「ウォーミング・デッド SAGA」 (Warming Dead Saga)
“Warming Dead Saga”
This week’s Zombieland Saga takes a trip to the nearby town in the Saga prefecture, Ureshino. Kotarou’s connections with Hisanaka Pharmaceuticals gave him an idea for Franchouchou’s next gig at Ureshino Hot Springs. Although Kotarou addresses that he wants the girls to train during their entire visit and avoid drawing attention as zombies in heavy makeup, they have other ideas in mind to let loose, have a good time, and learn about one another.
An important development that has surfaced during Franchouchou’s trip to Ureshino is the skepticism that they have over the circumstances that result in them becoming zombie idols. With cremation as a go-to method of laying the deceased to rest, they are confused as to not only how they died, but also how they were able to become zombies if they were supposed to be cremated. On top of this, they question who exactly Kotarou is and what he knows. During the episode, he drops his eccentric manager act to discuss his business relationship with a Hisanaka Pharmaceuticals representative and his interests in revitalizing the Saga prefecture, but because this scene was around the same time they questioned his identity at the foot bath, it raises further suspicion in Kotarou’s lack of transparency. Their conversation also fuels Ai’s discomfort with being a part of a group that was gathered together with little experience of what an idol group does, let alone the idea that they still have to play along with Kotarou, but she is willing to still be a part of the band as long as they’re able to perform without any problems.
The fourth episode also takes the effort to develop the bonds between the girls as they learn about each other and the world around them. Even though she has taken to calling Lily by the nickname “Shrimpy”, Saki is one of the friendliest and down-to-earth members of the group as she encourages Franchouchou to explore Ureshino and gives both Sakura and Junko the inspiration to sneak into the hot springs overnight to enjoy themselves without feeling cooped up in such a neat town. The second lease at life that resurrection gives some of the girls is also heart-warming with Yuugiri’s enthusiasm about experiencing the modern age. There is a comforting element to how someone from centuries ago like Yuugiri would not only be excited about the changes society has gone through since her time, but also reflect on how nice it is that she gets to experience the present day with her new friends. Similarly, it is very cute to see Junko start to warm up to her bandmates as she asks to join Sakura and Saki in the hot springs, and is open about her anticipation about growing together as a group.
Overall, it was a solid episode that didn’t feel as locked into the trappings of an idol show like the last episode did. Even if the CG was still in part of the dance scenes, it didn’t feel as distracting as the guerilla performance, and they helped to make their live performance for the company amusing with how they kept slapping dermal patches on themselves and their audience in spite of the on-screen warnings the show gave us earlier. There were also some cute and funny moments with the girls hanging out by Ureshino’s hot spots from the shrines and fish statues to the foot bath and hot springs. The hot springs hang-out devolving into a horror scene with the pharmaceutical rep running away from the zombie girls was another hilarious moment that took their status as zombies into account. Koutarou’s behavior in the beginning was also entertaining, but it’ll be intriguing to see what happens with him as the story progresses with the skepticism that Franchouchou has about his actions and role in their resurrection.