“Idols have a limited shelf life nowadays, ya know? And it’s not like I can work you guys to death, amirite?! We’re doing it and that’s final. Just don’t stop practicing, we have to knock their socks off! Next up, The Ureshino Hot Springs.”
— Kotaro to Franchouchou, on their objective for the day
”Warming Dead SAGA” (ウォーミング・デッド SAGA Wōmingu Deddo SAGA) is the fourth episode of the first season of The Zombie Land Saga anime and is the fourth episode overall.
Synopsis (Kotaro’s Diary)
(Note: This is an unofficial English translation of the synopsis from the website.)
They ended up naming their group "Franchouchou" without my permission. The role of the group leader is now on Saki's shoulders. It seemed like a good idea that I deliberately made myself known as a producer. Speaking of which, it's not a bad idea that they ended up operating more independently. Now these talkative zombie idols who are a little motivated to make money can start earning a living. We will go to the hot springs to reach a commercial agreement. Hopefully, the secret that these girls are just makeup zombies won't be unraveled, or it will all end.
Kotaro Tatsumi gathers all the girls for another meeting, explaining their goal, and the group's funding is falling. He said that they no longer have funds left. Given this, Kotaro announces that he has managed to schedule a meeting with a pharmaceutical company called "Hisonaka" at the Hotel Kasuien, with which he plans to form a society to obtain funds for the group. For this, the whole group to the city of Ureshino, a town famous for its hot springs, where Kotaro would have a meeting with the public relations manager of the company. The girls are excited at the possibility of staying at a resort and going to a public bathroom. But Kotaro prohibits them from using the hot springs since this implies that they are without their human costumes.
Kōtarō takes the girls to their reserved hotel during the day. He noted that he has rented space for them and hopes that they will start practicing. He "runs away" without going into details. With the girls alone, Saki Nikaido suggests that everyone take advantage of meeting Ureshino, Sakura Minamoto insists that they follow Kōtarō's instructions. Yugiri suggests that they should take time to relax and expresses interest in exploring the modern city. With everyone in a unanimous decision, the girls decide to go explore the city.
Meanwhile, Kōtarō meets with Hisonaka Pharmaceutical's executive, where the two enter into a friendly negotiation to help finance a group of idols that Kotaro leads. While they talk, the girls pass outside the premises. Kotaro becomes nervous but comes back, get serious, and pretends nothing happens.
The girls visit a nearby foot bath where they take time to soak their feet. They express their current situation where they are still alive, even when they are dead, but then wonder how Kōtarō brought them back to life. Saki dismisses it, saying that they should enjoy their second life. Sakura then asked Ai Mizuno if they could all survive as zombie idols. Ai remains silent, but Sakura decided that she is entirely willing to see the ideal come true. The rest of the girls agree with her and hope for the best in her career.
Upon returning to their inn, the girls decide to learn more about their sponsored product called "Saganship Z" before their presentation. They find it to be a patch of medicine for back and shoulder pain. When they try it on, they immediately feel that all their fatigue is alleviated. The girls decide to promote the product during the show. With the show arriving, the girls began to patch the people in the audience to show their effectiveness.
After the show, Kōtarō relaxes in a hot spring, and the girls go to sleep. Saki decides to sneak into the bathhouses and confidently invites Sakura, who is concerned that they may be caught. Junko overhears their conversation and wishes to join them, Sakura headquarters, and the three of them sneak to the hot springs. After soaking, the girls are relieved to refresh their skins in the hot water in the bathroom.
As they reflect on their performance on the show, the pharmaceutical executive enters the bathroom, so the three girls cover themselves. Saki suggests that they hide underwater. The three of them go below the waterline. But Sakura accidentally hits her head and ends up being seen by the executive, who immediately panics. Surprisingly Saki and Junko leave trying to save Sakura, scaring, even more, the executive who runs away from the place before the screams wake up the rest of the group. They go out to see what happened and bump into the executive in the resort's corridors. Panic reaches the point that Saki slips and collides with the executive.
The next morning, Kōtarō approaches the executive to thank her for her affairs, only to see her in a fetal position and in shock. They tell her that she was scared to the point of having forgotten everything that had happened the day before. Once everyone returns to the mansion, the girls saw a newspaper that read vague reports about the night the executive suffered at the resort, apparently being a kind of "joke". At that point, Kotaro arrives to scold them.
The entire group gathered and discussed the situation, which Sakura apologized for her carelessness and vows to be more careful. At the same time, the rest said that no way it would affect the group.
Yūgiri considers the positive side of her entire experience that she is glad to have gotten along with everyone during the trip, and hopes that the girls will strengthen their ties. Lily agrees and hopes they get along with each other. The rest of the girls proudly agree to know more about each other.
- Kotaro Tatsumi
- P.R. manager of the Hisanaka Pharmaceutical Company (debut)
- Saga Prefecture
- It is revealed that a month has passed since the events of the previous episode.
- Kotaro teasingly calling the group “Frankenchoochoo” (in the English dub) further supports the idea that the “Fran-“ part of their group name comes from Frankenstein.
- Kotaro’s diary entry for the episode is written sometime after the group has finally settled on an official group name and a leader and before Kotaro urges them to help advertise Saganship Z for the pharmaceutical company.
- Kotaro teases Sakura by saying “Franchouchou” wrong as Fran-choochoo and Fluorochlorochouchou in the original and once she corrects him he remarks sarcastically saying how “Oh so cute” it is. Whereas in the English dub, Kotaro mispronounces it as Frannyfannychoochoo and then as Frankenchoochoo, and when Sakura corrects him he instead comments on how they think they are fancy with their French-sounding name in a French accent.
- After Kotaro finds out about the girls unintentionally scaring the head of the pharmaceutical company, he threatens to shave their heads in the original. Whereas he tells them they better be thankful that they were already dead in the English dub.
- Tae’s Japanese voice actor is finally credited from this episode onwards and is revealed to be none other than Sailor Moon’s Japanese voice actress, Kotono Mitsuishi.
- The episode title, “Warming Dead SAGA”, is a reference to a popular live-action zombie television series, The Walking Dead.
- The scene wherein the girls unintentionally scare the pharmaceutical company’s public relations manager is a reference to a reoccurring scene in most horror movies.
- One of the words Kotaro mispronounces “Franchouchou” in the original, Fluorochlorochouchou, is a reference to the volatile hydrocarbon, Chlorofluorocarbon.
- Kotaro knowing French is briefly touched upon on this episode and is later highlighted in the following episode.
- Kotaro recalls the guerrilla performance from the previous episode.
- This is the second time Yugiri brings up how they all presumably stink as decaying corpses.
- This is the first time Kotaro’s sunglasses are knocked off of his face.
- This is the first time Kotaro is seen using his charm to distract the person he is talking to.
- In this case, it was to distract the pharmaceutical company’s public relations manager from finding out that his idol group is actually sightseeing instead of practicing.
- This is the second time the group performs the song “Mezame RETURNER” in public.
- The reporter who wrote about the Urishima Hot Springs incident is later credited again after their electrifying performance during the seventh episode.
- This is the first episode wherein the police officer from before does not cross paths with Franchouchou or anyone affiliated with them.
- This is the second episode wherein the Death Metal fans are not present during Franchouchou’s performance.
- This is Romero’s first absence in an episode, excluding the outro.
- The makeup covering the girls’ legs are not washed off when they were enjoying their time at the foot spa.
- Saki’s hands are drawn smaller during the scene wherein she tries to convince Sakura to join her and Junko in the hotsprings.
- Saki's left eye is offcentered during the scene where the girls pose after performing Mezame RETURNER at the hotsprings hotel.