Zombie Land Saga has had a fantastic, whirlwind start, which means eventually, things have to start slowing down. This is what we saw in episode 3, the series’ weakest so far. Despite its various shortcomings, however, we still wouldn’t class it as a bad episode, and here’s why.
The Group Dynamic
We mentioned in our review of episode two that we’d likely see more of Junko and Ai. This turned out to be true, as they helped Sakura out during a crucial moment in this week’s performance. As experienced idols themselves, they’ve probably encountered common problems like forgetting the lyrics a million times in the past, and as such, are well-positioned to help lead the group (now named Franchouchou) to success.
Even Tae, who as yet, has not woken up, is starting to get more involved. Her demeanour has changed, and she seems less bitey. In fact, in episode three, she was even able to make her way through a full dance routine. Could these zombies be capable of learning?
More Great Music
This was the first time we’ve seen actually idol-style music from the group. The song itself was fine, but the performance was undermined pretty significantly by what can only be described as “bad CG”. Now, this is a completely understandable compromise. After all, studios only have a week to make each episode, and that’s not really enough time to animate several minutes of highly choreographed dancing.
However, it was a little shoddily done. The cast looked wildly out of place, and more than anything else, it was distracting. This was a real shame, particularly as the performances are supposed to be the highlight of each episode.
Fewer Jokes But More Plot
Sooner or later, you have to cool it with the jokes to move the story forward. Zombie Land Saga did just that, showing us how the other members of the band felt, how they practise, and how they interact. There was a particularly telling line from the manager this time around “The other girls are zombies but they’re trying to live”. Perhaps Kotaro really isn’t all that interested in creating an idol group after all? Could it be that he’s actually a nice guy underneath his brash exterior?
There was a preview for next week’s episode too, which showed the group visiting a hot spring. It’s a little early for a filler episode, so here’s a prediction: a small set and fairly simplistic animation next week, but a fifth-episode performance that goes all out on the special effects.