"I have what it takes! Whether or not you have what it takes is irrelevant because I do! And I’m telling you this, I will never and I mean never abandon you!"

— Kotaro to Sakura, “Episode 11

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 is the energetic producer of the idol group Franchouchou. He was the one who resurrected girls from different eras as zombies to be part of his idol group. His identity and his goals to reviving the girls are completely unknown, however the mysterious Bartender knows of his plans.

Personality

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.

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.

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 Nikaidō's actions in a fight could potentially ruin Franchouchou's reputation.

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. The latter is especially seen at the beginning of the second season, Kotaro falls into depression and becomes an alcoholic after Franchouchou failed and the group ended up with a great debt, and for a month he dedicates himself to drinking and completely neglects his hair and beard. Not caring what happens to the girls because according to him they lost valuable time and his project has a deadline, fortunately the Barman makes him reconsider by playing with his feelings and calling the girls "Saga-ettes" which makes Kotaro go back to being the one he was before. and defend the girls like a father.

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.

His old Inui personality is unknown, but since his name is totally the opposite of 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 girls and serious when he is talking to the bartender.

Appearance

Regular Outfit

He has pale skin with a muscley figure underneath his clothes. He has neatly combed hair and wears a pair of dark sunglasses, 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 is never seen to be used properly.

High School Uniform

In 2008 he 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.

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 and Ai 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, he is also shown to be able to rap himself, when he compliments Sakura’s rapping in a rap-like fashion (Though this is only shown in the English dub).
  • Multilingualism - Throughout the series, he is shown to be capable of speaking Japanese, English and French.
  • Dancing - Despite being just the girls’ producer, he has also 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, he has also 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 he 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, he is also in charge of designing the merchandise for the group.
  • Driving - He drives the group van but can be easily distracted when doing so, which can make him lose focus.
  • Kabuki acting - He 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, he is also adept at yodeling.
  • Hand-to-hand Combat - Similar to the Death Metal fans, 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, he has the ability to distract people regardless of gender and age with just his natural charm.
  • Wide Intellect - His intelligence is shown throughout the series, whether it be through songwriting, necromancy, or by other means.
  • Athleticism - He was the only one who successfully went through the Gatalympics mud bike round without a speck of mud on his person.

Unique Abilities

  • Necromancy - It is not known exactly how he 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. 

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).
  • Kōtarō Tatsumi's name in Kanji is 巽(Tatsumi) 幸太郎(Kōtarō), while "Inui" in Kanji is "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 his 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.
  • He 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.
  • He 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 two episodes so far wherein Kotaro does not have a major role. The two episodes being “Episode 9” and “Episode 14”.
    • Coincidentally, these are both Saki-centered episodes.

Reference

Characters list
Main characters
Kotaro TatsumiSakura MinamotoSaki NikaidoAi MizunoJunko KonnoYugiriTae YamadaLily HoshikawaPoliceman ARomero
Secondary characters
Takeo GoReiko AmabukiShinta OkobaBartenderMaria AmabukiDeath Metal fansShioriMisa AzumatsuruThe Mysterious ManWhite Ryu
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