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Idolhood is realized in the face of death.note 

"Even though we're dead, we want to live our dreams!
No, we WILL live our dreams!
Is that despair? Or is it hope?
Our reanimated bodies are pulsing with courage, even though we don't have a pulse!
Because
this is our saga!"
Sakura Minamoto, opening narration for Season 1note 
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Sakura Minamoto is your typical Japanese schoolgirl who dreams of one day becoming an Idol Singer. She wakes up one sunny morning, listens to her favorite song, gets her idol application paperwork together, steps out the front door, and promptly meets the business end of a speeding truck.

The next thing she knows, Sakura awakens in an abandoned mansion in Saga Prefecture with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She quickly discovers six zombie girls from different eras of Japan's history lurking in the mansion, all gathered together by a shifty, shades-wearing stranger named Kotaro Tatsumi, who informs Sakura that she has been dead for ten years, and is now a zombie herself. But for what purpose has Kotaro brought these rotting, flesh-craving beauties back from the grave?

Why, to form a regional idol group that will save Saga from fading into obscurity, of course! What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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Zombie Land Saga (ゾンビランドサガ) is an original anime collaboration between Cygames and Avex Pictures, and animated by MAPPA. Marketed as a seemingly run-of-the-mill zombie horror series, its plot was kept heavily under wraps until its premiere on October 4, 2018, which revealed it to be an off-the-walls Horror Comedy with a biting yet loving satire of the Japanese idol industry. The series is currently licensed by Crunchyroll and Funimation.

Its second season, titled Zombie Land Saga Revenge (or Zombie Land Saga R, for short), was announced back in 2019, and premiered on April 8, 2021. Set just a few months after the first season, it follows the idols' efforts at getting back on their feet from one Epic Fail of a bomb right on the heels of a smash performance that left them with a multi-million yen debt.

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A movie following on from Revenge was announced in October 2021.

A web manga adaptation that focuses on Kotaro's side of the story up until Season Two began its run in October 2018 and ended in May 2021. A manga anthology was released in April 2021. A spinoff manga titled Zombie Land Saga Gaiden: The First Zombie began in May 2021, focusing on the backstory of Tae Yamada/Number Zero.

A Japanese stage play adaptation titled Zombie Land Saga: Stage de Doon! was announced on October 19, 2019, with its own original cast as Franchouchou rather than the anime voice actors. It was set for a short run in March 2020, but was initially cancelled, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was subsequently brought back from the dead, with the play running in September of 2020.

Has no relation to the similarly named 2009 movie Zombieland, although the makers are aware of the similar name and eventually cross-promoted the movie's sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap.


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Tropes, COME ON!

    #-B 
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: CGI models are sometimes used during the girls' idol dances.
    • This is noticeable early on during their proper idol numbers in episodes 3 and 4.
    • In their Episode 7 performance, the girls' models are in CG, but they don't look that different from their hand-drawn versions. The CGI visuals become clear after lightning strikes the stage and gives the girls a blue aura around each of them.
    • Revenge shows that this trope is still in effect, although the 3D models' faces are much more expressive this time around, as seen when the camera focuses on Sakura singing near the end of episode 1.
  • Accidental Public Confession:
    • Subverted in Episode 2. Sakura blurts out the fact that they're zombies on stage in front of an entire audience while scolding Saki for almost blowing their cover, but the fact that their argument gradually transitions into a rap battle, with Kotaro and the other girls providing a beat and music, convinces the crowd it's just another part of their performance.
    • Narrowly averted in Episode 7, when Saki introduces herself at Saga Rock as having "lived and died in Saga". One verbal backspace later, and nobody in the audience seems to have noticed.
    • Narrowly averted again in Episode 11 of Revenge. While assuring the workers at the disaster shelter that they don't mind helping out, Sakura notes that they don't get tired, since they're zombies. Again, one verbal backspace later, she managed to get away with it.
  • Actor Allusion: In Episode 9 Tae chews on Maria's odango hair/Girlish Pigtails combo. Tae's voice actress is Kotono Mitsuishi, whose breakout role of Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon also wore a near-identical hairstyle combination.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The manga version expands a few story elements, such as the group's first concert, which reveals that it had to be cancelled due to the pre-awakened girls attacking the crowd, and Kotaro getting a sponsorship from Drive-in Tori.
  • Affectionate Parody: The show certainly takes a few not-so-subtle jabs at the Japanese idol industry, such as long work hours and the emphasis on idols having to be "pure". Kotaro is also a blatant parody of abusive managers. All that said, the show still mostly frames idols in a positive light and puts forth the idea that performing and working together in a group can be a good experience.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Saga Prefecture isn't exactly what you would call well known or a popular fictional setting, being one of the more obscure prefectures in Japan (besides its porcelain-making industry), yet here it is at the center of a zombie idol story. Its obscurity is in part why Kotaro resurrected the girls to form an idol group, because he wants to change that.
  • Alien Invasion: What appears to happen in The Stinger of Revenge Episode 12. A massive UFO appears out of nowhere and unleashes a catastrophic laser strike on a remote town.
  • All Part of the Show: When Tae's head comes flying off in Episode 2, Sakura insists it's all just a special effect designed for the show. Strangely enough, the audience buys it, even as one of them feeds squid to Tae's removed head. Later, when Sakura and Saki start arguing onstage, it segues into a rap battle while Kotaro and the other girls provide beatboxing and background music to disguise it as part of their performance.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The official website includes certain details about the characters that aren't stated in the anime, including the exact dates of most of the girls' deaths sans Tae (Sakura's full profile was absent until after Episode 11). It also presents episode summaries in the form of diary entries written by Kotaro, providing little tidbits for each episode such as his decision to change the idol group's name because he wanted to push it in a more suitable direction.
    • The names of Iron Frill members, whether it's from Ai's or the current generation, comes with the first BD that the insert songs and in-universe CD covers come with.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Drive-in Tori, the fried chicken restaurant the girls help promote in Episode 5, is a real-life restaurant, and the jingle they perform is the actual song. The same goes for the Kashima Gatalympics in the same episode.
  • Amusing Injuries: Being zombies, injuries such as removed limbs and broken necks are easily fixed. Plenty of human characters get knocked around too looking no worse for wear.
  • Animation Bump:
    • The girls' performance in Episode 7 is much more smoothly done and well synchronized, especially when compared to Episodes 3 and 4.
    • The scene in Episode 9 where Maria and her two friends try to intimidate Sakura, Lily and Tae by doing an Ominous Walk towards them is animated rather fluidly.
    • Revenge shows off a well-synchronized hand-drawn choreography in some dance sequences beginning in Episode 2's Franchouchou performance in the ending credit and in Episode 3 with Iron Frills' "Nope!!!!!" music video.
  • Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: How the zombies are depicted changes on how they're perceived by whoever sees them. Amongst each other, the zombies look like normal girls, albeit with greenish-blue skin and the occasional bandages or Scary Stitches. This is also the appearance they maintain when Maimai sees them without makeup, as she doesn’t mind that they’re zombies. However, when people are frightened by their appearance—including each other when they realize their makeup washed off in public—their putrefied complexions, sunken features, and bulging red eyes become apparent, reminding the viewer that they're still walking corpses.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: In episode 3 of Revenge when Junko plays the guitar on the roof while singing, the aspect ratio shrinks from 16:9 to 4:3 and the color palette becomes more muted, reflecting how Junko is from an earlier time period when aspect ratios on television were smaller.
  • Baguette Beatdown: Following the success of Drive-In Tori's advertisement shoot, Kotaro makes his morning greeting as a stereotypical Frenchman carrying a baguette, which he uses to smack Ai in the head for snarking about it. Ai immediately retaliates by grabbing the baguette from his hand and clobbering him with it so hard it knocks him to the ground and breaks the baguette.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro: At the very beginning, Sakura is introduced as the plucky young protagonist who is excited to try out for an idol audition... and barely a minute into the first episode, she's killed by a truck. The death metal theme kicks in, further indicating to the audience that the show will not be a straightforward idol series.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits:
    • The first opening theme, "Adabana Necromancy", wouldn't sound out-of-place for a tokusatsu, and certain parts of the accompanying visuals, as well as the single CD cover, show the girls acting as a sentai team. Nothing sentai-related happens in the show at all.
    • The beginning of "Adabana Necromancy" also has a subtle bait-and-switch, with the first couple of seconds having dark, disturbing zombie imagery. When it zooms in on a zombie's face, the intro decides to rewind everything from that point a la VHS tape rewinding, which segues into the actual intro featuring absurd colorful zombie imagery.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Sakura gets her dream of becoming an Idol Singer midway through the first episode. It's just that she has to go through getting killed and brought back as a zombie first, and even then, she's thrust into the spotlight with zero experience and no preparation whatsoever. She doesn't even remember wanting to be one.
    • When Lily was still alive, she desired to never grow up out of fear of developing a masculine body. She got her wish by dying and becoming a zombie, which means she can't go back to her father.
    • When rousing Junko out of a funk caused by some troubling events in Revenge episode 4, Kotaro specifically uses the metaphor of her "smashing everything" to break free of her current emotional shackles. Unfortunately for him, Junko took that a bit too literally by smashing his guitar she borrowed after performing a rock song, which leaves him in utter shock. He makes the girls spend the concert aftermath gluing it back together.
  • Big Blackout: Wipes out the entire electrical grid in Saga during Revenge episode 10, halting Okoba's exposé of the truth about Franchouchou and causing Xu Fu to become ill.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In Episode 1, the Japanese "Zombie Land Saga Project" text shown when Kotaro flips the other side of the blackboard is actually written upside-down.
    • The final, settled-upon name of the idols' group, Franchouchou, is meant to sound cute while also subtly evoking the image of zombies. To achieve this, its transliteration contains the French word chouchou (a very childish term of endearment), while its Japanese name sounds similar to the words furan and shuu, which mean "decomposition" and "stench", respectively.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Episode 8 ends with Lily being unable to fully reveal herself to, let alone reunite with, her father Takeo, who likewise remains unaware that "Number 6" is his long-dead, now-zombified daughter, lest Franchouchou blow their cover. Nevertheless, they part ways at peace with themselves: Lily contents herself with the knowledge that Takeo dearly loved her and deeply regretted overworking her to death, and that she still loves him back in spite of their unfortunate history; as for Takeo, Lily and her friends (including Kotaro) compose a special number obliquely directed at him at a street gig, expressing Lily's love and forgiveness, allowing him to finally move on with his life after wallowing in self-loathing for the last seven years. Sakura subsequently notes in Episode 10 that Takeo has started coming to Franchouchou's shows, which has given Lily a lot more energy, and he's in the audience at their concert in Episode 12.
    • Revenge episode 12 ends with Franchouchou pulling off a successful show at the EFS...and then aliens show up to obliterate a small farm town in some remote part of Saga.
  • Black Comedy: The anime has shades of this.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • In a somewhat blink-and-you-miss-it moment when Kotaro opens his laptop's browser, his homepage displays "Yafooo!!".
    • Hisanaka Pharmaceutical, which Kotaro attracted as a potential sponsor for Franchouchou in Episode 4, is based on Hisamitsu, a real-life Saga-based pharmaceutical company. In particular, their "Saganship Z" dermal patches are based on Salonpas, their most famous brand.
    • In Episode 6, a search engine showing news on Ai's death shows a website called Ukipppdia, likely referencing Wikipedia. The search engine itself uses Google's typeface.
    • Another from Episode 6: Franchouchou's official website, described by Ai as "so lame you'll want to die. Even if we're zombies already", is so old-fashioned looking it looks almost like it came straight out of the 1990s. Appropriately enough, the website is hosted on "Geocitys".
    • In Episode 3 of Revenge, Ai and Junko separately use the computer to visit the "MyTube" and "Cookle" websites.
    • In Episode 4 of Revenge, Iron Frill center Shiori proclaims Franchouchou their rival on Kukkiri, a nod to NTV morning show Sukkiri. Arguably overlaps with Lost in Translation, as without the name reference it’s easy to assume she’s pandering to the local audience of a Saga-based show rather than saying so on national television.
    • In Episode 5 of Revenge, Lily tries out for Japanese Got Performance, a reality Talent Show rather blatantly based on America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • The scenes where Sakura gets hit by a truck in slow motion, and is later shot straight through the chest by a terrified police officer, play out with no blood or gore whatsoever.
      • Ditto when Junko is hit by a van in Episode 7: she does get splattered with mud, but there's no blood or any other visible injuries.
    • Whenever the girls lose a limb or head, the part in question just pops off like a doll's.
    • Averted in Revenge Episode 9, when Itou slaughters a rebellion and bleeds them to death.
      • However, Itou's death in the same episode has him falling to the ground, but has no blood spilling from him.
  • Bookends:
    • Episode 1 begins and ends on a shot of a bird flying in the sky, as a counterpoint to the massive upheaval Sakura goes through during the episode.
      • Taken Up to Eleven in the first episode of its second season, where it starts and ends with the exact same shot of the bird flying through the sky.
    • The eighth episode begins with a man later revealed to be Lily's father, walking out of his workplace to eat by himself after his coworkers turn on the TV. At the end of the episode, he watches Franchouchou's commercial with his coworkers, having come to terms with Lily's death
    • Episode 1 is "Good Morning Saga," while Episode 12 is "Good Morning Again Saga." The first storyline of the series is Sakura dying and losing her memories of her life, while the end of the season involves her regaining her memories of her life, and (temporarily) losing her memories of her time as a zombie.
    • Continuing the above, Episode 1 of S2 is "Good Morning Returns Saga," and sees Kotaro having a Heroic BSoD.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Episode 6 marks a rift forming between Ai and Junko over their conflicting views on how the idol industry should work based on what was normal in their respective times: for Junko, it means putting herself at arm's length from the public so she may present her ideal self that she wants her admirers to strive towards; for Ai, it means forging close relationships with her fans and using their support to propel herself forward. Unfortunately, their mutual inability or refusal to understand each other due to their own deeply rooted issues—Junko's feelings that her efforts were rendered meaningless, and Ai's unwillingness to accept her own premature death—keeps them from seeing eye-to-eye. The trope itself is also discussed when the other girls try convincing them to bury the hatchet.
    Ai: I don't see how any of what I said was wrong.
    Yugiri: There are plenty of fights that start because both sides have a good point.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Episode 3, while Lily is giving her idea for their idol group name, a visual accompanies her imagination showing all the girls looking like Lily. Sakura appears to be able to see the visual and asks where the rest of them were.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Episode 3, when Yugiri mentions that as zombies they're supposed to stink, the girls immediately sniff themselves to discover if they have a foul stench for being zombies. Odor is briefly brought up again the next episode, and the girls immediately react by smelling their bodies.
    • In Episode 11, an amnesiac Sakura stumbles into the room where the rest of the girls are sleeping without their makeup, and grabs the fireplace poker to defend herself. Ai immediately panics, covers her head and dives for cover, apparently remembering the time when Sakura impaled the same poker through her skull back in Episode 1.
    • Also crossed with Bookends; in their first real concert in Episode 2, Sakura attempts to sing "Yomigaere" and fails because of the others' uncooperative antics. In Episode 12, the song almost fails to be sung again, but this time, the one who is being uncooperative is Sakura. It's only when Sakura successfully sings it that she completes her Character Arc.

    C-D 
  • Call-Back:
    • In Episode 10, Sakura gets hit by a truck again, triggering the exact same pose she and Junko had when they got hit by vehicles in previous episodes. Where the first time killed her, kicking off the whole show, this time restores her memories of her past life but at the expense of her current memories.
    • In Episode 12, Tae attempts to jog Sakura's memory of her time with the group by reenacting their dance for "Drive-in Tori", doing her rooster-crow pose, and bringing her a magazine article showcasing Franchouchou's success.
    • Also from Episode 12, Sakura locks herself in a room to mope, which is the same room Junko barricaded herself in during Episode 7. Tae is unable to break the door down, as Junko explains she had reinforced it after Kotaro previously kicked it down simply to reach out to her, and instructed her to repair it.
    • In the first episode of Revenge, Franchouchou held their anniversary concert at Geils Live House where they first performed. Also, Tae's headbanging in the staff room is in the same manner as she does from the first episode.
    • In Episode 4 of Revenge, Junko electrocutes Franchouchou with a cable in order to re-enact their lightning-powered concert from Season 1, complete with the same unnatural glow, auto-tune, and ability to fire lasers from their fingertips. The two metalhead fans even remark, "Here we go again!" when they realize what's happening.
    • Revenge episode 6 has a ton during Tae's shopping trip: Maria and her friends, plus Misa, the Korosuke group, and the elderly Kashima folks from episode 9, the PR manager of Saganship Z from "Warming Dead Saga", the rapping dudes from "I ♥ Hip Hop Saga", and Cocco-kun from "Nice Bird Saga In Your Heart". Sakura also looks both ways before crossing the street, indicating she’s finally learned her lesson about road safety.
    • Revenge episode 7 has a few: Maimai’s introduction echoes Sakura’s in episode 1 of Season 1, complete with death metal scream at her death fakeout, and her role as a super fan who wants to join Franchouchou echoes Sakura wanting to try out for Iron Frill. Maimai also appeared in audience cameos in various concerts prior to her day in the limelight.
    • In episode 10 of Revenge, Sakura's photo in the collage that Ohkoba shows Kotaro has her with Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes and a frown firmly in place, calling back to her near crippling depression she was suffering from before being inspired by Iron Frill.
  • Call-Forward: In the Gaiden manga:
    • The Saga Sagako Busters are based out of the mansion where Franchouchou end up living.
    • The high school versions of the Metalheads are schoolmates of Eikichi, the male lead.
    • There's a page where it looks like Takeo Go is about to be run over by a speeding car. Unlike Sakura, he effortlessly catches it and stops it in its tracks.
    • As Takeo and his new girlfriend Sachika embrace, MJ remarks they will bring prosperity to Saga. Though he neglects to mention it's their child Lily who'll actually make it happen.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • When Ai and Junko attempt to leave in Episode 2, Sakura tries to stop them, telling them about how she tried the same and got shot by a policeman for her efforts. They refuse to believe her until they also get shot at by the same policeman.
    • In Episode 11 of Revenge, Franchouchou's true appearance is exposed during a performance at the disaster shelter, and Saki, seeing no other option, confesses that the group are zombies and apologizes for the deception. Fortunately, their audience is mostly young children, who insist that Franchouchou can't be zombies because they're not scary. In the end, Franchouchou are able to pass off their appearance as "zombie makeup" and go ahead with the concert, and nobody seems any the wiser that they really are zombies.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cerebus Syndrome:
    • Episode 6 of S1 marks a tonal shift in the series as episodes begin focusing less on comedy and more on how the girls died, and how seriously they and those they knew in life were affected by their deaths note .
    • S2 mainly continues the trend set by S1, but takes another level at the end when it's revealed that Saga is under a massive curse, which kills anyone who could bring fame to the prefecture - all the girls died to this curse, and were brought back by Kotaro to try and get around it, since they can't die again. After subtle machinations have failed, the curse outright ravages Saga with a massive storm and flood... and when even that fails in the finale, a UFO shows up in The Stinger and destroys an unknown location in Saga.
  • Company Cameo: The series' eye catches depict various landmarks around the Saga Prefecture, and one episode shows off the new (at the time) headquarters of co-producer Cygames.
  • Continuity Cavalcade:
    • For Franchouchou's concert in Episode 12, seen among the audience are their two metalhead fanboys from way back in Episode 1, Sakura's high-school friends (and the daughter of one of them), Takeo (Lily's father), Reiko (Saki's old friend) and her daughter Maria as well as her friends, Misa and her fellow Korosuke bikers, and Okoba and Inubashiri. During the credits sequence, the members of the current incarnation of Iron Frill and Kotaro's bartender acquaintance are also seen.
    • A number of characters from previous episodes show up in episode 6 of Revenge, including Maria, her friends, and the elderly Kashima dance group from episode 9, the PR manager of Saganship Z from "Warming Dead Saga", the rapping dudes from "I ♥ Hip Hop Saga", and Cocco-kun from "Nice Bird Saga In Your Heart".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In Episode 7, Kotaro throws Saki a megaphone for introducing Franchouchou in Saga Rock, since she is the group's leader. This brings to mind the death metal scene from the first episode where Saki starts the screamo performance by picking up and shouting into the same megaphone.
    • In Episode 1 of Revenge, Franchouchou decides to do an anniversary performance at Geils Live House, the venue where they first performed in the very first episode of the series.
  • Convenient Photograph: By the end of the first season, Okoba has found photos of each of Franchouchou's members when they were alive, but his suspicion is that Kotaro is recruiting celebrity look-alikes. It's not until he catches video of Tae's head coming off that he realises they are the same people revived. Justified in that he is an investigative reporter and finding such evidence is his job.
  • Covered in Mud: This happens to all the girls in the second half of Episode 5 during the Kashima Gatalympics, which revolves around people falling into mud. This proves problematic to them on two fronts, as a.) they're wearing T-shirts to promote their group, which does them no favors when their logos are hidden, and b.) washing themselves off just washes their human makeup off with it. Subverted with Kotaro, who avoids falling into the mud despite all the girls spitefully hoping he would.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The show revels in this trope on every level. It was advertised as a straight horror, but quickly transitions into a bombastic Horror Comedy/Idol parody. Kotaro's big plan to save Saga with an idol group isn't too unreasonable, but having the performers be the undead really puts a mad spin on it, and all the girls are convinced from the start that it's doomed to fail. However, thanks to Kotaro and the girls' quick improvisations, they always manage to wow the audience one way or another.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles:
    • Episodes 6 and 7 are titled "Because It's Sentimental SAGA" and "But It's Zombiemental SAGA".
    • The first and last episodes of the season are called "Good Morning SAGA" and "Good Morning Again SAGA".
  • Cryptic Background Reference: In Episode 11, Kotaro is at a bar, having a conversation with the bartender, who is fully aware of Kotaro's Zombie Land Saga Project, briefly confuses Saga with Hizen Province, and has a history with Yugiri, apparently as far back as her living days. Kotaro ribs him about always talking about the good old days, to which he says, "That's rich, coming from you." A potential clue is provided by the bar's name, New Jofuku, "Jofuku" being the Japanese name of Xu Fu, a legendary court sorcerer of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of a unified China, who never returned from his quest for an elixir of immortality. The bartender is confirmed to be Jofuku in the credits of Revenge Episode 8, and confirmed to be immortal and tied to Saga in Revenge Episode 10.
  • Curse: As of Revenge Episode 10, we learn that Saga is under one that’s lasted a very long time. The curse is known to cause those who would bring Saga fame to die before their time, often through tragic accidents—and is likely connected to the Sagako demons of Gaiden. Apparently, the curse will come to a head when the Reiwa era begins, jeopardizing Saga’s future and causing people to forget about it. Kotaro’s solution to trying to stop the curse is to revive people the curse killed as zombies, forming a single legendary idol group to bring Saga unforgettable fame. At the end of the episode, the curse’s final form triggers: a massive flood and blackout, causing widespread destruction.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Sakura's rap in Episode 2 turns into this towards Ai and Junko, who are in the middle of a Heroic BSoD. She also points it to the audience of elders, encouraging them to be more productive members of society.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 6 of Revenge, "Walking Bet Saga", is the first episode to focus on the enigmatic Tae Yamada. Episode 7 of Revenge focuses on Maimai, a super fan who cameoed in audiences in prior episodes and who joins Franchouchou for the episode after learning their secret. Episodes 8 and 9 of Revenge ("The Saga Incident, Parts 1 and 2") focus on Yugiri.
  • Death Metal: The very first performance (then-)Death Musume puts on is at a death metal concert, where the girls simply scream into microphones while banging their heads so hard their broken necks dislocate.
  • Decon-Recon Switch:
    • The anime's premise is clearly a satire on the Japanese idol industry, with its long work hours, repetitive content, mental and physical stress, and a lifestyle very difficult to adapt into. This translates into the main characters being zombies, which is about as on-the-nose as anyone can get with metaphors. That being said, the anime also shows that the idol industry can be a place of genuine fulfillment for everyone involved, as long as everyone—from the fans, to the producers, to the idols themselves—remains respectful of one another.
    • The anime has pointed things to say about the idol industry's concern with having its stars maintain a public image of "purity", firstly by having its idols be corpses, which are about as impure as you can get, then by forcing them to hide the truth about themselves lest they risk alienation. However, it also allows the anime to make a stand for inclusion with Yugiri and Lily, neither of whom would normally be accepted as idols by the industry—the former having been a High-Class Call Girl, the latter a transgender girl—but who are valued bandmates to the other members of Franchouchou, and whom Kotaro recruited anyways despite their background.invoked
    • Episode 8 shows how the entertainment industry can wreck a performer's life, overstressing them and ruining their relationships, but also how it can be a source of support for them and a way to find catharsis.
  • Deus Angst Machina: Every goal Sakura ever had in life, fate snatched from her. She mastered her lines for a school play in third grade and then missed the play because she came down with mumps. She trained for a relay race until she was the fastest runner in her school, and then pulled a muscle during the opening ceremony—three years in a row. She spent her middle school years studying to get into the high school of her choice, but was delayed on the day of the placement exam by an improbable number of little old ladies needing assistance. Then when she made up her mind to audition to be an idol, she was hit by a truck and killed right as she left her house to post the audition paperwork. Then she achieved success as an idol after her death, but before a performance that would make or break her future, she was hit by a very similar truck, restoring her memories of failure at the cost of her memories of success.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: As of Revenge Episode 10, we learn that Saga is under a Curse that causes these, causing those who would otherwise bring Saga fame and fortune to die before their time, with the beginning of the Reiwa era leading to a disaster that causes Saga to be forgotten. Happens at the end of the episode as well: the curse strikes earlier than expected, and a massive flood causes widespread destruction across Saga the day before Franchouchou’s revenge concert.
    • Weirdly, this also doubles as a Deus ex Machina: Ookoba was seconds away from publishing an article that would have exposed Franchouchou's true nature when the flood hit, knocking out the power and preventing him from doing so.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune:
    • The opening and ending themes are sung by the idols' voice actresses (minus Kotono Mitsuishi, who voices Tae, since Tae can't really sing). Heck, even Kotaro's VA does the male back-up vocals for the first season's OP.
    • This also applies to the (uncut) dub version, albeit the male back-up vocals from the Japanese version are retained for the dubbed S1 OP.
  • Don't Try This at Home: On occasion, the series will give out warnings against doing dangerous things the characters have the luxury of doing because they're undead, such as feeding dried squid to dogs, or using dermal patches without prescription (which counts as practicing medicine).
  • Double-Meaning Title: The "Saga" in the anime's title refers to Saga Prefecture in Kyushu, which the main characters are trying to revitalize, as well as the story being a "saga" of how the girls aim to become successful idols despite being zombies.
  • Drool Deluge:
    • In Episode 4, Saki and Junko rise out from the hot spring with water coming out of their mouths like a waterfall.
    • In Episode 12, this presages Tae going berserk with rage over her inability to shake Sakura out of her depression.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole:
    • In Episode 2, Saki mumbling about an "old fart" is actually her talking about a Tamagotchi; a more precise translation would be "Next time, (she) won't get an Oyajitchi." Oyajitchi is an adult Tamagotchi that you'll get if you raise it well enough but without proper discipline, and Saki always got this one according to her character sheet. It actually serves as a foreshadowing to the implication in Episode 9 that she had no life except for her delinquency prior to Franchouchou, thus was incapable of raising an upstanding Tamagotchi.
    • The official English translations incorrectly label Saki as the overall captain and leader of the all-female biker gang Dorami, when the Japanese script specifies her as captain of the gang's special attack unit. This translation is contradicted when the gang's actual boss, Reiko Kirishima, is formally introduced in Episode 9, and her daughter Maria tries to succeed her.

    E-I 
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Because the world absolutely needed Japanese Idol Singers that happened to be undead.
  • Evolving Credits: For Episode 11, the opening gives vocal noises for the zombies, Kotaro's silly hijinks, and the girls' footsteps as they head to their afterlife on stage.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: When the frightened sponsor runs away from the rest of the zombie girls, she sees Yugiri in the hallway and asks for her help. Yugiri calmly responds and turns her head, revealing her zombified face.
  • Fan Disservice: When Sakura, Saki, and Junko are bathing, they try to hide from the company president sponsoring them until she comes across Sakura's naked back (with her bottom only conveniently covered by bandages). While Saki has a sarashi covering her breasts, Junko doesn't seem to wear anything to cover even with Censor Steam. Note that they're not wearing makeup, and Sakura's head is detached from her body by accident.
  • First-Episode Twist: The first seven minutes play out like a Slice of Life-turned-Survival Horror anime that opens with the death of the main heroine and ends with her discovering she's become a zombie. Then Kotaro Tatsumi appears and announces he's going to turn the undead heroine and the other zombies in the mansion into an Idol Singer group, revealing the whole show to be a Horror Comedy idol series.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In Episode 10, Ai gives this helpful advice to Sakura, a few seconds before the latter gets hit by a truck... again.
    "Be careful around traffic."
  • Flashback: The first half of Revenge Episode 10 jumps back to explore what happened with the EFS concert.
  • Flashback Echo:
    • Reiko has a Type 3 example in Episode 9, where "Number 2" mentions a phrase which was also spoken by Saki in their biker gang days. Reiko then has a brief flashback of her friend, visually identifies a resemblance to the stranger and shouts Saki's name, which the latter ignores. After all, Saki and "Number 2" are one and the same.
    • A Type 2 variant is shown in Episode 12, as Kotaro listens to the weather report warning of heavy snow on the day of Franchouchou's Arpino concert and flashes back to when he was a student named "Inui", handing over a CD dropped by Sakura. A close-up later and the student's face is superimposed with Kotaro's as the scene cuts to the present. Notably, the CD is a single of Iron Frill's "Fantastic Lovers", the song Sakura was listening to just before she died.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the first episode before the girls wake up, the way each of them shamble around the room foreshadow their final actions in life.
      • Saki walks around the room with her arms stretched forward. She died riding her motorcyle.
      • Ai keeps trying to walk to the center of the room. She died when she walked out onto center stage during her final show.
      • Junko grips the bars and presses her face against them. She most likely kept looking out the window as her plane crashed.
      • Yugiri hangs her head low and presses it against the wall. She was executed by beheading.
      • Lily has her arms constantly held out in front, and her heart visibly resting outside her chest. She had a heart attack from a combination of being overworked, and mental shock stemming from gender dysphoria.
      • Tae keeps appearing on and off-screen without performing any specific actions, which references how her life and death haven't even been hinted at.
    • While taking a break from late-night practicing in Episode 3, Tae, Lily, Saki, and Sakura are on a merry-go-round that the former keeps repeatedly speeding up. Sakura is so focused on her internal thoughts that she completely fails to notice this - or the others jumping off - until long after she's flung away by Tae's sudden stop, hinting at her Fatal Flaw.
    • The seeds for Ai and Junko's argument in Episode 6 are shown throughout the previous episodes. While both of them consider Kotaro's idea of zombie idols to be insane, they usually bring up different reasons: Ai generally brings up how the other five are all untrained and the amount of work needed to be an idol, showing her professionalism; while Junko brings up the audience's desires, which hints at her belief that an idol must be perfect to their fans.
    • In Episode 4, Lily freezes in shock when she realizes the gang is about to visit the hot springs. Four episodes later, it is discovered that she is a transgender girl, and thus implicitly fears revealing the truth about her body.
    • After "Number 6's" resemblance to "Lily Hoshikawa" is noticed (unsurprisingly by her actual father), Ai states that this incident of being recognized could happen to any of them, but especially herself and Junko since they were famous too. The Stinger at the end of the season finale shows Okoba quizzically comparing photos of "Number 3", "Number 4" and "Number 6" to old photos of Ai, Junko, and Lily, respectively. He continues to piece together their identities at the ends of Episodes 6 and 7 of Revenge, managing to identify everyone except Yugiri (who was born in an era he’d have no access to detailed records of).
    • The last song Franchouchou is seen singing in Revenge mentions travelers and a covered sky, which is appropriate for the UFO seen in The Stinger.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Episode 6 has a couple during Ai's search on the internet. Such as detailing the aftermath of her death.
    • During the "Tokkou Dance", Ai doesn't fully stretch out her pointing finger upwards unlike the rest of the group (As seen at the 0:51 mark of this video). This means that she still holds a trauma of how she died.
    • When Kotaro is giving Junko a pep talk in the fourth episode of Revenge, you can spot some mannequin heads with wigs resembling the hairstyles of Saki and Ai.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: While Sakura is pitying herself as being bad luck after regaining her memory, Ai tells her that doesn't make her any different from the rest of the group. They're all zombies, and they all died in ways that are just as unlucky if not more unlikely than hers.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Episode 1 is filled with shots of the zombies shambling around and bumping into/walking up against walls in the background.
    • When Yugiri starts playing her shamisen during the rap battle in Episode 2, Tae's disembodied arm can be seen drumming to the beat next to her.
    • In Season 2 Episode 1, the first scene inside the Franchouchou mansion has Tae's headless body walking around while her head is chomping on Sakura's hair.
  • Game of Chicken: Saki died in such a game: she and a rival biker both sped towards the edge of a cliff, with the first to brake being the loser—Saki "won" the game by driving off the cliff entirely. In Episode 9, Maria, the daughter of her (now-retired) fellow Dorami biker Reiko, gets caught up in the exact same scenario, leading Saki to intervene and take her place: this time, she's already dead, so she's not afraid of the consequences should she crash.
  • Gainax Ending: Specifically a Gainax Stinger; the end of season two marks the sudden appearance of a UFO blasting a city, ala Independence Day.
  • Gender Reveal: Episode 8 marks Franchouchou's discovery that Lily Hoshikawa, the Token Mini-Moe of the group, is a transgender girl born with the masculine name Masao Go. The other girls' reactions range from bewilderment to (in Saki's case) amusement, but they ultimately accept that she is still "Lily" regardless, while Kotaro himself knew the truth and was unperturbed all along.
  • Genre Mashup: Zombie Land Saga is predominantly an idol comedy series with zombie horror and various non-pop musical genres such as death metal and rap thrown into the mix. There's also a little local tourism thrown in with the "saving Saga" angle Kotaro planned.
  • Genre Roulette:
    • As noted under Genre Mashup, Franchouchou have an impressively versatile repertoire. Exemplified by their performance at Saga Arena in Episode 4 of Revenge: their opening number is a Nu Metal song (albeit with considerably more upbeat lyrics than most examples of the genre), followed swiftly by the AutoTuned version of "Mezame Returner" in all its electropop glory.
    • The series itself starts getting into this with the second half of Revenge, going from idol comedy to somber Period Piece to disaster story.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!:
    • Parodied. Yugiri slaps Sakura in Episode 3 when she believes that the latter was about to say that they should give up on becoming an idol group, giving her a stern Rousing Speech on what they should do next. In actuality, Sakura was about to say exactly what Yugiri told her, but Yugiri and everyone else cut her off before she could say anything further.
    • Yugiri does it again in Episode 10, this time slapping Kotaro when she thinks he said he doesn't believe Sakura can sort out her current problems, telling him not to be so weak-minded and to have faith in Sakura. In actuality, Kotaro said he does have faith in Sakura, but was pointing out it wasn't going to be easy.
    • Finally in Episode 12 Yugiri slaps Sakura when she refuses to listen to the group's pleas, and despite Sakura still being upset with them all, after the slap their words finally seem to reach her a little bit more.
    • Tae of all people in the same episode had attempted it earlier. Culminating in her finally getting fed up, breaking into the room Sakura had locked herself away in and dragging her back to the dance studio with her teeth.
  • A Glass in the Hand: In episode 1 of Revenge, Kotaro grips his glass of liquor so hard it shatters as the bartender badgers him into going back to support Franchouchou.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Kotaro is chock-full of it, notably his habit of cuing the backing music for Franchouchou's performances by shouting "MUSIC! COME ON!". Expect at least one of his lines in each episode to be said in full English.
    • In episode 5 of Revenge, Lily performs on a Talent Show called Japanese Got Performance. Her main rival is Light Oozura, a child acting prodigy whose catchphrase is an English "Never give up!"
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In Revenge, Maimai acts as this to Franchouchou. She’s a super fan who joins for Episode 7 as Number 7 after falling unconscious in front of Kotaro in a way that made him think she was dead—and then upon waking up at the mansion, taking the reveal that her favorite idols are zombies in stride. After Sakura explains what Franchouchou is about, however, she decides that it’s best to live out her life first, with her final song at the only place she sings at being a reprise of the season 1 end credits theme. Notably, it’s left open for her to come back if she ever dies for real.
  • Hand Wave: When Sakura asks how she became a zombie in the first place, Kotaro gives this simple answer:
    Kotaro: Come on. Haven't you seen a zombie movie before?
    Sakura: I have, for the record.
    Kotaro: Well there you go, then.
    (extended Beat)
  • Happy Ending Override: The first season ends on a high note, with Franchouchou having a successful show at Arpino and setting forth on the path to become wildly successful idols. Then the first episode of Revenge starts with the girls recovering from a slump after their last show only attracted 500 fans to a venue that seated 30,000, which sent Kotaro into an alcohol-fueled Heroic BSoD and forced the girls to get part-time jobs.
  • He's Back!: Near the end of episode 1 of Revenge, Kotaro rushes to the venue where Franchouchou is performing and encourages them to sing their encore, even if him and the Metalheads are the only ones who want to hear it (and his stubbornness results in an all-out brawl breaking out). The next morning, Kotaro is back in his old outfit and haircut (though still bruised and scratched-up) and doing Franchouchou's morning meetings as his usual bossy and boisterous self.
  • Hit Stop: In Episode 1, when Sakura gets hit by the truck, Episode 5, when Saki and Ai hit back at Kotaro, and Episode 10, when Yugiri slaps Kotaro and Sakura gets hit by a truck again. On other occasions, such as Yugiri's slaps in Episodes 3 and 12, and Junko getting hit by Franchouchou's van in Episode 7, the slowdown is around the impact, rather than the impact itself, for much the same effect.
  • Horror Comedy: After Episode 1's double genre fakeout, the overall series transitions into an absurd Idol Singer parody, with much of the humor stemming from the fact that it's an otherwise normal idol anime where said idols are the undead trying to hide among the living. The horror aspect occasionally picks back up whenever the girls are outed as zombies in public.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Episode 4 features Franchouchou performing at a hot spring for their first sponsored performance, after which Sakura, Saki, and Junko decide to sneak into the springs for a soak despite the risk of blowing their cover. Hilarity Ensues when Sakura's head falls off and is found along with her decapitated body in the water by their sponsor.
  • How We Got Here: S2 Episode 1 begins with the girls' current situation, then flashes back to explain how they got there. Franchouchou managed to become a hit for quite some time, but their next venture into a larger stadium only filled 500 people against the 30,000 total seating capacity, incurring them a huge debt, so they're all working at part-time jobs to pay it off.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode ends with "SAGA", at least in the original Japanese.
  • Idol Singer: The seven main girls have all been revived by Kotaro to form a regional idol group, though only Ai and Junko have any experience as idols from when they were alive. The show as a whole tends to satirize idol anime and the idol industry in general. They also have a rival idol group in the form of Iron Frill.
  • Inelegant Blubbering:
  • Internal Homage:
    • In Episode 7, Junko gets hit by a vehicle in the same manner as Sakura's case from the first episode. Both have the exact similar pose when they are flung into the air; the difference is that Junko is rammed by Kotaro's van while Sakura is rammed by a truck.
    • S1 and S2 both have their first episode begin and end on a shot of a bird flying in the sky.
    • The opening of Episode 7 of Revenge riffs on the opening of S1 Episode 1, hitting similar beats: S1 E1 begins with a bird flying in the sky as Iron Frill sing "FANTASTIC LOVERS" and Sakura introduces herself in her internal monologue, moments before there's a sudden swerve as she runs out into the road and gets hit by a truck, while Revenge Episode 7 begins with a bird flying in the sky as Maimai sings "Mezame Returner" while introducing herself in her internal monologue, moments before there's a sudden swerve as she slips on Kotaro's soap and hits her head on the bathhouse floor, in a speeded-up version of Sakura's death... except it's a fake-out, and it turns out Maimai didn't actually die, Kotaro just panicked and assumed she had.
      • Additionally, after Maimai declares her departure from Franchouchou, they begin singing "Hikari e", the ending song from Season 1.
  • Irony: Kotaro points out how ironic it is that a human like him has to break down a barricade to get to a zombie like Junko.

    J-R 
  • Joke and Receive: In Episode 6 of Revenge, one of reporter Okoba's colleagues jokes that Franchouchou could be a collection of the living dead rather than the bunch of celebrity lookalikes he thinks they are. At the end of the episode, Okoba sees Tae's head come off, realizing that Franchouchou are the living dead.
  • Jump Scare: Tae is introduced through one in which she lunges at Sakura through a window, though she is visible mere moments before she crashes through the glass.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In Episode 4, the girls briefly discuss their confusion at how Kotaro was able to resurrect them, especially since bodies in Japan are usually cremated. Then they acknowledge that they'll never get a straight answer out of him.
    Saki: Hey, don't sweat the small stuff.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: Near the end of the fourth episode, Lily suddenly appears to the sponsor in a hallway with flickering lights, and she gets closer to the latter almost instantly every time the lights blink out.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: A regular human can die by being struck by lightning. Zombies? It AutoTunes their voice and enables them to shoot Frickin' Laser Beams out of their fingers.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: How the girls name their group "Franchouchou". Sakura tries to come up with group names having "Fran" as the first syllable, then Tae sneezes in the background after playing with the pen marker, letting out "achoo-choo". Lily then combines the two, and the rest is history.
  • Logo Joke: Season 2's OP sequence ends with the "Animated by MAPPA" credit being exaggerated in the form of the actual MAPPA logo (alongside the 'animated by' credit) being integrated onto the background of the last (and as a technical Bookends to the whole sequence, first) shot of the opening.
  • Long Title: Episode 9's title is ridiculously long: "Though My Life May Have Ended Once By Some Twist of Fate I Have Risen, and If Song and Dance Are to Be My Fate, Then Carrying the Memories of My Comrades In My Heart As I Sally Forth Shall Be My SAGA". Saki lampshades it in the preview.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • In Episode 9, Kotaro lectures Saki with the rule that they can only interact with regular humans when they're doing idol business. When Saki leaves to try and save her old friend's daughter from certain death, she not only abides to the rule against violence, she makes her actions into idol business by turning it into a "captain-for-a-day" publicity stunt, taking Maria's place in the contest and using that to not only save the girl and help repair her relationship with her mother, but also promote Franchouchou, therefore not breaking the rule.
    • In Revenge Episode 10, we learn Saga is under a curse that causes those that would bring Saga fame to die before their time, and at the beginning of the Reiwa era will cause it to become forgotten entirely. Kotaro’s plan to counter the curse is to revive people the curse has already killed as zombies, making a single, unforgettable idol group to save Saga that the curse can’t kill again.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Kotaro says the girls have green faces in Gratuitous English, though they are really a grayish blue.
    • In "Pure-Hearted Electric SAGA", Junko stumbles onto the beach and wails about Ai. Policeman A then strolls out and says she must be having love troubles. The pun is that "Ai" means "love" in Japanese, but it's lost in English.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Sakura's pressing question about how she and the others became zombies to begin with is met by Kotaro with the vague answer of "It's just like in the movies," followed by the insistence that zombies don't really need any more explanation than that.
  • Meet Cute: As revealed in Episode 8 of Revenge, Yugiri's pinwheel just happened to fall on Kiichi's feet. When he picks it up, their eyes meet and he immediately falls in love with her.
  • Metalhead: The zombies instinctively turn into these when exposed to Death Metal music in Episode 1. They turn out to be popular among an audience of real metalheads, as their inhuman shrieking and dislocated necks allow them to scream-sing and head-bang like no one else, at least until they try devouring the crowd.
  • Mirror Reveal: This is how Sakura discovers she was a zombie all along in the first episode, after she attempts to escape the mansion and the rain washes off the makeup that makes her look human.
  • Mistakes Are Not the End of the World: This is a Wham Line for Sakura whenever Ai says this, as she realizes that maybe being massively unlucky is okay.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Just as Sakura is about to leave for school in "Good Morning Saga", a truck hits her. When she regains consciousness, she's in a strange room with zombies.
    • In "But It's Zombiemental Saga", Junko has a dramatic She's Back moment and runs in front of Kotaro's van in the middle of the road to stop him, only for him to comically run her over.
    • In "Saga of an Almost-Broken Radio", Saki cries over her thwarted crush on White Ryu and the fact she might never find someone else (especially because she's a zombie now). Then Sakura starts crying because Saki's sad, and Sakura cries so hard her body starts to dry out.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: During the credits of episode 9 of Revenge, Yugiri's three dance students do this pose while dancing in front of statues of the Three Wise Monkeys.
  • Mythology Gag: In Episode 1 of Revenge, when Sakura narrates what happened after their Arpino concert, she mentions that Franchouchou managed to have a hit CD album (and it also gets shown on-screen). That CD album actually exists; it's the ZOMBIE LAND SAGA Franchouchou The Best album that was released on November 27, 2019.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Most of the show's promotional material before its release advertises it as a straight-up horror series about seven girls whose ordinary lives are shattered by a Zombie Apocalypse. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who correctly guessed it to actually be an Idol Singer-themed Horror Comedy where the girls are the zombies. Youtubers who have watched Episode 1 for the first time are shocked and surprised upon discovering the real theme of this anime halfway through the episode.
    Youtuber: So you're telling me that this anime is actually an idol anime?!
  • New Season, New Name: Following its unexpected success in 2018, the show followed up by a second season titled Zombie Land Saga Revenge, which started in April 2021.
  • Number of the Beast:
    • In Episode 4, when they're to be performing in a hot spring inn, the girls' room is Room 606 and their performance is at 6 PM.
    • At the start of Episode 6, a group of local journalists are looking up Franchouchou's homepage, and the counter at the top tells them that they're the 666th visitors.
  • Off-Model:
  • Oh, Crap!: It'd be easier to count the number of times it's not used.
  • Old, Dark House: The mansion Kotaro and the Zombies operate in is a creepy, rundown place with moody interior lighting and a dungeon with prison bars.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: While previous episodes had alluded to them, but never fully elaborated upon them, Episode 10 of Revenge finally depicts the events before, during, and after the disastrous concert at EFS that derailed Franchouchou's momentum.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: At first the girls act like typical zombies (although without the whole "turn you into one of them with a bite" thing), but once their brains are properly stimulated via Death Metal, they start acting like humans again. The girls are closer to Russo zombies than the Romero-style mindless ones, and can blush, eat (though whether they can digest what they eat is a mystery), sweat, get winded, and even cry. They don't require nightly sleep for rest as much as regular humans, but they still do so because extended periods of time without rest still mess with their senses. If it weren't for that pesky extremities-popping-off thing, they might even seem alive. See Lightning Can Do Anything above for extra perks.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Episodes 8 & 9 of Revenge take the series from a wacky comedy to a more serious and somber Period Piece depicting the events that led up to Yugiri's death.
  • Pixellation: Episode 5 has live action footage of the Drive-In Tori commercial and the Gatalympics that is heavily blurred.
  • Product Placement: The anime features some real-life buildings, and companies/establishments:
    • Episode 5 has the girls performing a reenactment of the real life "Drive-In Tori" ad complete with chicken suits.
    • Episode 7 has Lily and Yugiri promoting the new building of Cygames in the commercial bumper.
    • The Maizaru Shopping Center seen in the background near the beginning of Episode 9 is based on the Maizuru department store in Karatsu City.
    • Iron Frill is watching Franchouchou's Arpino Live at the end of Episode 12 on TV streaming service Abema TV, which not only aired Zombieland Saga in real life, but is also owned by the same company that owns Cygames.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: If a zombie is dismembered or decapitated, the severed part can be popped right back into place.
  • Queer Colors:
    • When Lily reveals that she's transgender to Sakura, the latter is wearing a skirt that's got light blue, pink, and white stripes, the colors of the Trans Pride Flag.
    • In the fifth episode of Revenge, Lily wears an outfit that incorporates the colors of pink, white and teal.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream:
    • Twice in the second episode. First when Ai and Junko bump into each other when they try to run away from the mansion, then when those two plus Sakura meet with Policeman A and a trio of rappers: the living freak out at the sight of zombies, the girls freak out when Policeman A tries to shoot them, and their screams scare the living even more.
    • In the fourth episode, Ai screams back when the sponsor screams at her face out of terror, making it the second instance Ai does this to humans.
  • Real Event, Fictional Cause: Revenge shows that Kiichi, an acquaintance of Yugiri, lived on after her death to push a campaign that restored Saga to the status of prefecture. They were both quietly helped by Jofuku, an immortal man who is trying to save Saga from a strange curse.
  • Regained Memories Sequence: Happens twice to Sakura. First after she's hit by a truck which triggers her memories from life to return, but at the cost of her undead memories. Then during the Arpino concert, all of the time she spent with Franchouchou returns, completing her memories in their entirety.
  • The Reveal: From Revenge: Saga is cursed. Anyone who would bring Saga fame and fortune will be killed before their time, and the main reason the zombies haven’t been killed yet is that they’re already dead. Additionally, the curse has a deadline: at the beginning of the Reiwa era, a massive disaster will overtake Saga and cause it to become permanently forgotten. Gaiden also hints at this with the existence of supernatural phenomena like the Sagako.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: The second season for the series uses this as its subtitle.
  • Reverse Psychology: How the bartender is able to snap Kotaro out of his Heroic B So D at the start of Revenge. He tells Kotaro that the project was doomed from the start, repeatedly gets Franchouchou's name wrong, and suggests that since Kotaro has given up on them, he should go to them and tell them to their faces that he no longer believes in them. It works, and Kotaro smashes his glass before sprinting to the girls' performance in time to inspire them to finish their set.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: The comedic focus of Episode 2. First, three of the zombie girls attempt to leave the mansion but they come across three rappers on the street. Policeman A later arrives on the scene speaking in rhymes, warning the boys not to pick on the girls in the middle of the night. Then the episode's climax turns into rap battle when Sakura unexpectedly slips some rhymes on-stage, with Kotaro providing the beatbox upon seeing this opportunity.
  • Riddle for the Ages: In Season 1, Kotaro explaining that how he revived the girls needs no explanation? By the end of Episode 12, there really is no explanation given. Several other questions are similarly left up in the air. Most notably, Tae's identity and past are never revealed in the anime, nothing is explained about the mysterious bartender of New Jofuku or his relationship with Yugiri, and we never learn why Kotaro wanted to save Saga so badly or what his exact relationship with Sakura was.
    • Season 2 averts some of these, with Yugiri’s relationship with the bartender and his status as Jofuku revealed in Episodes 8 and 9, and the reason Kotaro wants to save Saga and why he chose zombie idols to do it revealed in Episode 10.
  • Ridiculously Alive Undead: The members of Franchouchou, once they reawaken their personalities and memories, are shown to still be able to eat, sleep, and feel pain.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Kotaro threatening to shave Sakura's head if she exposes the group a second time is a reference to a well-publicized incident in 2013, when AKB48's Minami Minegishi had to practically shave her head in penance for supposedly breaking the love ban.note  It caused a great deal of controversy and exposed much of the dark side of idol culture, which the show tends to play with.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: In episode 4 of Revenge, Kotaro gives Junko his beloved electric guitar and tells her to smash through her fears and self-doubts. At the end of Franchouchou's first song as Iron Frill's opening act, Junko literally smashes Kotaro's guitar, much to his despair.
  • The Runner-Up Takes It All: The talent show in Episode 5 of Revenge ends with Lily and fellow child actor Light Oozora facing off, with both of them choosing to sing the same song as their final act. Light gives a typical but technically sound performance, while Lily, not wanting her act to feel like a rehash, comes up with a new, more upbeat arrangement of the song and peppers her vocals with Scatting for a performance that's all her own. The judges ultimately rule in Light's favour, but he sees it as a Pyrrhic Victory as he's sure the audience will remember Lily's performance much more than his. Sure enough, a montage at the end of the episode shows her performance has become very popular with children and an Instant Web Hit.

    S-T 
  • Sequel Episode: Season 2's second episode, "The Saga of an Almost-Broken Radio", not only borrows elements and call-backs to the first half of Season 1's fifth episode, which involves the group working with a real-life Saga celebrity/company that is deeply connected to Saki (Drive-In Tori in the former episode, and White Ryu's radio show in the latter episode); but it's also a follow-up story to the ninth episode, which focused on Saki's backstory. Specifically, Episode 2 of Revenge manages to answer the question that Saki pondered at the end of Episode 9 ("What does it take to be special, anyway?") and reveals that White Ryu's radio show allowed a younger Saki to realise how she could be special when it comes to doing what's right in your heart, which led her to meeting Reiko for the very first time.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Season 1 ends with Franchouchou firmly establishing themselves as the top idol group of Saga prefecture, as well as Sakura getting all of her memories back. However, Kotaro also makes a point that they're still nowhere near "saving" Saga. Then The Stinger cuts back to the offices of Sagazine, where Okoba is comparing the shots of "Number 3", "Number 4" and "Number 6", with those of Ai, Junko and Lily, respectively, from when they were alive.
    • Revenge ends with Franchouchou pulling off a successful show at the EFS, gaining the attention of the rest of Japan. The group, however, knows that their accomplishment will only be an achievement, and they have more to prove themselves to Saga. Kotaro also appears to have blood appear from somewhere during (before?) his big speech, which can only be left to interpretation. The big stinger however, is that after the performance, a huge UFO is seen flying over some farmland in a remote part of Saga and blows it up with a laser.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In Episode 5's second half, Franchouchou enter the Kashima Gatalympics wearing t-shirts advertising themselves to try and raise their profile, but quickly end up Covered in Mud, keeping anybody from reading them. When they wash the mud off, it takes their makeup with it, so they have to take another dive into the mud to keep their appearances under wraps. When Tae wins the final event, Sakura remembers that Tae is wearing two shirts, so she tells her to tear her shirt off. Tae does, only to reveal that her undershirt was one for Drive-in Tori, one of whose commercials they starred in.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The helmet and tracksuit outfit the girls wear in the opening is reminiscent of a similar outfit worn by K-Pop group Crayon Pop.
    • The series tagline parodies Love Live! Sunshine's!! taglinenote .
    • The death metal song that the girls perform as "Death Musume" in episode 1 is listed on the show's soundtrack as "Youkoso Saga e" ("Welcome to Saga"), a reference to the Japanese mystery novel Youkoso, Wagaya e ("Welcome to My Home").
    • The acts that are supposed to show up alongside Franchouchou (then known as Death Musume/Greenface) in Episode 2 are an Internal Homage for the studio: Deizu High School Concert Band Club, Trio Dea Po Llon, and Hasetsu Jazz Orchestra (listed from above to below).
    • Some of the episode names are references to pre-existing works having "Dead" on their titles:
    • In Episode 5, the group uses traffic cones to cover their faces, exactly like in Plants vs. Zombies.
    • The couple that makes an appearance when Junko and Sakura end up at the beach is a reference to the lyrics of Nagisa no Balcony, Seiko Matsuda's hit song from 1982.
    • The title of Episode 8 is "Go Go Neverland SAGA"; it's revealed in Lily's backstory that she never wanted to grow up due to being a trans girl and not wanting to deal with puberty, and since she's now a zombie, she never will. The "Go" part also alludes to her original family name and her relationship with her father.
    • Saki, Reiko, and Maria's biker gang name is "Dorami" while their rival gang's name is "Korosuke", both of which are character names of mangas by Fujiko Fujio.
    • In the English dub for Episode 7, Kotaro's line is changed to contain this reference:
      Heeeeere's Kotaro! Barricades are supposed to keep the zombies out, you little sad sack!
    • In the scenes where the idols are practising their moves, if you squint a bit, the "ZLS" logo on Saki's tracksuit looks suspiciously similar to "765".
    • Light Oozora in Episode 5 of Revenge is a rather blatant one to Light Yagami, looking like a younger version of him, almost as arrogant, and even using his "Just as planned!" line. He's even opposed by L-ily.
    • In Episode 12 of Revenge, Tae's call-and-response with the crowd is reminescient of Freddie Mercury's call-and-responses during concerts, particularly the one he did at Live Aid in 1985.
      • Also in that same episode, we see a homage to the infamous "Portals" scene from Avengers: Endgame in the scene where every fan, supporter, and everything in-between in regards to Franchouchou themselves, arrive at the EFS venue in order to help out with Franchouchou's revenge concert (which is also an aid concert for Saga as a whole). Two particular moments of that homage even references the shots of Spider-Man and Black Panther (with his Wakandan army) from the original scene; in the case of ZLS's homage, it's Cocco-san and Maimai (and her friends- plus the rest of the students from their high-school), respectively.
    • In the Gaiden manga, the Saga Sagako Busters' name and outfits are reminiscent of the Ghostbusters.
  • Shovel Strike: Kotaro knocks the Policeman out cold with a shovel when he comes to rescue a recently revived Sakura.
  • Shown Their Work: Each member of Franchouchou has a singing style that matches the era they came from. This overlaps a bit with Doing It for the Art as opting for historical realism over what's popular today was a risk for the show creators.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Takeo keeps a shrine in their house with a picture of Lily's deceased mother.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Used both straight, whenever a zombie moves unnaturally, and comically as a replacement for Wacky Sound Effects that would usually accompany some of the girls' movements, such as in Episode 6 every time the zombies tilt their heads or look sideways.
  • Signs of Disrepair: In episode 4 of Revenge, Ai opens a boxed lunch Sakura made to find the rice is topped with katakana made from nori that spell out "kaba" ("hippo"). Then she finds some more nori stuck to the lid of her lunchbox, and finds the whole message actually spells "ganbare" ("Go for it!"). The official subtitles approximate this with “You suc” and a reveal of “You’ll succeed”.)
  • Simple-Minded Wisdom: A flashback shows that after the failed EFS concert put them deep in debt and caused Kotaro to be too busy drowning his sorrows to do the makeup job that usually allows the girls to leave the mansion, all Franchouchou members minus Tae had a meeting to address their growing debt, lack of money and depleted food supply. As they were having trouble seeing a way out, Tae showed up, turning out to have applied Uncanny Valley Makeup on herself, stolen Kotaro's savings and used them to go shopping. That allowed the others to realize they could do each other's makeup and go out to get jobs.
  • Slow Clap: In the season one finale, Franchouchou are performing their song "Yomigaere" during their first major live concert in Arpino, when all of a sudden, their performance is cut short by the snowstorm crushing the entire stage onto the group. This causes Sakura, the leader of the group, who is still going through an amnesiac problem from the last few episodes, to give up on performing the song. However, this all changes when the group's manager Kotaro starts to clap slowly, which causes the entire group besides Sakura to start singing the chorus of their song, as more and more people start joining in with Kotaro's clapping. Shortly afterwards, this causes Sakura to finally chin up and belt out the final part of the chorus, which not only allows the show to go on, but Sakura also gets rid of her amnesia problems in the process.
  • Slow-Motion Fall: In the very first episode, Sakura is flung into the air after being hit by an oncoming truck, and the scene slows down right as she's about to come falling to the ground, dead. This scene is recreated multiple times throughout the show, sometimes Played for Laughs and sometimes Played for Drama.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: While most of the girls wouldn't have to worry about it, Lily is stuck as a 12-year-old and thus falls within the compulsory school age, meaning that Kotaro should've at least had visitors from either Truancy Officers or Social Services about why she wasn't in school despite her idol career. Why this hasn't happened yet is never explained.
  • Sound-Only Death: In episode 9 of Revenge, Yugiri's backstory features her being executed by government officials, but only a blade swing is heard before the scene cuts to black.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Learn to overcome your fear of lightning by letting yourself get struck again. If you're a zombie, it'll make you light up and turn your voice into a vocorder, so you really have nothing to worry about.
  • Stealth Pun: In episode 5 of Revenge, Lily (who goes by the stage name Number 6, or rokugo) does a rakugo performance for her act in Japanese Got Performance.
  • The Stinger:
    • Season 1 ends with a brief, but important, conversation at the Sagazine Editorial Department:
    Photographer: Okoba-san! How'd you like the pictures from the other day? Huh? What you got there?
    Okoba: (Staring at two sets of photos of Ai, Junko, and Lily, one from their previous lives, and the other of their current appearances.) I'm less sure by the minute... What the hell's going on here?
    • Done again with the same character in Episodes 6 and 7 of Revenge: in the former, he sees Tae’s head fly off and realizes Franchouchou’s secret, while in the latter he’s pieced together the original identities and deaths of everyone except Yugiri.
    • Season 2 ends with what appears to be aliens blowing up some remote part of Saga prefecture.
  • Super Mode: Being electrified causes Franchouchou to absorb its energy and enter an empowered state, manifesting as a light-blue aura that auto-tunes their voices. They can also channel the energy to create mesmerizing holographic effects like rings of electricity and laser beams.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • After succeeding in their first two shows purely by Kotaro and a few of the girls' improvisation, the girls try to crunch in as much practice as they can for their first proper idol performance in Episode 3. The results are that Lily accidentally trips over herself and Sakura completely forgets her lines in the middle of the song, causing the few people they managed to attract to disperse without a second glance. Although the highly experienced Ai and Junko step in and the rest of the show goes off without a hitch, the concert is largely a failure and only manages to attract a single fan, albeit a very invested one, in the end.
    • In Episode 6, Ai's flashback shows her getting struck by lightning when she points to the sky, which is also Truth in Television, as pointing up in the middle of a lightning storm is considered to be very dangerous.
    • In Episode 7 shows that while as zombies that girls don't physically need sleep, it's still important for their mental health as Ai starts to hallucinate after going a month without it.
    • In Episode 8, the girls acknowledge that people will recognize the similarities each girl has to who they were prior to becoming zombies, after meeting with Lily's father who says that Number 6 bears a resemblance to his daughter. By first season's end, the reporters who were covering the group likewise notice the similarities between Ai, Junko, and Lily's past and present selves. This continues in the second season in which people do comment on the fact Ai resembles herself.
    • Saki died due to her reckless riding, which is mentioned early on and shown in a flashback in Episode 9. Even if you are a badass biker gang captain, riding too fast is dangerous.
    • In Season 2 Episode 1, Kotaro is left in a depressed state and just spends his time drinking somewhere else. The girls have to earn money to pay the huge debt incurred after their failed concert in the Ekimae Real Estate Stadium. But it turns out they can't replicate Kotaro's proper make-up skills, and as a result, they still look very pale and their Creepy Shadowed Undereyes are still visible in public. Without a producer, they also find it hard to resume their idol activities.
    • Also, Kotaro breaking out of his funk to support Franchouchou by shouting "Encore!" only results in him pissing off the unimpressed audience and starting a brawl. Even as the girls find their confidence and pull off their song perfectly, the concert was largely a failure.
    • In Episode 4 of Revenge, Franchouchou put on an incredible performance as Iron Frill's opening act, winning the respect of their lead singer Shiori. Despite this they're easily outshined by Iron Frill, the group the audience were actually there to see, and until Shiori declares Franchouchou their rivals in an interview their performance is considered little more than a footnote to the number one idol group's tour.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: The very beginning of the anime - Sakura wakes up one sunny morning, listens to her favorite song, gets her idol application paperwork together, steps out the front door, and promptly meets the business end of a speeding truck. And it's depicted in grotesque detail just for the laughs.
  • Take That!: Aside from being an Affectionate Parody, Zombie Land Saga takes a jab at the common tropes and interpretations regarding the idol industry:
    • In any entertainment industry, it is common to hear of dancers, singers and idols being overworked hard to the point of collapsing, which comes as a result of a lack of sleep. Well, Franchouchou doesn't need to worry about that, since they're already zombies. Kotaro even states that he can overwork them to death since they're already literally dead. Lily's backstory hits this further since she died due to overworking.
    • In relation to the above, Kotaro represents abusive producers and managers, but such abuse here is only limited to physical examples and is mostly Played for Laughs such as shouting at his idols' faces, beating them with a baseball or a baguette, and even expressing some Brutal Honesty in his team. Thankfully, since this is only Played for Laughs, Kotaro's actual serious side shows that he really cares about his idol team, and can be there when they need mental and emotional support.
    • The Foil of Ai's and Junko's respective motivations reflects the debates about whether the idols should be someone whom the fans can relate and interact with versus someone whom the fans perceive as the ideal, perfect and pure individual for entertainment.
    • There can be transgender women in the entertainment industry, contrary to the belief that idols should be "pure" cisgender girls. And this show demonstrates a realistic approach that benefits all sides affected - it's fine to accept someone and respect them for who they are, or move on and not make a huge fuss out of it. Although the others were surprised at first when Lily revealed herself to be trans, her overall relationship with the group still remained strong, and even Kotaro knew it from the start but did not make any ruckus out of it.
    • Expanding on the perception of having the idols "pure", there are beliefs that idols must not have boyfriends, nor engage in any sexual activities. Well, Yugiri is an oiran - a High-Class Call Girl knowledgeable about the arts of her time, who can also be paid to entertain men. Episode 4 even has a Double Entendre that implies Yugiri has indeed had sex with her guests as a part of her job. As one could say, the oiran were technically the "idols" of their time. This also serves as a "take that!" to how the perception of entertainers has changed between time periods. Season 2 Episode 2 expands on this a bit when the girls discuss if Saki has a crush on Ryu. Junko as an old school idol thinks idols can't have lovers but the others think it's fine, and Ai explains that even idols from Junko's time obviously had lovers; they just hid it from the public.
    • A meta example. After some fans tried to claim that Lily being trans was the translators pushing an agenda, the creators responded by incorporating the trans pride flag into the background of various promotional art. Various episodes in the anime also have similar moments whenever Lily is around/focused upon.
  • Tears of Blood: In Revenge Episode 12, after Kotaro cries over how much Franchouchou had grown as a group, he wipes the floor off with what appears to be his blood coming from his own tears.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: There's a number of problems with Kotaro's project at first, including the fact that none of the girls asked to be brought back as zombies, nor do they necessarily get on with each other. As they grow closer and struggle together, this increasingly goes away.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • During a flashback in Episode 8, a living Lily declares that she will never grow up and will always look the same. She dies right after that and comes back as a zombie years later, so what she said is very true.
    • Episode 7 has Ai terrified of dying (again) from lightning. The buildup to the climax features her performing during a lightning storm, triumphantly pointing at the sky.
    • In Episode 10: Ai warns Sakura to beware of traffic. Guess what happens?
    • A rapid-fire example in Season 2 Episode 1. Just as Sakura reminds the other girls to be careful and not break any of Kotaro's belongings, she trips over his guitar, snapping the strings.
  • That Poor Cat: In Episode 5, a screeching cat can be heard when Tae is chasing after Cocco-kun in her second attempt to eat him.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: The opening song, Adabana (All-Style, No-Substance) Necromancy, is an inspirational anthem for zombies, urging the girls to keep fighting for their dreams despite the fact that they're dead.
  • There Was a Door:
    • When a depressed Junko barricades herself in a distant room of the mansion, Kotaro kicks the barricade down with such force that it even breaks the door. Fortunately, Junko knows how to fix the door back in place when told to do so.
    • Later on Tae tries the same thing, only to fail because Junko reinforced the door when she fixed it. She then opts for the window above the door instead.
  • The Thing That Goes "Doink": Episode 10, around 15:30, shows a shishi-odoshi as Yugiri invokes a more historic feel while talking to Kotaro.
  • Those Two Guys: The two metalheads who show up at every concert, featuring the standard two Geek Physiques.
  • Time Skip:
    • The series jumps ahead ten years from 2008 to 2018 after Sakura's death.
    • Season 2 reveals a 1 month gap between the events surrounding the Arpino concert from Season 1 and the EFS incident. Likewise, its first episode already begins with the girls participating in part-time jobs to work off the debt from the latter incident for about a year.
  • Title Drop: "Zombie Land Saga" is the name of Kotaro's project to save Saga, one of Japan's 47 prefectures, using an all-zombie idol group.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Sakura realizes she has become a zombie when she looks at herself in a street mirror after Policeman A freaks out at the sight of her. Getting shot through the chest and surviving only hammers it home.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Saga Prefecture is cursed.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The zombies seem to enjoy dried squid. In Episode 2, Tae attacks a man in the audience to take his squid.
  • Tragic Keepsake:
    • Saki's Tamagotchi serves as one for Reiko, her former comrade in Dorami, even as she now lives as an ordinary housewife and mother.
    • Yugiri still has the red comb given to her by Kiichi, her Implied Love Interest.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Played for Laughs in Episode 4, where Franchouchou's potential sponsor is so terrified after seeing the girls out of their makeup that she forgets everything that happened that day, including their sponsorship deal, to Kotaro's frustration. Unfortunately for her, Revenge Episode 6 shows that even if she has no memory of the incident itself, it became a subconscious Trauma Button that makes her go catatonic with terror if she sees anything which reminds her of the events, such as Tae re-enacting her upside-down floor crawling.
  • Truth in Television:
    • Ai's death was caused by a lightning storm. This happened because she was pointing into the sky, something that's very dangerous to do.
    • While Junko was pouting in her room, she ended up growing mushrooms on her head. Corpses produce mycelium, a vegetative part of a fungus that grows mushrooms.
    • The Japanese work ethic is notorious for its extreme focus on productivity, even if at the expense of the individual, leading to cases of karoshi, or work-related death, to which Lily succumbed (compounded with the discovery of an unwanted sign of male puberty).

    U-Z 
  • Undeathly Pallor: The zombies all have pale blueish-green skin and sunken red eyes when out of makeup.
  • Unknown Rival: Franchouchou considers Iron Frill to be their biggest competition, but where Franchouchou is a small time Idol group barely popular in even their home prefecture, Iron Frill is the most successful Idol group in Japan and even has international fame, so it's safe to say our girls haven't been even a blip on Iron Frill's radar (at least as a group). It's not until episode 4 of Revenge that Shiori, the current Iron Frill center, acknowledges them and the rivalry stops being so one sided.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Zig-Zagged. Bystanders freak out when they see the zombies in their true forms, but when they're in makeup, their unnatural features such as broken bones and detachable body parts suddenly come across as much less bizarre.
    • For instance, one old man in Episode 2 kindly offers Tae some dried squid while he's being bitten by her decapitated head.
    • At the very start of Season 2, the zombie girls had to apply make-up, and blend into society for a while in order to work part-time jobs. Ai's co-workers are worried that she looks pale, but nobody is aware that the girls are actually zombies.
      Junko: Surprisingly, no one knows what we are.
    • In Revenge, averted during The Stinger for Episode 6. The Intrepid Reporter sees Tae’s head fly off, and reacts about as one might expect, albeit quietly to avoid being noticed.
  • The Unseen: Sakura's death in Episode 1 is framed in a way that the driver of the truck she gets hit by is never shown. When she gets hit by one later in the series, the driver is present, but it's never made clear if it's the same one from the start or a different one.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In episode 1 of Revenge, Yugiri tries to comfort a drunken and morose Kotaro as he pukes his guts out over a low wall.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 10 ends with Sakura getting hit by a second truck all over again after she'd finally hit her stride just one week before Franchouchou's big show at Arpino. This ends up jogging her memories of when she was alive, but also causes her to forget everything she'd gone through as a zombie.
    • Episode 11 carries things further by revealing that before losing her memories, Sakura was suffering from crippling depression as a result of countless failures and bad luck at everything she ever tried hard at, from landing the lead role in a play to securing the high school of her choice; her cheerful attitude in the first episode was her rebound after she'd been inspired by the story of Ai's rise to fame. The realization that her new lease on life only wound up getting her killed on the street and the loss of her memories of finally finding accomplishment causes her to cross the Despair Event Horizon.
    • In Revenge Episode 10, we learn everything leading up to the disastrous concert of last year, and see Okoba confront Kotaro over his use of zombies idols. Moreover, Jofuku's identity, immortality, and connection to Saga are stated outright (along with Kotaro's connection to him): Saga is cursed to kill anyone who would bring Saga fame and fortune before their time, while Kotaro resurrected people killed by the curse in an attempt to bypass Saga's ultimate fate (being forgotten entirely after a disaster). Finally, right before Okoba can send his story on the zombies for publication - a day before Franchouchou's revenge concert - the curse's disaster triggers: a blackout and a massive flood sweeps through Saga, destroying the mansion where Franchouchou (un)live.
  • Wham Line:
    • In Episode 8, after Lily finishes the story of her falling out with her father and subsequent death, which has been punctuated with Lily's father repeatedly calling her "Masao" (definitely a masculine name in Japanese):
      Sakura: Who's this Masao guy you were talking about?
      Lily: It's what my name used to be.
    • In Episode 10, three little words take a scene from "funny and heartwarming" to "dark times ahead":
      Sakura: Where am I?
  • Wham Shot:
    • This is pretty much spoiled as of now, but the first episode did contain an important shot to those who were new to the show on day one: Sakura Minamoto staring into the mirror on the streets, revealing her rotten zombie looks, realizing that she is now undead. Complete with dramatic zoom-in and lightning.
    • A minor one, but in S1's final episode before the concert, we see a flashback of Kotaro in high school as a girl picks up an idol CD from him; she thanks him with a bright smile, which clearly affects him. This girl? Sakura Minamoto.
    • Another minor one shows up in the very end of Episode 5, where Okoba (who runs the Sagazine company) starts to consider doing some digging on Franchouchou due to recognizing Junko.
    • In Episode 6 of Revenge, when Sakura accidentally pulled off Tae's head, Franchouchou were able to keep it a secret from Maria, managing to keep their true nature hidden. But after the credits roll, it turns out that Okoba managed to take a photo of the incident and realized that the girls must be zombies. By the end of Episode 7, he's gathered news articles relating to all the Franchouchou girls' deaths, save for Yugiri (as her death predates modern photography records).
    • In Revenge Episode 10, the mansion where Franchouchou is based is swept away in a flood. The following episode, it collapses to splinters shortly after making landfall again.
    • At the end of Revenge, Episode 12, Kotaro comes to see Franchouchou backstage, and doubles over in tears as he sees how far they've all come. As the girls leave for their encore performance, he gets up and attempts to wipe away a blood stain he'd left on the floor.
    • The Stinger from the end of Revenge Episode 12 features a remote farm town somewhere in Saga prefecture getting obliterated by what appears to be an alien spacecraft.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Episodes 8 and 9 of Revenge are a two-parter showing Yugiri's life during the Meiji era, shortly before her death.
  • A Wizard Did It: It hasn't been made clear how Kotaro or rather, Jofuku was able to resurrect Sakura and the other girls as zombies. He simply tells Sakura that they came back the same way zombies come to life in the movies, and that this is the only explanation you need.
  • Working Title: In-Universe, the initial name of Kotaro's zombie idol group, Death Musume, is tagged with a parenthetical "Name Pending" at the end of it. In Episode 2, Kotaro changes it to Green Face, and the girls later permanently change it to Franchouchou in Episode 3.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: As an Affectionate Parody of idol anime, there's a lot of variety in out-there hair colors. The main characters for example have Sakura (pinkish-red hair), Ai (blue hair), Junko (white hair), Lily (teal hair), and Tae (black-purple hair). A lot of side characters follow similar design cues.
  • You're Insane!: Kotaro tries to assure Sakura that she has things handled in the first episode. Sakura isn't having it at all. Understandable, given that her co-stars are all mindless zombies at the time.
    Sakura: Tae-chan might bite someone!
    Kotaro: (gently) A little biting never hurt anyone.
    Sakura: (deadpan) Are you stupid?
  • Zombie Gait: When unawakened, the zombies tend to walk like this, lurching about awkwardly.


"Saaaa-gaaaaaaaaa!"


 
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Zombieland Saga [Sakura's Death & Resurrection]

Edited clips from Zombieland Saga, Ep 01 (Duh =P). Lead protagonist Sakura Minamoto is setting off for a idol tryout to follow her dreams... and promptly gets hit by a truck before the title even drops. But don't worry, she's okay... mostly.

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