Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 4: Junko Plugged In

Quick Summary of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 4

In Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 4, “Pure-Hearted Electric SAGA,” Junko and Sakura agreed to keep Iron Frill’s offer to Ai secret. However, Junko just could not put it aside. The other idols noticed it, too, and they all worried about Junko. They also worried about opening for Iron Frill — and that show was rapidly getting closer! Will they be able to get ready? Will they even settle on which song’s they’ll perform? Or will they repeat the disaster that almost turned Koutarou into Eren Yeager

Opening Thoughts on Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 4

Welcome to our collaboration review of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 4! Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I have teamed up to give you our take on the latest antics from our favorite undead idols.

Before we start, how’s your week been, Irina? Is your remodeling coming along? I’ve always found remodelling to be very stressful.

It was supposed to be done today but there was some vanity vexation so I’m hoping it will be done by tomorrow and I can’t wait. I’m gonna spend the weekend in my bathtub to celebrate!

Okay, I really hope y’all liked this episode, because the biggest problem I’ve had trying to organize my thoughts is figuring out how not to gush. That’s just unseemly! We’ll see if I can avoid it, but no promises.

Irina, any opening thoughts on the episode? 

There’s one thing that can be a bit challenging about doing episode reviews and that’s properly reviewing the utilitarian episodes. You know, the ones that in isolation aren’t necessarily as entertaining as the others but are absolutely crucial to the overall narrative and the series just wouldn’t be the same if they were different.

I can sort of tell from your first sentence that we might have different impressions this week. 

I’d like to just walk through and celebrate the whole thing, but Irina has, from time to time, (politely!) reminded me that I tend to run long sometimes. So, I’ll keep it focused to the very, very best parts. If I had to pick just two, I’d pick Koutarou’s reaction to seeing Junko doubting herself and Junko’s response to Koutarou. 

Review of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 4

Junko Struggles with Junko

At the end of the previous episode, Junko and Sakura had overhead Shiori, Iron Frill’s lead singer, offer Ai a position in Iron Frill. Ai didn’t answer, and that bugged Junko quite a lot. She tried to put a brave face on it, but the rest of Franchouchou noticed. Even Ai noticed. Junko had been so distracted during practice that she’d gone outside, where Ai found her. Ai asked what was going on, and Junko couldn’t contain her emotions and had to leave — despite Ai trying earnestly to talk to her friend.

Koutarou took note and confronted Junko alone. Well, almost alone. Koutarou brought a friend: his trusty electric guitar. He gave Junko a stirring pep talk, and he used blaring electric guitar chords to accent his points. 

Koutarou made some good points, too, about how Junko should have more faith in herself, in Ai, and in Franchouchou. He should she should be able to “smash it” like he did, as long as he had his trusty guitar. Pretty dramatic stuff, which got even better when the scene added some Zombie Land-style humor: Junko reminded him that he’d recently been really depressed. Where was his guitar then?

Something in what Koutarou said to Junko touched her soul — but, as Irina pointed out, it probably wasn’t his words. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But the conversation inspired Junko, and she jumped back into helping Franchouchou get ready for their next act.

Koutarou’s Technique — And Sweet, Sweet Guitar

Irina, what’s you think of Koutarou’s technique? And wasn’t that a sweet guitar?

I’ll answer the second question first, yes!

If you’ll recall, as far as present company goes, I’m usually the fan of Koutarou. They made the character overbearing at times but I do like the basic archetype and intent. I think… In any case, I thought his approach was probably the best way to go in that situation.

Junko has been fretting for a while. She’s had the rest of the band to fall back on, especially Sakura. And she’s had the gentle optimistic and positive reinforcement this whole time. Obviously she needed something else to give her that final push. And though love wrapped in a good dose of manic nonsense is about as different as it gets.

So although I wouldn’t call Koutarou’s advice good by any stretch, it was nevertheless, right.

I said I would talk about two moments, but confession time. My second “moment” is their opening act for Iron Frill, so it took up like at least 5 minutes of the show. But I promise I’ll be brief:

Junko Rocks

The very, very short version: Their act rocked. Literally, because it was a hard-rock act. Their faithful heavy metal fans said it was metal, but I’m not so sure. I’m open to debate, though — and it was great seeing their fans worry about them! There was real concern that since this was their first public appearance as Franchouchou since the disaster that the might have lost their confidence.

They hadn’t.

Junko’s confidence electrified the audience. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Remember how sweet Junko had been when she played acoustic guitar — but perhaps a little restrained? Her performance with Koutarou’s electric guitar was anything but restrained. I’ve always loved Junko’s singing voice. Her voice actor, Maki Kawase, performs both the speaking and the singing voices, and she absolutely nailed this performance. Her attitude, her body language, the way she held the guitar, everything — she owned the stage. 

What’s you think of their performance, Irina?

The Power of Franchouchou’s Performance

So like this is the 3rd episode of Zombie Land I tear up at this season. And it’s episode 4… Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s sad or even that particularly emotional but I guess I built up a lot of attachment to these girls and seeing them perform is where it hits me the most. 

I was literally mumbling through tears, this is so cool! I got to get a grip!

Also I thought that the Franchouchou heavy metal groupies were getting an epic performance right up their alley and I was happy for them. I like those two a lot and I wish we had seen them just a bit more.

I honestly thought they were going to have Junko perform a classic acoustic rendering like in her heyday and take it all lowfi. Integrate what she has to bring to the group. And I really wanted to see that. Honestly though, going the other way and having her completely update her style and reinvent herself for a new era is freakin amazing too and I don’t know which I like best. The performance really surprised me though and that’s a plus.

At the end of the number, she took Koutarou’s advice. She literally smashed the guitar. Ai and Koutarou stood in the back of the venue, and Koutarou’s shocked disbelief was hilarious to see. But what made the scene ever better was what Junko did next.

Junko Calls Ai Out

Still holding the guitar’s shattered neck, she pointed it straight at Ai. Junko wanted to know: Was Ai going to stay with Franchouchou or did she want to be with Iron Frill? And Junko wanted to know right then.

All doubt and hesitancy gone, Junko wanted to know, right then and there: Where did Ai want to be? With Franchouchou or with Iron Frill? Because Junko wanted Ai with her. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Ai hesitated for an instant. I suspect she felt shocked. She was in street clothes, and I doubt she expected Junko to do anything like this. But we all knew (or hoped!) what Ai would decide. She sprinted to the stage and leapt over the barrier. Junko grasped her hand to pull her to the stage.

Zombies have detachable parts. I’d forgotten that. Ai’s arm detached within her sleeve, and she almost fell backwards. That’d be hard to explain! But Junko thought fast and caught her by the shoulder. 

Then they both crashed to the ground.

Irina, was that heart-warming or what?

I did feel bad for Koutarou. It’s a rock n roll move, I get it. But always thought it was sort of sad to destroy musical instruments like that. 

Tae: Rock Drummer Goddess

As for the reunion, it was super cute indeed. I thought the light show that followed was a bit too ridiculous maybe and some of the worst CG we’ve seen this season, but as a fan of kitsch I appreciated the cheesiness of it all.

Oh and I forgot to mention, Tae as a drummer is a brilliant move. It just works so well. I fully believe that she could pull it off considering everything we know about the character, it was foreshadowed last week and I also think Tae would genuinely enjoy it. Plus it gave my Animal from the Muppets vibes. What more can you ask for?

I’m not sure how this works, but seeing Tae as a drummer made the world seem like a better place. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

There was more. Junko saw the electric guitar’s lead wire, which was sparking. She plugged it into her neck so she did the zombie glow thing, and she passed it onto Ai. Who passed it onto the rest of Franchouchou. They performed Mezame RETURNER like they did back in season 1 at the end of episode 7. They’ve gotten a lot better with manipulating zombie electric, but their light show was just beautiful. Tae looked angelic with electric wings!

Loved their costumes, too. Fit the music perfectly!

I should also note that Tae seems to have found her calling: She’s astonishing on the drums. The shot of her rising on the platform from under the stages, wailing on the drums, brought a huge smile to my face. 

Closing Thoughts on Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 4

I’ll need to let  it sit for awhile to be sure, but this might have been my favorite Franchouchou performance. Though they’ve had some good ones!

Any other thoughts or any closing thoughts on the episode, Irina?

Looks like Franchouchou feels just a little protective of Ai! If you’re Ai, you’ve got to feel good about this show of support! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I will say that aside form the performance, I thought this was a calmer and less individually memorable episode. It was a building block that served to advance character development both individual and as an ensemble cast and I really appreciate that. I did quite enjoy it so if this is the worst that Zombie Land has to offer, we’re in for a stellar season. 

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3 thoughts on “Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 4: Junko Plugged In

  1. I just don’t have enough time! Maybe I’ll just binge the whole thing over a weekend. Is this a good show for a binge or is it better one bite at a time?

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