Zombieland Saga Wiki
Advertisement

"As long as Franchouchou exists, I will keep going, no matter what it takes! Your dream doesn’t end at EFS, your dream is to continue forward and be the best idols the world has ever seen! Until the time comes, I will...I will...be the man who will keep doing this, even if it takes forever."

— Kotaro to Sakura, responding to her gratefulness, “Episode 23

Kotaro Tatsumi
 
Kotaro Tatsumi
Kotaroicon.png
The mysterious idol producer.

Always seen wearing a black jacket on his back, a red vest with a squid tentacle from the Kojima food industry sticking out and black sunglasses that never fall off. An arrogant man who won't let common sense get in his way, he was the one that resurrected the seven "legendary" zombies. He plans to enlist the zombie idols into Zombie Land Saga Project to save the Saga prefecture, although no one knows the true details of his plans.

Kotaro Tatsumi (巽 幸太郎 Tatsumi Kōtarō), real surname Inui ( Inui), is the energetic producer of the idol group Franchouchou and Sakura Minamoto’s classmate back in high school.

He is the one who resurrected girls from different eras as zombies to be part of his idol group that saved Saga from its curse, Jofuku knows of his plans by being the brain of the operation.

Appearance

Regular Outfit

Kotaro Model

Kotaro is a pale-skinned young man with neatly combed brown hair that has bangs swept to the right side, he wears a pair of dark sunglasses that always covers his eyes (so it is unknown on what his eye color is) and he has a muscly figure underneath his clothes.

His outfit consists of a white shirt with a dark blue bow and a red vest with dried squid tentacles sticking out of the pocket. He has a matching navy blue jacket that is hung behind his shirt collar, but it is never seen to be used properly.

High School Uniform

In 2008, Kotaro wore a black gakuran military school uniform.

Depressed Phase

This phase shown at the beginning of the second season shows us a depressed and careless Kotaro, letting his hair grow 20 cm more until he has hair that covers his face, he also has traces of a beard. His clothes consist of his usual pants and a very sloppy white shirt, he also wears sandals.

Personality

In life

Inui's personality remains unknown

His old Inui personality is unknown, but since his name is totally opposite to his current one, it can be given the idea that he is shy and serious, as seen when looking for new commercials or deals for the girls and serious when talking with Jofuku.

As manager

His plan to save Saga from the curse; chooses various deceased celebrities and other influential figures who have already been killed by the curse, raises them from the dead, and makes them gain popularity as a regional idol group, all in the hopes of spreading Saga's name and preventing the curse from to erase the concept of Saga Prefecture. So far it has worked in his favor. Even Jofuku can't believe it worked.

Tatsumi is a loud and eccentric idol producer who has big ambitions for "saving" the Saga prefecture with his zombie idols. He is unwavering and passionate when it comes to achieving this goal, doing whatever it takes to make the girls into a sensational idol group. He seems to be obsessed with using the undead to revitalize Saga Prefecture, but no one knows the exact details of his plan, and he has the ability to dodge all questions about it using the most outrageous answers.

Though he may have lofty motivations, however, Tatsumi himself seems to be quite an idiot and often pretends to be more knowledgeable than he actually is. When his ignorance is ever revealed, he often resorts to lashing out and yelling at whoever called him out. He rarely ever takes into account the girls' feelings about his ill-conceived and unreasonable plans, such as forcing Sakura Minamoto to perform in front of a crowd of death metal fans when she explicitly told him that she couldn't.

Kotaro in one of his morning performances

He's loud and totally crazy for making a group of zombie idols, but he's incredibly effective at putting together successful performances, and he's such a skilled makeup artist that he can make decaying corpses pose as fully alive and impressive people.

Despite his flaws, Tatsumi does seem to have some semblance of wisdom and understanding, telling off Ai Mizuno and Junko Konno for giving up on the idol group so easily, which would eventually help convince them to join the group. Another time, when Junko locked herself up, he gives her advice on her issues with modern idols. He also shows this side by demonstrating a fair amount professionalism as a manager such as creating various business opportunities and connections and lecturing how Saki Nikaido's actions in a fight could potentially ruin Franchouchou's reputation.

Every time he tries to get someone's patronage, he tends to seduce them (regardless of gender), making them blush.

However, behind this overwhelming and eccentric personality, hides a quite discreet, anguished and reserved man. In fact, during the Gatalympics cycling event, we noticed that he has trouble expressing himself in public. We also notice, first in the manga, that he regularly doubts the success of his plans and then goes into phases of depression.

Kotaro motivating the girls, episode 6

The manga version of the series seems to focus on the work Kotaro does to promote and secure concerts for Franchouchou in the background, while greatly abbreviating the girls' events (to the point where both the rap battle and the guerrilla show is only covered in single-page flashbacks - so far, the rock concert is the only event in the show covered in its entirety). This version of Kotaro is less impulsive and shows his true self, that he is an insecure man sometimes and that like any human being he will get tired if he reaches a certain point, such as having a stomach ache from the stress of supporting the group. He also does not know everything that is going on around him and he tends to get frustrated easily when he does not understand things or what to do, falling into a depressed state.

Kotaro depressed in the manga for not being able to achieve his goals

There will be times when Kotaro will genuinely get angry, such as Sakura breaking her mask after seeing her first sponsorship ruined, to which he tells her that he will shave it next time if she ruins it again. Junko refuses to take photos with fans at the photoshoot and also irritates him so much that he boils down to yelling at the girls. When Saki steps in to save Maria from a rival motorcycle gang, he is very serious when he tells him that if he gets into trouble like that, he could put Franchouchou in danger.

The big turning point in Kotaro's portrayal comes with Episode 7, when he helps Junko out of her bad mood and then accidentally runs her over. After that, he begins to get more involved as a helper and mentor to the girls, such as composing a song for Lily to sing to her father, warning Saki not to use violence to solve Dorami's problems or trying to get Sakura to give herself up. He realizes his flaws, and the audience begins to see the sides he tries to hide from the girls, such as his vulnerabilities or the broader mysteries he is involved in.

Out of his impatience he rushes to follow the steps to try to make Franchouchou as big as possible, making many hasty and impulsive decisions that are detrimental to the progress of the group. Given the pressure of fighting a deadly curse, there is some cause for it, but it still does as much harm as good in the long run.

This comes to a head with the disastrous EFS concert. He doesn't properly advertise the show and tries to rush the girls to the venue in a matter of weeks. This results in poor audience participation, a massive debt load, and Franchouchou's popularity plummets. At this point, he realizes how badly he has screwed up the girls.

He also does not know everything that happens around him and tends to get frustrated easily when he does not understand things or what he should do, falling into a depressed state.

In Episode 1 of Season 2, Kotaro became depressed after the disastrous failure of the Franchouchou concert, saddling the team with enormous debt with a very short deadline. As a result, he spent weeks isolated from girls, drank heavily, and grew his hair. Fortunately, he comes out of his depression after a conversation with Jofuku, just in time to save Franchouchou's performance at the metal venue.

In episode 3 of Revenge, Kotaro announces that the girls will open for Iron Frill, but that Ai will not be participating, claiming that the risk of being recognized by her former bandmates is too great. The "stealth" part is minimized here, as none of the girls buy this excuse, but only during the concert itself, that Ai realizes why he actually did this: the others had been relying too much on her, and Kotaro wanted to make them do it becoming more independent (as well as forcing Junko out of her shell a bit more).

Goodbye to his beloved electric guitar

He's quite attached to his electric guitar, has had it for years and uses it as a source of inspiration to keep moving forward... and then Junko smashes it to pieces during her performance.

When Lily takes full charge of Franchouchou's morning briefing for an episode, she makes her own version of her of Kotaro's nasty boos (although she is much cuter doing it). All he can do is walk to her empty chair and sit quietly, trying not to cry at the end. Not shortly after, he gives a miserable performance for the talent show due to not having his usual self-confidence.

When he believes that she killed Maimai, he is on the constant brink of a panic attack, trying to keep up with his morning routine, but eventually breaks down, desperately denying any guilt. Fortunately, he was innocent on that front.

In episode 10 of Revenge. He becomes disconcertingly serious when he talks about his plans for another EFS concert, and later when Ookoba confronts him, having finally uncovered Franchouchou's secret.

Worried about the state of the girls, he runs to his mansion to see that they are okay

Barring a few rare moments, Kotaro won't stop once he's set his mind on something he plans to do. His inner thoughts after Sakura's death also explain it, regarding his dream of Franchouchou having a second chance at life, along with a chance to save Saga while he does so.

By the end of Revenge, he becomes much more responsible as a producer, being generally kinder to the girls and trying to make better decisions that will improve them as a group. Her relationship with Sakura also improves tremendously, and she is genuinely grateful that he helped her turn her into an idol.

Outfits

Abilities

Skillset

  • Songwriting - In chapter 9.1 of the Zombieland Saga manga, Kotaro can be seen struggling to come up with ideas for a song involving a duet between Junko Konno and Ai Mizuno for the upcoming Saga Rock festival as they are polar opposites. Through the use of tofu, he eventually has an epiphany and finishes the song in time for Saga Rock.
  • Beatboxing - In Episode 2, it is shown that Kotaro has significant skill in beatboxing as he did the main beat to fuel the rap battle between Sakura Minamoto and Saki Nikaido where he was able to quicken his beat immediately when Yugiri joined in playing her Shamisen.
  • Rapping - On top of his beatboxing skills, Kotaro is shown to be able to rap himself when he compliments Sakura’s rapping in a rap-like fashion (although this is only shown in the English dub).
  • Multilingualism - Throughout the series, Kotaro is shown to be capable of speaking Japanese, English and French.
  • Dancing - Despite being just the girls’ producer, Kotaro has displayed his talent at dancing, as shown in the first season’s intro.
  • Musical Talent - Aside from being the songwriter and producer of the girls, Kotaro has shown his proficiency in playing multiple musical instruments as well as having the ability to perform songs himself.
    • Guitar-playing - As shown in the eighth episode, he is also skillful at playing the guitar.
    • Bagpipe-playing - Albeit not shown directly, a bagpipe can be seen in his room in "Episode 13", which can only be assumed that it has, at some point, been involved in his songwriting.
  • Cosmetology - A feat Kotaro learned from Hollywood, he makes it possible to change the appearance of a zombie with makeup to look like a real human being. It seems that the girls are very confident about it because it is not only a mere reproduction of the living body, but also a beauty that even some of the girls who engaged in artistic pursuits before their lives will be impressed.
  • Designing - Apart from songwriting, Kotaro is in charge of designing the merchandise for the group.
  • Driving - Kotaro drives the group van but can be easily distracted when doing so, which can make him lose focus.
  • Kabuki acting - Kotaro is shown to be able to mimic the movements of Kabuki actors as shown in the sixth episode.
  • Yodeling - As demonstrated in the tenth episode, Kotaro is adept at yodeling.
  • Hand-to-hand Combat - Similar to Skull and Bull, Kotaro can also fair well in a battle of fisticuffs against a stadium full of people, as shown in "Episode 13".

Natural Abilities

  • Superhuman Strength - Kotaro proved himself extremely powerful for a human being, capable of casually overpowering zombies and breaking blocked doors with a simple kick when Junko barricaded herself to hide in sorrow.
  • Charisma - As shown in the fourth and fifth episodes, Kotaro has the ability to distract people regardless of gender and age with just his natural charm.
  • Wide Intellect - Kotaro's intelligence is shown throughout the series, whether it be through songwriting, necromancy or by other means.
  • Athleticism - Kotaro was the only one who successfully went through the Gatalympics mud bike round without a speck of mud on his person.
  • Enhanced Durability - There have been multiple instances throughout the show wherein he is shown to have able to withstand harsh conditions. Such as being able to hold his ground and fight back in “Episode 13”, having survived the curse trying to drown him at sea in “Episode 22” and having survived from nearly drowning to death in Jofuku’s flooded bar in “Episode 23”.

Unique Abilities

  • Necromancy - It is not known exactly how Kotaro turned the girls into zombies, but according to him, "it's like a zombie movie." Like other zombie works, the zombie girls in this series are described as "human beings resurrected as corpses", but they do not appear to have the peculiar smell of corpses. In the fourth episode, one of the members, Ai Mizuno, asked a very reasonable question saying "In Japan do not bodies cremate?", The method of obtaining the corpse is still a mystery.
  • Good luck - It is not known how, but he seems to be protected by a good luck shield that protects him when the curse tries to kill him repeatedly or help him to fulfill his objective, this is seen in episode 13 when the lights of The traffic lights turn green for pedestrians when he is going for the girls in GEILS or when a wind pushes he a little to avoid being crushed by a pet.

Etymology

  • The name Kotaro means "happiness, good luck" (幸) (ko), "thick, big" (太) (ta) and "son" (郎) (ro).
  • Kotaro's surname Tatsumi means "southeast" (巽).
    • Kotaro's former surname Inui means "northwest" (乾).
      • If you look at the King Wen "Later Heaven" Bagua, you will see that the word "巽" is on the opposite side of "乾".
        • When the meaning of Inui and Tatsumi are combined, it becomes "heavenly wind".

Trivia

  • A running gag in the show involves Kotaro's sunglasses covering his eyes, or alternatively, his eyes not being shown to the audience at all.
    • As such, it is only reasonable that he brings them to bathe, as shown in the sixth episode.
  • The theory wherein Kotaro harbors good luck as opposed to the girls’ bad luck is slightly supported in Episode 13, as shown in the scene wherein all of the pedestrian lights simultaneously went green amidst traffic just before he started running back to the Geils Deathmetal Stadium.
  • Despite being charismatic, Kotaro seems to have a fear of public speaking as seen during the fifth episode when he was asked to address the crowd at the Gatalympics.
    • It seems that there are several indications of this in his name, as Tatsumi and Inui are completely opposites. The way he avoids speaking in public when asked if he was excited would actually be the closest we know of the Inui personality.
    • His stage fright is once again highlighted in “Episode 17”, when he performed the mating dance of mudskippers in heat during his turn at the Japanese Got Performance talent show.
  • Kotaro seems to have some sort of Klazomania as he is shown to burst out at any given moment. One of the main causes of Klazomania is overdosage of alcohol, which Kotaro can be seen consuming in both the eleventh episode and in the manga.
  • Kotaro is revealed to have a diary wherein he records the group’s idol activity alongside bits of his own personal life. Entries of his diary are shown as the episode synopses in the official website.
  • The scene wherein a disheveled Kotaro raises his arms to the sky by a cliffside with roaring waves in the thirteenth episode is reminiscent of the official poster for the second season, with the only difference being that his hair was not as long in the official poster as to avoid spoilers.
  • There has only been five episodes so far wherein Kotaro does not have a major role. The five episodes being "Episode 9", "Episode 14", "Episode 17", "Episode 18" and "Episode 21".
    • Coincidentally, the first two are both Saki Nikaido-centered episodes.
      • It is also worth noting that “Episode 17” is the first and, so far, only episode wherein he does not yell at any of the girls, or in general, for that matter, throughout the entire time.
    • Whereas there is currently one episode, "Episode 20", wherein he does not make any sort of physical appearance outside of the intermission pictures.
      • It is also the first episode to not have an entry from his diary act as the episode synopsis. Instead, Kiichi Momozaki's memorandum is used.
  • In "Episode 16", it is revealed that Kotaro has replica wigs of all the girls sitting on a cabinet in his office.
    • This is a callback to him threatening to shave the girls’ heads bald the next time they get caught as zombies back in “Episode 4” (Although this would only make sense in the original dub as his line in the English dub was changed to “You better be glad you girls are already dead.”).
  • Kotaro and Kiichi share the same voice actor in the original dub with both being voiced by Mamoru Miyano.
  • Kotaro seems to have history with Sakura Minamoto as seen in episode 12, when he hears the news forecast, we see a flashback of Kotaro about Sakura picking up a CD album that she had dropped on and he gave it back to her.
    • In episode 11 of the second season, the scene on the stairs while he watching Sakura is done from Kotaro's perspective, making Sakura look 30% prettier than she is[3].
  • When Kotaro and the bartender were discussing the Zombie Land Saga Project, the bar they were in was called New Jofuku.
    • Jofuku (徐福) is the Japanese name for Xu Fu, a court sorcerer during the Qin dynasty who was sent to search for the elixir of life from the immortals. The pictures on the wall of the bar are from Jofuku Park in Saga.
  • The mansion where they currently live is a reference to the Saga folklore museum, although in the anime this house is located in a different place.
  • Assuming he's not immortal or has been zombified since then, his age should be around 26-27 since he was Sakura's classmate.
  • There are indications that he knew of Sakura's dire fate and is ready to improvise whenever the stage is destroyed during concerts.
  • Kotaro uses the term (ぼんじり(bonjiri), which is the meat around the chicken's butt and is apparently funny in a stupid way.
  • According to the creators of the anime, the character of Kotaro is the key character to understand the entire history of Zombie Land Saga, not only because he was the one who created the Zombie Land Saga project, but also because it is related to basically the entire plot of the series and it is where all the stories of Saga's saviors converge.
  • In the last episode of Revenge, episode 24, Kotaro quietly coughs up blood so the girls don't worry about him. In chapter 8 of the manga he shows that he has stomach problems and that by adding it to alcohol he may have developed cirrhosis aggravated by the effects of the curse.
  • Even though he is not one of the Franchouchou members, Kotaro managed to get his own character theme in the penultimate episode of Revenge ("All It Takes You There SAGA") known as "Never Ending Saga". It is even sung by Mamoru Miyano himself, who voices Kotaro.

References

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 Higashino
Advertisement