「純情エレクトリック SAGA」 (Junjou Erekutorikku SAGA)
“Pure-Hearted Electric SAGA”
Episode 04 of Zombie Land Saga Revenge concludes the two-parter centered around Junko trying to deal with the pressure of taking on the mantle as the band’s lead as Ai is temporarily excused from the event. But after the last episode’s bombshell reveal that Shiori of Iron Frill is actively pursuing Ai to poach her from the band, it adds even more worries to Junko’s plate.
I was really pumped about getting more background on how Junko operates and what she excels at. As a solo idol from over 30 years ago, she brings quite a bit of expertise that we wouldn’t have gotten from the less-experienced idols in the group. She was used sparingly in the first season with a few minor bumps in the road she faced as she dealt with the differences between solo idols and idol groups.
These discrepancies would eventually feed into her current insecurity of not comparing to Ai and being detrimental to the group if Ai ends up agreeing to Shiori’s proposal. It was a relief that the misunderstanding of Ai not outright rejecting the idea of leaving the group was put to rest quickly. But at the same time, it is too bad that Junko’s main problem ended up being her misreading Ai’s shock as potential interest in leaving the band.
Luckily enough, the last half of the episode looks to be the point where Junko is able to spark enough confidence in herself to help carry the band as well as Ai could. It was funny how Kotaro’s pep talk to get her to “smash” her way through the talent, spirit, and joy that lay dormant within her ended up inspiring her to smash his prized guitar. Through Junko’s motivation, there is a little minor ship-teasing with Ai as their friendship is rekindled in such a passionate way.
But through her act of perking up and patching things back up with Ai, we actually got some really good musical segments this time around. One is a rap song where Junko takes the lead and shreds on an electric guitar while Yamada Tae kicks off their set with a drum solo, and another being a version of “Awaken Returner” that had an electronic autotuned twist to it because they allowed electrical currents to pass through each other.
There wasn’t any major suspicion with the girls being zombies, but their zombie-ness does have some long-lasting consequences in this episode. Particularly, Shiori aspiring to capture the same glory her main inspiration gave her. There is a sad juxtaposition between Ai being inspired by Junko’s music and Shiori being inspired by Ai’s output. Even after making it to Iron Frill, Shiori would barely have the time to perform with Ai before her untimely passing.
This detail isn’t lost on Yui, who urges her to move forward without being so caught up in the past that she would let herself become emotionally wrapped up in the idea of having her memories of Ai live vicariously through a “lookalike”. Ai’s resolve to stay with Franchouchou might have allowed Iron Frill to eagerly declare the group as their main competition, but it doesn’t look like the end of their zombie-related troubles. With the next episode focusing on Lily’s past as a child star, it’s looking like the girls will have more opposition to deal with than disgruntled idol fans or pervy cops.