「だってセンチメンタル SAGA」 (Datte Sentimental Saga)
“Because It`s Sentimental Saga”

Turmoil is building up with our latest episode of Zombieland Saga as we get deeper into the backstories of Ai and Junko. With our first major rift in Franchouchou being between the two most experienced idols in the group, it gives the anime a chance to provide a juxtaposition between the pop idols of the 1980’s and the idol groups that surfaced around the time AKB48 became massive. It also gives their other bandmates an opportunity to learn a little more about the idol industry, reflect on their newfound fanbase, and try to make sure that they can help the two make amends.

One of the questions I’ve been waiting to be answered is whether they will bring up Junko’s career in a way that reflects back on how much idols have changed within the past three decades. Especially with the resurgence of the City Pop genre on YouTube, seeing from the perspective of a pop idol from that time period is a topic of fascination for those of us who caught on. This episode doesn’t disappoint as Junko reaches her breaking point with a lot of the contemporary trappings of idol work with her horror in being involved with fan interaction events. Much of the appeal of idols in her day were through the lack of accessibility fans had with idols as celebrities, rendering them as a symbol of making your dreams come true. Junko’s obsession with both carving out her own path and making sure that her fans can look up to her as the perfect idol, just as she looked up to her idols who inspired her to be a performer, is reflected in her immediate revulsion of meeting fans and her feelings on her past life. Right when she was just starting to reach the same level as her heroes, she was caught in a plane crash over Saga. As such, Junko’s mentality reached its status because she worked so hard to become her ideal self that now that she’s woken up in a timeline where all of her efforts would be in vain, there would be a lingering resentment over the idea that she worked this hard to reach perfection only for her successors decades later to reinvent the genre to encourage a diamond-in-the-rough image that puts their flaws front and center to appeal to fans who can see idol group members as accessible and obtainable.

But sadly, Ai and Junko are on the opposite sides of this episode’s dilemma as her background contrasts sharply as a newer idol from the late 2000’s who was able to achieve success through the new model of being more approachable to fans. By performing on the stage and going out of her way to meet with fans and relate to them, Ai has a personal investment to contemporary idol trappings like meet-and-greets and photo ops where she is able to hang out with fans, give out merch, and build a deeper relationship with her fanbase regardless if her image is meant to capitalize on her status as a passionate rookie. Her dedication to the grind as a newer idol also gives her authority on how the band should persevere through conventional idol activities if they are going to make it as a band, but her lack of empathy towards the other girls who come from different eras and periods ends up blowing up in her face now that Junko is fearful and repulsed by the idea of showing up in front of fans as an unpolished novice. Although they’re at odds with each other, they should have been able to be on the same wavelength as successful pop stars struck down at their prime. Ai also refuses to believe that her dream ended so soon when she was struck by lightning at the height of her very short career, which is extremely rough given how public and brutal her demise was.

This episode’s developments are highly optimistic of how far the show is willing to go with its narrative. Rather than getting too comfortable with the girls reacting comically to idol work, this episode bears both Ai and Junko’s souls as we learn about what makes them tick, why they are passionate and defensive about what they do, and why their untimely end contributes to how they feel about being resurrected as idols. It sets precedence for how the rest of the series will take form with the possibility of the other girls being able to come into their own as Ai and Junko have. More specifically, their conflict has shown the nuance that Saki brings to the show with her ability to level with people giving her the opportunity to talk with and comfort Ai as she faces a thunderstorm. Additionally, the girls are starting to get flashes of their memory back together with the flash of a camera sending Ai into a state of shock and Sakura slowly remembering her own memory of Ai back when she performed for Iron Frill. The next ep is looking to have the girls take part in the Saga Rock festival, which should prove to be a challenge as the girls are still reeling from what they know of Ai and Junko’s life and rebirth.



  1. I think everyone agrees that Ai’s way of dying couldn’t have been any more legendary and awesome…. just as long you don’t come back up as a zombie and develop a phobia against it. Though I’d imagine some people are crazy enough to still be okay with dying by lighting all over again LOL

  2. This show is great when it let’s the zombie antics run wild. This show is meh when they focus on forced drama. This episode was meh. Last episode was great. Why does it have to be all one way or the other?

  3. I look at Ai and I am reminded of something Meat Loaf said, “That if he has more than enough energy after a show to get himself to bed, then I have given a bad show, the fans deserve better.” The first video that Sakura was watching before her date with a truck, Ai was heaving for air after her number. She is clearly a high energy idol, who gives everything on stage. Junko is more of a slow burn, with a finely crafted persona, she may also be a shy girl with an enormous talent. Junko also spent all her energy (and time) crafting her skills so she can shine bright on stage. They are both amazing idols who were at the top of their game when destiny struck (pun for Ai intended), they just happen to be on separate spectrums of the idol business.

  4. Well, what are the strength of Zombies in all kind of Movies and such.. Their inhuman strength? Of course, but i do not mean this strength.. I mean their unlimited hunger for “Brains”!!

    So and here they are memorizing an dance cerography…

    I think they cherry picking just the “good” effects of being an Zombie.. unlimited no need of Sleep, Hunger (except for Brains!) and you can not work them to death, they are already 🙂

  5. Junko’s side of the idol industry just instantly makes me think of Saber / King Arthur in Fate/stay night. She stood on a tall pedestal and was seen as a stunning, regal, brave, etc. person that others should aspire to be like, but at the same time, she was “unreachable”. She always kept herself at a distance from everyone else because she felt that she HAD to in order to be “a good king” and for the people to become better.

    However, the method ended up backfiring on her because it caused the citizens, and even members of the Round Table itself, to doubt, resent, and eventually betray her because of not seeming human and thus NOT a good king BECAUSE she couldn’t truly relate to the people.

    1. OH NOES!
      Not Fate comparisons.

      I disagree.
      You see, think this way.
      Junko’s idols are examples of great persons that you aspires to be. They may be unreachable, but that distance fires you to work to be as great as them, at least as great as you can be. To pursuit perfectness in yourself.
      Ai’s idols are just girls that you, even you, miserable and pitiable as you are can reach. They give you a reason to not cry so much in your sleep, someone that you can have a sense of entitlement and be made when they fail to massage you ego. Boo!
      Junko’s idols represent decency, moral, satisfaction. They share they happiness with themselves and the world with you.
      Ai’s idols will work to death to justify the cursed attention of their fans. Super boo!

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