirely completely straight – yeah, perhaps it was a little too subtle about it. For the fourth episode, the zombies visit a hot spring.
The episode opens with Kotaro talking to Franchouchou, and telling them that they have absolutely no cash to their name. In order to earn some money, he has managed to persuade a pharmaceutical company, Hisanaka Pharmaceuticals, to hire Franchouchou for an event. The location of said event is Ureshino Hot Springs. However, Kotaro forbids the zombies from using the hot springs.
Moving on, the group arrives at Ureshino Hot Springs. Kotaro tells the girls to use the time they have to practice, before taking off and claiming that he is going sightseeing. Sakura insists that they should practice, but the other zombie would much rather go sightseeing. Sakura ends up joining them.
Whilst the zombies do that, Kotaro is actually meeting with someone from Hisanaka Pharmaceuticals, who he tells about his plan to revitalise Saga. As he mentions how Franchouchou are practicing hard, they happen to walk straight past the window.
Whilst sitting in the footbath, the zombies discuss Kotaro a little bit. They don’t really know who he is, and Sakura doesn’t exactly have any answers despite being the first one to awaken. The mystery of how they become zombies also comes up – the dead are usually cremated in Japan.
Sakura asks Ai if they have what it takes to be idols. Ai pretty much says that they have a lot of work ahead of them, but all of the girls swear to give it their all.
The zombies return, and decide to try out Hisanaka Pharmaceuticals’ product, Saganship Z. It is said to help with aches, stiffness and that kind of stuff – apparently it works instantly on zombies for some reason. The girls decide to incorporate them into their performance as well.
After their successful performance, Sakura is preparing to wash her makeup off when Saki stops her. She suggests that they go and sneak into the hot springs. Sakura ends up joining both Saki and Junko in the hot spring.
During this whole conversation, we get some pretty great facial expressions from both Sakura and Saki.
Much like with the Saganship Z, the zombies feel the revitalising effects of the hot spring almost immediately. Once again, Saki posits that this is because they are zombies and thus they absorb stuff quicker.
However, their time in the hot spring is cut off abruptly when the woman from Hisanaka Pharmaceuticals gets in. The three zombies try to hide underwater, but Sakura loses her head.
The woman’s scream ends up waking up the other zombies, and her terror only continues as she keeps encountering them. The fright is enough to make the woman forget everything that happened during the day.
So Franchouchou were not able to secure a budget, but they did have a valuable bonding experience. That is the note that this episode ends on.
Well, I’m starting to think that ZOMBIE LAND SAGA probably won’t be able to match the best moments of its first two episodes, so I may have to temper my expectations towards it a little.
It’s still an enjoyable watch, but it may not end up being my favourite show of this current season. It could still have some surprises in store, but at the moment it does just seem to be another idol anime. It is a fun idol anime, though.
The scene with the woman from Hisanaka Pharmaceuticals running from the zombies towards the end of this episode was pretty good, but again not as good as that death metal concert or the rap battle.
There is a bit of intrigue here as well, what with the zombies discussing how they became zombies and who Kotaro is.
Talking of Kotaro, I’m glad to see that Saki isn’t will to put up with his crap. At the beginning of the episode I kept thinking that someone is going to punch him, and it was pretty satisfying to see I was right.
Kotaro does have amusing moments, but there are times when he does get to be a bit much.
All right, here’s a theory: Kotaro is actually a zombie as well. The dried squid he is always carrying? It’s actually for him, perhaps to keep his own urges at bay. We’ve also never seen his eyes, as they are always hidden by sunglasses. Notice how all the zombies have red eyes before makeup – maybe Kotaro can’t bring himself to put contact lenses on and thus hides his eyes in a different way.
I have no grounds for that theory at all, and it does bring up the question of who turned everyone into zombies. Bringing up a pharmaceutical company in a setting with zombies does seem somewhat suspect, though.
My enthusiasm for ZOMBIE LAND SAGA has waned a little slightly since its beginning, but I do still find it enjoyable enough to watch. The nod to the horror genre in this episode was pretty neat, as well.