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Characters / Zombie Land Saga: Sakura Minamoto

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Sakura Minamoto (源 さくら) — #1

Disclaimer: All spoilers for season 1 will be unmarked.note 

Voiced by: Kaede Hondo (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
Live actor: Sakiho Motonishi (stage play)
First Appearance: Zombie Land Saga E01
Click here to see Idol Sakura 
Click here to see Zombie Sakura 
Born: April 2, 1991
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)

"If I follow my dreams...I know my future will be filled with happiness and excitement! Here I goooo~"

A high school student and aspiring idol from Karatsu who got fatally hit by a truck at the start of her second year in 2008. She is the first zombie to regain her faculties, but is also the only one who can't remember anything about when she was alive. She's something of a klutz and a pushover, but does her damnedest to make the best of her situation.
Sakura spends the first season trying to regain her human memories, catching glimpses anytime Franchouchou performs live. By Revenge, after fully regaining both her pre-and-post-mortem lives, she becomes much more level-headed while retaining her cheery personality.


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  • The Ace: She's proven to be incredibly talented in many fields. As an idol she's a skilled singer, dancer, and team player. 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 of 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. In fact, she was such an ace that the curse immediately saw her as a major threat with heavy potential, before she ever actually even tried anything that might revitalize the Saga prefecture. Even fellow aces like Lily and Ai had time to build up their careers before the curse killed them.
  • 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.
  • All-Loving Hero: Sakura is very kind and loving to everyone by nature, and is all in all an empathetic, selfless and innocent individual. Her caring, sweet nature which is shown in easily bonding with others, taking her time to care for Tae, and defrosting Ai, is clearly what makes her the emotional center of her group.
  • Ambiguous Situation: There’s been little to nothing revealed about her family or her life at home, despite being a citizen of Saga. In the first episode there are three other pairs of shoes next to hers, implying she was living with her parents and possibly a sibling. However, she never mentions anything about her family after regaining her memories.
  • 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 first 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 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 to do so, but was plagued by sheer bad luck and had lost motivation at one point in her life. This made Sakura an audience surrogate for the tried-but-failed overachievers, especially those who had experienced 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. 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 about Lily's trans identity.
  • Birds of a Feather: When Maimai joins Franchouchou (albeit temporarily), the two quickly hit it off, as both are nice, rather clumsy girls who are determined to do the best they can. In fact, Sakura realizes that Maimai is a lot like her when she speaks of the Arpino concert, namely the stage collapsing yet the girls getting back up anyway and singing (Sakura in particular), which really spoke to and inspired her, much like how Sakura was inspired by Ai in life.
  • Book Smart: She's been shown to get very good grades before being killed and becoming a zombie.
  • 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.
    • The reveal in Revenge that Saga is cursed, and anyone who might bring it to prominence will suffer an untimely death, means that Sakura really was born unlucky.
  • 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 has Sakura temporarily lose 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: Most of her efforts to achieve success 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.
  • Buffy Speak: Whenever Sakura does the Previously on… segments, she turns into a rather ineloquent mess that just rambles on.
  • 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?" note 
  • Cheery Pink: She's a sweet and optimistic girl with a strong association with pink.
  • 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.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Sakura is clearly gifted and competent in both academics and athletics, but she's also clumsy, naive, a bit of a pushover, and incredibly unlucky, which curses her until she dies and becomes a zombie. And misfortune still continues later on, yet she pushes through despite her temporarily becoming depressed and pessimistic.
  • Cool Big Sis: Sakura develops this dynamic with Lily when the latter is going though emotional turmoil from meeting her dad for the first time in years as a zombie, with Sakura there to provide comfort and support. Sakura is also the first member of the group that Lily comes out to as trans. In episode 5 of Revenge, Sakura does her best to support Lily's talent show performance.
  • 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.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Her whole life before death was a string of misfortunes that inhibited any progress for a successful life. Her pursuits in athletics, education, and so on were all halted by seemingly random phenomena like injury and illness, and then right when her life turned around she was killed by a truck. Even after becoming a zombie and idol, all sorts of nonsensical events like natural disasters and the shenanigans of her fellow idols start to wear down her confidence once again. The fact that this is all due in part to the curse of Saga makes this trope more literal than it seems.
  • 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.
  • 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 with 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.
  • The Defroster: She plays this role to Franchouchou's Defrosting Ice Queen, Ai Mizuno. Ai begins the series in a deep state of cynicism, both over her death and revival as a zombie, and being expected to perform in an idol group for a prefecture with little to no impact compared to her home in Tokyo. Seeing Sakura's determination to become an idol spurns Ai to return to her performer roots and help coach the other girls in becoming better idols themselves.
  • Déjà Vu: Throughout the first season, Sakura pieces together bits of her memory by experiencing familiar moments.
    • The excitement of the performance at Geil's triggers a flashback of her watching Iron Frill's performance years ago, the memory of which lingers on her long after the performance ends.
    • Watching Ai perform does the same thing, as she flashes back to the performance she saw of the latter.
    • Seeing Junko getting hit by a van triggers subconscious memories of her death, though it's Played for Laughs.
      "Woah, why does this feel familiar?..."
      Junko's slams down onto the pavement
    • By episode 10, she deliberately tries to rush the girls' practice so they'll be prepared for the Arpino concert sooner, thinking that it'll be the final key to unlocking her memories. This causes a lot of problems for her until the end of the episode.
  • Determinator:
    • Sakura is at first the only member of the main group to actually try and become a zombie idol, believing that even as in her undead state, she can still become a great idol one day and refuses to give in to the cynicism of her peers. This optimism eventually sways the others into joining suit.
    • Episode 10 shows 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, falling lifelessly to the ground after being hit by a truck.
  • Ditzy Genius: Sakura is clearly shown to be definitely intelligent and skilled in academics and sports, but she's also rather naive and clumsy.
  • 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 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. This slowly phases out in Revenge where now that the two have established a stronger familiarity and trust, she's more willing to call him out when gets out of hand.
  • Eye Pop: Starting in Revenge, whenever she experiences a major startling shock, her eyes bulge out of their sockets so strongly they literally just pop out, forcing her to scramble about trying to grab them and put them back in.
  • 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, including the others' efforts. 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, the curse placed upon Saga 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 "mistakes and failures aren't a bad thing" attitude as well as her performances snapped Sakura out of her learned helplessness when life kept getting her down. When that same depression and 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: She proves to be a natural rapper and lyricist out of seemingly nowhere.
  • 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.
  • Identity Amnesia: Getting hit by a truck at the beginning of the series causes her memories of her life, and even her name to completely disappear on her.
  • 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 if quite clumsy.
  • Intergenerational Friendship:
    • Out of all the girls, she's the closest to Kotaro, their producer. When he's not enforcing his Bad Boss persona, he's quite gentle with her and does what he can to help her achieve her idol fantasy. Though it's Played With when it's revealed that the two were close in high school, meaning Kotaro is actually chronologically in the same age group as her, even though she's still physically seventeen.
    • With Tae as well, who is a decade older than her and the other girls. Sakura frequently acts as The Caretaker to her and helps Tae better grasp the girls' idol routines. Tae in return is very loyal and affectionate towards her.
  • 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 (zombie) self. In Episode 10, she unknowingly slips back into old habits and becomes so determined to continue practicing as a way to regain her memories, she falls out-of-sync with the rest of the group and thinks she's not at fault. 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 Knights Who Say "Squee!":
    • Averted at first. Getting to work with Ai, the idol who inspired her when alive, should be a dream come true for her. But her amnesia makes her forget the moments she spent admiring Ai.
    • Played Straight Once her memories return across both of her lives, and she starts reacting to Ai with the same kind of wonder she had before.
  • 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:
    • Sakura's demise right in the beginning of the show. She wakes up one sunny morning, listens to her favorite song, gets her idol application paperwork together, steps out the front door, and promptly meets the business end of a speeding truck.
    • By Revenge, Sakura now really does look both ways to avoid getting hit by another vehicle.
  • The Lost Lenore: Episode 12 implies that she was an old friend of Kotaro, as her death motivated him to revive her as a zombie.

  • Mental Health Recovery Arc: The last few episodes of Season 1 focus on the reappearance of Sakura's depression after she regains her memories of her life, where her mental health was much worse than the dedicated upbeat zombie the rest of Franchouchou knew. Once the girls continue singing after the roof caves in at their biggest concert yet, she realizes her friends will support her through her failures and starts to recover.
  • Mic Drop: She throws the mic after her rap battle with Saki.
  • Morality Pet: She's one for Kotaro. They were seemingly close in high-school, and her death hit him hard enough that he decided to revive her years later. While still kind of an ass to her as part of his producer act, he believes in her dream to become an idol and does whatever he can to help her succeed.
  • 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".
  • 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 able to be 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).
    • Even her more pessimist self when alive fit this trope, as she was willing to help the old ladies on her way to exam, knowing fully that such action can lead to her being late.
  • Odd Friendship: With the hot-blooded Saki.
    • Their friendship was borne from Saki witnessing firsthand Sakura's competitive side, not to mention the fact that they're both natives of Kyushu. While Saki does tend to drag her into a lot of her mischief, the two have a strong emotional trust in each other through it all.
    • Come Revenge, Sakura accompanies Saki in her pursuit to keep White Ryu from retiring his show. She later comforts Saki when the latter is heartbroken and in tears after realizing Not Growing Up Sucks, only to hilariously start sobbing herself..
  • 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. Everyone else in Franchouchou accomplished some incredible achievement in life which made them relatively famous, while Sakura was never able to get a career going.
  • Performance Anxiety: In her earlier performances she shows hints of this. Though it's Justified by her inexperience performing as an idol and having to deal with the extremely stressful circumstances at the given time.
    • In the first episode, she can't help but be completely overwhelmed as she's set to perform what's shaping up to be a disastrous debut for the zombie idols. She can do nothing but timidly introduce the group to an increasingly impatient audience. Though once the music gets going and her bandmates are stimulated, she lets loose and gives a (literally) head-banging performance that riles the crowd.
    • In episode 3, she freezes up upon blanking on her lyrics to the song, worrying her groupmates and staggering their performance. It's not until Ai and Junko jump in to help that things turn around.
  • 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.
  • Pink Means Feminine: She's easily one of the most traditionally feminine members of Franchouchou. She dresses cute and girly, plays into gendered archetypes like Cherry Blossom Girl, and riffs on a lot of other idol anime cliches which are generally geared towards feminine aesthetics. So no surprise that pink is so core to her design.
  • Plot-Triggering Death:
    • Sakura dies barely a minute into the beginning of the whole series. She then wakes up again only to soon realize she's now a zombie.
    • Her sudden death is heavily implied to be what set Inui to take on the identity of "Kotaro Tatsumi" and create Franchouchou.
  • Prone to Tears: She's one of the most openly emotional members of Franchouchou, often tearing up under high stress or being the first to cry during very emotional scenes.
    • Near the end of Episode 7, she cries at the end of their first major outing at Saga Rock, with Ai and Junko comforting her. She does this again after their second EFS concert.
    • Seeing Saki cry in Revenge leaves her absolutely sobbing. But then her body shrivels up from dehydration.
  • 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 her life prior to the start of the series is revealed.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Sakura has her limits where she releases her anger:
  • "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. Sakura's cheery, optimistic, and prone to bouts of intense anxiety, but is also more than willing to stand up for herself if pushed past her limits. Ai on the other hand is very focused, professional, asserts herself as a group leader, and is very calculated when pursuing success for Franchouchou.
    • She's more the Blue Oni though relative to Saki, the Red Oni. Saki is even more brash and impulsive, befitting the archetype, and tends to be the most rebellious member of the group. Sakura on the other hand finds herself having to mediate Saki's passion and keep the two of them from getting into even worse trouble.
  • 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.
  • Running Gag: Her head popping off her body, and later, her eyes popping out of their sockets.
  • 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. And even though she was never an actual idol, she's got a myriad of skills in performance and group coordination, letting her keep pace with a group of much more experienced performers.
  • 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.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: It's subtle, but on occasion she seems to think along the same lines as Kotaro. During her "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Saki in the 2nd episode (shortly before it became a rap battle), she called Saki a stupid zombie much like he did to the group prior. Then in Revenge's final episode, Sakura expresses that "No god or devil will stop us" when it comes to not letting anything stand in Franchouchou's way, even a potential repeat of the EFS disaster; Kotaro had similar thoughts after Sakura's death.
  • 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: The very beginning of the anime - Sakura wakes up one sunny morning, listens to her favorite song, gets her idol application paperwork together, steps out the front door, and promptly meets the business end of a speeding truck. And it's depicted in grotesque detail just for the laughs.
  • 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 Episode 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. She, Saki, Tae, and Lily all press their faces hungrily against the window of a yummy-looking patisserie.
  • Tareme Eyes: To highlight her niceness and kind-hearted personality.
  • Taught by Experience: Played for laughs, but Episode 6 of Revenge shows, after being involved in two different vehicle-on-pedestrian accidents, she finally learns to watch for oncoming traffic.
  • 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 for, watching an interview with Ai and following the latter's career with Iron Frill 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.
  • Zombie Apocalypse Hero: Sakura shows herself to be one in Episode 1, upon waking up in a mansion inhabited by zombies, being able to fend them off with nothing but a fireplace poker and managing to escape... only to discover she herself is a zombie. But hey, had circumstances been different, she would have made for an exceptional version of this trope.


Video Example(s):


Sakura vs Saki (ENG)

Kotaro turns the two girls arguing on stage into a battle rap by adding beatboxing.

How well does it match the trope?

4.73 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / BattleRapping

Media sources: