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Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 9: The Demon of Hibiya

Quick Summary of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 9

In Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 9, “The Saga Incident, Part 2,” events begin to pick up speed — faster than Kiichi Momozaki can keep up. He has new and powerful friends, but they seem to have a different view of how to restore Saga. Meanwhile, Shoujirou Itou became increasingly angry about the fliers Kiichi and friends posted. Why did he warn Kiichi to be careful? Why did he warn Yuugiri? And what the heck was that medicine that Yuugiri gave the old man who claimed to be Saga?

Welcome to Our Review of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 9

Welcome to our collaboration review of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 9 (I got it right two weeks in a row; I’m on a roll)! Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I have teamed up to give you our reactions to the adventures of our favorite undead idols. 

How was your week, Irina? Lots of states in the US are beginning to lift mask recommendations for folks who have gotten their vaccinations. How’re things in Canada?

Things are looking up here as well although we still have mask mandates because… well we never really had that much of an issue with masks really. There’s jerks here just like everywhere else but I haven’t heard of any major complaints about the issue. 

Besides, in winter time here, you want as many layers as possible to stop your lips from falling off so it’s all good.

We knew what had to happen in this episode. It was obvious from the marks on zombie Yuugiri’s neck. But that didn’t make this episode any less effective. Far from it. I think the dread that hung over episodes 8 and 9 added a depth of feeling. 

Opening Thoughts on Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 9

Before we dig in, do you have any opening thoughts, Irina?

My opening thoughts are going to be on one of the final scenes. I think this was my favourite Franchouchou performance to date. Check it out is a really fun song that I could easily see getting popular as an earworm and the choreography was great. One of the best fitting ones if you ask me.

Not to mention the costumes! Great ED!

I’m glad you mentioned that! There’s a YouTube video of that song, and it came out in summer 2020. I really liked their hats! 

Review of Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 9

Itou’s Real Mission

Before we talk about what happened to Yuugiri, we’ll want to talk about Old Man Saga and the role he played then, and now — or at least our theories about him! Before we got to see Yuugiri’s signature move for the first (chronologically, anyway!) time, we got another hint at just how legendary she was. And I think we just might have seen the idea that gave us Zombie Land Saga. Finally, I think we’d be amiss without mentioning the final scene. I’m really interested in getting Irina’s take on what we learned from that scene.

Some parts of this episode are a little hard to talk about because the story takes place across time. So, I’ll defer talking about Old Man Saga until we talk about the final scene, because I think the two go together. 

I think we all suspected it would turn out this way, but in this episode, we learned that Itou actually worked for the government. We might have expected it, but Kiichi certainly didn’t. Kiichi knew he’d lost control of his friends, and those friends took up arms. Itou intercepted them, and the dude must have been a seriously strong swordsman (not sure if he was a samurai or not). He took all of them out single-handedly.

Kiichi came upon the carnage and couldn’t believe what he say. Itou came out and told him, “My job is to keep an eye on rebels lurking in Saga.”

Kiichi’s idealism didn’t prepare him for the reality Itou introduced him to. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Kiichi Found He Was In Over His Head

Itou leapt towards Kiichi, intent on killing him, too. That’s when Yuugiri showed up. Her shamisen apparently had the deluxe options installed, because its neck served as a sheath. She stopped Itou’s strike cold. 

Irina, I know we saw a hint of this in the previous episode, but I still thought it was an awesome moment. What’d you think?

I’m not sure it was quite exactly that way. I think Itou did everything he could to not kill Kiichi. Aside from trying to keep him out of trouble to begin with, he basically told Yugiri what his plans were and what she should do. For some reason, I got the feeling he was never planning on taking out Kiichi to begin with.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a cool scene.

I wonder how her shamisen sounded. I mean it’s not supposed to have a metal blade through it like that. I wonder if her students could tell and they were all like, well she’s good but not that good. Her playing sounds a bit off… Then again, maybe all geisha samisens have swords in them and people are just used to that peculiar sound. They think it’s mastery or something.

One of Yuugiri’s Signature Moves!

The police, led by the ancestor of the Creepy Cop, showed up, so Itou ran one way and Kiichi and Yuugiri ran another. Eventually, Kiichi broke down, the weight of guilt crushing him to his knees. He told her to save herself. His eyes full of tears, he proceeded to tear himself apart for not seeing what was going on.

That’s when Yuugiri unleashed one of her patented slaps. Then she said, “I don’t want to hear any whining!” She told him that his words had stirred his friends enough to make them take action, and if he didn’t want their deaths to be in vain, he would see his plan through. He would re-establish Saga. 

Yuugiri’s slap in among her legendary skills! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

One of the things that apparently made Yuugiri legendary is that earlier in the episode, she saw how things were going. No stranger advanced politics, she knew how this would end. So she wrote letters to some powerful friends. Now, she gave a letter to Kiichi with instructions on where to go. Her friends should shelter him.

“With their support, even the government won’t be able to lay a hand on you,” she said. 

Just how legendary can one woman get?

The Genesis of the Series?

Then, she told him something that I suspect might be the genesis for the entire series. That it, if Kiichi is related to Koutarou Tatsumi. She said, “Please, show me what the new Saga you create looks like.”

What do you think, Irina? Do you think that Kiichi, or his descendant, is still fulfilling her request? And wasn’t it fun to see her slap for the first time?

It’s nice to know that Yugiri has some passion in her.

Yes, I think there are still people trying to save Saga and make it great…

So do you think Kiichi looks like Kenshin on purpose or by coincidence. I mean all I could think about when watching the episode was how Rourouni Kenshin it was. Look, I know Kiichi doesn’t have the cross star which is the most noticeable trait and all. But he does have wild slightly spiky orange hair that he wears in a ponytail, a burgundy haori half-coat over a white shirt. The colours are strikingly similar here. I’m pretty sure it’s a tribute which is awesome. And a little odd as the demographics are not at all the same. 

If it is a coincidence though, it’s an amazing coincidence. 

Random fact: Kiichi and Kotaru have the same voice actor…

I hadn’t made that connection! With Kenshin, I mean.

The Mark on Yuugiri’s Neck

I don’t want to talk about it, but it’d be an act of cowardice not to. Yuugiri knew someone would have to take the fall for the attempted uprising. The government wouldn’t be satisfied otherwise and might take it out on more people. I suspect Itou had the same sense. He found Yuugiri after she’d sent Kiichi off. Maybe Itou was searching for Kiichi to finish what he’d started? But in any event, Yuugiri asked if he’d heard of the “Sheathed Kichiemon?”

He knew her as the Demon of Hibiya. Now, dang it, I was a prequel series of Yuugiri’s life — the part that made her legendary! Because she must have been stupendously cool. She drew her sword, and the two did the whole single-stroke battle thing. She won, and Itou let on that he really liked Kiichi’s vision for the future. 

Yuugiri let herself be captured. The penalty for inciting an uprising, under the military justice of the time, was beheading. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone accept their execution with more poise and grace. That scene was hard to watch.

Yuugiri ended up exactly where she’d planned to. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Irina, what’d you think of it?

Well, we knew she lost her head and I was so relieved that it was this way. It made me so happy. See I figured it would either be in battle which would have been kind of gruesome but o.k. Or an accident which would have been heartbreaking. Can you imagine strong, self-assured Yugiri cut down in the prime of life by some senseless act of god or something. Bwah.

Yuugiri Fashioned Her Own Fate

And you know how I was a bit miffed that although the story was great, it wasn’t really Yugiri’s story which felt a little unfair. After finally getting her freedom, she can’t even be the star of her own backstory? 

So the fact that she turned herself in and planned her own exit. Well, that was the best. It was such a power move. In a way, an amazing amount of agency for a woman in that era. In the end, she took back all the control. You know how it is, you always remember how a story ends, and this one ended with Yuguri on her own terms. That’s nice. She’s really the luckiest of them all. Unless Tae was always a Zombie or something. 

I like that interpretation.

Finally, let’s talk a little about Old Man Saga. This post at fandom.com has some interesting conjecture about him, but I’m not sure how much of it is canon and how much is theory. It’s interesting in any event. What seems clear is that while Saga no longer existed as an entity, the old dude seemed weak and incoherent. He claimed to be Saga itself. Any idea what to make of that, Irina?

He claimed to be Saga itself. Maybe he was… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m not sure you meant to link to a TV tropes page about single stroke battles? I mean there was one in the episode but the Old Man wasn’t there…

Thanks for catching that. My iMac’s getting old, and sometimes Cmd-C fails silently. It’s fixed!

Old Man Saga

Oh that makes more sense. OK now that I have read it, seems pretty legit to me. The bar is called the new Jofuku so Jofuku being the bartender works! It would certainly fit with the story! I didn’t know the background of the bar were from the Jofuku museum. That is hella cool!

The bartender did tell us he is Saga so maybe he’s Saga? The allegory of Yugiri giving him medicine to get better is sort of sweet when you think of it that way. She literally healed Saga. 

What’s interesting here is that the bartender and Kotaru are friends. Which explains how he found out how to zombiefy people. Have we ever seen any of them leave Saga? Can the zombies sustain themselves outside of Saga and is that part of the reason that Kotaru so desperately wants to save it?

At the end of this episode, we get confirmation that the bartender is the old man. He still has an old photograph (very old) of Yuugiri posing with Kiichi and Itou! What really surprised me was that Yuugiri walked into the bar, and they just started talking. She remembered him; we already knew he remembered her. I guess I didn’t think much about how many memories Yuugiri retained, but it looked like all of them.

Yuugiri in the Modern Era

She seemed to like “living” in the modern era. I got the impression that she’s devoted to Franchouchou, and maybe she’s a little relieved to leave some of the legendary aspects of her life in the past. I mean, sure, it’s cool being able to wield a sword like that, but not having to always be on guard seems to agree with her.

Yuugiri seems to fit in pretty well in the 21st century. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I loved that scene, and I think the reason was that it gave me a sense of relief and gratitude. Isn’t that odd? I was relieved that even beheading couldn’t deprive the world of someone like Yuugiri. The gratitude had to do with the support she had given the old man and vice versa. In the past and now, they had endured and were still here to make their mark on the world. Irina, what’d you think of the scene?

Unlike you I saw the beheading as having its own merit. History hasn’t exactly been kind to courtesans and she had a better go at life than a lot of them. For me the scene was more about Yugiri, you know. Like fine, the rest of the world gets to have another pretty girl but I’m more psyched about the fact that she’s having a good time. She’s earned some fun. And in many ways, this Saga is much closer to Kiichi’s dream which she carried on her shoulders. She should get to enjoy it whatever way she wants to!

Interestingly, I was more focused on her gentleness of spirit and her amazing drive. Pretty’s just a bonus; but I take your meaning.

Closing Thoughts about Zombie Land Saga Episode 9

Any closing thoughts, Irina? 

I really liked the performance. I mentioned it up top but I’m sort of shocked it didn’t come back so I’m mentioning it again. 

Well, I’ve been trying to manage word counts, and it didn’t make the cut. That, and about two dozen other things I wanted to talk about!

It’s going to be interesting to see what Zombie Land does next.

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