Irina and Crow in Zombieland (Saga) ep2: Rap Battle!

October 15, 2018

So, it’s Crow’s World of Anime’s turn to host the Zombieland Saga collaboration review. Irina set a high bar with the first post, so let’s see if we can keep the standards high!

Crow constantly flatters me but that has nothing at all to do with why I enjoy his virtual company. Nothing...

I honestly wondered how they’d top the death metal scene from last week. Truth be told, I rewatched that scene several times this week -- I thought it was that enjoyable! Sakura’s reaction to Saki’s scream, Sakura eventually joining her -- just good stuff!

Early on in this episode, I was a little worried. A little of Koutarou yelling goes a long way. So maybe that’s why I loved what happened to him when, just before the OP, he was yelling away, trying to belittle them. The camera panned across the zombies, and they looked either frightened or angry -- both active reactions to Koutarou, so in a sense, both showing he was in charge. But Tae still hasn’t “awakened.” So I thought it was hilarious when she just sat there with a vacant look -- chewing her own hair.

Leave it to Tae, the unawakened zombie, to have the perfect reaction to Koutarou's constant screaming! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I guess we’ll get to it in later in the post but I had some reservations with Koutarou this episode. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the character still but he threads a thin line This said I also adored the hair chewing scene. I thoroughly enjoyed Ai’s comebacks as well.

I agree with you -- but like you said, more later!

By the way, Irina, is it just me, or did you also feel like “What am I watching” through the whole OP? I mean, in a good way -- I think! The dance moves might haunt my dreams…

This OP… We Will Talk about this OP!

By three and a half minutes into the show, I was ready to punch Koutarou. I don’t mean in a nonchalantly “Bro, cut it out” sort of way. I mean like “Dude, you need to be quiet now -- and stay quiet!” I’m not normally a violent person, either!

By the time he showed the idols a movie that depicted the horrific way zombies die, I began to wonder if hitting him myself was good enough. Maybe I should use a vehicle? Like a Ford F250? With a diesel engine? That’d be nice and heavy! Then maybe we could bring him back as a zombie, and Sakura and the rest could scream at him for awhile.

By five and a half minutes in, I was channeling Ripley from Aliens 2 -- I wanted to nuke him from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure!

Koutarou scared Sakura so much with the zombie-killing video that he made her cry!  What a jerk! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Do you think I’m being too sensitive here?

I have to agree, he was just too much in the first act. I was pretty much over him but I did enjoy the scene with him talking with makeup brushes in his mouth. Could anyone have understood that without subtitles?

This said, I get that he’s not a nice guy and he’s probably manipulating the girls for his own ends… I don’t think we’re supposed to like him. His non intervention with the policeman raises some questions.  

The GooD

Really good voice acting -- particularly from Risa Taneda, who voices Ai (and who also voiced Himeragi from Strike the Blood). Given her pedigree, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

I’m starting to like the characters, especially Sakura, because I felt a stab of sympathy when she pushed her face into the pillow and said how scary Saki had been. With deft characterization and a subtle nod to her dreams, I think Sakura’s becoming a really sympathetic character.

Although I don’t like Saki per see, I am really enjoying the concept of a Yankee Zombie. For some reason that just tickles me. I do enjoy the characters. Sakura is really a very good straight man and that never gets enough credit.

Irinia's right -- Saki as a Yankee Zombie is a great concept! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Remember when Ai and Junko were trying to escape? Their sceam-o-vision was LOL level funny. I thought their motivations were Interesting, too -- they wanted to leave, just like Sakura had tried to leave in the first episode. That’s another slap to Koutarou’s face. If his plan was more clear, or if he had tried to win them over at all, they might have bought into his vision!

Irina, when Sakura pulled Ai down from the fence, and when Ai’s body started to come apart, were you afraid Ai’s eyes were going to plunk into the stream? I was!

I was afraid the dog would start chasing them and that would be the rest of the episode. I’m happy it was not.

I hadn't even thought about the dog. Yikes!

I thought it was a great little touch for Ai and Saki to question why Sakura was so ready to accept Koutarou’s plan. Little character mysteries like that push me through a plot. Sakura’s response was solid, too -- she really wasn’t sure, which drew me even further in!

The zombie girls, fleeing in terror from the rappers, was funny.

I thoroughly enjoyed that. Of course it’s how any normal girl would react in the situation and their running animation was perfect. How that completely subverts classic horror movie tropes is just plain fun.

Zombies running away from rappers? Gotta love this show's sense of humor! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Maybe I need to get out more, but the rappers, the policeman, and the zombies all screaming at each other was funny. I feel like scream-o-vision should get old, but it doesn’t.

I like Saki’s attitude. Even how she sits. Her looking at herself in a mirror and saying she was hot as hell showed fantastic confidence!

Those are some dedicated death metal fans. I like those guys!

They really are and I was so happy to see them again. They already have their first groupies! I was actually kind of happy to see the super creepy cop again as well. We are told from the beginning that Saga is a small town… I like stories that wind and intertwine so the fact that we are already getting some recurring characters is good to see. It ties the episodes together and brings a sense of continuity to the story. 

We are non-ironically talking about realism in an idol/zombie anime. How cool is that?

The performance was about to get underway when Tae saw an older audience member eating dried squid. Of course, she went for it. The scene with Ai trying to go over the fence -- and her arms falling off -- was nice foreshadowing for what happened next! Sakura tried to stop Tae, but the ensuing scuffle tore off one of Tae's arms and sent her head flying. And what did the man do when Tae’s head -- sans body! -- tried to nom his squid? He gently placed it in her mouth. What a gentlemen!

What a nice guy -- feeding Tae because she had no arms. Or body. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The way we are just willing to accept things based on presentation is interesting. The same girls without makeup were having police shoot at them the previous night and now they can literally loose limbs and people applaud!

Maybe thematic sub-text? I like that idea!

Yuugiri plays a mean shamisen (three-string). Very zen like.

The rap was amazing. So was the reaction from the two death metal fans. Sakura’s attitude was so “in your face!” This is the first show this season that has me rewatching scenes multiple times within hours of viewing. Just good stuff!

The entire rap battle was brilliant. It was a great idea and tied into those random hoodlum rappers from earlier. Yuugiri’s shamisen playing was indeed really good and worked so well with the rest of the performance. I was surprised just how great rap sounded in cute girl Japanese. Why is this not a thing?

I said we would talk about and we will. I Loved the opening. Possible one of my favorites OPs in a while. Lately I’ve seen quite a few great EDs. The pop art aesthetic, the frantic tune, the completely ridiculous mises en scènes, I am here for all of it. It tells you exactly what to expect -  silliness.

Sakura really got into the rap battle -- and so did the rest of Green Face, especially Saki! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The BaD

The policeman’s gun happy. He should really see a therapist about his self-control issues.

The random hoodlum rappers could have gone either way. I really wasn’t sure about the scene a first. I ended up liking it but I can easily see someone going the other way.

Like I mentioned above, Koutarou was laying it on way too thick this episode, especially in the first third. If this level of scenery chewing becomes a trend, it’s going to get really annoying really quickly.

The UglY

Before their performance at the senior center, it seems Koutarou changed the group’s name to Green Face. I liked Death Musume better. Like, a lot better. Like, I wish Koutarou would just stop talking. And then he decided to yell again. More yelling. Seriously, from orbit. It’s the only way…

I actually didn’t mind this yelling since he got cut off and I thought it was kind of funny...I also preferred Death Musume but I think there’s a running gag here..

I think I liked the death metal better, but I’m not sure. The rap worked pretty well. Irina, what did you think?

Not all of the idols got into the rap battle, but Yuugiri and Lily did!  Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I loved the rap battle because it was just such an unexpected style to see in an idol anime. There are metal idols but I haven’t seen rap ones yet, certainly not throwing out diss tracks. I think we are getting set up to explore different musical styles in every episode and I love the idea…. The band name is probably going to change in line with the musical genre as well.

I could be wrong, in which case I will be sad and moan about missed opportunities. I doubt it though. It seems pretty obvious.  

After a rocky start of the episode, I ended up quite liking this one as well. What about you Crow?

That sums up my reaction, too. I mean, how can I not like Yuugiri playing her music and singing, “Yo. Hup, hup!”

Can’t wait to see what we get next week!

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  • kimchi says:

    Found it really enjoyable, it did have a bit of a slow start and I wonder if it will have different a different genre for each episode haha.

    • tcrow says:

      I think I hope they do — though I’m not sure how our heroes will perform classical music. They might do well with Jazz!

  • Dawnstorm says:

    Manager really is annoying. He’s supposed to be, but at times it’s just too much. The scene with the three rappers was easily the low-point of the episode for me, but it was foreshadowing the music style of the week (seriously, that’s something I can get behind: music style of the week) and probably what inspired Sakura. And the rap battle was awesome, both in narrative and execution.

    I’ve read an interesting piece of speculation: Where does our manager get our Zombies? Yugari, for example, is Bakumatsu/Meiji Restoration. There shouldn’t be much left to animate; she’d be a skeleton with protheses… Which leads to the question: what if our manager is older (much older) than he appears? (I wish I had thought of that, but I haven’t.)

    Episode 2 sold me on the show. They know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it well.

    • tcrow says:

      When I said “nuke from orbit,” I was only partly kidding!

      “Which leads to the question: what if our manager is older (much older) than he appears? (I wish I had thought of that, but I haven’t.)”

      But you brought it up here — and thanks! That’s a _very_ interesting idea.

      I really can’t get a read on him. He followed Sakura, Ai, and Junko — to protect his property, or to make sure they were safe? Or both? Did he show them the zombie killing scenes to scare them for fun — or to keep them safe?

      I’ll just say this: I love how Sakura (generally!) doesn’t back down when he asked her stupid questions. And every time I think about Yuugiri’s “Yo, hup hup” I have to laugh.

      A rap battle between zombies… Almost as unexpected as a zombie idol death metal performance!

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