Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 1: The Spirit of Squid

Quick Summary of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 1

In Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 1, “Good Morning Returns SAGA,” we find something shocking. Our favorite zombie idols have taken mundane jobs! Ai works at a squid processing plant, where she at least got to sing the company’s anthem. Sakura’s brushing cattle, and the rest had to get jobs, too. It seemed that their manager, Koutarou Tatsumi, booked them in a stadium that could hold 30,000 people. They sold 500 tickets. So now they have debt. But it’s worse than that. Koutarou has retreated into the bottle, which left Franchouchou on their own to decide what to do next. Did that failure of a concert in the stadium destroy their chances? Can they even try to perform without a manager? And what the heck is up with Koutarou?

Opening Thoughts to Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 1

Welcome to our collaboration review of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 1! Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I have teamed up to review the second season of zombie idol performances and share our thoughts with you! 

Did you know that Zombie Land Saga was the first series Irina and I collaborated on? Seems like it was only yesterday. But it was back in October 2018! Here’s a link to our first episode review on I Drink and Watch Anime.

How’s your week treating you, Irina? 

It’s been hectic. There is so much work lately. I guess I should be happy the economy isn’t slowing down but oh boy… And I’m doing renovations in the house so you know how it is. Hectic.

It’s always good to have a fun little show to help you unwind at the end of the day and Zombie Land Saga is just what the doctor ordered. I know this show is not everyone’s cup of tea but it just strikes all the right chords for me. You know… cause music. You get it.

I went through a remodel last last year. The disruption alone was terribly stressful. Hope it goes well for you!

Review of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 1

Signs and Portents

I have to admit, I’m a little apprehensive about watching this second season. I haven’t had the best luck with second seasons lately. I enjoyed the first season so much that I would really hate to be disappointed. But, no risk, no gain, right? So here we go.

I usually love anime but it can be tough when the community starts to pile negativity onto a show. That burns me out so much.

By the end of the first season, Franchouchou looked to be on the brink of stardom. So, seeing them working random jobs at the start of this episode was a bit of a shock. Shouldn’t they be practicing for their next performance?

We found out they owed a huge debt because of low ticket sales at the stadium. Okay, their jobs now make sense: They need to pay off the debt of renting the facility. But what about Koutarou? He’d become a drunk! He’d completely given up on the group!

In the first season, Koutarou made it his mission to save Saga. But also, and this is my favorite part, he had formed a zombie idol group because he wanted to make Sakura’s dream of becoming an idol come true. 

What’s Up with Koutarou?

Koutarou worried me. I was afraid he was cosplaying as Eren from AOT! And I still want to know what’s under his sunglasses! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Koutarou’s state alarmed me. Irina, what did you think?

If I remember correctly you were not a fan of the character in season 1. I guess you’re not overly surprised by the turn of events. I quite liked Kotaru though and in many ways he represents the dream that holds them all together. Obviously when he’s not doing good then something feels off.

What I was more surprised about was how eagerly the girls wanted him back. No snide remarks or cutting jokes. No one even tried to suggest they might be better off without him. I did not expect that!

At first? You’re right! I didn’t care for him at all. When I realized what he was doing, I eased off the criticism a bit.

Fortunately, the idols wondered the same thing, so it wasn’t an accidental change. That was a relief! Then the show gave us two clues to what was happening. Yuugiri, as elegant and graceful as always, had gotten a job serving drinks. She worked in a bar that the creepy police officer from the first season frequented, though she seemed to have him well in hand. Koutarou barged in, thinking it was a normal bar. Then he saw Yuugiri, apologized, and left. 

Well, the sight of him in that state worried her, so she went to check on him. She found him doing what someone who’s had waaay to much to drink usually does. As she patted him on the back, he muttered, “I was wrong… I was so wrong…”

Cards Remain Close to the Vest

First, kudos to Yuugiri for showing such compassion. Second, what was he wrong about? Irina, any ideas?

Not much surprises Yuugiri. But the sight of a drunk Koutarou? That freaked her out. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

They were hinting at some big plan all throughout season 1 but we never found out. The Zombie Land Saga Project. Kotaru talks about it again in a few scenes. I don’t know if it’s a way to give them another chance or allow them to live in society. I have no idea but it always felt like it was about more than just the idol group.

And that’s what I think he’s wrong about. This might not be Kotaru’s first attempt at Zombie Idols either. Maybe he thought these girls could make it but he was wrong sort of thing. 

The next hint we got was just before Franchouchou tried to perform at the death metal club (the same one from the first episode of season 1). Koutarou visited the small bar whose owner (or at least its bartender) knew all about the world of zombies. Two significant things came out. First, Koutarou thought some kind of hard stop loomed. “There’s a hard deadline on this project,” he said. 

Second, the bartender knew the poor guy needed a kick in the pants, so he more or less needled him. He called the idols “Saga-ettes,” which really got under Koutarou’s skin. Finally, the bartender’s harassment had the intended effect: It snapped the long-haired, scruffy Koutarou out of his funk. He ran off to be with his idols.

Koutarou’s Still Koutarou, But What Does He Think He Was Wrong About?

Any conjecture what’s going on, Irina?

I think he realized that he still cared and believed in Franchouchou so he went to go support them. Because he still wants to be their manager. I’m not really sure how you can interpret it differently. But I am curious. What did you think was going on Crow?

I still don’t understand what he thought he was wrong about. What’s the hard-stop? Does a zombie reanimation have an expiration date? So my question is more of what drove his decision to withdraw. 

What hard deadline? What’s driving Koutarou’s angst here? It’s a part of a larger puzzle… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Plus, if the reason was that serious, how would simply realizing he still cared would let him dive back in? I’m not criticizing. I think there’s an answer. I just don’t know what it is yet.

You might be wondering how their concert went. Or, if you watched the first season, you’re probably wondering how badly the concert crashed and burned. Well, it was like one of those high speed car crashes where the car tumbles end over end, but when it comes to a stop, it’s sitting on all four wheels. It was like that. It was Zombie Land Saga fantastic!

Franchouchou Is Still Franchouchou!

Franchouchou tried to give an idol performance to the death metal crowd. It was great seeing their original two death metal fans! But those two were the only ones who had any interest in seeing idols. When Koutarou arrived, they’d finish their set, and the audience demanded they leave in very rude ways. Koutarou started his slow-clap, like at the end of episode 12. This time, it triggered a huge fight. I must say that their two old metal friends more than held their own! 

I liked the next song Franchouchou performed. It was less pop and more rock. Its harder edge fit the situation. At the end, Franchouchou was back on the idol track, and they had their manager back.

Irina, what’d you think of the performance?

I was pretty psyched to see their two hard rock fans back. Those guys are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things but I love how they have been bringing them back and giving them cameos since the beginning. It creates some continuity and besides, I just think they are such lovable dorks.

Seeing Franchouchou perform again was just fantastic! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The CG has also gotten way better this season I think. In any case it looked very good to me. Of course there’s still that little uncanny valley but last season it was at times though to watch. This performance was just fine.

Perfect Backdrop for a Franchouchou Song!

I liked the entire setting. The poppy song with the images of a completely out of control bar fight. They are probably going to be in debt again for all those damages. The slow burn anticipation and the high of them hitting their stride. There was a lot of slightly cheap emotional manipulation in that scene and I ate it up hook line and sinker. Somebody in my living room may even have teared up a little but I cannot confirm or deny.

It really was great seeing them again, wasn’t it? And I agree with you on the CGI. It blended in more smoothly. Showed off their choreography, too. I’ve always liked the show’s choreography.

Any closing thoughts on the episode? 

I liked it. It was very much an opening episode, as in it served to get us reaccustomed to the world and set up any new rules for season 2, but I have a feeling that nothing that happened will be integral to the overarching narrative. But it did its job well. I’m completely on board and looking forward to the season.

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8 thoughts on “Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 1: The Spirit of Squid

  1. I’ve had my “season 2” concerns about this as well, but this episode did a lot to put them to rest.

  2. Cosplaying Eren lolz.

    The cringe was strong with this episode already! It’s good to see one of the hallmarks of this series appear so prominently right away.

    And it’s great to see them all again! Been looking forward to this since the news of S2 was announced. I’m very excited!

    1. I’m really looking forward to this, too! The first season was right in my strike zone. I have high hopes for season 2!

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