Lily Hoshikawa, Consummate Professional
There’s a lot that can be said about Lily Hoshikawa, the shortest of the zombie idol group Franchouchou. There’s a lot that can be said of her character, her place in Zombie Land Saga universe, and her role in the wider world. But there’s one thing that struck me about her from the very first time we saw her on stage (okay, the second time): She had an abundance of talent and drive. And like many aspects of Zombie Land Saga, what was obvious was only the introduction to something more important, which Lily showed later in the second season. In fact, it’s that aspect of her personality that makes her one of my Favorite Characters!
Lily Hishikawa Accepts the Zombie Idol Challenge
Do you remember back in Zombie Land Saga Season 1, episode 2, when the idols were trying to put on a performance for a retirement center? Sakura and Saki got into an epic rap battle (with apologies to Epic Rap Battles of History). At first, none of the other idols knew what to do. Do you remember what happened next?
Lily saw a chance and took it! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Lily and Yuugiri decided to throw themselves into the performance. While Yuugiri provided musical accompaniment with her shamisen, Lily jumped out in front (19:29) and tried to lead the audience’s clapping in time to the music. It was like she was thinking, “Okay, this has been really strange so far, what with being a zombie and all. But I’m on stage, and there’s an audience, and now there’s music. I know what to do with this!” She was clearly enjoying herself. It’s like she was born to be on the stage. Even more interesting, look at her reaction to the audience’s applause (21:09). She’s elated. She was in her element.
Now, that’s interesting by itself. It’s only the second episode of the first season, but we already can see that Lily’s really happy performing. We also saw that the audience reacted warmly to her. Let me tell you: I’ve spoken in front of large audiences before, and getting any kind of reaction, much less a warm one like this, is not easy. That speaks well of her talent.
Lily Hoshikawa’s Work Ethic
The narrative direction shifted away from Lily until she got a focus episode, which was season 1, episode 8. Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I collaborated to review that episode. You can read our review here. In terms of this post, watching this episode really drove home how much of a consummate professional Lily is. She was all over the material. Of course, in this episode, she was more motivated than usual, but she consistently showed that kind of work ethic.
Lily’s performances were the result of talent and hard work. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
In fact, if we fast forward to Season 2, episode 5, we get to see not only how hard she’s willing to work, but how creative she can be. Lily competed in a contest for fame and dollars. Her competition was Light Oozora, a popular child star, very much like Lily had been. Also like Lily, he was very talented. But there was a huge difference between the two. Light, it turns out, was profoundly arrogant. And he wanted to crush Lily because she stood between him and victory.
As you might expect, the episode came down to a competition between the two of them. Light went first, and much to Lily’s horror, he sang the same song she had planned to sing. She knew she could not just sing the same song he did. It would appear she was just copying him. Yet, she had not prepared any other material.
Lily Hoshikawa’s Amazing Creativity
This is where Lily impressed me. In under three minutes, the duration of Light’s song, she rearranged the music, modified her costume, and choreographed new dance moves. The conductor looked surprised by the arrangement, but he played it for her when her turn came up.
In that short a space of time, she completely changed the look and feel of the song. She turned a beautiful, slow song into an upbeat, ragtime tune that had the kids in the audience literally dancing in the aisles. As I watched Lily’s improvised routine, I remembered back to when she had been one of the first of the zombie idols to embrace the opportunity of performing again. Now, there she was on stage, delighting the audience, reflecting back their enthusiasm with her dazzling energy.
In the space of 3 minutes, Lily accomplished a lot! I’m not sure I could find the scissors in that amount of time! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Pretty impressive, huh? Well, that was only the second most amazing thing she did in this episode. We got hints of the most amazing thing early on. Light tried to taunt her, or perhaps intimidate her. It got to the point where Sakura was worried about Lily’s confidence. It was sweet of Sakura, but misplaced. Light didn’t know it, and apparently Sakura didn’t, either, but Lily was competing on a different level. Like my favorite artists, she was not competing with Light, or anyone else around her. She was competing with herself.
The Most Amazing Thing about Lily Hoshikawa
But that’s not the most amazing thing. The most amazing thing she did was honestly congratulate Light when he won. Her grace in defeat spoke of the kindness in her heart. She was able to shine so much on stage because she was able to share her heart with the audience. That kind of graciousness is rare, and when you encounter it, it’s memorable. That’s why Lily is one of my favorite characters: She’s not only talented and willing to work hard to develop that talent. She’s kind-hearted and shares her talent and kindness with others.