Herald Anime Club

The Herald Anime Club Meeting 148: Retro Rewind: Zombie Land Saga Episode 1


Meeting Date: 7/19/2020

Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows in a generally unmoderated format. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!


Samantha Ferreira: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club. I’m Samantha, and I’m here with L.B. and Anthony

L.B. Bryant: Hello

Anthony Simpson: Evening

Samantha Ferreira: This season we’re taking a walk down memory lane in a bit of a retro format. We polled our panelists and our patrons about which series they’d like to see us cover and drew one at random

And this season, we’ll be talking up 2018 Zombie Land Saga! This week we’ll be discussing the first episode: “The isekai truck wasn’t… wasn’t supposed to stop before it finished the job”

A red-haired girl gets hit by a truck.

L.B. Bryant: So, one thing I love about anime this past decade is how series stopped trying to explain basic premises. The first time I noticed it happening was in Ambition of Oda Nobuna (2012) and over the years, more and more series just hand wave their basic plots away.

And so yeah, I love how this series explains the premise as “Seen a horror movie? There’s your answer.”

Samantha Ferreira: I loved Sakura’s confused reaction to the explanation on that

Like.. total straight-man response just “what? D:”

Anthony Simpson: I just loved that it explanation for the premise.

A zombie girl with red hair and a facial scar smiles slightly

L.B. Bryant: Btw, I’m watching this series dubbed so my comments will always be about the English voice cast.

Anthony Simpson: Same I’m watching the dubbed version as well

Samantha Ferreira: I’m watching the subbed version, because I just don’t watch dubs in general. Also, I couldn’t dare when this series was basically tailor made for Mamoru Miyano’s over-the-top screaminess.

L.B. Bryant: To be fair, the English cast got the same voice actor for Kotaro as the actor for Rintaro Okabe from Steins;Gate (Ricco Fajardo) so there is plenty of screaminess in the dub as well, lol

(Editor’s note: J. Michael Tatum plays Rintaro Okabe in Steins;Gate’s English adaptation)

Samantha Ferreira: lol, fair

And, funny enough, in Steins;Gate, Rintaro Okabe was also played by Mamoru Miyano, so there’s that fun 1:1 translation \o/

L.B. Bryant: So getting into actual content; I love that their first concert was at a death metal club.

Four women in T-shirts headbanging. One is holding a megaphone.

Samantha Ferreira: Likewise! Not only that, but the fact that they straight-up rocked it… and nobody seemed to notice they were zombies

L.B. Bryant: Well, “rocked it” in the sense of they screamed and spasmed on stage for a couple of minutes lol

Samantha Ferreira: Also headbanged

Anthony Simpson: I don’t think the crowd was going to look too hard into the girls and notice that they were zombies. Also, the headbanging segment was excellent

L.B. Bryant: So I did find something interesting about this first episode… this series is benefiting from me having watched it before. Since I know that this series is eventually going to get pretty good down the line (no spoilers on when/what happens), I can relax and enjoy the early episodes much more.

The first time I watched this, I didn’t care for the early episodes as much. This time though, I laughed more at the first episode than I did previously.

Several women staring blankly in all directions as they wander in a room. A man in glasses smiles as he watches.

Samantha Ferreira: The first episodes really lean into the silliness of the situation, for sure… However, I think a lot of us were really hit by the shock value of “yup, this is crazy town, she’s with zombies, and Shouty McGlasses seems to be cool with it.”

L.B. Bryant: It might’ve been because I didn’t watch this series weekly but rather waited a few months until after it had completed before I started it. This series had a lot buzz behind it when it first aired in 2018.

Anthony Simpson: I’m not sure why I didn’t watch it when came it out and I remember the buzz for it when it came out.

Samantha Ferreira: Yeah… The series was right up there with Double Decker for a while, until Double Decker just flamed out

Anthony Simpson: That said I do enjoy the silliness I have seen so far.

Samantha Ferreira: I kind of like how they just roll with it

“Yeah you’re a zombie, but it’s OK. I have makeup skillz from Hollywood, so get on stage!”

Also, who can hate The Great Tae Yamada? (TM)

A black-haired zombie girl stares blankly as she gnaws on dried squid. The words "The Great Tae Yamada" are presented in red text below her face.

Anthony Simpson: I laughed so hard at that part for whatever reason.

Samantha Ferreira: Same.

“Who?”

“The Great Tae Yamada!”

“… Why’s she great?”

“Why do you care?”

(Also, the fact that she’s voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi in the JP audio was just priceless. The voice behind Sailor Moon didn’t even get a real line in this episode)

Samantha Ferreira: One detail I really did like, though, was that point the realization set in, where the rain was falling and Sakura finally saw the makeup washing away, just after she was shot.

A red-haired zombie girl lays on hte ground, her hair splaying in all directions.

Anthony Simpson: That was a great touch to really bring it in gradually that she was a zombie instead of it just coming out and saying she was one right away

Samantha Ferreira: Indeed. That slow reveal was great, and it really set the stage for the big awakening scene at the end

So, Anthony, I’m kind of curious, as you’re new to the series: what are you expecting from the rest of the series?

Anthony Simpson: Well I’m excepting the comedy to keep me laughing.

And I have heard bits and pieces about the series as it was coming out

Samantha Ferreira: Heh… it was hard to avoid it back in the day

Aniwho, any final thoughts this week?

L.B. Bryant: Nothing from me

Anthony Simpson: Nothing from me either

Samantha Ferreira: OK then. Til next time, then, remember: It doesn’t matter if you’re dead; if you can feel the music, you can headbang with the best of ’em.

Have a great night!

Anthony Simpson: Goodnight

L.B. Bryant: Night everyone

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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