This recap contains spoilers for the Zombie Land Saga Revenge episode “Maimai Revolution SAGA.”
Zombie Land Saga Revenge‘s seventh episode is a weird one. It’s notably standalone. “Maimai Revolution SAGA” doesn’t tie in to the last episode’s events directly, and its own events seem unlikely to be expanded upon any time soon. But if that were all, that’d be one thing. “Maimai Revolution SAGA” is actually sort of a self-contained parody of the kind of idol anime that Zombie Land Saga Revenge is. But it’s not just that either, as it’s also quite sincere in some places. It stands alone, in a way. A filler episode like few others.
So what is it actually about? Well, in its 20-odd minutes, “Maimai Revolution SAGA” introduces, develops and then promptly ushers out the door a brand new character. And indeed, a brand new member of Franchouchou. That, if you were wondering, is the titular Maimai. (Who brings along her voice actress, the legendary Kana Hanazawa, for the ride.)
Maimai is something that no other member of Zombie Land Saga Revenge‘s cast is: an ordinary high school girl. That’s pretty common among anime on the whole, to the point of being something of a cliché, but by their nature, as zombies, none of Franchouchou’s girls really fit that mold. Maimai stands out by virtue of her ordinariness. She is also incredibly clumsy, although that’s not quite as unique in Franchouchou.
Maimai ends up temporarily joining the group by near-literally falling into it. She happens to be in a public bath — the wrong public bath, it should be noted — while the manager is nearby. She slips and hits her head. The manager, being who he is, naturally assumes she has died. So, she’s taken back to the mansion that is still Franchouchou’s headquarters.
There, she wakes up and leverages the fact that she now knows her favorite idol group are zombies to join said group. It’s a lot to follow in just a couple of minutes. Franchouchou’s other members are less than impressed with their manager’s fumbling here. Which makes for some of “Maimai Revolution SAGA”‘s funnier moments.
Here and Gone Again
This eventually leads to Franchouchou putting on a concert at Maimai’s school. Maimai’s training montage here as she struggles to keep up with the other Franchouchou members is a nice mix of sweet and funny, but it’s her conversation with Sakura that forms the episode’s emotional core. And, eventually, prompts her to leave Franchouchou as quickly as she came.
The conversation itself is a bit abstract. But the gist is that Maimai feels a distance between the rest of Franchouchou and herself, not just because of the obvious, but because she gets the sense that during their lives, no matter how short they were, they lived as fully as they could. That’s not something she feels about herself, at least not yet.
When Franchouchou takes the stage with their new member and gives her a chance to speak, she promptly announces her graduation from the group after performing just two songs. (That’s idol industry-speak for “retirement,” to any unfamiliar readers.) Maimai resolves to live her life to the fullest and promptly exits both Franchouchou and Zombie Land Saga Revenge on the whole.
Maimai Revolution SAGA
If there’s a criticism to be made here, it’s that this all happens rather quickly. It’s a touch hard to connect to Maimai as a character in just a single episode’s span, even though she does seem interesting in her own way.
But as far as restatements of central themes go, it’s not a bad one. I have a feeling that “Maimai Revolution SAGA” will go down in fandom memory as “the weird episode where Franchouchou got a new member for a little while.” This isn’t an inaccurate description, but the episode does have more to it than that.
Maimai pledges to keep the group’s secret, and the main body of the episode ends without further event.
But, the final minute or so of “Maimai Revolution SAGA” takes us back to what is by now a recurring frame story. We see Detective Shinba and his stack of research. His pile of evidence that Franchouchou are who he suspects they are is growing.
This is clearly going to come to a head at some point. Will it be on the next episode? Well, there’s only one way to find out, anime fans.
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