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"I don’t think of mistakes or failures as bad things, that’s not how it works."

— Ai to Sakura, “Episode 12

Ai Mizuno
Ai Icon.png
The black short-haired zombie with flower ornaments.

The immovable leader of Idol Frill, the idol unit that was at the top during the 21st-century idol war. While she's good at singing, she is confident in her ability to dance. She is determined and is not afraid to speak her mind out. Extremely skeptical of Kotaro's schemes.

On a side note: the flowers on her head increased when she's in idol form.


Ai Mizuno (水野 愛 Mizuno Ai) was the former lead singer of the idol group, Iron Frill. After being resurrected from the dead, she becomes a member of the zombie idol group, Franchouchou.

She is titled as The Legendary Heisei Idol (伝説の平成アイドル, Densetsu no Heisei aidoru).

Appearance

Human

Ai has short, dark, slate blue hair with two yellow flower clips. Her bangs are bunched up, and she has light red eyes. Ai sports a rather very slim and slender figure which is proportionally identical to those of Junko Konno with only slight differences in sheer numbers.

Her casual outfit consists of an idol-style school outfit: a navy blue jacket over a pale yellow top with a blue plaid skirt and bow. She also wears dark gray socks and light brown school shoes.

Zombie

Like the other zombies, Ai's skin is grayish-blue and most of her body is covered with bandages, somewhat like a mummy.

Ai's bandages cover her almost completely and bear witness to third degree burns on her body, the lightning burning her skin until it was brown, except for her eyes. Since she died from being struck by lightning that charred her corpse, the bandages are likely not only to help her stay together, but also to cover up the massive burns all over her body.

Idol

Ai's idol outfit changes throughout the series: On episodes 1-6, Ai wears a light blue T-shirt with the word "3" written on it, along with an blue skirt with white ruffles. Using makeup, she and the other zombies make their skin look like a normal human. Ai also wears contact lenses to achieve her red eyes that she had as a living person.

After Saga rock, her idol outfit changed to a red jacket with a plaid decoration, blue skirt with cotton inside it and knee-high boots.

Personality

Before Death

In Iron Frill, was her idol group in her life, Ai seems to have mixed feelings about the current members who are active as they treat her existence as a legendary top idol. Iron Frill had just started to take off when Ai died, so those who remember her for something other than her death largely remember her as a rising star who could have gone places if she had lived. In an unusual case of this, while the loss of what could have been weighs heavily on Ai, nothing prevents her from returning to the stage. In fact, she gets another chance to become a famous idol again which helps motivate her.

Afterlife

At the beginning of the story, she is very critical of the Zombie Land Saga Project, which she feels is doomed the moment people find out. She begins to see promise in her fellow zombies after a few episodes, but is still the first to remind them how hard they will have to work to achieve it, proving that she is more realistic than cynical, and given the superficiality with which Kotaro pitched her idea, her skepticism is not entirely unwarranted.

After Police A nearly shoots her, she realizes that she really has nowhere to go and resigns herself to staying at the mansion, feeling too discouraged to act again. She begins to recover after she and Junko have to save her guerilla performance after Sakura messed up some lyrics, while she considers starting her career all over again with Sakura and her company.

When she was alive, Ai displayed a cheerful and determined personality, but after turning into a Zombie, she became quite skeptical and suspicious. As she gradually begins to warm up to her group, she begins to act like herself before her untimely death. She has shown a supportive side by helping the other members with her idol experience.

Ai has a dizzying array of knowledge about the idol business, dance choreography, music theory, public relations... it's obvious why she was the leader of Iron Frill. Unfortunately this comes with the logical weakness that she is often stubborn about her own point of view, and she gets along worse with Kotaro. She is also the only member of Franchouchou able to discern Sakura's recent memory exchange for what she was in Episode 11.

Ai not understanding Kotaro's attitude when rejecting various offers

The stubbornness of her; On the one hand, it may be hers her best tool, as it is what fuels her deterministic attitudes of hers and her hope for the group, but it also makes it incredibly difficult to engage with her and persuade her. When she settles on the idea that Franchouchou will fail first, she takes everything the other girls have to finally break that mentality. Ai's stubbornness also puts her in conflict with Junko who is used to the modern standards of the idol singer, and the two have a big fight that lasts for an episode.

She is the most responsible so far for the girls' training exercises, teaching newcomers the basics of the business, and is the one who speaks the most about the way of thinking with which they will approach their shared goal. When a member is in trouble or has a particularly important role to play in a new song, she coaches them directly by way of example and takes it upon herself to review the songs as a whole when the whole band is in trouble. Also, although she always strives to be constructive and is generally no less sincere than the rest of the group, she firmly believes that they will get nowhere "just playing with friends all the time."

The hot and cold sides of Ai's demeanor are dictated in large part by her perception of the other girls' work ethic, rather than simple emotional provocation like many classic tsunderers. She is very kind and supportive of each of the girls under any ordinary circumstance, but although she never resorts to violence unless she is directly attacked (as by Kotaro in Episode 5), she will become almost militantly severe in her expression if she feels that someone is not doing their gang duty seriously or conscientiously. This is most prominently shown in her confrontation with Junko in Episode 6 and, to a lesser extent, in her lectures to Sakura in Episodes 10 and 12.

Ai trains quite a bit in rehearsals, and is paired on songs along with Junko, for her incredible talent in singing, dancing, and choreography, as well as possessing such a skill for musical arrangements that at one point she was able to identify and alter Properly the harmony of a song to avoid being continually confused by Tae.

Ai hasn't had a great time going from a rising musical talent to a disfigured corpse. Her spirit is crushed as she realizes that she has nowhere to go among the living and that she is remembered more for her gruesome death than for her career or talent. After being dead for a decade, Ai takes advantage of Kotaro's computer to catch up on the phenomena of the years she's been away, specifically on the trends of idols that have come and gone, to gain a better advantage for the group and progress in popularity. Realizing that she has become nothing more than a sensational tragedy in the public eye hits her hard and influences her faulty behavior throughout episodes 5 and 6, many idols have cited her as an inspiration for their careers, wanting to reach the same potential as her. Ai, on the other hand, is hurt that her life and her legacy have become nothing more than a tragic story told through the industry.

She ironically, she spends the first few episodes refusing to work, but once she starts, her work ethic becomes very clear. She is almost always the first to address practical concerns about her careers, she becomes absolutely furious when she feels Junko is intentionally letting the team down, and when her arms and legs break after a prolonged session of choreography practice and claims this it is not unusual for her.

She made it clear that she doesn't need to have friends to succeed. She is quite a selfish person when it comes to achievement. Her posture is the most antagonistic to Saki; she who gains her trust through her comrades. In the end, Saki proves to be right (main point of why she is perfect to be the leader) and loosens with her work obsession to the point that she respects her and constantly consults her before demanding from the rest. Ai functions as a second in command after Arpino.

Junko takes Ai to "prevent" her from going to Iron Frill

Episodes 3 and 4 of Revenge establish her as one for Franchouchou. The others depend so much on her knowledge and experience that Kotaro excludes her from the group's performance as the opening act of Iron Frill, under the (false) pretense of not wanting her former bandmates to recognize her, so the others are they are forced to act according to their own expectations and initiative rather than constantly seeking their advice.

Shiori tries to persuade her to leave Franchouchou and join Iron Frill, and she almost seriously considers the possibility of her. Eventually, she though she realizes that she wants to get away from her past with Iron Frill and that she can't abandon her fellow zombies like that. This culminates when the others join in when it appears that Shiori has come to take her away, and Ai confidently supports them.

We are not zombies, we are Franchouchou

Despite the fact that she proves to be cold with her feelings and to have no hope for when she discovers that they are zombies, the reality turns out to be much better than she thought. In episode 11 of Revenge she and the girls tend to a shelter after a flood and after her makeup comes off and her clay masks are broken, she realizes that other people do not see the girls as a real threat and she innocence of the children except the group from being discovered, this act of love towards them makes her realize that they are not seen as monsters, but as girls who bring hope to Saga, and between tears she accepts deep down that she was wrong with Kotaro's plan from the beginning.

Abilities

Skillset

  • Musical Talent - Ai was the lead singer of her group Iron Frill back when she was alive and continues to showcase this amazing feat even during her afterlife.
  • Dancing - As a member of a pop idol group, not only is Ai gifted in musical talent but she can also move fluidly to the beat of any song.
  • Moped-driving - From Season 2 onwards, she drives a moped on her way to her part-time job at the Kojima Food Industry.
  • Hula Hooping - Ai and the rest of the girls are able to perform while twirling hoops made of electricity during their performance in "Episode 16".

Natural Abilities

  • Non-senescence - As a zombie, Ai is granted the ability to remain the age at which she died forever without any physical change after the resurrection process, as well as immunity against death. As she, along with the other girls, is able to endure circumstances that human bodies normally cannot handle, like the lightning bolt in the seventh episode, and instead of suffering a third degree burn, the girls end up becoming luminous and self-possessed. - tuned voices.
  • Detachable Limbs - As a zombie, Ai have the ability to detach and reattach parts of her body from their sockets with little to no effort, either intentionally or accidentally. This is demonstrated in episode 7 where due to stress her body collapses causing her limbs to fall off.
  • Phosphorescent Vision - Gain dark red eyes that can glow in the dark after resurrecting into a zombie.
  • Muscle memory - They actually still remember their traumas and the way they died, reflecting it on their post-life. The reason their bodies have this behavior is that since their death was such a tragic event, it was etched into their muscle memory and now that they have consciousness within their bodies, this behavior remains in the background and only active if there is a stimulus. In the first episode she is impaled by a heavy poker that Sakura throws at her, even without waking up she maintains that memory and 10 episodes later Sakura takes the same poker causing her body to react instinctively.
  • Element Absorption - Their zombie bodies can speed up the process of absorbing chemicals like those seen in Episode 4 by instantly absorbing the medicinal patches causing their muscles to relax and not be as stiff, in addition to their subsequent concerts and practices continue to use the patches. In Episode 7, their bodies demonstrate a similar capacity to batteries by receiving an electrical discharge from lightning and glow a pale blue, as well as releasing laser beams with their fingers.

Unique Abilities

  • Enhanced Vision - As shown in the 10th episode, Ai reveals that she has sharper vision compared to the rest of the group and took it upon herself to search for food.

Etymology

  • The name Ai means "love, affection" (愛).
  • Ai's surname Mizuno means "water" (水) (mizu) and "field, wilderness" (野) (no).
    • Mizuno is a residential name that means "field of water" from a town so named in Owari (now part of Aichi prefecture). The surname is found mainly along the east coast.

Ai concept art.jpg

Trivia

  • Staff has commented that, because it was a popular hairstyle at the time, they wanted to incorporate a "short" haircut in a design. Furthermore, Ai being a "legendary idol" was through the blooming flowers on her head.
  • According to the official art book, zombie girl bandages are like body tattoos, so they will never be removed. This explains why Ai can speak without any problems, despite having bandages on her mouth
  • Ai died in 2008, only 4 months after Sakura Minamoto was struck and killed by a truck.
    • She died in the stadium of Tosu, Tosu City.
    • Additionally, the numbers depicted on the license plate of the truck that hits Sakura in the tenth episode are Ai’s date of death.
  • Ai has better kinetic vision and hearing than the other girls in the group.
  • Ai has same cup size and body type as Junko Konno.
  • Because of her cause of death, she has developed astraphobia alongside PTSD, in her afterlife. She overcomes her fears when performing at Saga Rock during a lightning storm.
    • When Ai, she was directly struck by lightning. Her live performance was immediately canceled and Mizuno was taken to the hospital, but her burns were severe and she had no pulse after arriving at the hospital.
  • When asked if Ai and Junko have the possibility of developing a romantic relationship, the crew responded that they did not think of the two as such outside of just "An idol from the Heisei Period and another from the Showa Period." [2]
  • As of “Episode 13”, she works part-time as an employee of the Kojima Dried Squid Factory, under the alias "Sanko Tatsumi."
    • The work alias Ai uses, Sanko Tatsumi, is a combination of her order in Franchouchou as Zombie #3 (San-gō) alongside the last name of Kotaro’s alias, Tatsumi.
  • There are currently four episodes that focus on her which she shares with Junko. The episodes being “Episode 6”, “Episode 7”, “Episode 15”, and “Episode 16”.
    • With both “Episode 7” and “Episode 16” being direct continuations of their previous episodes.
  • She shares the same Japanese voice actress as Erina Nakiri from Shokugeki no Soma.
  • Her flower earrings that she wears multiply when she goes on stage.

References

  1. Episode 14 of the English Dub
  2. ZombieLand Saga Revenge Interview
Characters List
Main Characters
Kotaro TatsumiTae YamadaSakura MinamotoSaki NikaidoAi MizunoJunko KonnoYugiriLily HoshikawaPoliceman ARomero
Secondary Characters
Takeo GoReiko AmabukiArata OokobaInubashiriJofukuMaria AmabukiSkull and BullShiori BabaYuiMisa HigashitsuruThe Mysterious ManWhite RyuLight OozoraMaimai YuzurihaShojiro ItoKiichi Momozaki
The First Zombie
Eikichi HyodoYuko HyodoAnna ShuriTae YamadaHanako HakaseJofukuTakeo GoSachikaKeiji HigashinoDetective Araki
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