WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Zombie Land Saga Revenge Episode 2, "The SAGA of an Almost-Broken Radio," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Now that the Zombie Land Saga Revenge season premiere put Franchouchou back in business, the zombie idols need to start marketing themselves again. Kotaro's latest publicity stunt has the girls appearing on TV to give a tour of a local shrine. Their guest host for the program, an aging rock star and radio host who goes by the name White Ryu, is a complete stranger to all the girls except for Saki, who grew up with his music. Saki's connection with White Ryu opens up exciting new opportunities for her -- but also comes with a major tragedy.
White Ryu makes an immediate impression with his giant pompadour, and he makes for an entertaining TV co-host. It's also clear, however, that he's getting on in age. He struggles with the climb up to the shrine's inner temple, and his hair doesn't stay up like it used to. He's getting ready to retire from his radio show So Saga Can Be Saga -- but Saki won't let this happen.
Saki discovered White Ryu's music as a solitary middle school delinquent. The emotions of his music connected deeply with her, inspiring her to reach out and make friends. Losing his show means losing an important connection to her human life.
In Saki's typical reckless fashion, she breaks into the radio station with reluctant assistance from Sakura. This ends up going better than she could possibly have hoped. Not only does White Ryu let Saki on the air, but he admires her spunk so much that he hires her to be his replacement. It's a heavy responsibility, but Saki graciously accepts the job of carrying on the work of her personal hero and longtime crush.
It's Saki's crush on White Ryu that adds a tragic tinge to this bittersweet episode. Just before he heads off to leave town, Saki confesses her love to White Ryu -- and his response is to ask her to see him in a few years when she's a grown woman. This is impossible -- as a zombie, Saki can never grow. She'll always be the same 18-year-old she was when she died.
Thinking about the burden of undeath brings Saki to tears. Watching Saki cry makes Sakura cry even more -- so much, in fact, that it dehydrates and mummifies her. It wouldn't be Zombie Land Saga without a bit of cartoony comedy co-existing side-by-side with the serious issues.
New episodes of Zombie Land Saga Revenge premiere Thursdays on Crunchyroll.