Oh boy, what an episode!
We once again take a break from the fast paced comedy to focus on some character issues and resolve the arcs from last weeks episode. In particular, the rift between Ai and Junko and their views on how to interact with their fans. Not to say the episode doesn’t have a ton of funny moments, from the comedic cut away as Sakura goes to Kotaro for help despite being told he would be useless. To Junko getting hit by Kotaro’s van in a similar way to Sakura and Sakura thinking she got deja vu. It doesn’t leave you completely high and dry for laughs.
The meat of the episode however is in it’s drama.
The moment that Kotaro actually does go to talk to Junko is brilliant. He brings up a lot of things that I did in my review last week, mostly, that the world and idol culture has changed a lot since the time she was an idol. It is different now then it was back then, but it’s still okay for her to set her own rules. She just needs to make it a part of her ‘character’, which, is actually really clever. I’m sure there is a fan niche market for the shy and aloof type, the kind that doesn’t like getting up close and personal with the fans. He also points out to her that Ai died during a thunderstorm, out of a open stage during a concert. That she wasn’t the only one struggling with nerves and that the forecast for Saga Rock was thunderstorms.
It’s honestly a nice change of pace to see Kotaro take a moment to get serious and treat these girls like they’re more then objects for once. Which then is immediately ripped down as he tells her to fix the door he burst down to talk to her.
I didn’t expect her to do it, she actually did it.
So the girls go to the concert and they see Ai’s old band on stage. They even get a song, god I hope we get a CD for this series. Come on Studio Mappa, Zombieland Saga merch. Give me the towel, the crappy rainbow T-shirt, a CD. Er anyway, after they perform it’s Franchouchou’s turn on stage and as they go to get on stage, the weather turns sour. They get up there and the music starts, but the lightning is scaring Ai as she tries to front. Junko assures her though, it’s going to be alright.
She’ll back her up, she’ll support her and they have nothing to fear. They perform their song and it’s fantastic, once again, the CGI is awful but whatever. Tae makes it work as always and the song is too catchy for me to care, I sat there bopping up and down in giddiness. Just as the song ends though, lighting strikes the stage and causes a good bit of destruction, if the girls were human this might of hurt them but because they’re zombies…they become hyper electrified and become their own laser show and autotune.
We get a auto tuned version of the groups main song as the ending credits as they dance and do their own laser show.
Don’t even talk to me if your idol group can’t be their own lasers!
The reporter that has been looking into them and following them for the last few episodes can’t believe he is seeing this and I can’t blame him for it, at the end of the credits we see a news article declaring that ‘angels’ descend upon Saga Rock. It’s funny because they’re dead.
There was a ton to like in this episode, some moments that really stood out to me in particular are as follows.
-“Zombies should be on the other side of the barricade.” and Junko growing mushrooms, from the scene with Kotaro and Junko.
-Kotaro spraying all the girls down with water resistant spray meant for shoes so their make-up wouldn’t come off no matter how much it rained.
-Tae’s attempts at talking and mirroring Saki. There has to be some kind of reason she hasn’t awakened yet, but still manages small things like this. I’m curious.
-The way the car hits Junko and they do all the same angles they did when Sakura was hit in episode 1.
-The part when they are practicing and Ai literally falls apart, her body parts falling out from working so hard and her passing it off as nothing and that she had training sessions like this when she was alive. That is a pretty nasty straight up jab at the high demand idol industry.
The preview was narrated by Lily, so that gives me some small bits of hope that we’re going to learn more about her in the next episode. I couldn’t really tell anything about the content of the episode from the few images shown, but i’m excited any way. I can’t wait to see what Franchouchou does next, honestly, I am just so pleased with everything about this show. They really managed a hit with this one and I wish I saw more people talking about it, it’s gotten it’s fair share of buzz but it’s not the same amount of buzz I see for other really popular series. Which is a shame, because everything about this show is just so good from the comedy, to the serious moments right down to the voice acting.
The only thing I can even remotely slam is the CGI and i’m still not 100% sure it’s not intentional to make fun of other idol animes that do it and/or to play on the fact that they should look strange and alien in their performances because they are zombies layered in heavy amounts of stage make up!