Zombie Land Saga: I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s a positive feeling, just not one that’s simple to name. I’m not particularly into idol shows, and so I can’t say that series is one long unbroken delight. And as others have noted, the dude running the group can be annoying. But beyond that, I have mostly good things to say.
As is so often the case, it seems, the show tends to be carried by its secondary characters. Tae-chan, the zombie who still has yet to fully recover, is really endearing. She reminds me of a moderately-functioning person with a mental handicap. It’s so easy to ignore or exclude such people, and yet the zombies and their manager all treat her as a full participant in everything they do. She is often the source of humor, but I can’t remember any times that she was the butt of the jokes: there’s no mocking of her “disability”. And this allows her truly sweet nature to get to shine.
Then there’s the ex-courtesan zombie. Without having any first-hand knowledge, my guess is that a woman who probably never had any choice about how to live her life, especially in a role in which her sole purpose was to gratify male desires, most likely carries a lot of hurt in her heart. (If you’ve seen “Kingdom”, think of the Queen Mother and how she turned out.) But she seems very much at peace with what is happening to her and around her. Not that she’s apathetic or detached: As shown in the most recent episode, she’ll go to bat for her fellow idols, even to the point of giving Manager-san a very hard (and very satisfying) public slap in the face when she thinks he’s losing faith in Sakura. She is perhaps the most mature of the characters, providing a welcome point of stability for the emotional younger idols and their hyperactive leader.
The series also never fails to surprise me. In the most recent episode, Sakura does a repeat of the very begining of the series-by getting struck by a passing vehicle in exactly the same way. It’s played for laughs, but then the episode suddenly ends, leaving me wondering what has happened to her: Will she lose her memory again? Will she finally remember her former life? And if she does remember the old her, will she retain the memories of her experience as a zombie or not?
Looking forward to finding out!