This episode surprised me in a lot of good ways.
The beginning of it is very misleading on purpose and i’m going to level with you, I thought this would be the first episode of Zombieland Saga I wasn’t going to love entirely as I thought I would have to sit through a mildly uncomfortable episode of it trying to tackle the problem of lolicons in Japan. Thankfully, that’s not the episode we got at all and instead we finally got some history on the cutest and smallest member of Franchouchou. Lily’s episode is here at last and oh boy, well first let’s talk about the one thing that the entire fandom is talking about.
Lily isn’t Lily’s real name. Lily’s name is Masao Go, and Lily was assigned male at birth. Lily is Trans, and the show handles this with an almost extreme grace. Kotaro knew from the start and passes it off as no big deal at all, the girls are a bit shaken at first [except for Saki], but quickly pass it off as no big deal. They’re zombies, why does it matter? Who cares what kind of parts they have? Which can really be taken as ‘we’re all people’, why does it matter?
Lily is Lily.
They don’t start treating her any differently, they drop it after Saki gets a good laugh in at how lame Lily’s dead name is and they still treat her as a valuable member of the team. Going as far as to help her express her feelings to her father, which is the other big plot of this episode.
While the reporter has been a looming force in the background, knowing that there is something off and he vaguely recognizes the girls. Lily is outright recognized, by her own father who sees her picture in the magazine where their miracle performance at Saga Rock was covered. He comes to the meet and greet to see her, because despite the fact he knows that logically Lily is dead. ‘Number 6’ looks so much like her that it’s hard for him to bare and he needs to see and talk with her.
The problem is that he’s huge and very overbearing and the other girls get the wrong impression that he is some kind of bad guy right away, the exact same way the audience does in the beginning of the episode.So things end up a little messy at the meet and greet.
Then later that night, Lily doesn’t come back immediately from washing off her make-up and Sakura finds her sitting outside. Sakura sits and talks to her and finds out her backstory.
In which, she dies in perhaps the most comical way possible or so it seems. It seems to be over just the fact that her body was changing, that she was growing up and there was body hairing growing and the shock of finding it. It was mental stress though, mixed with the shock and the fall to the ground from the shock. It’s a strange mix of comical and sad, and the saddest part of it all is that she died thinking that her father didn’t truly care about her as a person.
She sees this is wrong when he comes to buy a Franchouchou shirt for his ‘deceased child’ and he speaks to Lily about his child and how he felt like he was an awful father and shows that he loved and cared for Lily all along. He apologizes for the misunderstanding at the meet and greet and goes to leave.
Lily and the girls want to find a way to show Lily’s true feelings to her father and the way they do it is writing a special song just for him. They send him an invite to their show and when he arrives, they perform the song.
It’s a little awkward and shaky at first but overall it’s a lovely song, it nearly brought me to tears. A lovely send off to a beloved family member, this was a sweet and wonderful episode. The opposite of what I was expecting when it started and that’s a great thing. I am exceedingly pleased with the way that this episode handled the reveal about Lily and how it intends to progress from here.
Next episode we have a Saki focused episode and I am very excited for that.