“Each girl is a unique and shining star I’ve hand selected for the mission of saving the Saga prefecture. And with you, we’ve finally assembled the perfect group.”

— Kotaro to Sakura, about forming an idol group, “Episode 1

Franchouchou
 


Franchouchou (フランシュシュ Furanshushu), formerly known as Death Musume then Green Face, is an idol group founded by Kōtarō Tatsumi. The group is made up of six legendary girls/zombies and an ordinary second year high schooler, resurrected by Kotaro. His goal is to save Saga and revive the trend of local idols in the process thanks to the Zombie Land Saga Project.

Overview

Because they can be persecuted when their real identities are exposed, they are presented with their aliases in public. Because they do not all come from the same period and some are unaware of the contemporary, they tend to show a conservative and old-fashioned stance. Tatsumi's original idea is to "support everyone's feelings beyond the ages" as a reason to collect members from different ages together.

At the beginning of the story, Sakura was the first to awaken her senses; then the others except for Tae Yamada, awakened their senses after the first performance. The group's names were provisionally "Death Musume" and "Green Face" respectively in their first two performances; but at the decision of the members of the group it was changed by "Franchouchou".

When performing as normal idols, they take on an appearance no different from normal people thanks to Kotaro's abilities, however, being makeup, it easily comes off with water or rain. In addition, in their current state, they are unharmed by serious and fatal injuries such as gunshots, lightning or traffic accidents.

The work that Tatsumi offers them always wears them down because they are from one day to the next and two of the seven maintain a relaxed attitude. They practice singing and dancing in a studio located in a western-style mansion.

Origins

Before the group got its official name, they were initially called Death Musume, later on changed to Green Face, both names by Kotaro. However, the group members found the names to be unsatisfactory and ultimately decided to rename to Franchouchou based on the sound Tae made when she sneezed.

Real-Life Counterpart

The group were made up of the girls seiyu's: Kaede Hondo, Asami Tano, Risa Taneda, Maki Kawase, Rika Kinugawa and Minami Tanaka. In real life they have made various presentations at various anime events in Japan, in which they stand out by wearing the clothes and things used by their alter egos in anime.

Members

  • Sakura Minamoto (Zombie #1) - The first zombie to awaken amongst the group of girls. She is confused as to what her faith was at first but has accepted it and is currently following Kotaro’s lead in hopes of getting her memories back and, at the same time, finally living out her dream in the after life.
  • Saki Nikaido (Zombie #2) - a former member of the girls-only biker gang situated in Saga, The Dorami Biker Gang. After coming to terms with her death and resurrection, she decides that taking over Japan by becoming a famous idol group is not so bad.
  • Ai Mizuno (Zombie #3) - the former lead singer of Sakura’s favorite pop idol group, Iron Frill. At first, she was against Kotaro’s plan and wanted nothing to do with it, but has since then gave in and decided that she is now willing to start her career from scratch.
  • Junko Konno (Zombie #4) - similar to Ai, she was also a pop idol in her time and was against Kotaro’s idea to revive Saga. After having her eyes opened to the reality of their current situation, she finally gives his plan a chance.
  • Yugiri (Zombie #5) - a former courtesan of the 1800s who has been resurrected into modern-time Japan. She has decided that being confused over everything would not help matters and have agreed to just go along with the group.
  • Lily Hoshikawa (Zombie #6) - formerly a child prodigy, she got into television for the sake of her dad’s happiness. Unlike Ai and Junko, she is not against Kotaro’s idea and happily goes along his schemes.
  • Tae Yamada (Zombie #0) - the only legendary girl whose title and cause of death have not been revealed. Despite lacking the ability to communicate properly, Kotaro and the others still invite her to their group activities with welcome arms.

Allies/Companions

  • Kotaro Tatsumi - the energetic founder and producer of the group and Sakura’s former classmate in high school. He is also the one to provide the girls with a place to stay and acts as their chaperone. Another reason he started up the project was to help Sakura live out her dream to become an idol, but he would never admit this.
  • Romero - Kotaro’s pet zombie poodle and the group’s mascot. He gets along with them quite well.

Supporters

  • Death Metal fans - the group’s very first set of fans who has since then attended their every concert.
  • Drive-In Tori president - he can be seen attending their concerts following their successful commercial shoot for his business.
  • Takeo Go - like the president of Drive-In Tori, he can be seen attending the group’s concerts following the time Lily sings him a song they wrote for him, which gets him back to watching television without any regrets.
  • Reiko Amabuki and Maria Amabuki - Saki’s friend and her daughter can also be seen attending the group’s concerts following the biker gang feud Saki intervenes with in order to save Maria from risking her life over a bet.
  • Bartender - Kotaro’s acquaintance who is also an affiliate of Yugiri.
  • Iron Frill - they can be seen watching the group’s concert live online during the twelfth episode.

Temporary Supporters

  • Pharmaceutical Agency Founder - she was excited to have the girls help advertise her product, but because she has witnessed the actual identities of the idol group, the shock has sent here to a traumatized state that wiped her memories events that have undergone during that day.

Relationships

 
Names Kotaro Sakura Saki Ai Junko Yugiri Lily Tae
Kotaro x Sakura/Babe Saki Ai Junko Yugiri Lily Tae
Sakura Inui-kun/Mr. Kotaro/Sir x Saki-chan Ai-chan/Tweedlefame Junko-chan/Tweedleefortune Yugiri Lily-chan Tae-chan
Saki Shades Egg head x Ai Junko Big sis Shrimpy/Squirt Tae
Ai Tatsumi Sakura Leader/Saki x Junko ?? Lily ??
Junko Mr. Tatsumi Minamoto-san → Sakura-san ?? Mizuno-san/Ai-san x Yugiri Lily Tae-san
Yugiri Kotaro-han/Lord Kotaro Sakura-han/Lady Sakura Saki-han/Lady Saki Ai-han/Lady Ai Junko-han/Lady Junko x Lily-han/Lady Lily Tae-han/Lady Tae
Lily Tatsumi/Sir Sakura-chan Saki-chan Ai-chan Junko-chan Yugirin Lily Tae-chan
Tae ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? x

Property

Outfits

Casual

T-shirts with each number that were used from the beginning of the series until the middle of it. Designed by Kotaro, No. 2 (Saki) and No. 5 (Yugiri) are written in Chinese numbers, No. 6 (Lily) is written in a flat pseudonym, No. 0 (Tae) is written in Katakana.

There are other shirts designed by Kotaro, but most of them look pretty ugly. Moreover, they are for advertising and sales, and even if they are different from the unique elements of the stage costume, why are they wrong in the design of the elements for sale?

Idol Outfit #1

A modern idol outfit, a red jacket with a plaid decoration, a skirt with the corresponding color for each girl with cotton inside and knee-high boots. prepared by Kotaro when he participated in the big stage of Saga Rock in episode 7.

Idol Outfit #2

Costumes for the new song "To My Dearest", which was performed in a mini-live with Lily as the main theme. Members other than Lily wear fluffy white costumes. Also, they all have different hairstyles. Lily has one and the other girls have a ponytail, and the impression is quite different as in a Disney movie tone.

Idol Outfit #3

The costume that was shown in the new song "Tokkou Dance" with Saki as the protagonist. A women's style with special clothes in a lewd fashion called sailor clothes with long skirts. Only Saki's costume, which is the center, is a black sailor and the special attack clothing is also embroidered, the hairstyle is side up for Saki and the ponytail for Sakura.

Idol Outfit #4

The costume that was worn in Arpino's live solo in episode 12. A white swallowtail dress with a skirt.

Saga Jihen

The costume used in the MV for the new song "Saga Incident". Yugiri, the center, is a Kakai costume, and the six girls have clothes reminiscent of the first students of the Meiji era.

Living Space

Kotaro and the girls live in an old and abandoned mansion located in what seems to be in the middle of nowhere. Its real-life counterpart is the Karatsu City History and Folklore Museum located in the Saga Prefecture.

Transport

Their only mode of transportation is Kotaro’s van, which not only transports the girls to their concerts but also helps them bring their props and other equipment. The van is a 5th generation Toyota HiAce, which have been in production since 2004 to this day. The tail lights, door handles, wheels, headlight location, and the back mirror are modeled accurately. Even the curves of the windows were replicated. The light bus versions also have 1-2 seat configurations as shown in the show.

Merchandise

Their first article of merchandise is revealed to be, according to Lily, “the ugliest T-shirt (she) has ever seen”, as shown in the fifth episode. Despite making the girls wear it during the Gatalympics, Kotaro himself does not wear it during his turn in the mud biking round. Their following wave of merchandise is shown in the sixth episode, which includes a custom-tailored face towel with a chibified Romero on it. It is also revealed that all their merchandise (and songs) are designed and written by Kotaro as he is the one responsible for their budget.

Goal

  • Tourism in Saga prefecture actually experienced a surge during the anime run, with the Franchouchou (Karatsu City Historical Museum) house in real life attracting a thousand visitors in a single day, more than triple the expectations of the staff!
  • The fact that it came out of nowhere to become one of the most popular anime of fall 2018. The week of vol. 1 Blu-ray went on sale in Japan, sold around 12,500 copies, easily putting it ahead of the other fall 2018 anime Blu-ray released alongside SSSS.GRIDMAN in second place with approximately 8000 copies.

History

  • Episode 1: Started on Friday the 27th April, 2018.
  • Episode 2: Started after they woke up, which is April 28, and the second concert is one day after they woke up, on April 29.
  • Episode 3: Started on April 30, and the guerilla concert is the next morning on May 1.
  • Episode 4: Saki mentions that they were locked up for a month, we could assume that an approximate date of May 20.
  • Episode 5: No date was mentioned at the beginning of the episode, but the Gatalympics was also mentioned, an event that only happens once a year, and in 2018 it happened on May 26.
  • Episode 6: Started between July 5 and 8.
  • Episode 7: At the beginning of the episode, it was mentioned that Junko has been locked up for two weeks, and the Saga Rock concert is on July 20.
  • Episode 8: Lily's song takes place on Friday, August 17, almost a month after Saga Rock.
  • Episode 9: Started sometime between September and early December.
  • Episode 10: Started 18 days before Arpino, on December 3.
  • Episode 11: Started between December 12 and 17.
  • Episode 12: Started between December 17 and Friday December 21, when it is performed in concert at Arpino.

Season 2

  • Episode 13: It starts on April 25, 2019 and finally the anniversary of the concert is on April 27, 2019.
  • Episode 14: Takes place over two unknown days in early May.

Explanation

Bagua of Franchouchou

The Eight Symbols of Franchouchou.

There is a correspondence between Kotaro and the number of girls (assuming Kotaro is # 7) and their way of death and character.

It also predicts the possible cause of Tae's death and some other details of the death of other girls, and explain why Kotaro changed her name.

Bagua is an ancient Chinese philosophical study that started around the same time as Confucius and Anqi Sheng, just before Qin Shi Huang and Xu-Fu, and was then brought to Japan with Buddhism.

Each Bagua symbol corresponds to each of the 7 girls. Also, Kotaro's last names on the bagua are opposite. "乾" (Inui) is on the opposite side of "巽" (Tatsumi)

The Eight Symbols

  • Tae: 0 (000), 坤 (Earth), death by earthquake or starvation
  • Sakura: 1 (001), 乾 (sky), traffic death
  • Saki: 2 (010), 離 (Flame), gas explosion flame death
  • Ai: 3 (011), 震 (Thunder), death by thunder
  • Junko: 4 (100), 艮 (Mountain), death by plane crash (If we refer to Saga's accident in real life, it crashed in the mountain ranges)
  • Yūgiri: 5 (101), 兌 (Lake), death by blades (兌 also corresponds to "metal" in the Five Chinese elements)
  • Lily: 6 (110), 坎 (Water), death from heart failure
  • Kotaro: 7 (111), 巽 (Wind), not yet dead

Philosophy

There is also a philosophical implication for teaching the eight symbols:

  • Tae: A person from 坤 (Earth) must remain moral and forgiving.
  • Sakura: A person from 乾 (Heaven) should look forward and be optimistic.
  • Saki: A person from 離 (Flame) should shine her light and personality on others.
  • Ai: A person from 震 (Thunder) must be educated through fear.
  • Junko: A person from 艮 (Mountain) must remain calm, peaceful and thoughtful.
  • Yugiri: A person from 兌 (Lake) must make and educate her friends.
  • Lily: A person from 坎 (Water) must maintain her virtue and conduct.
  • Kotaro: A person from 巽 (Wind) must reiterate his orders and guarantee the practice of his affairs.

Ai highlights that bad luck for girls can bring good luck.

Japanese Buddhism (which has many ties to Bagua and Taoism due to Chinese influence) classified the days into 6 groups: 大安, 友引, 先胜, 先负, 赤口, 佛灭 (I can't translate these, they are some ancient Chinese terms), and all the girls died in a day of Butsumetsu (bad luck "仏滅"), the worst of the worst days according to the Japanese Buddhist calendar.

Kotaro's old surname Inui 乾 (Heaven) means north west. Meanwhile his current name Tatsumi 巽 (Wind) means south east. He changed his name to make way for Sakura so she can take "乾".

  • They are both completely opposite on the bagua, Inui (乾 Qian) and Tatsumi (巽 Xun) Joining both surnames gives the name "heavenly wind".

Generally, [changing one's name or symbol] is strictly prohibited and would bring extreme bad luck, but In this case, all eight girls were extremely unlucky; However, in Bagua philosophy, going too far to one extreme will take you to the other extreme, so the girls' extreme bad luck really brings the group great luck.

Trivia

  • Their first temporary name, Death Musume, literally translates to Daughters of Death.
    • Whereas their second temporary name, Green Face, is a reference to the color of their skins without their human make-up.
  • In the third episode, Sakura insists on a group name that starts with "Fran-“, then adds the sound effect that Tae made while sneezing. This is likely in reference to Frankenstein, as the girls share physical characteristics with the movie's appearance of the iconic monster, especially Junko, who appears to have been stitched again.
    • Additionally, the “chou chou” part of their group name is pronounced the same as the Japanese onomatopoeia for the kissing sound.
  • Tae's seiyu was credited as "???" During the first 2 episodes, Kotono Mitsuishi was subsequently credited in episode 3.
    • In addition, Kotono is the only one who does not appear during live performances.

References

TBA

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.