OP: Taiga yo Tomoni Naite Kure 「大河よ共に泣いてくれ」 by Franchouchou
「ぶっ壊れかけのレディオ SAGA」 (Bukkoware Kake no Redio SAGA)
“The SAGA of an Almost-Broken Radio”
As Franchouchou reforms in Episode 02 of Zombie Land Saga Revenge, we’re given a Saki-centric tale of former glory and heart-break. When one of her favorite celebrities, musician and radio disc jockey White Ryu, is brought in to help promote the band, it brings back the old feelings she had of being isolated before she was inspired by White Ryu.
While we got to see how Saki carried herself back in the first season, this episode gives her more depth by taking her personal feelings into account and how White Ryu inspired her. Saki felt like Ryu’s philosophical musings and rowdy music helped break her out of an isolated life as a punk, pushing her to build a friendship with Reiko.
Similarly, this episode gave us a glimpse at Saki’s sensitive side as she reflects on what White Ryu means to her. She did take much of his advice to heart and loved his music, but beyond that, she loved him as a person too. His esoteric perspective on Saga and on life gave Saki a sense of emotional depth as she was able to understand where he was coming from purely from how he expressed his abstract thoughts.
Ultimately though, Saki and White Ryu’s stories were merely intertwined for the both of them to realize they are forced to think way ahead of the past they were so familiar with. White Ryu made the shift quickly as aging and changing times pushed him to shift his focus on taking his stories on the road instead of confining himself to the booth until his audience waned completely.
For Saki though, this push to move on is far more painful. Had fate been kind to her and she outlived the 20th century, she would have been in her late 30’s / early 40’s. The girls’ status as zombies trapped in their bodies from when they passed poses many issues for the girls to achieve any kind of closure when no one can know they’re undead.
In Saki’s situation, her love for White Ryu can never be actualized because, on top of White Ryu being committed to his spiritual journey, she’ll always look like a teenage idol pining for an old man. The career suicide of dating as an idol combined with being permanently stuck as a deceased teenager drives a further wedge into Saki having any of her romantic feelings recognized by anyone, let alone her favorite musician growing up. It makes it all the more depressing when Saki starts sobbing about the realization that her love would never be acknowledged no matter how old she becomes.
It is nice to see that Zombie Land Saga Revenge never lost its touch in handling the emotional gravitas of the bittersweet existence that most of the girls have as zombies who were brought back to life in a time where their friends, family, and inspirations are still alive. The suffering that comes from never being able to reach out to them ever again out of fear of exposing yourself as a zombie is immense enough that it’s impressive that Saki was able to happily carry the torch for Ryu even as he retires and rides away into the sunset.
It’s a sign of positive growth and strength that Saki can take White Ryu’s advice to heart enough to muster up her strength as she takes on White Ryu’s radio show and sings about finding her confidence to keep going. Although it was hard to gauge how Season 02 would fare with the first episode’s slow pace, this one made up for it by expanding on Saki, what makes her strong, and what helps her carry on as she aims to meet up to the expectations she places on herself.