This recap contains spoilers for the Zombie Land Saga Revenge episode “Walking Bet SAGA.”
What would the girls of Franchouchou do if the public ever found out they were zombies? It’s a question that’s hung over Zombie Land Saga Revenge usually only in implied form, since the start of the original series. “Walking Bet SAGA” doesn’t answer it, but it at least gives some indication that one is coming. One of the few ways that Zombie Land Saga Revenge could conceivably “fail” is to simply never address this central question at all. So it’s a good sign that these things aren’t just being waved off.
That’s not to say that “Walking Bet SAGA” is too serious, though. It’d be hard to say that about an episode with a breakdancing chicken and a high-stakes boat race. But we’ll get to that.
Despite ostensibly putting forward the question of Franchouchou’s identity being discovered, “Walking Bet SAGA” is another character episode. But it’s one that stands in sharp contrast to last week’s. (Which, full disclosure, we didn’t cover here on GGA. Yours truly was out sick, apologies!) The opening angle involves the journalist character Shinta Okoba, first introduced in season one, once again investigating Franchouchou.
However, he decides to tail Franchouchou’s “Number Zero” member Tae Yamada specifically. Tae is a character I’ve not much talked about in these recaps. Frankly, she’s in the background most of the time. She can’t speak and occasionally acts in a way that some would describe as “feral”.
The gag with this character is that the resurrection process didn’t entirely “take” properly with her. She’s also a casting gag, on a meta level. (She’s voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi, best known as the title role in Sailor Moon.)
The result is that “Walking Bet SAGA” manages to pull some impressive multi-tasking as a showcase for Tae away from the rest of Franchouchou. There’s also a parade of ridiculous antics that she gets into, a drip-feed for some information about Tae and a gentle push to get the central question I mentioned in the opening a-rolling. It’s quite a lot for one episode to pull off! But in its 22-minute runtime, “Walking Bet SAGA” does manage it.
Tae’s odyssey begins with a pretty simple task. She goes to the grocery store to get some ingredients for curry. In of itself, there’s nothing complicated here. Though she does make an interesting stop at a graveyard, where she pointedly visits one grave in particular. (And, funnily enough, makes off with an apple left as a grave offering.)
But the real story here begins with her arrival at the supermarket. Here we learn that Maria, the delinquent from season one, has formed a dance troupe. Tae ends up getting mixed up in a competition that involves said troupe, as well as the chicken mascot also from a season one. She, of course, ends up winning the whole thing. Though she has to be convinced to care about the prize money at all, being more inclined to toss it in a trash can and make off with the other half of the prize; a bag of onions.
Walking Bet SAGA and The 20 Million Yen
One intervention by a recurring crooked cop character later, Tae and the breakdance team find themselves at a boat race. Misa shows up here, apparently having given up racing motorcycles for racing speedboats. Tae sneezes on a betting card after sucking on a pen (ew) which fills it in just enough that she picks the underdog. The underdog is Misa and she wins the race.
“Walking Bet SAGA”‘s deeply silly main plot thus concludes with Tae winning 20 million yen (about $180,000 USD) from a boat racing bet. Coincidentally, this is enough to dig Franchouchou out of their financial hole.
But nothing is ever this simple in Zombie Land Saga Revenge. Fittingly, the actual last thing that happens in “Walking Bet SAGA” (post-credits, even!) is Shinta, still trailing Tae, happened to catch a photo of her head falling off. Yes, one of the series’ running gags is abruptly shuffled into an actual plot development. It’s ridiculous, it’s silly, it’s so very Zombie Land Saga Revenge.
How will this play out? Well, I suppose we’ll learn that next time, anime fans.