Have you ever watched an anime and had no idea what the concept would be? Zombie Land Saga surprises you from its first few seconds with its absurdity and humour. This anime is one of the funniest titles I have had the joy to watch lately. With its hilarity, ridiculous moments, and its well thought-out storyline and occasional dark flashes, Zombie Land Saga is an absolute treat for anyone who values quality comedy.
In split seconds you see a girl being hit by a car. She was then turned into a zombie along with several other ladies from different time periods by a crazy manager (who carries around dried squid in his pockets), to make them an idol group that will save Saga prefecture. Its concept might sound like just another idol show but this anime felt like much more than that.
Zombie Land Saga didn’t take itself seriously and acted as a parody of the idol industry. It featured tasteful humour and a pleasant story to follow. So whether you liked watching the girls trying to get by with their idol lives, you dig the zombie element, or just love funny moments, the following recommendations will help you find what you are looking for!
Idols and Showbiz:
Wake Up, Girls!
Winter 2014 12 Episodes
A small production company named Green Leaves Entertainment in Sendai (the biggest city in Japan’s north-eastern Tohoku region) is on the verge of going out of business after the manager of the band Wake Up, Girls! steals the money from their debut show. Given a second chance by some shady business proposal, the girls try to climb their way to the top and succeed in the idol world.
Wake Up, Girls! is what you would call the ‘serious’ version of Zombie Land Saga. It portrays the internal and external struggles of being a small-time idol girl group and their journey towards popularity and fame. You can see in both shows the girls participating in a variety of events and different kind of promotions to get themselves known to the world but you also get to see the girls’ pasts and how they accept their situations in order to move on and succeed. Zombie Land Saga is obviously more humour-oriented while Wake Up, Girls! is more about the real work that goes behind from the managers, label companies, as well as the members of the group.
Summer 2014 12 Episodes
Nanako Usami is an ordinary high school girl, living in the town of Nagarekawa, who is approached by her uncle to team up with her upperclassman Yukari Kohinata in order to form a unit and become their town’s local idols or ‘Locodols’, the Nagarekawa Girls. As they are joined by Yui Mikoze, who acts as the local mascot, and Mirai Nazukari, who serves as Yui’s substitute, the girls try their best to promote Nagarekawa and their businesses.
The resemblance in these two is very apparent: both anime are about girls who form local idol groups in order to save their local area from dying out. Great comedy can be find in both although Locodol is more slice-of-life oriented.
Fall 2016 12 Episodes
The story follows Chitose Karasuma, a college student, who tries to pursue a career as a voice actress after landing a job at ‘Number One Produce,’ a seiyuu agency managed by her older brother, Gojou. She thinks she has everything it takes to make it big, but she cannot seem to get anything else than minor roles. As she gets through many experiences and sometimes arguments with the rest of her colleagues, she learns how competitive the industry really is and how hard it is to make a living.
Despite the aesthetic similarities that these shows share, both satire and sometimes parody the bad sides of the idol industry in their own special way and both stories show how young girls try to succeed in the entertainment business.
Miki Ishimoto, who has only recently graduated from college and has just started her career as an idol manager, is tasked to support and help the boy band Sekko Boys make it big. But to her surprise she finds out that the members are actual stone busts of Saint Giorgio, Medici, Hermes, and Mars, which makes the whole concept quite unique.
Did you love the amazing humor of Zombie Land Saga? Thenthis anime is a must-watch for you since it’s on equal levels of randomness and silliness. From the first episode you will find yourself questioning, ‘What am I watching exactly?’ and trust me, you will love it. I mean if you thought that zombies as an idol group can be silly, I cannot imagine anything out there that can top stone busts.
Detroit Metal City
Summer 2008 12 Episodes
Negishi Souichi moves to Tokyo with dreams of joining a trendy pop band. After graduating he actually manages to join one, but not the kind he was wishing for. He is now known as Krauser II, the lead singer of the death metal band Detroit Metal City, where he is forced to do extravagant performances and gets publicized as a demonic being who has risen from the fiery pits of hell itself in order to bring the world to its knees and lord over all mortals.
I don’t think that there is a better music comedy anime out there. The way Detroit Metal City satires the whole showbiz industry as well as the death metal scene is something really hard to find in the anime world, which is the reason why this anime is so special. Also, it involves a lot of crude humor compared to Zombie Land Saga, so if sex jokes, dark comedy, and obscenity are not your thing, you better skip this one.
Kouhei Nitta Yoshifumi is a young yakuza living in Ashikawa. One day, a strange object falls on his head that contains a young girl named Hina. She has very powerful telekinetic powers that she uses to force Nitta to let her live with him. As he takes her in and start living together, her powers are both a curse and a blessing that put them through some crazy everyday adventures.
Okay, Zombie Land Saga has nothing to do with Hinamatsuri in terms of storyline and general style, but I find them both to be equally funny in a way. Hinamatsuri can sometimes focus more on childcare and the psychic powers of Hina, but trust me, there are so many absurd scenes and moments in this show that will definitely make you laugh as much as you did in Zombie Land Saga.
Saki Uno is a high school girl and part of the unpopular rookie idol group named ‘Magical Twins’. She also has a huge crush on Mohiro, her best friend’s older brother. When Mohiro is kidnapped by demons, Saki activates her Love Power and makes a weird contract in order to be able to transform into a magical girl. After her transformation she turns into a muscle-bound handsome man in a pretty dress. Now as a magical girl, Saki must team up with her friend Sakuyo to protect the love of her life from the demonic menaces that exist in their world.
What makes these two shows so alike is the swift changes of genres in their first episodes: Zombie Land Saga starts as a horror, zombie related title but turns out to be all about zombie idols. Mahou Shoujou Ore starts as a typical idol group show but then turns into absurd comedy with male magical girl idols. Although they do it in completely different ways, both shows like to parody the idol genre and they both manage to do it pretty well.
Yuki Takeya loves her school so much that she doesn’t even leave its premises. She’s part of the ‘School-Life Club’, a group of four girls and their dog who camp out in the clubroom at night and grow their own food on the school roof. However, the real purpose of the ‘School Living Club’ is to escape from the shocking and disturbing truth that the girls are actually in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and have barricaded themselves inside the school as the sole survivors.
School-Live! could not be missing from this list! Although it is more about a group of girls who are forced to adapt to a post-apocalyptic life all by themselves, it’s hard to really pin-point why they are so similar. Nevertheless, they both have young girls exploring the undead reality that they find themselves into and the characters are very cute with bright designs which heavily contrast the zombie element of the stories.
Is This a Zombie?
Winter 2011 12 Episodes
One night, Ayumu Aikawa, a regular high school boy, is killed by a serial killer while walking home from the convenience store. He is brought back to life by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe and on top of that he accidentally steals a magical girl’s powers and is tasked to fight evil creatures known as Megalo in her place until they can figure out a way to get the powers back to her.
Zombies and comedy do not usually go together, but that is not the case neither for Zombie Land Saga or Is This a Zombie? Both shows manage to make their concepts work so great: one with zombies as idols and the other one with zombies as magical girls. So if you liked one you will definitely love the other one with these hilarious genre combinations.
Spring 2012 12 Episodes
Chihiro Furuya is a high school student who has a great love for the macabre and likes to collect anything horror related while thinking that being in a relationship with a zombie girl would be a dream coming true. After the death of his beloved cat, he becomes determined to bring her back to life and every night he sneaks into an abandoned building attempting to brew a resurrection potion. One day, he meets Rea, the daughter of the well-known Sanka family who seems to be going through some personal ordeals. But after a weird turn of events she ends up turning herself into a zombie and starts dating Chihiro.
The only reason why this anime is in this list is because it presents the zombie element in a more comedic and fun way. Suggesting a solely zombie horror title when we talk about Zombie Land Saga would be silly considering its plot. So even though Sankarea is not as funny as Zombie Land Saga, itis perfect for someone who is looking for a zombie story that involves a twist in it and focuses more on the romance and drama between the characters.
Zombie idol brainz!
Zombie Land Saga will hold a special place in your heart for a while because of its hysterical jokes and absurdity, so whichever part of it you liked the most (zombies, idols or just comedy), you will definitely find something similar to enjoy from this recommendations list.