ZOMBIE LAND SAGA – Anime Preview
Synopsis: A typical morning. The usual music. Their normal lives. The peace these seven girls experience will suddenly be destroyed. By the living dead… zombies. A reality that they never wanted a part of, an amazing and terrifying zombie world. They all share one wish: “We want to live.” These girls will struggle through this saga, in order to achieve a miracle. MAPPA, Avex Pictures, and Cygames team up to bring you a juicy, 100% original anime. A timeless shocker for all audiences, a brand new style of zombie anime, will soon rise. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Zombie Land Saga is nothing like you’d expect. In fact the way the first episode opens will shock and surprise you. Even after things take a sudden and totally unexpected turn, Zombie Land Saga keeps up that unpredictable momentum, constantly subverting expectations all the way even through the end credits. While not billed as a comedy, Zombie Land Saga is unstoppably hilarious in its absurdity.
Linny: Zombie Land Saga isn’t what you’d expect when you hear the generic buzzwords one might use to describe it. Zombies, idols… yes, it has both but what it does with them is unlike what you’d expect from those genres… at least not in this episode. Even when you think you’ve reached a predictable plot line or moment, Zombie Land will follow it up with something that will have you chuckling in mild surprise at the very least.
Tom: What really makes Zombie Land Saga fun is that it’s a true mash up of ideas. One part idol, one part zombie insanity, one part mad-scientist experiment, etc. But somehow all these competing ideas come together to form something compelling. While there isn’t too much character to speak of, the first episode being more concerned with laying out the basic plot and set up, our lead Minamoto Sakura is immediately compelling. She’s a young girl with a dream abruptly crushed, brutally so, and then given a second, if bizarre chance at pursuing those dreams. She makes a perfect ‘straight man’ character, as she helps to vocalize even the viewers’ sheer stunned nature at the madness displayed on screen.
Linny: Comedy seems to be a big part for now. Almost every scene has a punchline or two. The show also seems to be taking slight shots at the more generic nature of some of the sub-genres it’s covering, such as outright refusing to give a proper explanation for its zombies, mocking horror’s tendency to often offer up contrived scenarios and ignore logic for sheer scare factor. Zombie Land Saga’s material is elevated by its ‘mad scientist/band manager’ character whose voice actor does a superb job of delivering his lines with such gusto and personality, adding another level of humour and charm to the proceedings.
Tom: Overall Zombie Land Saga is a surprise, and a welcome one. It feels unique thanks to mashing up the ever popular idol subgenre with the undying appeal of zombies and creating something that doesn’t feel derivative of either. I don’t know exactly where Zombie Land Saga will end up, and in a way that’s exciting because it lends itself to a wealth of possibilities. It’s definitely a contender for strongest first episode this Fall season.
Linny: Zombie Land Saga is one of those shows that’s best enjoyed by going in blind but nevertheless should still please those who enjoy their comedies with a bit of a twist. If you’d like a few good chuckles, its first episode is poised to deliver both shocking and amusing scenarios at almost every turn. It’s hard to say if it can keep this level of entertainment up based on this first episode but for anyone searching for a comedy this season, so far Zombieland Saga is definitely one of the top contenders.