- Accidental Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe, whenever someone finds the girls outside their makeup, they end up screaming their heads off. The girls actually managed to spook Kotaro on accident one night after returning from his mysterious acquaintance's bar.
- Attractive Zombie: Well, with their makeup on. When it's not... they're still pretty cute, as putrefied corpses go. Romero leans more towards cute than attractive, but subverts it when he changes art style.
- Bandage Babe: Sakura, Saki, Ai, and Tae's bodies are covered in bandages to varying degrees.
- Born Unlucky: While a couple of the girls particularly stand out from the rest in this regard, at one point Ai points out that every one of them died very young and under very unfortunate circumstances. This is also underscored by the fact that all of them died on a butsumetsu day, traditionally considered the most inauspicious of the six-day rokuyō cycle of the Japanese calendar, which is believed in Japanese Buddhism to be the day the Buddha died.
- Color-Coded Characters: The girls tend to be associated with specific colors when performing (in the case of their default idol costumes, while they all wear red jackets and red-and-black boots, they still wear uniquely-colored skirts and neck accessories). Sakura wears pink, Saki wears orange, Ai wears blue, Junko wears grey and/or light purple, Yugiri wears red, Lily wears yellow, and Tae wears purple.
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: As zombies. Given the satire of the idol industry, their resemblance to Exhausted Eyebags probably isn't a coincidence.
- Cute Monster Girl: They're still fairly pretty teenagers without their makeup... except when we get a Gross-Up Close-Up.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The main zombie cast are living corpses, but their humanity has been restored after awakening. Tae is still largely animalistic, but she poses no danger and her bites are harmless.
- A Day in the Limelight: A rare mixture of this and A Death in the Limelight; starting Episode 6, the series starts to explore the girls' history, the circumstances of their deaths, and their efforts to tie up some loose ends.
- Episodes 6 and 7 jointly focus on Ai and Junko's struggles: the former, with her reputation for her highly public demise; the latter, with the drastic changes in the idol industry during the last 35 years she was dead.
- Episode 8 explores Lily's complicated relationship with her father Takeo, as well as the effect her death has on the two of them.
- Episode 9 has Saki get involved in her old gang's problems, in particular her old friend Reiko's frayed relationship with her rebellious daughter Maria, who wishes to keep Dorami going against her wishes
- The Dog Bites Back: Kotaro tends to show little respect for the girls and isn't afraid to attack them. However, any time he goes too far, they aren't shy in hitting him back with equal or greater force.
- Fire-Forged Friends: All seven girls had been awakened with only a few things in common, and lots of personality conflicts that at times threatened to unravel the band at the seams. By the end of Season 1, however, they have developed a great sense of camaraderie and understanding of each other.
- Foil: The six awakened girls each form a pair that greatly contrasts each other.
- Sakura and Saki: They are both natives of Saga and are the only ones with no prior experience in the idol business, let alone the entertainment industry. Both girls also died in accidents involving land vehicles due to recklessness (Sakura got hit by a truck after rushing out of her house without looking at the traffic, while Saki took a game of chicken too seriously and rode off a ledge). But where Sakura is the sweet everyday girl who was an aspiring idol (and was supposed to file for an audition on the day she died), Saki is the aggressive ex-biker who showed no interest in the industry in life. They're also both the centers of the group, with Sakura being the emotional bedrock and Saki the functional leader, as showcased when they both try to mediate between Junko and Ai's argument in Episode 6.
- Ai and Junko: They're the only professional idols of the group, with the former hailing from the mid-Heisei period (late 2000s), and the latter from the late Showa period (early 1980s); said differences in time period, however, inform their vastly differing philosophies towards their profession—in Ai's time the idol was a relatable figure fans could identify with, while in Junko's, it was an idealized image of perfection. Both initially expressed skepticism regarding the group's prospects, but while Ai was outspoken with her misgivings, Junko was much more silent about it. They also took their zombification the hardest out of the group, both trying to escape the mansion in Episode 2 and getting Heroic BSoD when they realized they were stuck with Kotaro, and also died in accidents just as their careers started to take off, leaving them with issues about being "history". However, their reactions to said issues were very different: Junko spent half of Episode 7 depressed at how her ideals seemed outdated, while Ai continued practicing without rest, refusing to be just a relic.
- Yugiri and Lily: While they weren't idols, they were experienced entertainers in life, with Yugiri being an oiran and Lily a famous child actress. However, their backgrounds—the former, a High-Class Call Girl; the latter, a transgender girl—would normally make them anathema in the idol industry except for the highly-unorthodox Kotaro, who knew their histories and still revived them regardless. In terms of time period, Yugiri is the earliest and Lily the most recent. They are also the least bothered by their new lease of (un)life, with Yugiri being the calm and mature older sister of the group and Lily the energetic and cheerful child. While Yugiri has moments of joining the other five in the insanity, Lily has moments of maturity.
- Foreshadowing: The conditions of their bodies hint at the circumstances of their deaths before they're revealed (even though the dead are cremated in Japan, as they point out).
- Sakura has a huge gash on her head, having smashed her head against the windshield of a speeding truck as it ran her over.
- Ai is noticeably bandaged all over her body, save around her eyes and her hair, because she was hit by a freak thunderbolt that charred her body.
- Junko has visible stitching all over her body, which is heavily implied to be the result of being torn apart in her fatal plane crash.
- Lily has her heart constantly and comically beating out of her chest, and also expanding to huge sizes when she's nervous, because she died from a heart attack.
- Saki is covered in stitched up cuts and bandages from her fatal bike crash.
- While Yugiri's death hasn't been officially stated, the scar around her neck does call to the fact that she died just when beheading became the official method of public execution in Japan.
- Friendly Zombie: While they initially behaved very much like stereotypical shambling biting zombies, after being awakened the girls regain their intelligence and become Inhuman Humans, acting much the same as when they were alive, with the exception of Tae (and even she's just a Big Eater who doesn't always realize people aren't food). Sakura in particular is a Nice Girl zombie who serves as The Heart of the group and goes to great lengths to look out for her friends. The problem is while the girls don't act like stereotypical zombies, they're still walking corpses and people panic if they ever see them without makeup on.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Whoever the episode is centered on, it always comes with some form of angst, and someone has to intervene:
- Ai: Her traumatic death via High-Voltage Death causes her to freak out in the middle of a thunderstorm, and it takes Junko taking her hand and comforting her to help her get over her death.
- Junko: Because of the era she was born in, Junko was expected to be perfect as an idol. It's not that her standards are high, it's because the idol industry and her fans expect her to. Kotaro openly tells her she doesn't have to interact with fans if she doesn't want to.
- Lily: Lily may be a Cheerful Child, but meeting her father years after her death affects the both of them, thanks to the issues both of them have surrounding it. It takes Sakura's comfort and Kotaro's willingness to write a song for her that Lily and her father are able to move on with their lives.
- Sakura: Sakura has two whole episodes worth of angst, and it wasn't really her fault. Murphy's Law gave her really terrible luck since childhood. Just when she turns her life around due to Ai's comment about being determined, she gets hit by a truck. After regaining her memories, she immediately gives up on life and whereas Saki fails to slap some sense into her, Yugiri does it effectively and makes her point. After her successful concert outing, she regains her undead memories and overcomes her personal grief.
- Image Song: As of 2020, almost every member of Franchouchou (besides Tae, who can't sing) has gotten their own image song (Saki, Ai and Lily got theirs in Season One; Sakura and Yugiri got theirs in "The Best of Franchouchou" album). The only one who hasn't gotten their own song of focus as of this point in time, is Junko.
- Immortality Hurts: In a way their state of undeath is a form of immortality, since they don't age anymore and can't be permanently re-killed. That said, while they can't die again, they still feel pain, so experiencing things that would kill normal people (and in fact were the causes of death for quite a few of them) still hurts like hell.
- Inhuman Human: Once they've been "woken up". They're their normal selves mentally, they just have to deal with being dead now.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: While it takes them time to adjust to their status as zombies, none of them are particularly upset about the idea that it makes them both ageless and immortal. Lily in particular is happy with it, as it means she can stay a cute girl forever and never worry about developing a body that conflicts with her gender identity.
- Losing Your Head: They have completely detachable heads that can still move and talk, while their headless body remains functional and will retrieve their head.
- Made of Iron: Due to their nature as zombies, the girls are able to take a substantial amount of physical damage without lasting consequence or visible pain. The first episode has Sakura being shot through the chest and only looking down with surprise at the bullet hole rather than showing any discomfort, and Ai getting impaled with a fireplace poker through her skull and still remaining unfazed.
- Made of Plasticine: ... That being said, the girls can easily lose their limbs, head, and other body parts such as eyes if they're not careful. While they may be durable, they are also fragile if they overexert themselves.
- Ms. Fanservice: The official merchandise showcases the girls in swimsuits while wearing their makeup.
- Nerves of Steel: In the Season 1 finale, Franchouchou literally bringing the house down around themselves as they continue to just sing and dance away like nothing is happening proves that they all have this to no small degree.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Aside from having much more detailed, grim apperances when shown from other characters' perspective, when in zombie-mode all of the girls have flatly colored hair in contrast to living characters who are drawn with very shiny hair.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Their default idol outfits all consist of the same jackets and boots, but they each wear differently-colored skirts and neck accessories.
- Oh, Crap!: Soon the girls start having this reaction whenever they are out in public without makeup, when one of their limbs or head falls off, or when Tae tries to bite someone.
- Our Zombies Are Different: At first the girls act like typical, if non-infectious, zombies, but once their brains are properly stimulated via Death Metal, they regain their higher brain functions. Unstimulated, they act like a classic George A. Romero-type zombie, but can run. However, they still have control over missing body parts, and their bodies can be active on their own if their heads are missing just like the Return of the Living Dead zombies.
- Pulling Themselves Together: Several of the zombies' limbs and even heads come off under high tension, though they have no trouble just sticking them back on.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: All of them have red eyes while in their zombified appearance, which under the right circumstances can glow; even though the girls aren't normally dangerous, the living still treat them that way. While in makeup, their eyes are completely different save Tae and Yugiri's, and judging from how the others are given the eye colors they had in life, it's likely Tae and Yugiri are the same.
- Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Averted. Not only do they lose their heads semi-frequently with no real issues, Sakura jabs an iron poker clean through pre-awakened Ai's head in the first episode, and it does nothing to stop her.
- Revenant Zombie: While they start off as the stereotypical mindless shambling zombies at first, they regain their intelligence and humanity after awakening, having their personalities and the memories of their lives.
- Scary Stitches: Several of the girls have conspicuous stitches or possibly staples, with Sakura's treating the gash across her forehead, Junko's skin being totally patched together, and Yugiri having them around her neck.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: When they're not performing, practicing, or sleeping, the girls wear school uniforms, likely the ones they wore in life. The only exceptions are Tae, who is Older Than She Looks at the age of 29, and Yugiri, who died before school uniforms were a thing (at least in Japan), but dresses like a female student of her native period.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Taken Up to Eleven. Without their makeup, they are rotting corpses with blue-green skin and sunken red eyes. Thanks to Kotaro's impeccable makeup skills, they not only pass off as living girls, but as attractive living girls, something they comment on frequently.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: The girls are put through some hilarious forms of abuse throughout the show. Since they're zombies, they can literally put themselves back together. That said, while they all get caught up in slapstick as a group, Yugiri is the only one who manages to avoid getting a slapstick moment of her very own.
- Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: At least Type IV. The girls can develop mushrooms if cooped up in an area for too long, but so far, the girls have yet to turn into bones (especially Yugiri, who is at least a 200 year old corpse), and reattach limbs and head if they were removed.
- Super Toughness: Given that they don't have the weakness to being decapitated or speared through the brain, it's uncertain exactly what it would take to kill them. They've been hit by vans at high speed, been shot through the chest, bellyflopped from significant heights, blasted by a freak bolt of lightning that fried their stage, caught up in explosions, and pretty much shaken all of it off in a matter of moments. It's slightly countered by the fact that they can be very easily dismembered, but it's simple to put them back together.
- The Sleepless: They're dead, after all. Though while they don't strictly need to sleep, they do anyway because it's still best for their well-being; Ai went a month without sleep rehearsing for Saga Rock, and while she didn't suffer any physical ill effects, she was starting to hallucinate by the end of it.
- Trademark Favorite Food: The girls' profiles list each of their favorite foods:
- Sakura: All kinds of sweets
- Saki: Chicken (which explains why she was such a frequent visitor to Drive-in Tori)
- Ai: Yakiniku
- Junko: Foods with soy and Japanese food
- Yugiri: Amazake
- Lily: Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard
- Tae: Mentaikonote , squid
- True Companions: By the end of Season 1, all seven girls have learned to work together and look out for one another, creating an inseparable band of sisters who would rather fail together than succeed without any one member of their group.
- Undeathly Pallor: All of the girls have grayish-blue skin, in-universe rather than a stylistic choice. When they need to go into public to perform they require make-up from Kotaro to look alive.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: They may be zombies, but they still act and think like they used to (except Tae) and question their choices and freedom in the grander scheme of things.
- Wound That Will Not Heal: Their bodies are always going to be in the shape they were in when they died. Some reassembly work was needed to get Junko and Yugiri to be idol material.
- You Are Number 6: Since revealing their real names to the public would cause the obvious problem of attracting people who would have known them in life and thus revealing that they're zombies, the girls are each given numbers as aliases when they're performing or interacting with fans.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Considering that each of them died decades (or in Yugiri's case, centuries) ago, they obviously can't return to their old lives again. This isn't addressed until Lily's Character Arc.
- You Can't Kill What's Already Dead: Invoked and played with. The girls often bring up that they can get away with doing acts which would otherwise be fatal. In particular, Ai, Saki and Sakura all experience anew the manner of their deaths and still make it out in one piece.
Voiced by: Kaede Hondo (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
Live actor: Sakiho Motonishi (stage play)
Died: April 7, 2008 (age 17)
Cause of Death: Hit by a truck
Height/Weight: 158cm (5'2") / 46kg (101 lbs)
B/W/H: 88(F)/59/90cm (34/23/35 in)
- A Birthday, Not a Break: Died less than a week after her 17th birthday
- Action Survivor: Before the rest of the girls (sans Tae) awaken in Episode 1, she is able to fend for herself against them well enough to make an experienced Resident Evil protagonist proud. Indeed, if Our Zombies Are Different was not so heavily at work, then she would have actually re-killed Ai.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Played with. While Sakura had forgotten her constant bad luck and the specifics of her death, she remembered being motivated by Ai and was just as cheerful as she was in her introduction. When Sakura regained her memories of her life and learned how it ended, she also lost her memories of afterwards becoming a successful idol with friends who'd catch her if she fell, and her learned helplessness returned with a vengeance. By the end of the season, she regains all her post-mortem memories, giving her a full perspective on her identity.
- Amnesiac Hero: Has no recollection of her past life prior to her death and reanimation as a zombie. She gets it back in Episode 10, but then loses all of her recent memories as a zombie. By the end of the season, she finally gets all of her memories back.
- Ascended Fangirl: Sakura was a huge fan of Iron Frill, particularly Ai, and was planning to submit an audition application on the day she died. Being an Amnesiac Hero, she doesn't remember any of this even though she is now living her dream; alongside Ai herself, no less, at least until the end of Episode 12.
- Audience Surrogate:
- She's the most normal out of all the zombies, being an Ordinary High-School Student rather than a Living Legend at the time of her death. The first episode also has her just as confused as the audience over the ridiculous premise of the series, so she spends a time asking a lot of questions, making her an audience surrogate for those who don't know much about the idol industry.
- After regaining her memories, it's also revealed that Sakura aspired to be greater and made many attempts but was plagued by bad luck and had lost motivation at one point in her life. These made Sakura an audience surrogate for the tried-but-failed overachievers, especially those who had exprienced Depression.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: She spends the entire series trying to get her memories back and finally does so at the end of Episode 10 after getting hit by a truck. However, she loses all her recent memories with Franchouchou, and worse, it makes her resume her deep depression over her constant misfortune. She manages to come out of it with a lot of help from Kotaro and her bandmates, finally getting all of her memories back both pre- and post-mortem.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Just because she's nice and somewhat naive doesn't mean she's a complete doormat either. In Episode 2, after getting fed up with Saki, Ai, and Junko's behavior during their performance, she doesn't hesitate to slap Tae's head out of Saki's hands and verbally rips into them in the form of a rap. In Episode 10, Sakura finally loses her patience with Kotaro's insane ideas and lashes out on him after her encounter with a wild boar in the snowy outdoors and then towards her group mates for seemingly goofing off. Then in Episodes 11 and 12, after she regains her pre-mortem memories at the expense of her post-mortem ones, her depression makes her so moody that she snaps at Lily and Tae for trying to help her when she just wants them to leave her be.
- Big "WHAT?!": Her reaction in the dub after finding out Lily's true nature.
- Boobs of Steel: Has a very visible bust (in fact, Episode 1 even shows a little bounce) and has proven herself to be a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, fending off the other zombie girls as an Action Survivor in Episode 1 and then laying one down on Saki by Battle Rapping.
- Boom, Headshot!: Thinking she was fighting for her life, she scored one on Ai in Episode 1 that would make a seasoned zombie-hunter proud.
- Born Unlucky: Her opinion on herself before her death due to a string of bad luck, such as rehearsing for the lead role in a school play but coming down with mumps on the day of the show, or studying to get into the best high school in the prefecture, then on the day of the exam running into multiple old ladies in trouble, getting to the exam just in time, taking her test in a panic, and failing to get into the school. The trope gets deconstructed when she remembers that her final attempt to do something with her life ended in her death and forgets what came after, sending her into a massive Heroic BSoD. Just to drive the point across in Episode 12, a mirror spontaneously cracks just from Sakura being in front of it.
- Break the Cutie: Life was not easy for Sakura before her untimely demise. No matter how hard she tried to reach for greatness, she would always be hit with bad luck and her attempts would end in failure. Episode 11 finally has Sakura trading her recent good memories for all these bad ones and along with them her grief, making her lose the will to (un)live.
- Broken Ace: In her Episode 11 flashbacks, Sakura is shown to have a great potential in sports and academics, having trained enough to be the fastest runner in her age group in preparation for a relay race (one of her friends mentions that she was quite good at sports in general) and managed to score very high grades during mock exams for the best high school in Saga. Unfortunately, her efforts have been spoiled by a series of misfortunes striking at the most inopportune moments, leaving her jaded and apathetic about the possibility of ever realizing her dreams before Iron Frill came along.
- Broken Bird: Episode 11 reveals that for all of her hard work, she's been down on her luck since she was a kid, and it carried all the way through high school. Despite seeing Ai as her source of inspiration, she gets hit by a truck anyway, and after she recovers her memories but forgets her experiences as part of Franchouchou, she gives up on (un)life. Seeing the others persist on with a concert in the face of a snowstorm spurs her to stand up and join them, rediscovering her hope and determination.
- Butt-Monkey: Poor Sakura usually gets the shortest end of the stick in most of the comical scenarios, to say nothing of how she died. And then we find out how much hardship she experienced back when she was alive, with every one of her attempts at making a name for herself backfiring due to bad luck.
- The Caretaker: Sakura took the time to look after Tae, teaching her moves, dressing her up, and interacting with her the most out of the entire cast. Unusually for this trope, this has few, if any, negative implications for Sakura, and Tae is shown to be extremely appreciative of Sakura's efforts in the season finale when she attempts to drag Sakura out of her own depression.
- Catchphrase: "What do we do, what do we do?"
- Cherry Blossom Girl: She hits quite a few points for this trope; her name is Sakura, she has pink hair, her assigned color is pink, her birthday and her date of death are in early April (the period of time when cherry blossom season typically takes place in Japan), she serves as The Heart of the group, and she's associated with death and rebirth since she died and was "reborn" as a zombie.
- Corner of Woe: Sakura is trapped in one throughout Episode 11 and 12, where upon finally regaining her memories of her time when she was alive, she becomes deeply depressed over how much misfortune her life was plagued with and is determined that every one of her attempts to become something greater will result in failure.
- Cranium Chase: In Episode 10, Sakura gets decapitated by a wild boar and her head ends up being caught by Saki while her body flung elsewhere. Later on however, her now headless body walks over and retrieves her head.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In spite of her apparent clumsiness and pushover nature, she can tear you a new one in a rap-battle if you push her. Additionally, Episode 11 shows her to have rather superlative ability in both athletics and academics when she's motivated.
- Cry Cute: Near the end of Episode 7, she visibly cries Tears of Joy at the end of their first major outing in a public concert, with Ai and Junko comforting her.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Deconstructed. Her self-admitted clumsiness is what leads her to run headlong into the street without regard for traffic, leading to her death by truck collision. Episode 11 furthers the deconstruction by showing that a continued streak of misfortune all but extinguished her sense of self-esteem and motivation.
- Cynicism Catalyst: Remembering how bad luck screwed her life again and again to culminate in her getting hit by a truck the day she was going to audition to become an idol, along forgetting her experiences as a zombie, makes Sakura jaded, pessimistic and bitter. She absolutely refuses to participate in Franchouchou's concert because she's convinced her bad luck will ruin everything again, but her friends motivate her to not give up.
- Dark and Troubled Past: In Episode 11 we finally get a peek into Sakura's past life, and it's one long train of misfortune.
- Episode 10 focuses on this trait of hers, particularly on how it becomes a flaw when working in a group: she gets so enthusiastic about something, she races ahead without stopping to consider anybody else, and if she can't see how what the others are doing is directly relevant to what she's doing, she thinks they're goofing off, missing any hidden lessons there might be.
- There is a major contrast between her life before and after death on how the plot handles this: While alive, she was determined to succeed, until one bad day too many sucked what was left of her optimism and she just gave up on life in general. Once her original memories returned, it drove her into a depressive state after finding out she died and became a zombie. In her undead life, she refuses to give up even if she fails an outing. Once she's motivated by something, she won't let it stop her.
- Dies Wide Open: How she expires at the beginning of the very first episode.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After being dead for at least ten years, coming back to life as a zombie, and then falling into a depression after regaining her pre-mortem memories at the expense of her post-mortem ones, at the end of the season Sakura finally realizes that she is truly living her dream of becoming an idol and that she has friends who will stick with her through thick and thin, having regained her self-esteem and confidence along with all her memories.
- The Eeyore: Once she remembers her life and forgets her experiences as a zombie, Sakura turns into a total pessimist who believes even trying isn't worth it since it will all end in failure and disappointment so it's better to stay sulking. The support of her friends pulls her out of it.
- Extreme Doormat: Unlike the other girls who get fed up with Kotaro's treatment, Sakura tends to submit and let him yell at her while remaining polite to him. Sakura is shown to have her limits, though, finally snapping at Kotaro in Episode 10 after he forces them to spend days camped out on a mountain.
- Fatal Flaw:
- One that was actually fatal: being a Cute Clumsy Girl costs her her life.
- Less literally, when she gets focused on a goal she forgets to pace herself and loses track of her surroundings. Her impatience in Episode 10 develops due to wanting to regain her memories, causing her to rush through practice and conflict with the rest of Franchouchou when Kotaro sends them to the mountain to clear their heads. Her reminiscing about her life in the next episode reveals that she'd stay up late practicing, both for the school play and for the relay team, only for the health consequences of going weeks without enough sleep to invalidate her efforts.
- First Episode Resurrection: Opens the series on her way to apply for an idol tryout... and instantly gets hit by a truck as she's leaving her house. She suddenly comes to, seemingly normal, but finds herself in a spooky-looking mansion filled with zombie girls. No sooner does she escape it and get shot by a panicky police officer than she discovers she herself is a zombie.
- Ghost Amnesia: After coming back as a zombie, she can't remember any specific details about when she was alive apart from her familiarity with zombie movies, although she has occasional flashes from one of Iron Frill's concerts that she can't clearly recall. She gets her memories back at the end of Episode 10.
- Giving Up the Ghost: Did this after finishing the exams for her preferred high school, since she'd taken them in a panic and kept making mistakes.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Subverted, technically, but in spite of the great results her hard work legitimately produced, something always nullified her efforts in practice.
- The Heart: Sakura serves as the emotional anchor that keeps the group together, such as convincing the rebellious Saki to stay onboard with Kotaro's schemes despite their shared misgivings, inspiring Ai and Junko to restart their careers after seeing her determination to succeed despite her inexperience, and being a shoulder for Lily to cry on as she comes to realize that her father truly loved her even after unintentionally neglecting her. Yugiri explicitly calls this out in Episode 12, declaring that without Sakura the others' strong wills would have made the group fall apart long before.
- Hero-Worshipper: Sakura adored Iron Frill, and particularly Ai, in life. Episode 11 reveals that this is because Ai's never-say-die attitude as well as her performances snapped Sakura out of her learned helplessness when life kept getting her down. When that same helplessness returns with a vengeance in the season finale, Ai's words prove critical in getting Sakura back on her feet.
- Heroic BSoD: After regaining her pre-mortem memories at the expense of her post-mortem ones in Episodes 10 to 12, Sakura's learned helplessness, born from a string of misfortunes that plagued her, returns, causing her to slip into a deep depression from which she only recovers after much effort from Kotaro and the other girls, as well as being forced to rejoin the group's make-or-break Arpino performance in the middle of a snowstorm.
- Hidden Depths: Despite being a Rose-Haired Sweetie, she proves to be a natural rapper.
- History Repeats:
- The series opens with her meeting her demise by getting struck by a truck and later being revived as a zombie with Ghost Amnesia. Episode 10 has her repeating almost the exact same scene, walking out of the mansion and getting struck by yet another truck, only this time it restores the memories of her past life but gives her amnesia on her time as a zombie.
- It continues in Episode 11. Sakura wakes up looking alive and finds herself in the mansion with no memories of how she got there. She explores the place only to be seemingly attacked by a ravenous zombie, her attempt to escape lands her in a room full of even more zombies, and she picks up a poker to defend herself as they awaken and move towards her. Upon finally leaving the mansion, she runs into the Policeman she met the first night who gets terrified of her appearance as a zombie, before Kotaro comes to her rescue by knocking him out.
- Humble Hero: Despite the success Franchouchou achieved following their electrifying performance at Saga Rock, Sakura remains down-to-earth and does not let the fame get into her head, much to Kotaro's annoyance.
- Idiot Hair: She has one coming from the side of her head.
- Image Song: Sakura Minamoto doesn't have an image song of her own throughout Season One, but in the "The Best of Franchouchou" album, she gets her own specific solo song known as "Sensei! ALIVE Sensation". This song focuses on her own goals in the 'afterlife', backed up with a upbeat feel to it, which wouldn't sound out of place for a 'slice-of-life' anime opening theme.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Her usual eye color is blue, and she's extremely pure-hearted and clumsy.
- It's Not You, It's Me: Her standoffish attitude towards her fellow idols throughout Episodes 11 and 12 is just as motivated by her fear that her bad luck would rub off on them as much as it is fueled by her depression and a fear of being disappointed again. The rest of the girls assure her that they'd much rather fail with her than succeed without her.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: After she regains her pre-mortem memories, it is revealed that Sakura used to be a Wide-Eyed Idealist as a child, but a series of setbacks gradually wore down on her optimism over the years, made worse by the fact that her efforts to overcome said setbacks were constantly spoiled by her supernaturally horrible luck. Hearing stories of Ai's rise to stardom briefly restored Sakura's optimism, only for her to be killed by a speeding truck on the day she was about to apply for an idol audition. As a result of regaining these memories, while losing her post-mortem memories of success, Sakura gives up all hope of trying anything at all out of fear of being disappointed yet again. However, successfully managing to pull off a concert in the face of a destructive snowstorm helps restore her optimism and hope, and her more recent memories with them.
- Jerkass Ball: From Episodes 10 to 12, Sakura becomes more selfish, irritable and impatient compared to her usual self. In Episode 10 she's so determined to continue practicing as a way to regain her memories, she falls out-of-sync with the rest of the group. Then zigzagged in the last two episodes, when her pre-mortem memories of hardship and failure return at the expense of losing her post-mortem ones of success, causing her to become such a pessimistic shadow of her former self that not only does she refuse to participate in further practice sessions, but even lashes out at the other girls when they're simply trying to reach out to her.. On both incidents she apologizes in the end, when she realizes that the group isn't just goofing off during their mountain trip, and after regaining her post-mortem memories.
- The Lancer: While Saki took up being The Leader, Sakura acts as a foil by holding the team together as the Team Mom.
- Look Both Ways: Her manner of death at the start of the very first episode, where a truck slams into her as she runs out for school. It happens again at the end of Episode 10.
- The Lost Lenore: Episode 12 implies that she was an old friend of Kotaro.
- Mic Drop: She throws the mic after her rap battle with Saki.
- Motor Mouth: Mostly in the "previous episode" summaries, where she'll slip in some blink-and-you'll-miss-it silly comments such as a tiny gang leader threatening her "because she might be too cute".
- Murphy's Law: She nearly has it as bad as Milo Murphy, minus his optimism. Being Born Unlucky made her rather pessimistic. Kotaro seems to weaponize this since whenever the girls perform under bad weather, it often destroys their stage, but he's ready to get them going again and have them incorporate whatever happens into the show.
- Never Be Hurt Again: Part of her moodiness and standoffish attitude towards her friends in Episodes 11 to 12 upon regaining her pre-mortem memories at the expense of her post-mortem ones is fueled by her fear of being struck with ill fortune yet again. Her friends uplift her by assuring her that they'd stick with her through thick and thin.
- Never My Fault: In Episode 10, after she ends up getting out of sync with the rest of the group, she sullenly says that she's not at fault, but they are for not practicing while in the wilderness. After she watches the others practice without her and realizes the purpose behind the trip, she apologizes.
- Nice Girl: Besides being the emotional anchor of the group, and despite having grown slightly world-weary over her situation, Sakura is also the most openly kind-hearted member of the group, often trying her best to be nice to everyone and play peacemaker whenever tension simmers between them (such as Ai and Junko).
- Odd Friendship: With the hot-blooded Saki, by way of proving to the latter her competitive side and the fact that they're both natives of Saga.
- Only Sane Woman: Well, sort of. She's a bridge between Kotaro's eccentricities and the other girls' varying degrees of reactions to their new lease of (un)life; on one hand, she acknowledges the ridiculousness of the situation, but on the other, she also points out that none of them can exactly change it, so they might as well make the best of their situation.
- Ordinary High-School Student: What she originally was before being killed and revived as a zombie for an idol group.
- Pinball Protagonist: Downplayed. On one hand, she seems submissive enough to allow herself to be pushed around by Kotaro and his antics, creating some friction with her fellow zombies (especially Saki and Ai); on the other hand, she's acutely aware of how shifty he is, and is only following along in the hopes of regaining her memories along the way.
- Protagonist Without a Past: We're introduced to her as an Ordinary High-School Student aspiring to be an idol... and that's all we really know before she gets hit by a truck and killed before getting revived as a zombie. Due to the nature of her death Sakura has a case of Ghost Amnesia and doesn't remember any of her past life. It isn't until Episode 11 that we finally get to find out about her life prior to the start of the series.
- Rage Breaking Point: Sakura has her limits where she releases her anger:
- When Tae gets hungry in their second concert, she tries to control the situation by telling the (rather old) audience that it's All Part of the Show. Saki however makes the situation worse by repeatedly taking off Tae's head, to which she absolutely loses her shit to the point of tuning her inner Kotaro:"Could you try to hide the fact that we're zombies!? You're not even trying to hide it! What kind of idol's head comes off?! How could we possibly be human!? What kind of human can do that?! Is your brain rotting too, you stupid zombie!?"
- She chews out at Kotaro for sending them to the mountains when they should be practicing. This is one of the few surprising moments where Kotaro loses his nerve.
- When Tae gets hungry in their second concert, she tries to control the situation by telling the (rather old) audience that it's All Part of the Show. Saki however makes the situation worse by repeatedly taking off Tae's head, to which she absolutely loses her shit to the point of tuning her inner Kotaro:
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: At the climax of Episode 2, Sakura, fed up with Ai and Junko's lack of motivation and Saki's antics threatening to blow their cover, rips onto them in an argument that somehow segues into a rap battle.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: She hits many notes of the Red Oni in her dichotomy with Blue Oni, Ai.
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: Her dark, rosy hair reflects her normally cheerful demeanor. Her cheerfulness doesn't last long after she gets turned into an amnesiac zombie, however. Episode 11 reveals that during her life, she had so many of her accomplishments ruined by bad luck that she became quite cynical and depressed before being inspired again by Iron Frill.
- Scars Are Forever: Has a large gaping scar on her forehead, from having struck her head on a truck's windshield on the day she died.
- Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: She makes this plainly clear during her rap battle against Saki, calling her, Ai, and Junko "losers" for giving up on life and not making the most of what they have just because they're dead. She also declares that just because she's following along with Kotaro's game, that doesn't automatically make her the goodie-two-shoes tool they think she is.
- Inverted later when she regains her memories of her life but loses her memories of her undeath, while everyone else is trying to motivate her again.
- Smarter Than You Look: Despite her outward naivete and general lack of a backbone, Sakura immediately recognizes Kotaro as a shady fellow who has her wrapped around his finger, only following along with his ridiculous demands as a way to regain her memories.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: After remembering a life full of disappointments at the cost of her memories as a zombie, the resulting depression causes the usually cheerful Sakura to become an embittered pessimist who pushes away her forgotten friends. She gets better when she accepts her friends' support.
- Supporting Protagonist: On stage, Sakura usually performs this role to Saki as well as Ai and Junko. She is otherwise the driving force of the story.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: She's spontaneously hit by a truck with no warning mere moments after running out the door for school.
- Swapped Roles:
- After Sakura spends most of the series as The Heart and helping her friends back on their feet when they're down, in Episodes 11 it's her turn to be consoled by each of her friends when she plunges into depression after regaining her memories.
- Episode 12 goes even further. Firstly, Tae has a display where she tries to teach Sakura a routine that Sakura had previously persistently taught to Tae. Then the rest of the girls of Franchouchou all lampshade that since Sakura had their backs the whole time, it's their turn to pay her back now that she's in trouble.
- Sweet Tooth: Her profile lists her favorite food as "All types of sweets", and also mentions she was fond of making desserts as a hobby.
- Tareme Eyes: To highlight her niceness and kind-hearted personality.
- Team Mom: Due to being The Heart of the group, Sakura constantly looks out for her friends and will often try to console them when they are in trouble.
- Tender Tears: At the end of Episode 7 she starts crying in relief after the group finally manage to make their first successful live concert against all odds, with Junko and Ai comforting her.
- Tomato in the Mirror: In Episode 1, she thinks she is a normal girl trapped in a mansion full of zombies (and the animation depicts her as the normal girl she thinks she is). Once she escapes, she finds out that she is one of the zombies herself. It happens again in Episode 11, except this time it's Ai who tells her what she is.
- Took a Level in Cynic: She starts the first minute or so of the series as a typical Rose-Haired Sweetie, but getting killed, losing her memories, and being thrust into bizarre situations with an overbearing manager quickly makes her equal parts perplexed and resigned. Ironically, however, she still remains the most vocally optimistic out of the zombies. She takes another level in cynicism when she gets her old memories back in Episode 11 at the cost of her more recent memories, as it's revealed that a string of constant failures throughout her life actually made her quite cynical and defeatist before Iron Frill—and Ai—got her to believe in herself again. By the end of Episode 12, she appears to have lost that additional level thanks to successfully pulling off the concert and regaining her post-mortem memories.
- Unmoving Plaid: The polka dots on her hair ribbons are this depending on the amount of detail put into the scene.
- What Have I Become?: When her second round of amnesia kicks in, the discovery that she died just as things were finally looking up for her again and returned as a walking corpse cements Sakura's descent back into misery, angrily telling Kotaro that she didn't ask to be brought back as a zombie.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Her default state. After getting broken by her failure to get into the high school she sacrificed her middle school social life studying, watching an interview with Ai was able to restore her confidence. It's only after losing her memories of success that she breaks down again. This is a deep contrast to the post-zombification amnesiac Sakura after her death before Episode 11, as she's fully willing to try harder rather than give up.
- Yes-Man: Saki accuses her of being this to Kotaro, due to her being the only one who follows his crazy instructions. Because she awakened later, she is unaware that Sakura thought his plan was absurd just like her, and only goes along with it to get her memories back.
Voiced by: Asami Tano (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English)
Live actor: Yuriya Suzuki (stage play)
Died: August 30, 1997 (age 18)
Cause of Death: Drove off a cliff
Height/Weight: 153cm (5'0") / 48kg (105 lbs)
B/W/H: 77(C)/54/82cm (30/21/32 in)
A legendary biker and special attack unit captain of Dorami, Kyushu's most infamous all-female biker gang during the The '90s. A coarse, violent rebel through and through, she only respects those with "guts", and her ability to take charge leads her to appoint herself the leader of Franchouchou. She also has a fondness for Tamagotchi.
- Action Girl: She is one of the most physically abled of all the girls. She's able to knock down Takeo, an 8-foot-tall giant of a man, and in the past fought off twenty or so Korosuke rivals alongside Reiko without much of a scratch. She also has a really good fastarm, as seen when she throws a baseball at Kotaro when he provokes her.
- Ascended Fangirl: In life, she used to hang out with her gang at "Drive-in Tori", a popular chicken restaurant, and grew up watching the Kashima Gatalympics. Small wonder she was in Tears of Joy when she learns that Franchouchou is slated to perform at a commercial for the former, and later gets to participate in the latter.
- Bare Your Midriff: In Episode 10 she wears a revealing sports bra on a cold mountain.
- The Big Gal: She can knock down a man five times her size with a flying kick. During a flashback in Episode 9, we see the aftermath of her and Reiko taking down 20 or so rival gang members between just the two of them.
- Big Ham: Perhaps the only character that can rivial Kotaro's haminess when properly excited.
- Biker Babe: She was once a captain in Kyushu's toughest all-female biker gang during the 90s.
- Catchphrase: "You wanna die?"/"Want me to kick your ass?"
- To a lesser extent "Can't believe it"
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Saki is a born troublemaker, and she's wearing one of these whenever she's causing some.
- Dare to Be Badass: Her M.O. is this. Even in life, she was an unfettered thrillseeker often seeking challenges, and one of those even cost her her life. She never loses this trait as a zombie, and repeats the same stunt she did previously, only this time surviving it.
- Death Glare: She has a tendency to pull this face when someone tries to pick a fight with her. More often than not, she will intimidate the instigator.
- Defeat Means Friendship:
- Sakura one-upping her in an impromptu rap battle where the former basically tells her to screw herself the entire time earns her Saki's respect. Prior to that, Saki spent most of the episode either antagonizing Sakura or treating her like some pushover.
- Pulls one on several biker delinquents after they witness her jumping off and surviving the crash that killed her the first time she attempted it.
- Exposed to the Elements: In Episode 10, Saki wears a sleeveless cropped top in the snowy mountain.
- Fatal Flaw: Being a reckless unfettered thrillseeker cost Saki her life as she jumped off a cliff and died in a fiery explosion.
- Fearless Fool: She certainly is hot-headed and brave, but this trait of hers ended up being her Fatal Flaw, because she was so determined to win the game of chicken against the rival gang that she just kept speeding on and fatally crashed. She does get a second chance as a zombie... and she does the exact same thing all over again. She survives this time thanks to her undead nature, even though there was no guarantee that she would've survived the crash intact enough to keep functioning.
- Gamer Chick: Aside from her fondness for Tamagotchi, her profile mentions she was a fan of arcades.
- Hidden Depths: Despite being a delinquent Biker Babe with designs to take over the country, she shows a great deal of gentleness towards children and awareness of social norms, knowing full well that her rough and violent attitude towards her gang won't fly when trying to be the most beloved idol group in the nation.
- Hot-Blooded: When something piques her interest she gets very intense about it. As she says herself, "When I go in, I go all in".
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Defied. Living or dead, Saki's never had any idea of what "normal's" supposed to be, and has never understood what other people see in it.
- Image Song: Saki gets one in Episode 9, which is known as "Tokkou Dance ~DAWN OF THE BAD~", which has Saki leading a 90s punk rock song about achieving what you want in your life, by relying on the friends who are on your side.
- Informed Attribute: Her offical profile states that Saki dislikes sweets but in episode four she has her face pressed up against the window of a cake shop.
- Instant Expert: "Expert" might be going a bit far but it should be noted that of the six fully awakened zombies, she is the only one not known to have any background in singing, dancing or any form of entertainment whatsoever. She nonetheless takes to performing as an idol quite handily, vocally holding her own just fine and not yet displaying the same level of difficulty coordinating dance with the group that Lily or Junko have at varying points.
- Japanese Delinquents: She fits the bill of a bike gang captain in a school jersey and very long skirt, complete with Trrrilling Rrrs.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Saki is brusque, blunt, and has no respect for pushovers. However, she does show a soft side, such as, generally, warming up to Sakura after proving that she isn't as completely gutless as she appears and defending her fellow zombies from Kotaro's antics, as well as, specifically, sharing a moment with a young, new fangirl, and despite laughing over Lily's overly-macho birth name and her manner of death, wholeheartedly accepting her for who she is.
- Jerkass Has a Point: As scathing as it is during their rap battle, Saki makes a fair point that Sakura's obsession with getting her memories back probably won't do her any good, since being a zombie means she can't return to her old life anyway. However, Sakura retorts that it's still better than sitting around doing nothing.
- The Lost Lenore: Downplayed and Parodied; she mourns her Tamagotchi's death since she herself has been dead for over twenty yearsnote , and even then, she's merely annoyed by it.
- Mama Bear: A non-maternal variety. Do not mess with her crew if you don't wanna die.
- Ms. Fanservice: Downplayed, but she's willing to wear a sports bra on a cold mountain and is considered attractive.
- Multicolored Hair: She has blonde hair with orange and green streaks.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: She is skinny, but that doesn't stop her from beating up 20 bikers in life, and kicking an 8-foot tall man off his feet, sending him flying. Not that it really matters as a zombie.
- The Nicknamer: She loves to give nicknames. She always calls Lily "Shrimpy" ("Chinchiku" in Japanese, "Squirt" in the English dub), much to her annoyance. She refers to Kotaro as "Shades", Yugiri as "Sis", and uses various egg-related terms on Sakura.
- Non-Fatal Explosions: Completely averted in regards to the manner of her actual death, but played straight when, as a zombie, she tackles the same challenge that killed her. Though she does say it really hurt.
- Not So Above It All: Normally, she's just as annoyed with Kotaro as the rest of the girls, and the first to get physical whenever he goes a step too far in belittling them. In Episode 5, she becomes a whole lot more agreeable with him when she discovers he's booked appearances for them at Drive-In Tori and the Gatalympics, engaging in Ham-to-Ham Combat with him over their shared enthusiasm.
- Number Two: Leaving aside it being her number in Franchouchou, this was pretty much her role in Dorami, as captain of the gang's special attack unit (the English translation incorrectly identifies her as the gang's overall leader).
- Odd Friendship: With the gentle Sakura, borne from witnessing firsthand her competitive side, not to mention the fact that they're both natives of Kyushu.
- Oddly Visible Eyebrows: Has a large bang over the left side of her face, but her eyes are still visible underneath.
- Peek-a-Bangs: The left side of her face is covered by her hair, though her eye is still visible.
- Pet the Dog: In Episode 6, she comforts Ai after realizing she has a crippling Fear of Thunder borne from her manner of death.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Five feet tall, and has no problem delivering a flying kick to a man who easily towers over her, or taking on a rival gang with only Reiko at her side.
- Proud Beauty: When wearing makeup to hide her zombie appearance: she's attractive, she knows it, and wants to flaunt it.Saki: "And to be honest? Right now? I am hot as hell!"
- Rapunzel Hair: She has a ponytail that goes all the way to her legs.
- Rugged Scar: She has a stitched up scar on her right cheek and arm and left leg as a zombie, giving her a tough and surly look befitting her past life as a biker gang captain.
- Sarashi: As a zombie, Saki has bandages around her limbs and her body, and some end up like this. It's not clear if this is just for fanservice or actually functional; she didn't have them pre-mortem, suggesting they might be functional.
- Supporting Leader: While Sakura is the main protagonist, Saki is the one who takes up the mantle of The Leader among the girls, owing to her past experience as a bike gang captain.
- Take Over the World: Downplayed; she wants to take over all of Japan, and she figures that if she can't do it with her old biker gang now that she's a zombie, then cooperating with Kotaro's zombie idol project is her best shot.
- Tears of Joy: Played for Laughs twice in Episode 5, when she revisits Drive-In Tori, her favorite restaurant in life, and learns she'll get to participate at the Kashima Gatalympics.
- Technicolor Eyes: Golden eyes when alive or in makeup.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: She's easily the most tomboyish girl of the group with her rough demeanor and her past as a captain of a biker gang, and she usually wears her hair in a ponytail.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Saki is much nicer after being roasted by Sakura in the rap battle.
- Tranquil Fury: She is capable of doing this when she's not in Large Ham mode herself, or some would-be delinquent is trying to pick a fight with her. As someone who has fought at least 20 girls, she is basically saying "Don't pick a fight you can't win".
- Virtual Pet: Owned a (now long dead) Tamagotchi when she was alive. The case is kept as a memento by Reiko.
- Violence Is Not an Option: When Saki butts into a generations-long dispute involving the remnants of her old gang, she resolves to settle it "like an idol" rather than with violence, agreeing with Kotaro that her old methods could only hurt her band's image.
- You Got Guts: She only respects people who show "guts", which she thinks Sakura doesn't have since she keeps sucking up to Kotaro's bizarre demands without question. When Sakura proves her wrong by challenging her to a rap battle and demonstrating that being a zombie idol is Crazy Enough to Work, the two become friends.
- You Remind Me of X: After she takes a liking to Sakura, Saki notes that her egg-shaped head looks a lot like her dead Tamagotchi.
Voiced by: Risa Taneda (Japanese), Bryn Apprill (English)
Live actor: Rie Matsuoka (stage play)
Died: August 4, 2008 (age 16)
Cause of Death: Struck by lightning
Height/Weight: 160cm (5'2") / 42kg (92 lbs)
B/W/H: 81(B)/56/80cm (31/22/31 in)
The legendary lead singer of Iron Frill, the top idol group of the 2000s, which Sakura idolized in life. A serious and strong-willed girl, she's initially skeptical of Kotaro's plan, but eventually dives whole-heartedly into the role and puts all her effort into building Franchouchou's legend. As the most experienced (current-era) idol of the group, Ai is effectively the team manager, planning out the group's choreography and roles with occasional input from the others.
- The Ace: Ai is looked to by the other girls for coaching during rehearsal, and given leads in songs along with Junko, for her incredible talents in singing, dancing and choreography, as well as possessing such a knack for musical arrangement that at one point she was able to pinpoint and properly alter a song's harmony to prevent Tae from continually garbling over it.
- Achilles in His Tent: Getting stuck in a Heroic BSoD over her undead state leads to her silent refusal to take part in Franchouchou's guerrilla show in Episode 3. Seeing the other girls' continued determination to move forward eventually inspires her to join in and salvage what little of the show they can when Sakura forgets her lyrics, after which she starts performing again.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Ai has a dizzying array of knowledge about the idol business, dance choreography, musical theory, PR... it's obvious to see why she was the leader of Iron Frill. Unfortunately, this comes with the Logical Weakness that she's often stubborn about her own point of view, and she gets along the worst with their actual manager, Kotaro. She's also the only member of Franchouchou able to discern Sakura's recent memory-swap for what it was in Episode 11.
- Bandage Mummy: Ai's bandages almost completely cover her save for her eyes. Given she was killed by being struck by lightning that charred her corpse, the bandages are likely not only helping keep her together, but covering up the massive burns over her entire body.
- Baguette Beatdown: Gives one to Kotaro in a rage after his hostile Frenchman act in Episode 5.
- Bare Your Midriff: This was a very prominent feature of her Iron Frill outfit.
- Break the Cutie: Ai has not had a very good time going from a rising musical talent to a disfigured walking corpse, her spirit crushed in succession by the realization that she has nowhere to go among the living and the discovery she's remembered for her gruesome death instead of her career and talent.
- Broken Pedestal: Downplayed. Sakura only has the faintest recollection of Ai due to her memory loss, but that doesn't stop her from being deeply disappointed that a "legendary" idol such as her would rather give up after losing everything rather than find new ways to move forward. Once Ai gets over her Heroic BSoD to save Franchouchou's performance after Sakura forgets her lyrics in Episode 3, Sakura regains her respect for her.
- Continuity Nod: As Ai continuous to practice nonstop for Saga Rock to the point of falling apart, she can be seen wearing the muscle ache strips given to them at the spa.
- The Cynic: Subverted. At the start of the story, she's highly critical of the Zombie Land Saga Project, which she feels is doomed to fail the moment she hears about it. She begins seeing promise in her fellow zombies after a few episodes but remains the first to remind them how hard they're going to have to work for it, showing that she's more of a realist than a cynic, and given the sketchiness with which Kotaro pitched his idea, her skepticism is not completely unwarranted.
- Determinator: Not a trait present in the first few episodes (while she is undergoing a very logical Heroic BSoD), but she eventually proves to perhaps fill this role the most of any of the girls. This attitude of hers is shown in Episode 11 to have been the very spark that ignited Sakura's desire to become an idol.
- Died Standing Up: During a concert that took place in the middle of a thunderstorm, Ai ran out to a center stage to thank the crowd for coming, but ended up struck by lightning and died frozen in her pose.
- The Dog Bites Back: In Episode 5, fed up with Kotaro's verbal abuse complemented with hitting her with a baguette, she bludgeons him back with the same baguette.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She shows up in the video on Sakura's laptop before her proper introduction as a zombie.
- Enraged by Idiocy: Ai is often seen with an exasperated look on her face at many of the antics of the others and is far and away the most practically-minded of the group.
- Eye Scream: At one point in Episode 2 when she tries to escape over the mansion's fence, her eyes pop out of their sockets when she falls down.
- Fear of Thunder: She freezes up at the very sight of lightning, which is understandable, given it killed her.
- Gory Discretion Shot: She isn't shown getting electrocuted by the lightning bolt that killed her during the flashback to her death, though we do get a glimpse of her charred body afterward.
- Heroic BSoD: After nearly getting shot by Policeman A, she realizes she truly has nowhere to go and resigns herself to staying at the mansion, becoming too disheartened to perform again. She starts recovering after she and Junko have to salvage their guerrilla performance after Sakura messed up on a few lyrics, as she considers starting her career anew with Sakura and co.
- Heroic Sacrifice: One of the in-universe theories of her death is that she deliberately attracted the lightning into herself to save her audience on the grounds that there was nothing else fried by the lightning. Of course, the real explanation is simpler than that; it was an accident.
- Hidden Depths: In Episode 10, we see her seemingly fashion a fully-functional bow and arrow from scratch with no prior access to tools, and she proves to be a pretty good shot with it as well, though she never does quite succeed her hunt.
- High-Voltage Death: She died in a freak lightning strike during a thunderstorm.
- Hope Bringer: To Sakura. Learning about Ai's determination to keep going no matter the failures and mistakes shook Sakura out of her learned helplessness, turning her back into the hopeful girl she once was in time for the opening of the series. When Sakura falls back into despair late in the series, Ai's words prove again to be one of the most influential factors in both returning Sakura to the stage, and getting her back to her feet when calamity befalls the venue.
- I Coulda Been a Contender!: Iron Frill had just begun to take off when Ai died, so those who remember her for more than just her death largely remember her as a rising star who could've gone places had she lived. In an unusual case of this, while the loss of what could have been weighs heavily on Ai, nothing's stopping her from getting back into the game. Indeed, having another chance to establish herself helps motivate her.
- Idol Singer: One of the two members of Franchouchou who used to be professional idols, along with Junko. She was the lead singer of Iron Frill, the most popular idol group of the 2000s.
- Image Song: While she has yet to have one during her tenure with Franchouchou, Ai already has a song of her own- which is known as "Fantastic Lovers". She leads this song with her old friends as part of the Iron Frill group, and was briefly heard in the first scene of the series.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Sakura pitched an iron poker through Ai's skull when she first encountered her as a mindless zombie.
- The legendary idol whose career (and life) ended due to an electrical storm, had her career as a zombie jump-started by yet another electrical storm.
- Her profile lists her hobby as "Collecting creepy but cute character merchandise". Given that she's now an adorable zombie girl, any merchandise based on her zombie form (or those of her teammates, for that matter) certainly qualifies as this.
- Before the series began, seeing Ai's confidence roused Sakura from the depths of her despair and into action. During the guerrilla show, seeing Sakura in trouble rouses Ai from the depths of her despair and into action.
- Jerkass Has a Point: While Ai is more sullen and cynical than a jerk, even at her worst, she does bring up some valid questions about how feasible the prospect of zombies becoming idols is. Sakura doesn't deny it, but, like with Saki, insists that they may as well try.
- Master of All: While Junko alone is noted to be a better singer than her, Ai is a much better dancer and is the only member of the group truly versed in group performances. Her reticence to make use of her exceptional ability in early episodes caused a good deal of friction between her and Sakura, who looked up to Ai immensely in life.
- No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-Universe, Ai believes this is the case for an idol group taking its first steps toward getting its name out and mentions it in several episodes.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Has a fire poker harpooned through her temple mere seconds after being introduced in zombie form. It stays lodged in her brain for most of the first episode but never makes any mess at all.
- Reactive Continuous Scream: Has a habit of screaming back at others in terror or surprise whenever they scream at her first with the exact same feelings thanks to her zombified appearance.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue Oni to Sakura's Red Oni once her true nature begins returning.
- Running Gag: Ai has a habit of accidentally getting into fearful screaming matches when her makeup's off.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: She immediately tries to leave the group for Tokyo after having one conversation with Kotaro and learning about his ridiculous zombie idol project. She only returns once she's resigned herself to the fact that she can't rejoin the living.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: A milder case than most examples but it's clear that Ai's death has had a lasting affect on her psyche. The flash of a camera causes her to flinch and when faced with actual thunder, Ai crumbles in on herself. She curls up into a ball and covers her ears and each time this happens, she doesn't get up until someone else comes to help her.
- She's Got Legs: Ai is quite slight overall, being the second youngest of the group and the third lightest. Nonetheless, side by side comparison such as the still-frame at the end of Episode 7 seems to indicate that she has the thickest calves and is about equal with Yugiri in the thighs. Her extreme professionalism toward dancing coordination really shows in this way.
- Super Senses: Downplayed due to the unclear degree, but she indicates she has better eyes and ears than the other girls and proves it by being able to hear an approaching boar before the other girls in spite of being one of the farthest from the sound.
- Team Dad: Of a mentor variety. She is the one most responsible so far for the girls' training drills, teaching the newcomers the basics of the business, and is the one most vocal about the way of thinking they should approach their shared goal with. When a member is struggling or has a particularly important role to play in a new song, she coaches that member directly by way of example and takes it upon herself to review songs as a whole when the entire band is having trouble. Also, while she always strives to be constructive and, ordinarily, is by no means any less open-hearted than the rest of the group, she firmly believes that they won't get anywhere by "just playing friends all the time" and does not mince words with someone if she feels they are out of line.
- Technicolor Eyes: Light red eyes when alive or in makeup.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Throughout the entire series, Ai is quite noticeably the team member who is least amused by Kotaro's antics, sharing not even a single moment of camaraderie. That said, she doesn't seem to find his PR method invalid either, and speaks up to its merit during the shooting for the Drive-In Tori commercial.
- Those Two Guys: Zigzagged with Junko. In the first few episodes the two are glued to each other's side, both of them see the group as doomed and attempt to escape. Most of their interactions in the first three episodes are with each other as they stay at odds with everyone else. As they get to know the rest of the girls, their interactions branch out but come episode 6 and 7 they are narrativly this trope with being at odds.
- Training from Hell: In Episode 6, Ai practices for a new song without rest and pushes her body to its literal breaking point. When her friends rightly react in worry, Ai nonchalantly puts herself back together and states that stress is par for the course with their career.
- Trauma Button:
- Ai's death by lightning has left her terrified of lightning, and even a camera's flash can cause her to cringe.
- Similarly, on some level she remembers Sakura impaling her through the head with a poker in Episode 1, and cringes at anything that reminds her of it.
- Tsundere: A carefully Subverted example of the trope based on professionalism. The hot and cold sides of Ai's demeanor are largely dictated by her perception of the other girls' work ethic, rather than by mere slight emotional provocation like many classic tsunderes. She is very kind and supportive to each of the girls under any ordinary circumstance, but while she never resorts to violence unless directly attacked (as by Kotaro in Episode 5), she will become almost militantly stern in her expression if she feels someone isn't taking their duty to the band seriously or conscientiously. This is displayed most prominently in her clash with Junko in Episode 6 and to a lesser extent, her lectures to Sakura in Episodes 10 and 12.
- Unmoving Plaid: Her skirt and bow tie feature this prominently.
- What Have I Become?: The fact that being undead has made her an outcast from society is what makes her take her zombification harder than the rest of the girls, sending her into a Heroic BSoD.
- When She Smiles: At the end of Episode 3, Ai, who had been anything but a happy camper until then, finally cracks a smile as she warms up to the idea of starting her idol career anew with Franchouchou. When the idols perform "Mezame Returner" again in Episode 7, she opens a far warmer smile during the cut-in than she has mustered any other time she has performed it. Invoked by Sakura in an Episode 11 flashback, admiringly calling Ai's smile "dazzling" and stating she wants to smile like that herself.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Check out all those tropes above, particularly Team Dad. Now consider that she's the second youngest of the girls at barely sixteen years of age, and that Sakura is almost a year older and Junko three.
- Workaholic: Ironically she spends the first few episodes refusing to work, but once she gets started, her work ethic becomes very clear. She is nearly always the first to address practical concerns about their careers, becomes absolutely furious when she feels Junko is intentionally letting the team down, and when her arms and legs break down after an extended session of practicing choreography, she states that this isn't unusual for her.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is dark blue.
- You Are Not Alone: In Episode 12, after learning about Sakura's extremely pessimistic outlook on life, Ai tells her that all the other zombies died, too, so none of them are "lucky."
Voiced by: Maki Kawase (Japanese), Amanda Lee (English)
Live actor: Yuna Kitahara (stage play)
Died: December 6, 1983 (age 19)
Cause of Death: Plane crash
Height/Weight: 155cm (5'1") / 40kg (88 lbs)
B/W/H: 80(B)/55/84cm (31/20/33 in)
A legendary idol from the Showa period who pioneered the industry in the 1980s. A product of her time, she is more used to performing solo than with a group, and has difficulty interacting with other people.
- '80s Hair: That is a fluffy head of hair on her. Justified, since she died in 1983.
- Achilles in His Tent:
- Together with Ai, she refuses to join Franchouchou's guerrilla show in Episode 3. Seeing Sakura's determination inspires them to the point that when Sakura bungles her lines, they join in to salvage what little of the performance they can.
- She quits Franchouchou in Episode 6 after both Kotaro and Ai chew her out for refusing to take part in the photo shoot, feeling that the expectations for idols have changed too much for her to be comfortable with since she died. She spends a good portion of Episode 7 still depressed until Kotaro gives her a pep talk.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Junko's fear and panic when meeting fans, need to not let others see her flaws, and overall timidity suggests that she could have some kind of social anxiety disorder.
- Backstory Horror: An eyecatch and Episode 5 show her having a fear of heights. Then you find out she died in a plane crash.
- Been There, Shaped History: Was considered to be a pioneer of the idol genre.
- Be Yourself: Kotaro tells her this by saying she can still represent her period and not force herself doing things she doesn't want to do.
- Catchphrase: She has a few variations but you can always, always, count on Junko to remind the girls, "Because we're zombies."
- Charles Atlas Super Power: Junko is apparently strong enough that she can grab a headless Sakura by the legs and run at full speed, keeping up with Saki, without any sign of strain.
- Contralto of Danger: Averted. While Junko has the deepest singing voice, she is the most timid of the zombies.
- Corner of Woe: After being shocked at the drastic changes in the idol industry while she was dead, she barricades herself in a room (complete with warning signs and "do not cross" tape), and sulks in place for weeks, even growing mushrooms on her head. The trope is parodied slightly because the mushrooms are actually real and growing out of her flesh. This is actually Truth in Television as her undead body is producing mycelium.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Junko is noted to be the best singer among the seven. However, she is also stated to not be an especially good dancer and has zero experience coordinating with a group, contrasting with Ai.
- Exposed to the Elements: In Episode 10, Junko wears a sleeveless jersey when fishing in the waters of a snowy mountain.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: The idol industry has changed significantly in the 35 years she was dead, and she has difficulty adjusting to what's expected of idols nowadays.
- Frankenstein's Monster: Downplayed. While she is just a zombie, her stitched up and discolored skin from gives her the appearance of this.
- Heroic BSoD: The reality of being chased and shunned by the living for being a zombie leaves Junko deeply disheartened to the point where she and Ai hardly have the will to perform. Like Ai, she also starts to recover after covering for Sakura when the latter flubbed some lyrics to a guerrilla performance, deciding she wants to try singing in a group.
- Hidden Depths:
- After Kotaro kicks down a door by its hinges to give her a pep talk, he nonchalantly asks Junko to fix the door after him. Surprisingly, she simply picks up some power tools and puts the door back on competently. Episode 12 reveals that she reinforced it for extra measure.
- Though she doesn't ultimately catch anything, she appears to have a solid grasp on fishing, assembling a fishing pole and scrounging for suitable bait on her own. At the same time, she gives Sakura a surprisingly philosophical lecture you wouldn't expect from a girl who has spent so much of the series in abysmal spirits. Fishing is even listed as one of her hobbies.
- I Work Alone: Downplayed. Junko doesn't hate the idea of performing in a group, but she isn't sure she can work well in one since she had always been a solo act, which compounds her reluctance to cooperate with Kotaro's plan.
- Idol Singer: Like Ai, she was already a professional idol before her death. In her case, she was one of the earliest idols to pioneer the industry, as it was during the seventies and eighties when the trope had first taken off and solidified in Japan.
- Implausible Hair Color: She had grey hair even as a living teenager.
- Informed Attribute: It's repeatedly mentioned that Junko isn't a very good dancer but really only comes up once in practice and she's on par with everyone else each perfomance, even more glaringly is the fact that Junko is able to do the dance perfectly in Saga Rock after not practicing for two weeks.
- Last-Name Basis: Initially, she addresses her friends by surname, such as referring to Sakura as "Minamoto-san". By Episode 10, she's progressed to formal First-Name Basis, calling Sakura "Sakura-san".
- Look Both Ways: A Non-lethal Played for Laughs version. As everyone prepares to leave, Junko leaves the mansion to rejoin everyone, only to get rammed by Kotaro's van purely by accident as she stands in front to try to stop him. Being a zombie, she's fine.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Had to be reassembled from a lot of pieces after her death.
- Luminescent Blush:
- She is very prone to blushing, whether by embarrassment or at the crass comments of others.
- When she witnessed Yugiri in full oiran headdress and attire, she was blushing in amazement at someone looking so elegant.
- Meaningful Echo: Returns the words, "Don't worry, I'll back you up" to Ai who is about to break down on stage in fear of lightning.
- Meta Guy: Junko serves as a low-key one. She and Ai both believe the whole "undead Idol Singer group" plan is doomed, but while Ai's complaints center around the others' lack of experience and legitimate industry difficulties, Junko is often the one to quietly remind the girls that they're actual zombies with all that that entails, remains nervous around the one member who has yet to regain her mind, and frequently comments on how ridiculous the situations they get into are.
- Off-Model: The show does a very good job at averting this with Junko's patches but still slips into this on occasion. Patches will sometimes be incorrectly sized or angled wrong, though it's very subtle when it does happen.
- Older Than She Looks: Mentally as well as from being an unaging corpse. Junko mentions to Sakura that even though she's always going to be nineteen physically, she still feels her chronological age.
- The Perfectionist: She stands by the idea that idols must be figures of perfection for the fans to admire and showing any imperfection in front of them is unforgivable. Just the idea of interacting with her fans makes her uncomfortable because they might find flaws in her person outside the stage.
- Rapunzel Hair: A weird case in that most of Junko's hair is cut short but she has two long, thin pigtails that reach well past her waist.
- Running Gag: Her overall relationship with Tae. If Junko is present but doesn't have speaking lines in a given scene, she's probably either being chased by Tae or is otherwise cowering from something Tae is doing. The Irony is that Shrinking Violet Junko is likely targeted so specifically because she always reacts so fearfully, thus triggering Tae's predatory instinct.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: She runs away from the mansion together with Ai very shortly after reawakening, mostly because she's terrified of Tae. Like Ai, she reluctantly returns after realizing she has nowhere else to go.
- She's Back: After spending the majority of the seventh episode sitting in a room and growing mushrooms out of her head, Junko makes a dynamic re-entry by jumping over an iron gate, (almost) stopping a moving van, and getting up to declare herself an idol once more.
- Shrinking Violet: She is very soft-spoken and reserved, and is deeply intimidated by Tae. She's also very uneasy about the idea of photo sessions with fans, both because of her shy nature and because idols didn't directly interact with their fans that much when she was alive. The band decides to circumvent this and begin marketing by just handing out signed "candid" photos of her as "The Shy One" of the group, as opposed to doing meet-and-greets.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: Junko's soft, meek voice drops to a husky contralto when she sings.
- Those Two Guys: Zigzagged with Ai. In the first few episodes the two are glued to each other's side, both of them see the group as doomed and attempt to escape. Most of their interactions in the first three episodes are with each other as they stay at odds with everyone else. As they get to know the rest of the girls, their interactions branch out but come episode 6 and 7 they are narrativly this trope with being at odds.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She is frequently shown to get nervous when dealing with heights. The fact that she died in a plane crash likely contributed to this fear.
Voiced by: Rika Kinugawa (Japanese), Stephanie Young (English)
Live actor: Mioka Sakamoto (stage play)
Died: December 28, 1882 (age 19)
Cause of Death: Unknown
Height/Weight: 165cm (5'4") / 48kg (105 lbs)
B/W/H: 94(I)/62/89cm (37/24/35 in)
A legendary courtesan who saw the birth of the Meiji Restoration in the mid-19th century. Despite living in an entirely different time period, she chooses not to let it faze her and welcomes every chance to learn something new.
- Affectionate Nickname: Lily calls her "Yugirin". Saki calls her "Big Sis"
- Anime Hair: She has her hair tied up in the shape of a heart.
- Antiquated Linguistics: Speaks in an archaic way fitting for her time period, specifically the arinsu/kuruwa dialect used by courtesans in the Edo Period.
- Boobs of Steel: Yugiri is the bustiest of the zombies, and one of the hardest to unnerve. She's a talented gymnast, hails from a more violent era, and is familiar with the concept of "testing swords". She's also prone to slapping her peers across the face to make them come to their senses, whether they actually need it or not.
- The Comically Serious: She's... not as attuned to her surroundings as her calm dignity suggests.
- Cool Big Sis: She is the oldest in terms of date of birth (though Junko and Tae are older going by how long they lived), and she seems to be the most level-headed of the zombies. The group as a whole affectionately refer to her as "Big Sis", and she is especially close to Lily.
- Double Entendre: In Episode 4, a line of dialog spoken by Yugiri easily falls under this, and is noticed by Sakura. It also doesn't help that she is a courtesan, and Yugiri is nonchalant in delivering it.Yugiri: What can we do to please our guests tonight?
Sakura: Yugiri-san, phrasing!
- Notable in English as well.Yugiri: If we do our best to service them, I'm certain the result will be pleasurable for all parties.
Sakura: Wow, we need to work on your phrasing.
- Notable in English as well.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: While all the zombies are this to a certain extent, Yugiri is the most egregious example, being the most ancient of the seven, having been revived from the period of the Meiji Restoration. She essentially lays out how she deals with the situation in Episode 6, explaining that being confused about what's going on wouldn't be helpful, so she's decided to accept things as they come.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Whenever she sees someone moping, she physically slaps people out of their funk. The problem is, most of the time they've already snapped out of it by the time Yugiri slaps them and tells them exactly what they were trying to say. The one time she actually slaps someone in the middle of a funk is in Episode 12 when Sakura remains adamant in giving up.
- Glad I Thought of It: As mentioned above, Yugiri tends to resort to Armor Piercing Slaps whenever she tries to get someone out of their funk. Only problem there is that the majority of the time, the victim has already started to come to the same epiphany in their own right before she slaps them.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: In Episode 11, she decks herself out in full oiran regalia, complete with platform sandals and headdress when attempting to snap Sakura out of her depression.
- Hidden Depths: Episode 5 reveals her to be a skilled gymnast. Later in Episode 10, she confirms she also had training as a geisha (coming from a period where oiran and geisha were both active). Her search for edibles in the same episode leaves something to be desired, however, as she can't tell which fungi are poisonous (though it is mentioned that being poisoned isn't a big deal anymore, as they're all already dead).
- High-Class Call Girl: She was specifically an oiran in her native time, and that would have essentially made her this trope. Episode 2 shows that she's very good at playing the shamisen, which is just one of many skills oiran were expected to learn.
- Image Song: While Yugiri never got her own song in Season One, she managed to score herself her own focused song for "The Best of Franchouchou" album (it even was a major selling point for this album, as it even had its own music video). Yugiri's song is known as "Saga Jihen", a song about Yugiri's 'incident' in her past life, and how she awaits for the love of her previous life to arrive in the depths of Hell itself. It's also sung in the style of jazz/big-band music from the early 1900s.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Lily, who's technically the youngest member of the crew, and the one furthest from her in original time period.
- Ms. Fanservice: In official merchandising while in makeup, she has long thick legs, wide hips, and a Cleavage Window while wearing a swimsuit.
- Mysterious Past: Much like Tae, we don't know much about her life prior to her death. We do know that aside of being an oiran, she also trained as a geisha, and she was around at the time of the Meiji Restoration. The prominent scar around her neck suggests she was beheaded or hanged. And then there's the fact that she would be a 200-year old corpse. Whatever embalming methods her corpse was preserved with remains to be seen. Episode 11 has Kotaro's bartender (and seemingly immortal) acquaintance briefly warn Kotaro to never harm Yugiri because he owes her a lot from the good old days.
- Named After Somebody Famous: She shares her name with a real-life courtesan from the 17th century, who was in turn named after a character from Genji Monogatari.
- Only One Name: She goes by only one name, which was common practice among both oiran and Geisha; their employers would give them "professional" names that were typically taken from poetry or classic Japanese literature.
- Out of Focus: Downplayed, with her generally prone to hanging around cooperatively on the sidelines of the action and occasionally saying something funny for much of the series, and being the only member of Franchouchou besides Tae not to get a backstory episode. That said, hints of her Mysterious Past came through (in the form of a mysterious bartender who knows about her past, and ALSO is acquainted with Kotaro), and in general she's much more prominent and active in the last few episodes of the first season, her Cool Big Sis traits showing at their absolute fullest.
- Outdated Outfit: Her casual clothes consist of a kimono, hakama, stockings and boots, in the manner of a female student from the late 1800snote , but with the hakama cut above the knee like a makeshift skirt, to show off more of her legs.
- Rage Breaking Point: Of the Tranquil Fury variety. She physically slaps Sakura again for not only bemoaning her bad luck, but also for throwing her friends' feelings under the bus when all they wanted to do was help her. Where Ai has to point out she's not the only one with bad luck, Yugiri chooses a more physical approach.
- Rapunzel Hair: While not as long as Tae or Saki's it is notably long enough to reach her hips.
- Running Gag:
- Whenever someone is getting moody, she has a tendency to give them a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man slap, and speaks her mind with a speech while the person was actually thinking the exact same thing. She does this to Sakura and Kotaro.
- Her slapping Sakura becomes this, to the point where in the music video for 'Saga Jihen' (i.e. Yugiri's Image Song), she slaps Sakura for no apparent reason whatsoever besides Rule of Funny.
- Smoking Is Cool: Sometimes she can be seen smoking from a kiseru, giving her an elegant and sophisticated vibe.
- Statuesque Stunner: At least when she has her make-up on. Shes a few inches taller than the global average for women in her age group in 2018, but by the standards of 1880s Japan, shes positively gigantic, towering over the 410 average for the time.
- The Stoic: While not immune to freaking alongside the others, she's generally able to stay calm and composed in most of their wacky situations. It's even more impressive because she is the biggest Fish out of Temporal Water in the group.
- Team Mom: Shares this role in alternating fashion with Sakura. She sometimes acts motherly towards the other girls, showing concern and acting the maturest. This makes sense given that she is the oldest girl at the time of death other than Tae (who is The Unintelligible) and Junko (who's the same age, just two months older) as well as being from the earliest time period.
- Technicolor Eyes: Red eyes, even with her contacts in.
- Tranquil Fury: She's capable of holding her anger while holding her composure. If she wants your attention, she will get your attention with five fingers to the face.
- Tsurime Eyes: Her eyes show that she's the most mature out of all the Franchouchou members.
- Unmoving Plaid: Sometimes happens to the diamond pattern on her kimono.
- Younger Than They Look: She has the look of a woman in her late-20's, but is actually 19 at the time of her death.
Voiced by: Minami Tanaka (Japanese), Sarah Wiedenheft (English)
Live actor: Rin Takanashi (stage play)
Died: November 30, 2011 (age 12)
Cause of Death: Mental shock/heart attack
Height/Weight: 130cm (4'3") / 31kg (68 lbs)
B/W/H: 59/54/56cm (23/21/22 in)
A legendary child actress who took primetime networks by storm with her breakout period piece performance. She acts sweet and innocent most of the time, and revels in the opportunity of being forever young and cute now that she can never age.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Not only is she the youngest of the zombies in terms of her age at death (twelve years old), but she's also the youngest in terms of date of birth (1999); taking all these into account, this means that, were she still alive, she would've been nineteen as of 2018, which still makes her the youngest overall. In comparison, Ai would've been technically around 26, Sakura 27, Saki 39, and Junko 54; Yugiri would've been long dead (though for statistics' sake, she would've been around 155), while Tae, though her origins remain ambiguous, could be safely considered no younger than 29.
- Be Careful What You Wish For:
- Her father was a big TV fan, so she wanted to make him happy from inside the TV. She succeeded, but it came at the cost of their relationship, and the stress was a big contributor to her demise.
- When Lily was still alive, she desired to never grow up out of fear of developing a male body. She got her wish by dying and becoming a zombie, which means she can't go back to her father.
- Brutal Honesty: Befitting her age, Lily is prone to saying exactly what's on her mind without thinking it through first, or sometimes just not caring to. For instance, when Kotaro reveals the Franchouchou shirts they're to wear for the Gatalympics, she immediately and cheerfully declares them to be the ugliest shirts she's ever seen.
- Child Prodigy: She was a highly prolific child actress when she was alive. Despite having no experience before deciding to become an actress, she took to it very quickly and every show she was in became a hit.
- Cry Cute: The normally happy, cheerful Lily breaks down crying in Sakura's arms as she comes to terms with the realization that her father Takeo truly loved her and was deeply regretful for neglecting her, and that she still loves him in spite of their unfortunate history.
- Daddy's Girl: When she was alive, Lily was very close to her father who raised her on his own. Since her father loved to watch TV, Lily decided to become an actress in hopes she could make him happy by appearing on TV. Her father was indeed very proud about his daughter's success, but sadly, their relationship became strained when he started paying more attention to her career. After coming back as a zombie and meeting her father again, Lily realizes how deeply he regrets what happened to her and forgives him. While she can't tell him she is his daughter, she writes a song for him expressing how happy she was that he was her father.
- Death by Despair: She suffered a fatal heart attack from the shock of discovering that she had gained a single facial hair.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": For understandable reasons, Lily hates to be called by her birth name Masao.
- Does Not Like Spam: Her profile states she doesn't like mozuku and hijiki, which are both seaweed foods. Episode 8 suggests this is because she thought she had leftover seaweed on her face before realizing it was hair.
- Exhausted Eyebags: Had these when not made-up for the camera in the period leading up to her death, signalling she was getting overworked.
- Faux Horrific: She died of a heart attack upon seeing a single strand of facial hair on her face.
- Growing Up Sucks: Shortly before her death, Lily was highly troubled as her body began to enter puberty because she never wanted to become an adult and develop a body that would conflict with her gender identity. Now that she's been brought back as a zombie, she's happy that she can stay a child forever.
- Heart Beats out of Chest: More directly than the usual example, as her cartoon-shaped heart is totally exposed from her chest and balloons to improbable sizes when she's scared. Episode 7 confirms that, while the cartoony appearance is there for comedic effect, it actually is her real heart bursting from her chest.
- Heroic RRoD: While she did die of a heart attack after discovering an unwanted burst of male puberty, it also didn't help that the stress from her acting career had been taking its toll on her very young body, with her father/manager Takeo not noticing her health turning for the worse until it was too late.
- Hidden Depths:
- One of the interests listed on the site is in heavy machinery magazines, which she'll often be seen reading in the background. The ending credits of Episode 8 also reveal a flashback of Lily and her father sitting in a power shovel together.
- In Episode 7, Lily argues it's better that they do Saga Rock even if Junko doesn't return, explaining the event is their big chance, and even if they pass on it for Junko, Lily knows that won't make her come back. Yugiri lampshades how mature the reasoning is for Lily.
- In Episode 10, she adeptly constructs a bonfire in the mountains, presumably using the old-fashioned "two sticks together" method. She says she learned to do it for a role she once played.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: In Episode 8, a really large man shows up and seems a bit too interested in Lily. She later explains that the man was actually her real father, and while she was still alive he spent a lot of time with her. Though she's already the smallest of the bunch, she's extremely tiny when standing next to him. A photo reveals she got that from her mother, who only came up to her absurdly large husband's waist.
- Image Song: Lily has one in Episode 8, known as "To My Dearest". She sings this song to her father, as a way of thanking him for being part of her life, through all the good and bad parts. It is performed in the vein of a slow, ballad-like, Broadway musical number.
- Insult of Endearment: Saki calls her "Chinchiku" (translated as "Shrimpy"), which is initially derisive and annoys Lily, but eventually becomes just a playful nickname. She even accidentally calls her that during a performance, but Lily doesn't budge.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Yugiri, who's technically the oldest member of the crew, and the one furthest from her in original time period.
- Ironic Name: Lily is a cute and very feminine girl. Her birth name is Masao Go, the kanji for which literally translate to "Righteous Man Grand", which Saki laughs herself sick at for being so cartoonishly manly. She left that name behind for a reason.
- The Last Straw: Her panic over growing facial hair, added with the stress of being overworked by her father, was what led to her death.
- Little Miss Snarker: Lily can be very dry, usually when somebody is being a genkier girl then she is.(Upon seeing Saki's over-enthusiastic reaction to working with a restaurant mascot): Yeah, that's not cute at all.
- Meaningful Rename: "Lily Hoshikawa" is not her birth name; that would be Masao Go, which she dropped due to being a transgender girl.
- Mega Twintails: She wears two pigtails that are larger than her head.
- Missing Mom: Lily's mother died well before she went into acting, leaving her and her father.
- Replacement Goldfish: She apparently becomes a downplayed positive version of this for her father, who's under the impression "Number 6" is an Identical Stranger who happens to look like Lily. Her 'farewell' song to him helps him find catharsis over her death, and she says that she hopes she can make him smile when he sees her on TV. Sakura subsequently notes that he's started coming to Franchouchou's shows, suggesting he's following her career.
- The Reveal: Episode 8 reveals she's a transgender girl, born Masao Go. She appears to have identified as a girl from a very young age, certainly before she went into acting, if her flashback's anything to go by.
- Stage Name: "Lily Hoshikawa" seems to have originated as one; a flashback in episode 8 shows her being called by that name during a TV interview, but it's later revealed that it's not her birth name and she was originally called Masao Go, which she changed due to being a transgender girl.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Lily states she looks more like her mother, and flashbacks reveal that they look nearly identical.
- Technicolor Eyes: Golden eyes when alive or in makeup.
- That Man Is Dead: Once she was revived as a zombie, there was no longer anything in the way of her identifying as a girl (since zombies don't age), so she renounced her birth name "Masao Go" for good and also dropped her Saga accent for a "cuter" way of speaking.
- Third-Person Person: Lily has a tendency to refer to herself by the third person due to her desire to be cute.
- Token Mini-Moe: She's the smallest girl of Franchouchou (at 130 cm, shes actually the height of an average eight-year-old even though she died at 12), and her personality is quite childish too.
- Token Wholesome: She's the only member of the group who has never been shown off in any way that can even slightly be construed as fanservicey, with even the merchandise involving the girls in swimsuits having her wear a very conservatively designed one with swimming trunks. A good part of this is because, as the youngest of them at twelve, putting her in fanservice situations would be inappropriate. But there's also how, as a pre-op trans-girl, wearing skimpy or form-fitting outfits like the other girls might expose the fact she still has a "male member", which would spoil the reveal in episode 8.
- Trans Tribulations: Lily is a young transgender girl which caused her to experience gender dysphoria when she started growing body hair. Her father tried to calm her down by telling her it was natural and she had to accept she was growing up. Unfortunately, this only made Lily more frustrated because she was afraid she would grow up to look like her father. This is, in fact, the cause of her early death; Lily was so horrified when she grew her first facial hair that she died from the shock.
- Transgender: Originally named Masao Go and assigned male at birth, Lily identified as a girl from a very young age, but her growing body defied that wish and the shock of growing facial hair—on top of already being overworked and having to deal with a father/manager who cared more for her as an actress than as a daughter—resulted in her heart finally giving out.
- The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: Cute daughter in this case, but her dad still isn't that much of a looker compared to her.
- Undead Child: She's the youngest of the zombies in terms of when she died.
- Undignified Death: Saki is quick to make fun of how she died due to having a heart attack at seeing her first facial hair.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Her father was her manager, and he ended up more interested in her career than in spending time with her.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has teal hair, like her mom.
Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (Japanese), Dawn M. Bennett (English)
Live actor: Asami Morita (stage play)
Died: Unknown (age 29)
Cause of Death: Unknown
Height/Weight: 170cm (5'6") / 50kg (110 lbs)
B/W/H: 91(F)/59/89cm (35/23/35 in)
A woman who is legendary... just because. She is also the only zombie who doesn't break out of her typical undead behavior, often trying to gnaw on the closest thing in sight.
- Bandage Mummy: From what can be seen beneath her clothes, everything apart from her face and hands is covered in bandages.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Tae's antics as a zombie and her Womanchild behavior is often a source of comedy. However, in Episode 12, when depression-blinded Sakura vehemently pushes her away too many times, Tae reaches her Rage Breaking Point and shows that even if she's ultimately a harmless zombie, she can actually be quite terrifying when she's genuinely angry.
- Big Eater: Episode 5 in particular showcases her extreme appetite, going so far as to attack a guy in a chicken suit because she thinks he's an actual chicken, to say nothing of downing an entire plate of uncooked meat before this, and a plate of eels on a stick (including the plate) followed by five sticks of eels later on.
- Bite of Affection: While she starts out simply biting anything she can get her mouth on out of mindless-zombie habit, as her intelligence grows she starts biting things more rarely and intentionally. One reason for doing so is out of happiness and affection, such as her happily nibbling on Sakura's head after she gets her memories in the Season 1 finale back after performing a successful big performance.
- Brainless Beauty: She is quite attractive, yet she's the only one who is still a mindless zombie who manages to become a Womanchild in her Character Development.
- Came Back Wrong: For some mysterious reason, Tae isn't restored to consciousness by death metal like the other zombies, and remains a feral blank slate. She gets better over time, but she's still not firing on all cylinders.
- Character Development: She starts off as a wild animal who'll attack and bite people. Gradually she becomes a bit more civil, being able to understand human language and communicate through groans or gestures, showing curiosity about the world like a child would, and imitating the other girls' dance moves. She's even able to imitate a rooster's crow for the Drive-In Tori ad. Later on, she starts to imitate the other girls' expressions and speech (albeit in a rather garbled manner), and gains enough of a theory of mind to attempt lying. Come Episode 11, she's emotionally aware enough that Sakura's current situation hits her hard, sending her into a Corner of Woe; in the following episode she's shown to remember their past moments and tries speaking to Sakura to make her remember them.
- Corner of Woe: Assumes this position after failing to get through to Sakura.
- Cute Little Fangs: While they're anything but little, she is often shown having fangs whenever she opens her mouth.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Disregarding how she appears as a zombie, she has the creepiest look out of all the girls, with pale skin, red eyes, face-covering hair, and a black rag for a dress.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: In-Universe: Tae is fondly remembered by her fans as the chicken girl who does the "cock-a-doodle-doo". She does it for the fans in one concert who request she do so.
- Expressive Hair: Tae's side-bangs tend to react to how hot her emotions are. When she's excited, angry, or worried, they stick out like crazy; when she's more relaxed and peaceful, they relax down to frame her face.
- Extreme Omnivore: She tends to bite and gnaw on anyone or anything she can get her hands on, including her own hair. According to Kotaro, however, it's totally harmless.
- Friendship Moment: Episode 11 has Tae seemingly jumping Sakura, in truth her way of showing she was actually worried about her. Episode 12 has her going out of her way to help Sakura remember their successes. Sakura had previously acted as her caretaker so she didn't end up biting people, and had also taught her how to pay attention and dance, earning her Undying Loyalty. So when Sakura sulks in the attic, Tae goes out of her way to crash into the attic and drag her all the way to the dancing studio to try and jog her memories. Once Sakura's memories return and mix in with her past memories, Tae happily noms on her head.
- Hand-Hiding Sleeves: She wears a sweater with overly long sleeves during her first public performances.
- Helping Hands: If her arms get detached they are still able to move about on their own.
- Hidden Buxom: Her normally baggy clothes hide a rather impressive bust that's second in size only to Yugiri, even beating out the visibly-stacked Sakura. Her idol outfit shows it off in full though.
- Hidden Depths: She's good at snow sculptures.
- Institutional Apparel: While the other girls have fairly reasonable sleepwear, Tae is apparently shoved into a striped shirt and pants with a flatcap and left to wander for the night. Given her mental state, this may be justified... or it could just be Rule of Funny.
- Interspecies Friendship: Tae and Romero show some form of friendship, with the former being a human zombie and the latter being a zombie dog.
- It Can Think: While she's the only one of the girls not to awaken and acts like a zombie early on, she gradually regains sapience throughout the episodes. This is best demonstrated in the last two episodes of Season 1, in which Tae is the one keeping watch over Sakura after she got hit by a truck and lost her memory. Her speech is garbled as usual, but her facial expressions and the way she holds Sakura's shoulders clearly show concern. She also spends the first half of Episode 12 trying to lift Sakura's spirits by doing dance moves and showing her the article about their performance at the Saga Rock Festival. Eventually she gets so fed up with Sakura's neglect that she drags her back into the dance studio and tries to reenact a training lesson that Sakura once gave her. Even though Tae can't speak properly, she obviously remembers their interactions, and the frustration in her eyes is clear.
- The Load: Zig-Zagged. As the only zombie who hasn't awakened, she provides little contribution to the team and often gets in the way with her attempts to bite people or her head falling off. On the other hand, she is surprisingly helpful in a pinch, like when she bites one of Maria's buns when she tries to threaten Sakura and Lily, and scares off a large boar after it attacks the girls.
- Ms. Fanservice: Surprisingly enough, official merchandise has her wearing a skimpy swimsuit.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Kotaro gives a basic description of each girl to Sakura when she first awakens. But with Tae, he simply says she's "The legendary Tae Yamada". When Sakura asks again, he simply repeats himself, and never gives any background information on her.
- Mysterious Past: Whereas most of the zombies have details on their past lives largely fleshed out (Yugiri is an exception, since we only know about her occupation and apparent ties with Kotaro's bartender acquaintance), Tae is so far the only one whose details are still largely in the dark. About the only hint available is her profile, which lists her hobby as visiting different travel agencies. Word of God is apparently that while she does have a pre-mortem backstory, they kept it a mystery because they felt there was no reason to reveal it.
- Older Than They Look: She physically appears to be around the same age as the other girls, but according to the official website, she was actually 29 when she died.
- Rage Breaking Point: Tae showing any kind of emotion is rare, but when she gets angry, Red Eyes, Take Warning. She crashes into the attic after being fed up with Sakura neglecting everyone.
- Rapunzel Hair: Goes all the way to the back of her knees.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has red eyes both as a zombie and in makeup, and is the member of the group most likely to attack others, whether acting in defense or seeing if they're food. And when properly angered she gains Glowing Red Eyes, which accompanies a burst of strength.
- Running on All Fours: She occasionally does this as a way of showing that she's still pretty feral and hasn't regained her higher mental processes.
- Sleepyhead: Tae occasionally nods off at moments where the other girls are discussing important matters, always with a big Snot Bubble.
- Smarter Than You Look: While she started off as a shambling, moaning, bitey zombie, she starts to display increased signs of intelligence as the series progresses. While she remains The Unintelligible, it's apparent she's able to understand her friends and follow instructions. Episode 12 is the best indication of this, as she attempts to raise Sakura's spirits by reenacting their dance moves and her rooster crow from the "Drive-In Tori" commercial, and also bringing her an article showcasing their idol group's success.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Parodied briefly in Episode 4. When the girls relax on the foot bath, Tae's hair covers her face, resembling an onryo.
- Stop Copying Me: Does this a lot, not to annoy anyone but because she's relearning how to be human. This copying is how she manages to do the complex dances with the other girls, though her speech comes out as a garbled mess.
- Super Window Jump: Actually introduced this way in the first episode when she crashes through a window out of the blue back into the manor, being the first zombie Sakura runs into. She does it again in Episode 11, and while it makes her appear monstrous to Sakura (who has regained the memories of her life at the cost of her memories as a zombie), its clear to the audience that Tae is actually deeply concerned for her.
- Trademark Favorite Food: She'll at least try to eat just about anything, but she particularly loves dried squid, which Kotaro keeps in his pocket to pacify her bitey tendencies. Her profile also mentions she particularly likes mentaiko.
- Undying Loyalty: Pun aside, Episodes 11 and 12 cement her dedication and loyalty to Sakura. With Sakura having been taking care of her and trying to make sure she wouldn't just randomly bite anyone, Tae is the one who gets hit the hardest after Sakura's original memories return, but not her undead memories, and after being rejected too many times, Tae reinforces her loyalty by crashing into the attic just to drag her into the studio, and have her remember what Sakura taught her. After Sakura has all of her pre and post-mortem memories, she happily noms on her head. For a zombie who has a bit of humanity, this really speaks volumes.
- The Unintelligible: As the only zombie who hasn't awakened, she is incapable of human speech and can only communicate through moans, gurgles, growls, and the occasional grumbled imitations of others. The closest she comes to speaking an actual sentence with words is in (the dub of) Episode 12, when, after having had enough of Sakura ignoring her and the others, she drags her to their rehearsal room and lets out an angry growl that sounds vaguely like "Get it together!"
- Womanchild: Tae is an interesting variant. As time goes on, she goes from being mindless to demonstrating curiosity and interest in the world around her, albeit in a very basic manner, and shows an ability to understand her friends to a degree and listen to instructions. In essence, being a womanchild is a step up for her.
Voiced by: Yasuhiro Takato (Japanese), Alejandro Saab (English)
Died: December 9 (age 3)
Cause of Death: Unknown
Height/Weight: 33cm (1'1") / 3kg (7 lbs)
Kotaro's pet zombie toy poodle, who helps guard the mansion and keep a close watch on the girls.
- Art Shift: He switches from a cartoonishly adorable design to a more realistic, terrifying one when he eats.
- Extreme Omnivore: Much like Tae, he'll usually try to eat things that aren't even meant to be edible. In Episode 6 he swallows a baseball whole, and in Episode 10 it's implied that he ate a grasshopper that was unfortunate enough to go near him.
- Eye Scream: His left eye is missing, and when he undergoes an Art Shift, his remaining eye is shown to be bulging from the socket.
- Interspecies Friendship: Tae and Romero show some form of friendship, with the former being a human zombie and the latter being a zombie dog. He's also shown to be friendly with Sakura, joining her on her morning jogs and becoming fiercely protective of her after she's hit by a truck in Episode 10.
- Killer Rabbit: He may be an adorable little puppy, but he's an adorable little zombie puppy, and he becomes extremely dangerous when hungry.
- Mysterious Past: We don't know anything about his life and death, or which time period he comes from.
- Named After Somebody Famous: His name is a nod to zombie movie director George A. Romero.
- Non-Standard Character Design: He has the most cartoony design out of any character, at least until he turns ravenous.
- Raising the Steaks: A (usually) cute little dog who's also a zombie. Presumably, Kotaro used the same methods to bring him back as a zombie as he did for the girls.
- Series Mascot: He serves as this both In-Universe and out; in Episode 6, Kotaro sells Franchouchou merchandise that has pictures of Romero on it (and he's notably drawn in a much cuter art style).
- Team Pet: He is the mascot of the zombie idol group, and is fittingly a zombie himself.
- Undying Loyalty: Again, pun aside, he's very loyal to both Kotaro and the girls. After Sakura gets hit by a truck again, he attempts to attack the driver.
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano (Japanese), Ricco Fajardo (English)
Live actor: Noriyuki Ohashi (stage play)
- Ambiguously Bi: Whenever he tries to gain sponsorship from someone, he tends to seduce them (regardless of gender), and making them blush.
- Ambiguously Human: His potent charm, incredible strength, and Wesker-esque refusal to remove his sunglasses make it ambiguous if he is a mere human or something more.
- Bishie Sparkle: Sparks form around Kotaro when he charms two would-be sponsors, and when taking a bath in Episode 6.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's loud-mouthed and totally out of his mind to make an idol group out of zombies, but he's incredibly effective in putting together hit performances, and is such a skilled makeup artist that he can make rotting corpses pass off as stunning, fully living people.
- Catchphrase: "MUSIC, COME ON!"
- Character Development: The big turning point in Kotaro's portrayal comes with Episode 7, when he helps Junko out of her funk and then accidentally runs her over. After that, he starts getting more involved as a helper and mentor for the girls, such as composing a song for Lily to sing to her father, warning Saki against using violence to sort out Dorami's problems, or trying to get Sakura to realize her flaws, and the audience starts getting a look at the sides he tries to hide from the girls, like his vulnerabilities or the wider mysteries he's involved in.
- The Charmer: Despite being a shrieking martinet to the girls, he's got a surprisingly good way with the living when working out business deals with them, with a seductive gaze that enthralls men and women alike.
- Chewing the Scenery: Pretty much everything this guy says and does is over-the-top dramatic, which makes it all the more impactful when he's truly serious.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He's strange enough to assemble an idol group of the undead, formed with girls from different eras. and keep dried squid in his front pocket at all times. Even that aside, his speaking patterns are very bizarre to say the least.
- Coat Cape: He tends to wear his blazer on his shoulders.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As goofy as he is, he's managed to save Sakura from Policeman A twice by knocking said character out. He also kicked down a door that Junko had barricaded.
- A Day in the Limelight: The manga version of the series seems to be focusing on the work Kotaro does to promote and secure gigs for Franchouchou in the background, while heavily abridging the girls' events (to the point where both the rap battle and the guerilla show are only covered in single page flashbacks; so far the rock concert is the only event from the show covered in full).
- Drives Like Crazy: Shows this when he needs to make a quick getaway.
- Dynamic Entry: Kotaro blasts away Junko's barricade (and her) with a single kick after he gets fed up with her sulking.
- Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Yugiri notes that for all his hamminess, he's not good at expressing how he actually feels.
- Even the Guys Want Him: He's shown to be quite capable of being The Charmer when he wants to convince someone to give him a sponsorship, and it works on both women and men.
- Everyone Went to School Together: He actually went to high school with Sakura.
- Fantastic Racism: He has no qualms about rubbing it in that the girls are now undead reanimated corpses, provides little help over the shock that they should be experiencing, and is an all-round Mean Boss who believes mistreating them and overworking them is acceptable given they are zombies. However, for the most part this is simply part of his Mean Boss behavior, and beneath that shows signs of genuine care toward them.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Because of how he usually treats them combined with him keeping them in the dark about their circumstances, it's no surprise that none of the zombie girls liked him at first. Later, they simply know better than to take his ramblings personally, but even then their relationship is professional-only.
- Giver of Lame Names: According to the girls, who deemed Death Musume and Green Face to be awful names for an idol group, so they choose Franchouchou without any input from him. Nonetheless, he decides to let them keep the name.
- Gratuitous English: He loves spouting random phrases in English in the sub.
- Gratuitous French: Uses it for one of the morning meetings with the girls, complete with baguette and beret.
- Hidden Depths:
- Despite being in Large Ham mode most of his on-screen time, he will drop all pretenses and silliness, and go out of his way to give a zombie girl genuine help when needed, such as giving a touching talk to Junko by telling her to be herself, writing music and special directional coordination for Lily's song for her father to honor him, and telling Saki that Violence Is Not an Option after finding out her best friend's daughter is involved with a biker gang.
- Episode 10 shows him having a level of vulnerability within himself, admitting uncertainty over his ability to bring the girls to their goals and, in Yugiri's words, showing an oddly particular affection for Sakura.
- Inside this boisterous Large Ham-inducing music writer and director lies a sad man who lost a friend he went to high school with, and aims to help her accomplish her goals. That girl? Sakura Minamoto.
- Ink-Suit Actor: He is an animated version of Mamoru Miyano, who has made live appearances in-character as him.
- Insane Troll Logic: A lot of the answers and explanations he gives fall under this, such as his adamant belief that a zombie idol group is the key to saving Saga.
- Jerkass: He regularly verbally abuses the girls in the idol group and makes fun of their questions whenever they ask him something. This is generally Played for Laughs, however, since he does it all in a very goofy manner.
- Jerkass to One: Zig-zagged with Sakura. He comes off as harder on her than he is with everyone else, but Yugiri proposes that he's kindest to her in his own way, and it turns out that he used to know her when she was alive.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite coming off as a selfish and rude Mean Boss, deep down he does care about his zombie girls. When the time calls, he will go out of his way to comfort them and lift their spirits. Yugiri calls him out on this specifically in regards to Sakura in Episode 10 — that underneath it all, he seems to be particularly kind to her, trying to act as a Stealth Mentor and help her figure out and overcome her flaws — but he avoids giving her a straight answer. Episode 11 outright has him telling a dejected Sakura that he will never abandon or give up on her.
- Knight of Cerebus: Inverted. His introduction is what switches the tone of the series from straightforward horror to absurd Horror Comedy.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Pretends to know everything of value, until he is pressed further for information.
- Large Ham: About 95 percent of the time. He almost always talks in a bombastic and dramatic manner, though Episode 4 shows that he can act calm and professional when the situation requires it.
- Manchild: As broad as his knowledge and skill sets are, he's a bit old to be bullying a group of teenage girls like he often does.
- Mean Boss: Most of his interaction with the girls is him screaming at them and calling them names for being zombies. He once openly stated that as zombies, he can work them as hard as he wants and they can't die from overwork.
- Meaningful Rename: In the East Asian directional system of the Earthly Branches, Inui, his true family name, is the northwest. Tatsumi, the pseudonym he adopts to hide his identity from Sakura, is the southeast.
- Murphy's Law: There are indications that he knew about Sakura's terrible luck, and is ready to improvise whenever their stage gets destroyed during concerts.
- Mysterious Past: All we know about his past is that he learned his makeup skills in Hollywood, that he went to high school with Sakura, and that he has a possibly-immortal acquaintance he told about the Zombie Land Saga Project.
- Necromancer: He somehow found a way to bring the dead back to life as zombies. How he did this is never explained properly, except that he tells Sakura that she got turned into a zombie in the same manner as it's done in movies, and that undeath doesn't need any complex explanation. Unless the Bartender is the true necromancer.
- Necromantic: Possibly. A brief, nondescript flashback to his past has caused much speculation by fans that he was once in love with Sakura.
- No Indoor Voice: Half of his dialogue is screamed at the top of his voice.
- No Sense of Personal Space: He gets all up in the girls' faces as he spouts his ridiculous Rousing Speeches.
- Obfuscating Insanity: At least a little, and possibly a lot. He repeatedly refuses to deal with potentially serious issues, and when he does step in, his advice is often unhelpful or counterproductive. All the same, things normally work out due to the girls' hard work, and it's notable that when they don't, he will drop all his normal silliness and move to sort it out himself with a competence he doesn't normally display. Several times the girls have assumed they've pulled the wool over his eyes (Junko and Ai running away, and them using the computer while he was in the bath) and it's been revealed he was aware of their actions the whole time.
- Oh, Crap!: He has two of them in Episode 7, both related to Junko. First when he kicks down Junko's barricade and sees that he also knocked her out, then when he accidentally runs her over with the van.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- There'll be times where Kotaro becomes genuinely angry, such as Sakura breaking The Masquerade and ruining their first sponsorship, to which he tells her he'll shave her next time if she screws up again. Junko refusing to take pictures with the fans at the photoshoot also riles him up so much he is reduced to shouting Angrish at the girls. When Saki intervenes to save Maria from a rival biker gang, he's dead serious when he tells her that if she gets mixed up in trouble like that, she could put Franchouchou itself at risk.
- Then there's the revelation that his goofy exterior is a guise and his real self is a Sad Clown hiding grief over losing his high school friend Sakura.
- Renaissance Man: For an idol producer, he has demonstrated several talents on-screen. First and foremost, Kotaro can take care of zombie girls, teach them how to dance and even apply make-up that makes them look alive again. In later episodes, he is shown to be quite skilled at beatboxing, driving vehicles and bicycling. He also personally composes and coordinates all the songs and dances the group uses and is shockingly effective at setting up deals for shows and merchandise.
- The Reveal: Episode 12 reveals that he was a classmate of Sakura's in high school, that "Kotaro Tatsumi" isn't his original name, and that his original family name is "Inui".
- Running Gag: In the manga, he has a tendency to react in joy to whatever food he's eating at Food Wars!-esque levels, up to imagining things.
- Sad Clown: Kotaro's antics are well-known for being cartoonish, but he is shown behind the scenes to be in rather low spirits about Saga's situation and may have held a high school flame for the now deceased Sakura.
- Stealth Mentor: He sends the girls into the mountains in Episode 10 in the hope that Sakura would cool down and remember she's part of a group. It doesn't work, but she gets it after getting an outside look at the others practicing together.
- There are indications that he chose to have the band sing in particularly bad weather in Episode 7, considering Ai's fate. It actually works in his favor as Ai was able to get over her fear, and the girls gave a rather shocking performance as the lightning autotuned their voice and gave them the ability to shoot lasers.
- Sunglasses at Night: He's never seen without his shades, including on a rainy night, inside a sauna, or when bathing. When he does remove them, or they get knocked off, we never see what's underneath.
- Surprisingly Good English: He specifically notes that he used to work in Hollywood, and while his pronunciation needs work he's quite good with his grammar. He's also good with his spelling, although he has trouble with the word "guerrilla".
- Throw It In!: Enforced on his end. When the girls' concerts don't go exactly as planned, he'll improvise on the spot, especially during bad weather.
- Tough Love: It's later suggested that many of his eccentric and more Jerkass actions towards the girls are done out of a desire to help them learn and grow independently.
- Tsundere: He maybe is an eccentric Mean Boss towards the girls including Sakura, but he's also Sakura's classmate who held a high school flame for her and keeps looking out for her even after her ressurection.
- Undying Loyalty: While he claims he has no faith in Sakura, it turns out he's not willing to give up on her even when she's in the depths of depression.
- Vague Age: Assuming he isn't immortal, or had been zombified since, his age should be around 26-27 as he was Sakura's classmate.
- Violence Is Not an Option: For the sake of Franchouchou's reputation, Kotaro tells this to Saki when he figures out she intends to interfere with a gang dispute related to the gang she left behind. He is surprised to find out later that she really did heed these words.
Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Japanese), Austin Tindle (English)
Height/Weight: 167cm (5'6") / 65kg (146 lbs)
- Casanova Wannabe: He seems to think he's some hotshot when it comes to getting the ladies, with him occasionally attempting to flirt with them. Not only do all the girls he interacts with have no reaction to him beyond his policing job, Sakura is outright afraid of getting near him since he reacts poorly to her without make-up.
- Have We Met?: When he meets Sakura again in Episode 3 in makeup, he seems to recognize her but can't remember where. Little does he know she was the zombie he tried to gun down twice.
- Nice Guy: He's shown multiple times to be a polite and friendly cop when he isn't terrified out of his wits, such as when he freestyles somewhat poorly with a group of hooligans in Episode 2 to admonish them for staying out late and picking on girls.
- No Name Given: The show never mentions his name, and he's only credited with the kind of name someone with Nominal Importance would have.
- Not a Zombie: Inverted. Whenever he sees one of the zombies he immediately becomes terrified out of his wits and tries to shoot on sight, completely disregarding the fact the zombies all show sentience and have made no signs of harming him.
- Out of Focus: After the third episode, he's relegated to filling gag roles and doesn't directly confront the zombie aspect of the show until Episode 11.
- Police Are Useless:
- He shoots Sakura for being a zombie, despite Sakura showing human intelligence and speech, and gets knocked out from behind afterwards.
- Subverted when he confronts a biker rally. Despite comically failing to threaten them, they still disperse since he apparently killed the mood.
- Recurring Extra: Despite not having a name, he still makes appearances in more than one episode.
- Snap Back: For a guy who looks as though he's been traumatized each time he has a run-in with one of the zombies, he seems remarkably cheerful and otherwise mentally well by the time he shows up in another episode.
- Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Even though he is more of a threat to the zombies than he realizes they are to him, his reasons for repeatedly trying to kill them on sight are perfectly understandable, as he's just an ordinary, usually affable cop scared out of his mind.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He seems to think he's stumbled into a horror story whenever he runs into the girls, even though they're capable of speech and never move to attack him.
Metalhead A voiced by: Mitsuaki Kanuka (Japanese), Cris George (English)
Metalhead B voiced by: Setsuji Sato (Japanese), Mike McFarland (English)
A pair of Death Metal fans who are present during the zombies' very first performance.
- Accent Adaptation: In the English dub, the skinny metalhead speaks with a Birmingham accent not unlike Ozzy Osbourne.
- Amazon Chaser: When the metalheads witness Saki dropkicking Takeo, the chubby one says that this is why number 2 is the best in his opinion, and claims that it must be nice to be on the receiving end of that, while blushing of course.
- Audience Surrogate: In a more meta, show-specific way than Sakura. Complete outsiders to idol fandom, they're initially confused and irritated when the advertised darkness turns out to be a facade, only to quickly come to love the girls and their work as much as their other interests.
- Fanboys: They become Franchouchou's first dedicated fans after their first performance as Death Musume.
- Fat and Skinny: One's thin and pale, the other's chubby and warm.
- Metalhead: They start out as Death Metal fans, and initially latch onto the girls thinking they are a Death Metal group.
- Multiple Demographic Appeal: During the concert in Episode 9, they remark that the wide array of different people who show up to their concerts is what Franchouchou's all about.
- Nice Guy: They both are, showing worry for Ai when she becomes visibly afraid of lightning in Episode 7 and for the entire band in Episode 12.
- No Name Given: The show doesn't give their names.
- Recurring Extra: Much like Policeman A, both of them appear in multiple episodes despite having little screen time.
- Those Two Guys: Pretty cut-and-dry example of this.
Voiced by: Toru Nara (Japanese), Kent Williams (English)
An ordinary reporter who catches wind of Franchouchou after they appear in a commercial.
- Bait-and-Switch: When he first recognizes one of Franchouchou, the camera doesn't show who he spotted. Then at the Gattalympics he watches them with a pair of binoculars, Sakura is in focus in the shot and is the only one of the group facing towards him which makes it very easy to assume that she's the one who stood out. It's only at the end of the episode that we find out that it's really Junko he noticed.
- Intrepid Reporter: Starts investigating Franchouchou after getting a familiar feeling from "Number 4". The Stinger of the season shows him fully aware of not only her looking identical to the long dead Junko Konno, but "Number 3's" and "Number 6's" resemblances to the more recently deceased Ai Mizuno and Lily Hoshikawa.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Okoba's name is alternatively translated as "Ookoba" in Episode 5.
Voiced by: Tsuyoshi Koyama (Japanese), Christopher Sabat (English)
Lily's father, who was devastated by the loss of his only child, only to see her back from the dead years later.
- Doesn't Know Their Own Child: While he loved his daughter a lot, he was oblivious to many of her problems shortly before she died. He didn't realize Lily didn't care much about her acting career and only wanted to spend quality time with him like they used to. He also didn't have a clear idea of what made her so upset about growing body hair. He tried to calm her down by telling her that's part of growing up, but he couldn't understand Lily didn't want to grow up because it meant developing a male body that would conflict with her female identity.
- Doting Parent: Flashbacks show that he was incredibly doting towards Lily, who herself seemed very happy living with him back when she was still alive. He even immediately quit his job and became Lily's manager when she expressed interest in performing within the television industry, doing his best to make sure that her career was a success. However, he became a bit too engrossed in her career and failed to notice the accumulating stress that she was gathering until it was too late.
- Establishing Character Moment: In his first scene in Episode 8, he walks out of his office when his coworkers put on the TV and is troubled after seeing a cheerful young girl playing nearby. All this shows how much the death of his child affected him.
- Face of a Thug: He's a huge, hulking man with a scar across his left eye, and when he first appears at Franchouchou's photo session, Saki assumes that he must be a loan shark who's trying to collect debts from Kotaro. In reality, he's only there because he thinks Lily's an Identical Stranger who looks like his daughter, and he's a good person deep down.
- Gentle Giant: Despite his gargantuan size and intimidating appearance, he's really amicable to others and generally a quiet and reserved man.
- Manly Tears: He does this upon watching Franchouchou's concert in Episode 8; he remembers the time with Lily and finally manages to move past it.
- Meaningful Name: The kanji for his name literally translate to 'War Man Grand', befitting a thuggish-looking, cartoonishly huge man and keeping with the theme of Lily's birth name.
- The Mourning After: The loss of his wife coupled with the loss of his daughter sends him into deep sorrow. Even after 7 years he is a melancholic and reserved man who cannot even stay in a room with a TV on because of its association with Lily. He could've stayed that way forever, but thanks to his daughter's resurrection and a concert the girls made for him, he finally finds peace and moves on with his life.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: He still hasn't gotten over Lily's death after seven years, unable to watch the TV he so loved anymore because of its relation to the whole ordeal. He regrets his words and actions in her final moments, and can't find closure because of that. Thankfully Lily has returned to life, but because she is a zombie she cannot say goodbye to him directly. So Franchouchou pulls off a concert with a new song specifically targeted for him, with Lily thanking Takeo for all the time they had together and telling that she still loves him. This finally allows him to move on, and he even starts watching TV again. Even though Lily can't confirm that she's actually his daughter, it's clear that Takeo has finally found peace within himself.
- Open-Minded Parent: Zigzagged. While it was clear that he was accepting of Lily's gender choice, he would still call her "Masao" rather than her preferred name, and he also severely underestimated her concerns and worries in relation to her gender identity. During their final pre-mortem conversation, while Lily was distressed over the fact that she was growing body hair, Takeo did his best to assure her that it wasn't a big deal and tried to get her to accept that she was growing up. While it was clear he had good intentions, he ultimately didn't quite comprehend just how devastating the ordeal was for Lily, and the conversation ended up turning into a massive regret that haunted him for years to come.
- Outliving One's Offspring: He was devastated by Lily's death, and still hasn't gotten over it after seven years.
- Parents as People: He loved Lily very much, but after he became her manager and her acting career took off, he became more focused on his daughter's career than her well-being. Years later, it's clear that he regrets being so neglectful.
- Parting Words Regret: He seems to deeply regret how his last words to Lily were him being dismissive over Lily being distressed over growing body hair, due to her being trans and not wanting to go through puberty.
- Punched Across the Room: Takes a kick to the head from 105 lb Saki that somehow had enough power to both do this and knock him out instantly.
- Scars Are Forever: In the present day, he has a noticeable scar across his left eye. After Lily died, during a Blink-and-You-Miss-It moment right before he trashed the television in his house, you can see him actually clawing his own face and creating said scar in despair from the loss of Lily.
- Screen Shake: He's so massive he causes this whenever he walks.
- Stage Dad: A sympathetic example. Once Lily became a rising child star, Takeo became engrossed in his daughter's career. Unlike other examples, he wasn't fame hungry; he was so proud of Lily's talent that he tried his best to make her a successful actress. Unfortunately, he began to neglect Lily's wellbeing along the way, to the point Lily accused him of only caring about how she looked in TV. After Lily died, Takeo realized how his obsession with her success damaged their relationship and came to regret it all. Once Lily sees her father did love her and learned the error of his ways, she forgives him.
- Tears of Remorse: He cries hard in the aftermath of Lily's death, clearly blaming himself for overworking her.
- Tiny-Headed Behemoth: Jesus.◊
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: A flashback shows that Lily's mother was a lot more attractive than he was. It's pretty obvious who Lily got her cute looks from.
Voiced by: Komina Matsushita (Japanese), Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
The former boss of Dorami, and a friend of Saki from when she was still alive. Now a regular housewife, she worries about her daughter Maria's rebellious behavior.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Reiko might be a housewife now, but her brief motorbike ride shows she still has some power behind her. Instead of fighting the rival gang, though, she begs for them to stop, since an actual fight would risk her daughter's life.
- Anger Born of Worry: After Saki repeats the stunt that killed her, Reiko punches her in the face and yells at her for being an idiot, as she was there when Saki died and still has painful memories of when it happened.
- Apologizes a Lot: Reiko is quick to apologize, even when Maria's the one at fault. Maria tells Reiko that this tendency is one of the things that annoys her most about her mother.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Like Saki said to Maria, just because she became a law-abiding housewife does not mean she lost her nerve from her days as a biker.
- Biker Babe: She was one back when she was the boss of Dorami. Though she's now a regular housewife, she's still kept her old motorcycle and hasn't lost her skills at riding it.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before her proper introduction in Episode 9, she makes an appearance in Episode 5 in Saki's flashback to her old biker gang days.
- Former Teen Rebel: She used to be the boss of Saki's biker gang, but now she's an ordinary housewife. However, there are still traces of the old delinquent in her, since she still has her old motorcycle and slips back into harsh speech when she's truly angry.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Even back when she was the leader of Dorami, she told Saki she wanted to eventually settle down and have a normal life, since her parents were divorced and she didn't want her own children to deal with that.
- Motherly Side Plait: She wears her hair this way in the present day, showing how she's now a regular wife and mother.
- Multicolored Hair: She used to have red and blue streaks in her hair back when she was the boss of Dorami.
- Rebuilt Pedestal: Initially, her daughter Maria views her as a spineless weakling since she's no longer the badass biker gang boss she used to be. However, when Reiko confronts Saki after she drives her motorcycle off a cliff, she proves to Maria that just because she's no longer a gang boss doesn't mean she's weak.
- Tragic Keepsake: She still has Saki's old Tamagotchi, which Saki entrusted to her shortly before she died in a biking accident.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is purple. Though she used to have red and blue streaks back when she was part of Dorami, that seems to have just been hair dye.
Voiced by: Aoi Koga (Japanese), Madeleine Morris (English)
Reiko's daughter, and the eighth and current boss of Dorami. She wants to keep the gang alive in defiance of her mother, whom she hates due to viewing her as a spineless weakling.
- Biker Babe: She really wants to be one like her mother, but her gang only consists of her and two other girls, and her girly pink sticker-covered scooter doesn't exactly inspire this image.
- Boisterous Weakling: She talks a big game during a confrontation with Misa, but her voice trembles the entire time, and Saki comments afterwards that Misa would've beaten the tar out of Maria if they had actually come to blows. Given Saki's past combat experience, it's safe to say she accurately judged who was the more dangerous of the two.
- Bullying a Dragon: She makes a bad move trying to pick a fight with Saki, who is not even a little intimidated by her. If anything, Saki gives her a cold "Don't pick fights you're not ready for." Unfortunately, this advice falls on deaf ears, since she subsequently attempts to pick a fight with Misa, another biker delinquent who is way above her level.
- Fangirl: Of Saki as Number 2, in no small part thanks to her badassery in Episode 9.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: She tries her best to become the same biker gang captain her mom was before, as Maria feels her mom lost her nerve. She has a hard time pulling that off when the most her gang has are girly scooters covered in stickers and only two other members who know they're not cut out for it. Saki has to prove her point about knowing her limits by jumping off, and surviving, a bike crash that Misa wouldn't dare to do.
- Miles Gloriosus: Tries to be a tough-talking biker like her mother in the past, but she's quite inept and in over her head doing so.
- Nom de Mom: She goes by her mom's maiden name, Kirishima. Uniquely for this trope, she rejects her mother's married name because she hates what her mom has become, and would rather take after the badass Biker Babe she used to be. It's plot-relevant too, as her using her mother's name is how Saki realizes she's Reiko's daughter.
- Odango Hair: She wears most of her hair loose, but with part of it done up in two small buns. After she threatens Sakura and Lily, Tae bites one of them.
- Ominous Walk: Parodied to hell. She and her gang do this to look threatening to Sakura and Lily, but all it does is make them look silly.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: She once had a healthy relationship with her mom when she was younger, but it all fell to pieces when she discovered Reiko's background. It's implied she dragged her two friends along to be part of her gang, but they're too nice about it.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Despite acting as a tough and surly Japanese Delinquent, she draws the line at harming grade schoolers and lets Lily off the hook when threatening her and Sakura.
Voiced by: Momoko Notomi (Japanese), Morgan Garrett (English)
The tenth boss of the Korosuke biker gang and Maria's rival.
- All There in the Script: Her surname comes from the credits of Episode 9.
- Biker Babe: Comes with being the leader of her all-girl biker gang.
- Graceful Loser: She is nothing but awed by Saki's daring attitude after losing to her in a game of chicken.
- Japanese Delinquents: She is the boss of her own biker gang.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Her hair covers her right eye.
- Red Baron: She is otherwise known as the "Fallen Angel".
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has silver hair.
Voiced by: Hochu Otsuka (Japanese)
A bartender of Kotaro's acquaintance.
- Ambiguously Human: His vague history with Yugiri and his brief confusion of the Zombie Land Saga Project as being about Hizen Province—a territory that was dissolved early in the Meiji period—indicate he's much older than he seems.
- Cryptic Background Reference: A walking one, in that he's our first hint there's a wider story to the setting beyond the girls, and Kotaro is a part of it.
- Greater-Scope Paragon: If it's true that he's Xu Fu, then he's this for the series, being The Man Behind the Man to Kotaro and source of the necromancy which brought the girls back to life.
- Meaningful Name: Not him, but his bar, "New Jofuku". Jofuku is the Japanese name of Xu Fu, court sorcerer of Qin Shi Huang, who was ordered by his boss to seek an "immortality elixir" at the top of the mythical Mt. Penglai but never returned from his quest. He was speculated by later scholars to have ended up in Japan as a king and cultural hero, some stories going so far as to declare Mt. Fuji the "Penglai" of legend. The pictures hanging in the bar (including one of a statue of Xu Fu himself) suggest the association is quite intentional In-Universe, and considering his apparent age, are probably also indications of his identity.
- Mysterious Past: Kotaro told him about the Zombie Land Saga Project, he knows who Yugiri is and that she's part of the project—when as seen in previous episodes the zombies aren't allowed to give their real names or interact with others outside of being idols—and he's protective of her, warning Kotaro to keep his hands off her because he owes her a lot. Kotaro's "And how long ago are you talking?" suggests he may well have known her in her living days, which would make him at least 150 years old. He's also familiar with Kotaro going on about the good old days, a trait he doesn't show around the girls.
- No Name Given: He's called "Master" in the credits, which indicates that he runs the bar he tends, but that's about all we know for certain. Though the name of his bar, the pictures in it, and oddities in his background seem to indicate he's Xu Fu.
- Walking Spoiler: As the amount of white text demonstrates, his existence reveals there's a much deeper story to the series setting than what one may think.