There are dozens of anime series teaching us how hard it is to become a successful idol, but ultimately showing us that everything is possible if you fight for your dreams and practice a lot. But did you know you can become an idol even if you’re dead? That’s right, Zombieland Saga is the story of a man recruiting 7 zombie girls to create an idol unit, wishing to bring Saga city (and the whole prefecture, why not?) back to life. What a metaphor!
Although we can see the girls dancing and singing, this show is more like a rollercoaster of emotions, where one second you’re laughing your head off and then something dramatic just happens to kill the mood. So, are we ready to rank every Zombieland Saga character? Here we go!
10. The Policeman
As you can imagine, Zombieland Saga has a colorful main cast, but we can also find a few recurrent minor characters. One of them is this unnamed police officer who frequently runs into the girls, only to be freaked out of the possibility of the living dead. How come he's not recruiting his fellow cops (or the military, whatever) to hunt these creatures before it's too late? If this were a real zombie outbreak and we depend on him, we'd be so doomed...
The first time we see him is when Sakura runs away from the other zombie girls in the house, trying to help this little girl who looks lost in the rain, only to discover that she's not a normal girl after all. From then on, every encounter with Sakura and her undead friends is more comedic than the one before, and we can't help but laugh at this man's bad luck. We feel you!
Named after George Romero, the director of the famous zombie movie classic Night of the Living Dead, this is a very cute (yet probably deadly too) dog that's also Koutarou's pet. Visibly in a zombie state, Romero usually looks like a sweet blue poodle, but sometimes he can transform into a vicious creature too! It’s like having several dogs in one package!
Romero is your typical comedic relief pet, so we can frequently see him around the girls, just minding his own business until he does something funny out of nowhere... even if no other character notices it. All in all, he has had more screen time than other anime dogs, and we're sure he earned a place in every Zombieland Saga fan's heart. The perks of being a zombie, maybe?
8. Lily Hoshikawa
In the eighth place, we find Lily Hoshikawa, a former child star with a somewhat tragic life. Now in zombie form, Lily still has that happy-go-lucky personality that always cheers her partners, making us laugh with some of her cute occurrences. However, when we say Zombieland Saga is a perfect blend of drama and comedy, Lily definitely has a lot to do with that, but delving into it would mean to spoil a lot... and we obviously don't want that to happen, right?
According to the vast majority of female idols anime, there has to be one sweet, childish, cheerful girl in your lineup, and in Franchouchou, Lily is precisely that! Having such a shiny personality, Lily is the one connecting every other piece in this idol team, making the other girls take a deserved place in the spotlight.
7. Sakura Minamoto
As always happens in this kind of shows, the main character is hardly the fan favorite or the most relatable one, so Sakura Minamoto takes the seventh place and nothing more. Blessed as the unluckiest girl ever, she has always dreamed of being an idol, but we're sure she never thought of dying and becoming a zombie as a requirement. As we said, a girl struggling to become an idol is nothing new in anime, so maybe that's why she ends up like a generic character with the zombie gimmick as the only differentiator.
Sakura is the most proactive and centered of the 7 girls, but also being the most clumsy one she's allowed to have some funny moments too! Her rap battle with Saki is definitely a highlight, just like most of her interactions with Tae. Also, we know we shouldn't be saying this, but her shocking death scenes are something to take into account too. Hey, is that a white van?? Watch out, Sakura!
6. Junko Konno
Next is Junko Konno, the shiest of the group but probably one of the more talented too. Along with Ai, Junko knows exactly what it means and what it takes to become an idol, as she was exactly that before her death. Since she was one of the best idols (if not the best) in the eighties, it's nice to have her contrasting point of view too, creating some conflict with Sakura and the others just because of the age gap (ignoring they're actually dead, that is).
The Legendary Showa Idol, as Koutarou describes her, adds in the mysterious quota to Zombieland Saga, slowly opening herself to the rest of the girls. Beautiful, delicate, and with a striking voice, Junko is the perfect idol that leads the way to her peers. In a comedy anime like this, one could argue that Junko is perhaps the one with the less funny scenes in the show, but who cares? Being an idol is not always fun and games, and we love she's here to remind us.
In her past life, Yuugiri was an oiran (a courtesan) during the Meiji era, so she's probably the most conflicted since now she's not only a zombie but a woman living way in the future, surrounded by technology and stuff she doesn't understand. Aside from her dancing and singing, Yuugiri is also very skilled with the shamisen, a traditional Japanese instrument she's seen playing from time to time.
Even if she's the oldest one, Yuugiri's not afraid of going with the flow and just having fun. As the more mature girl in Franchochou, Yuugiri is the perfect onee-san, and she clearly acts accordingly not only giving her word of advice but also helping resolve some disputes or putting Koutarou in his place when needed. She knows how to be sexy, she knows how to act submissive and provocative, but she also knows how to slap someone if the situation calls for it! How can we not enjoy this girl?! That kansai though!!
4. Ai Mizuno
Meet Ai Mizuno, the former leader of Iron Frill and Sakura's involuntary inspiration into becoming an idol. This dark-haired beauty is everything you could ask for a teen idol, but at the same time, she's a clear example of how much one could change after realizing you're dead and somebody brought you back to life just to take advantage of your talent. Once sweet and cheerful, now Ai is just as skeptical and cold as Junko... making them the perfect couple for the shipping fans!
A queen without a crown, Ai acts as the leader of the team even if she's not officially the leader. After all, she's by far the best dancer plus she also knows how to arrange a song, showing her as the most committed of the girls, even though we know it wasn't always like that. For obvious reasons, Ai isn’t known for being the funniest of the bunch, but we totally remember that time she slapped Koutarou with a baguette!
3. Saki Nikaidou
Part-time yanki, part-time best girl, this one's the coolest character of them all! If you thought all idols are cute snowflakes trying to conquer your heart, then let us introduce you to Saki Nikaidou, probably the most badass idol you'll see in your whole life. Saki was a stubborn biker gang member who would never think of herself becoming an idol, but let us say she does pretty well for a newbie.
She's beautiful, funny, has a lot of guts, and she definitely can put on a show. Yes, "Tokkou Dance" (Saki's song) is one of the best tunes of Franchochou, full of power and that killing lyrics. Still, she also showed skills for rap battling on episode 2! As the leader, Saki protects her new friends as a lioness protects its cubs, but that's not the only reason to love her. Summarizing, Saki's smile is the light leading the way, and if you don't want to follow, a fistfight is a nice plan B for her.
2. Tae Yamada
Wait a minute. Did we just say Saki's best girl? Ok, then it's about time we talk about the absolute, true best girl in Franchouchou: The Legendary Tae Yamada! Tae-chan is a mindless force doing her best to fit in the group, and by "her best" we mean biting and chewing everything and everyone on sight. Unlike the other girls, her past life, along with her cause of death, remain as two of the show's best-kept secrets.
Can she dance? Yeah, kind of. Can she sing? She can growl at least, and she definitely can impersonate a chicken... for what it's worth. But you see, if it wasn't for Tae, Zombieland Saga would be just another generic anime about aspiring idols, as she's the one keeping the zombie spirit alive. She's by leaps and bounds the funniest girl in the show too, reason enough to keep you wanting for more episode after episode. All in all, you only need to go watch an episode (any of them) to understand why Tae Yamada is our #1 girl, even if she's actually #0.
1. Koutarou Tatsumi
Not much is known about Koutarou Tatsumi other than he's the shady producer behind Franchouchou, and the one responsible for reviving these girls. Not just that, but he's able to come up with some incredible makeup skills to make them look like they're still alive. And what a laugh this man is! Sure, from an objective point of view perhaps the girls deserve better, but we grow fond of him, and now there's no way anyone can picture Zombieland Saga without him.
Voiced by Mamoru Miyano, already known for his incredible talent for this type of comic characters, Koutarou has the weirdest occurrences while trying to make his musical project succeed. Frequently screaming or verbally abusing the girls, while at the same time using some English words to sound cool, you never know what Koutarou will do next, but you can be sure it will make you laugh so hard you'll be on the verge of fainting! If you're still wondering why is he the best damn character in Zombieland Saga, please do yourself a favor and go watch the show right now. You're welcome, baka zombie!
These 7 girls have shown that there are no small gigs, only small idols, and none of them is going to give up or throw a tantrum just because stardom is a little difficult to achieve. So here we are, playing some Franchouchou songs in the background and dreaming of a second season, still trying to figure out how an anime about zombie idols became one of the best shows of the Fall 2018 season.
Do you agree with our ranking? Do you feel like sharing with us your favorite moments of Zombieland Saga, or maybe even theorizing about Koutarou's motivations and Tae's pre-zombie life? Leave us a comment down below!