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Nightmare Fuel / Zombie Land Saga

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zls_lily_hallway.jpg
While Zombie Land Saga has its share of funny moments, there are still times when it incorporates the "Horror" part of its Horror Comedy genre.
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  • The girls' appearances as zombies gives us clues as to how mangled their bodies were upon death and foreshadows how they may have died long before the actual cause is revealed. The fact they all have visible signs of their cause of death can be disquieting, to say the least.

Episode 1

  • Sakura is in a strange dark mansion all by herself and being chased by zombies after waking up. Sure, it becomes a Horror Comedy not long after, but for a viewer who doesn't know that yet, the scene can be legitimately terrifying, especially for those who watched or played horror titles which focus on being confined in dark rooms with malevolent entities, like Corpse Party.
    • Also, when Sakura comes face to face with her soon-to-be zombie friends (shortly after escaping from a feral Tae), you get to see Junko, Yugiri, Saki, Lily and Ai (in that order), in their pre-awakening phase. Complete with dramatic, horrific close-up shots of them. Yugiri and Lily seems to have the most scariest shots out of the bunch, with Yugiri's fucked up, ghastly expression as both of her hands reach out to Sakura; and Lily making a whimpering moan while seemingly drooling in a way that's not too far away from how a zombie would drool in an actual horror film.
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  • The entire scene with the cop. The moment Sakura steps forward to ask for help, and we see a close-up shot of the cop's face, who at this point, is completely freaking out. After a dramatic build-up, we see Sakura's zombie look for the very first time, as lightning flashes to an extreme close-up on her horrific, rotting face- with Sakura giving out an expression of utter hopelessness. She then gets shot, pulls off an unnerving backward bend, and falls down to stare listlessly at the sky, before fainting. Ouch.
  • The audience at their first concert is in awe of they are able to head bang to such an extreme. One commenting that it's like their necks are all broken. Cue a side shot of Sakura's head to show thats exactly the case. Complete with the slightest sound of bones breaking.

Episode 2

  • Kotaro shows the girls a quick sequence of shots involving zombies getting gruesomely murdered. Not only is it gory, the artwork is surprisingly realistic and disturbing. This is deliberate nightmare fuel on his part, trying to show the girls the very real risk of being a zombie; suffice it to say that for Sakura at least it worked quite well.
  • Sakura's brief trip out of the mansion with Ai and Junko is quite scary. The eye-popping instance is disturbing, the girls react with surprisingly realistic fear to strange men coming up to them in the middle of the night, and again their attempt to get help from an authority figure is undermined with their frightening looks leading to a gun shot at them.
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    • A shot from that scene, only in the dubbed version, has the girls show up under the light with their creepy (to the human eye) zombie looks. What makes this scarier in the dub, is Ai saying "HELP US." in the most chilling way imaginable, whereas she says nothing in the original Japanese version.

Episode 4

  • Sakura, Saki and Junko sneak out during their trip to hit the hot spring, and it quickly turns into this for their sponsor. First Sakura loses her head trying to sneak back in, only for it and her body to float to the sponsor. Then Saki and Junko jump out, scaring her more and sending her running. The screaming wakes up the rest of the girls, who come out to investigate, with the sponsor running into each of them as she's trying to escape. It scares her so bad she completely forgets about everything that happened the day before.
    • Among the zombie girls the sponsor bumps into, Lily's scene is easily the most terrifying and the one that makes use of numerous Horror tropes. Dark, flickering hallway with someone getting close as soon as the lights black out? Check. A view from the first-person perspective of the "victim"? Check. Someone's face instantly taking up the entire screen as soon as she reveals her eyes? Check. Contortionist-like bending of limbs and jerky movements? (That part was Tae though) Check. And the background music during this scene? Eerie sounds of a crying baby.
    • Shortly after Lily's moment in that sequence, we see the sponsor bump into Yugiri, who is elegant and beautiful enough from the back to fool the sponsor into thinking that Yugiri is someone she could ask for help. Unfortunately, Yugiri does not have her make-up on, and unwillingly attempts to help the sponsor out, with Yugiri performing a Face-Revealing Turn to the sponsor. We never knew if Yugiri was genuinely trying to help her out, or was doing this on purpose.

Episode 6

  • We now learn about the events surrounding Ai and Junko's deaths:
    • Junko was heading to Saga until the plane she was riding on crashed. Can't imagine what it was like having to witness yourself falling from an extreme height, trapped inside a death trap while hundreds of people screamed for their lives before they died. Its impact on Junko's Shrinking Violet nature is understandable.
    • Ai was struck by lightning during a performance and burned into charcoal where she stood, in front of thousands of people and likely on live television. Ai's friends and the audience were so completely devastated that even after ten years, they are still reeling from that traumatic event. Ai herself is now terrified of both thunderstorms and performing outdoors.
    • Given their current states, it's implied the immediate aftermaths of their deaths were gruesome affairs that left the poor idols' remains mangled, with Ai being charred to a point her body was irreparably scarred and disfigured beyond recognition, except the eye area and seemingly hair, requiring her to be bandaged up when she was resurrected, while the plane crash most likely reduced Junko to pieces upon impact, hence why she appears stitched up.
    • Both of them also shows signs of PTSD when they are confronted with things related to their death, Junko is afraid of heights, while Ai is afraid of storms and freezes up when she hears lightning and thunder, implying that they didn't die instantly

Episode 7

  • Ai works herself so hard that she starts hallucinating about lightning. Bad enough for an ordinary girl, but as a zombie she's been shown to be able to endure all-nighters. Even Saki is disturbed, trying to get her to relax a little—but, no, Ai cannot focus on anything else.

Episode 9

  • The whole episode is rife with Adult Fear for Reiko. First her daughter keeps trying to keep her old biker gang going, despite only having two other members and being HIGHLY unqualified for the role. Then she has to run out on bike to stop her daughter from performing the same stunt that killed her best friend. Finally, she has to witness somebody who looks like (and is) said best friend performing that stunt and getting the exact same result—a deadly crash and burn.

Episode 10

  • Sakura gets hit by a truck again, in the exact same manner as in Episode 1. The thing that makes it terrifying is that she doesn't move right afterwards. She just lies there on the ground with Romero freaking out over her corpse, and the chilling implication that she's died for real this time. She does get back up and her memories of her old life have returned, but she's completely forgotten everything about being a zombie.

Episode 11

  • While it's offset by the comedic reactions of Saki and Lily, Sakura once again wakes in a house full of monsters without the knowledge that she herself is one of them. Made even worse this time as all of the others have glowing red eyes and the soft cracks of their limbs moving permeate the air as Sakura stares in horror, barely able to contain a scream.

Episode 12

  • Tae goes berserk, crashing through the attic window and grabbing the scruff of Sakura's shirt with her mouth. For a brief moment, it seems like she has gone fully and dangerously feral... but, fortunately, she was just carrying Sakura to the dance studio to try to reconnect with her.
    • The dubbed version takes this moment a step further, with Tae's voice becoming much, MUCH more demonic and distorted sounding via the use of voice filtering. Compare the shot of her screaming angrily in both versions. The sub has her screaming in much anger from being ignored, but in the dub? She's fucking lost her mind from Sakura's disrespect to the whole group, and even Tae herself; causing her anger to skyrocket beyond hell.
  • The weather causes the stage to collapse on the girls in front of a large crowd, and silence falls. What must have been running through everyone's mind...?
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