First off, joking about death is not cool. At all.
However, what if we change it to zombies? Talking zombies. Talking zombies that can think. Talking zombies that can think, and feel emotions just like us. Then, we add someone to manage them; a ridiculously serious, enigmatic, and goofy idol producer.
At this point, everything is meant to go wrong already—horribly wrong. But, how? To what extent?
Many say that comedy is subjective, but then again, there must be something out there that can tickle your bone, as well as mine. It doesn’t need to fancy, as long as the punch line is there. While typing this post, I’ve actually invented a new word: plagarism.
Bam. Did I get your attention for a split second there?
Zombieland Saga, preys on this—the undivided attention of the audience—with its well-timed editing of the characters’ action and their dialogues. In fact, it feeds on it. Whenever there are events unraveling, you’ll notice how one action can completely flip the mood of the situations. These comedic moments, envelop the show with the reaction shots on the characters when things happened.
One look at their facial expressions, and another look at the situation.
It employs the most basic thing in comedy that we’ve all watched, listened or even tried before; it’s by creating a farce—a highly exaggerated and/or absurb situation to pull the audience in. Something like Gintama, where the same effects brought out by extravagent facial expressions, are reserved in anime only. It’d be a disaster to copy it in live drama.
Aside from the seven idols, the other part of Zombieland Saga’s charm rests on one man: the voice actor of the idol producer, Mamoru Miyano’s switching voice intonation. He can light up the mood, tense up the situation and pretty much do anything with the silliness bestowed on his character. A close-up on his face, and his high-pitched voice are the precious gems that made the show more colorful.
By still keeping his absurdity going, little by little, the story pulls us closer to the characters; into the world of idols before, in the middle of, and after their show.
To embody the emotions behind their forgotten memories, how they became undeads, what their previous lives were, and who they say their last words to. And in between these, you get to see rolling heads, the flexibility of undeads’ bodies, awkward CGI dancing animation and an intense rap battle.
Animated by Mappa—the same studio that is handling the epic Attack on Titan Season 4 now—they had done a fantastic job in bringing out amusing faces, and reactions to elevate the sense of humor in the show. The art, the music all blended in subtly, that build a strong solid foundation for its comedy to shine.
All in all, Zombieland Saga tells the tales of 7 zombie girls, fighting to take every chance and every breath they can, to save Saga and tell the world that they are, in fact—alive. And I’ll definitely recommend this to you if you enjoy watching silly stuffs, or rather, a beautiful story.
An AMV preview of it: