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"I can be kind of a klutz most of the time, and there are days when it feels like I don’t really have it together. But, luckily, it’s not gonna be like that anymore, I’m gonna be the girl I’ve always wanted to be! If I follow my dreams, I know my future will be full of happiness and excitement."

— Sakura, introducing herself, “Episode 1

Sakura Minamoto
 
Sakura Minamoto
Sakura Icon.png
The zombie whose charming point is the polka dot ribbon on her long hair.

While she's the first to be awakened, she can't remember anything from when she's alive. Surrounded by all those legendary zombies, she's pushed into roles from time to time. Her dialect is of Karatsu. A girl with an extremely cute Karatsu City accent.


Sakura Minamoto (源 さくら Minamoto Sakura) is the former classmate of Kotaro Tatsumi and the main protagonist of Zombie Land Saga. She is also the first zombiefied human to gain consciousness out of the seven girls.

She is the center of the idol group Franchouchou, with no legendary title as of yet, and is only known as Number 1 (1号 Ichi-gō).

Appearance

Human

Sakura and Tae share the same cup size and overall body type.

Sakura has straight , dark pink hair that extends past her shoulders. Part of it is tied up in a side ponytail with a blue and pink ribbon. Her eyes are a crystal blue. She sports a curvaceous figure that is proportionally identical to those of Tae Yamada, with only slight differences by sheer numbers mostly due to their height difference.

She normally wears her school uniform which consists of a blue and white dress with white socks and brown loafer shoes.

First sketches of Sakura zombie

Zombie

Like the other zombies, Sakura's skin color is grayish blue. She has a large scar on her forehead, some bandages that cover part of both legs, and also has a bandage on the left hand. This reflects the injuries she sustained when she was fatally hit by a truck. She keeps her usual school uniform but it is more rumpled.

Idol

Sakura's idol outfit changes throughout the series: On the first 6 episodes she wore a dress with a pink t-shirt with the inscription of "number 1" in Japanese, a short pink padded skirt and blue tennis shoes with white knee-high stockings.

After Saga Rock, her outfit changed to a red, argyle, short-sleeved blazer over a white, collared shirt, with a pink bow as a tie, a pink padded skirt, and black mid-calf boots detailed with the same red argyle as the blazer.

Personality

Before Death

She has proven to be incredibly talented in many fields. Sakura is shown to have had great potential in sports, as evidenced by her training hard enough to be the fastest runner in her age group in preparation for a relay race. One of her friends goes so far as to sat that she was pretty good at sports in general. She is also show to be promising academically, managing to get very high marks during the mock exams for the best high school in Saga. In fact, with the revelation that her death was caused by The Curse of SAGA, she was such an ace that the curse immediately saw her as a great threat with huge potential to revitalize the prefecture if she tried.

Sakura adored Iron Frill, particularly Ai, in life. Ai's "never-say-die" attitude, as well as her performances, brought Sakura out of the learned helplessness and severe depression brought on by her many failures.

Sakura depressed about all her failures in life

Before she died, Sakura's attitude was similar to hers but due to the misfortunes of her life, she adopted a rather pessimistic attitude to the point that all her social interactions disappeared because she only focused on herself. She refused to go with her companions because she thought that she would fail no matter how hard she tried, but Iron Frill managed to inspire her, making her regain her hope.

Her entire life before her death was a series of misfortunes that inhibited any progress toward a successful life. Her activities in athletics, education, etc. They were arrested by seemingly random phenomena like injury and illness, and, when she finally managed to regain some of her positivity, a truck killed her. The fact that this is all due in part to Saga's curse makes it appear that she is a cosmic pawn.

Afterlife

Sakura is shown as an energetic young woman when she was still alive. However, that enthusiasm seemed to turn to confusion, anxiety, and fear after she regains consciousness as a zombie. She becomes very passionate, though, when she gets to sing to an audience like an idol.

Sakura discovers her zombie nature

She is the most normal of all the zombies, being an ordinary high school student rather than a living legend at the time of her death. The first episode also has her as bewildered as the audience about the series' ridiculous premise. She understandably spends time asking a lot of questions, making her a surrogate audience for those less informed about the idol industry.

Sakura serves as the emotional anchor that holds the group together. Notable examples include convincing the rebellious Saki to stay aboard Kotaro's plans despite their shared misgivings, inspiring Ai and Junko to restart their careers after seeing her determination to succeed, and helping Lily reconcile with her father after her death. Yugiri explicitly mentions it in Episode 12, stating that without Sakura, the strong wills of the others would have caused the group to fall apart much sooner.

Just because she's nice and somewhat naive doesn't mean she's a punching bag either. In Episode 2, after getting tired of Saki, Ai, and Junko's behavior during her performance, she does not hesitate to hit Tae's head from Saki's hands and verbally assaults them in a rap. In Episode 10, Sakura finally loses her patience with Kotaro's crazy ideas and attacks him after meeting her with a wild boar in the snow outdoors and then towards her groupmates for seemingly fooling around.

Sakura took the time to take care of Tae, teach her movements, dress her and interact with her to the maximum of the entire cast. This has few, if any, negative implications for Sakura, and Tae is shown to be extremely grateful for Sakura's efforts in the season finale when she attempts to lift Sakura out of her own depression.

Episode 10 shows how her determinism becomes a flaw when working in a group: she get so excited about something, she go ahead without stopping to consider anyone else, and if she cannot see how what others are doing is directly relevant to what she is doing, she thinks they are wasting their time, missing whatever hidden lessons there may be.

While Sakura had forgotten her constant bad luck and the details of her death, she remembered being motivated by Ai and was just as joyful as she was at her introduction. She spends the entire series trying to regain the memories of her and finally does so at the end of the tenth episode, after being hit again by a truck. However, she loses all recent memories of her with Franchouchou and, worse, relapses into her deep depression from her constant misfortune.

Sakura wakes up looking alive and finds herself in the mansion with no memory of how she got there. She scans the place only to be seemingly attacked by a hungry zombie, her attempt to escape her leads her to a room full of even more zombies, and she takes a poker to defend against her as they wake up and approach her. Upon finally leaving the mansion, she runs into the policeman she met the first night she was terrified of her zombie appearance, before Kotaro came to rescue him knocking him unconscious. At the end of the season, she recovers all of her post-mortem memories of her, giving him a full perspective on her identity.

Sakura, finally fulfilling her dream and about to cry on stage for that very reason

During the second season it is shown that now she is a fundamental part of the group, and that thanks to her actions of taking care of the rest of the group, they have been able to spend this month working to pay the great debt of her failure. In addition to taking it into her own hands to help Kotaro with depression and trying to talk to him so that he can go back to the girls and be his manager again.

Although she has less prominence throughout the second season, with her memories of life and as a zombie she is more than willing to continue fulfilling her dream of being an idol despite the fact that she is dead, and she will not mind facing heaven and hell to achieve her dream in life and save Saga.

Abilities

Skillset

  • Wide Intellect - Despite her outward naivety and general lack of sharpness, Sakura immediately recognizes Kotaro Tatsumi as a shady guy who has her wrapped around his finger, only following his ridiculous demands as a way to regain her memories. She also scored an 85 or higher on a mock exam at one of the prefecture's prestigious schools (also a high score that beats the average score of other aspiring students by 10 points or more in each subject).
  • Athleticism - Sakura was selected as a relay player for the third year in a row, each of which set the best time in the grade due to her training.
  • Acting - Sakura demonstrates an excellent ability to act during the practice for her school play.
  • Musical Talent - After being inspired by Iron Frill, Sakura gains a love for becoming a pop idol and has naturally acquired musical talent. According to the director, Sakura's potential is unleashed when she is between at a pressure point.
  • Dancing - Alongside acquiring her musical talent, Sakura has also naturally mastered the art of dancing after discovering Iron Frill.
  • Rapping - As shown in the second episode, Sakura is able to dish out lines against Saki in a spur of the moment attempt.
  • Hula-hopping - Sakura 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, Sakura 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, Sakura is given the ability to detach and re-attach parts of her body from their sockets with little to no effort, whether it's intentionally or accidentally.
  • Phosphorescent Vision - Sakura gains dark red eyes that are able to glow in the dark after she is resurrected into a zombie.
  • 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.
  • Muscle Memory - They actually still remember their traumas and the way they died, reflecting them in their post-life. The reason why their bodies have this behavior is that since their death was such a tragic event, it was etched in 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. This is partially demonstrated with Sakura in episode 12 recalling the choreography after losing her memories.

Weaknesses

  • Bad Luck - Every time she focuses on a target, Saga's curse generates an aura of bad luck over her [2]. In Episode 10, she has a desire to regain the memories of her, causing her to rush to practice and come into conflict with the rest of Franchouchou when Kotaro sends them up the mountain to clear their minds. Her memory of her life in the following episode reveals that she stayed up practicing late, both for the school play and for the relay team, these efforts made her more vulnerable to the curse that took advantage of her health from spending weeks without sleeping to make her fall ill on several occasions:
    • Being selected as the protagonist in the elementary school arts festival → On the day of the play, she was absent with a cold despite being vaccinated.
    • Selected as a Relay Player in Grades 4, 5 and 6 → Every year she was incapacitated by a cramp. She may have forgotten to stretch or injured herself from stretching too hard. The bandage wrapped around her lower leg in a zombie shape seems to be the clue to this.
    • High school freshman studying hard to get into the school she wants → On the day of the test, she encountered elderly people in trouble, arriving late for the test where she lost focus and failed.
    • Aspiring to be an idol, admired by the success of Iron Frill's Ai Mizuno → In April of her sophomore year of high school, as soon as she left home to submit her application form, she was hit by a van that suddenly appeared.

Sakura's bad luck is represented as a Sagako in Chapter 26

  • Afterlife Misfortune - Sakura's bad luck follows her even to her afterlife. Instances include:
    • Unaware that she was revived as a zombie, a police officer shot her in the chest.[3]
    • Participating in the concert at Karatsu Castle as Green Musume → Tae Yamada lost her head and Saki almost gave it away. The impromptu rap battle was a huge success, but the idol concert failed.
      • Trying to stop Ai Mizuno and Junko Konno who tried to escape, but she went out into a busy area and was almost shot again by the same officer.
    • Performing at a guerrilla in the square of the Karatsu station → she forget the lyrics.
    • When she was in Ureshino Onsen, the public relations manager of the pharmacy came, because of a mistake they ended up scaring her so much that she forgot everything about her relationship with Franchouchou.[4]
    • At Gatalympics, she launch herself from the rope as expected, but fell short.[5]
    • She attempts to fetch Junko's hat before it flies off any further but ends up falling into the shore.[6]
    • Intentionally run over by the curse to try to stop her with her old memories.[7]
    • A snowfall on the day of Franchouchou's presentation in Arpino, causing the roof to collapse.[8]
    • She trips over Tae, making the latter's head fly off for the inconscpicuous journalist to get photographic evidence of their secret.[9]
    • The house swept out to sea by a gigantic storm, and later collapsing causing them to lose their makeup.[10]

Etymology

  • The name Sakura means "cherry blossom" (さくら).
  • Sakura's surname Minamoto means "source, origin" (源).
    • Minamoto is also one of the three most prominent clans in Japanese history. It is listed in the Shinsen Shojiroku.

Trivia

  • According to Sakura's designer, Kasumi Fukagawa, she said that her vision for Sakura was that everyone loved her and would be the "ideal girl for a boy."
  • Sakura's leading cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, and the truck was speeding on a residential street. It is later revealed in the post-credits scene of "Episode 19" that the driver who hit her reported the same about and accident and what had happened, the reason he ended up hitting her was because he was briefly blinded sudden flash of light and that his truck was thrown towards Sakura.[11]
    • Sakura's forehead scar was caused by her apparent cause of death, a head concussion.
      • This is also the reason why she had acquired amnesia of her memories when she was alive.
    • If Sakura hadn't been hit by the truck and made it to the audition, the chances of her being accepted would have been slim. If they rejected her, she would have sunk further into depression, Even if she was accepted, a few months later she would have seen her hero die in front of her eyes, which would depress her again (or maybe Sakura would have been struck by lightning). The curse would still try to prevent her from achieving her achievements in her lifetime because she would make Saga a popular place.
  • With Sakura’s birthday being on April 2nd, this makes her an Aries.
  • It is revealed in the eleventh episode that, right before her death, and before acquiring amnesia in her afterlife, she suffered from severe depression to the point wherein she shows suicidal tendencies throughout the episode.
  • Sakura died five days after her seventeenth birthday.
  • Sakura is the only member of Franchouchou to not have a "Legendary" title.
    • Despite not having a similar title, her backstory shows that she was "legendary" too, in her own way. Sakura is a legendary Jinx, a talented, intelligent, and driving girl who never succeeds at what she counts due to her bad luck. This supposed bad luck may actually be the effects of the Saga curse preventing her from bringing glory to Saga, meaning she could have been a legendary actor, runner, or idol if the curse hadn't interfered.
      • For this very reason Kotaro never called her legendary, he knew that if he told her that and she remembered who he was, she would have recognized him.
  • Sakura is one of four with most curvaceous figures in group. Sharing same cup size and body type with Tae Yamada and beaten only by Yugiri and Maimai Yuzuriha.
  • In episode 10 there appears a paper with the choreography of the next song that reveals the plot of Sakura's past an episode before. It's basically a song where Sakura takes almost all the spotlight, and Tae just wonders in the back and doesn't move to the front of the group at all, and there's an incredibly wild mix of all the different dance types.
    • And the main point of the song is that Sakura says, "I will not succumb to my fate, no matter how many misfortunes and adversities I have to face."
  • It is possible that the parents' house where she lived is in an area about a 40-minute walk from the mansion in the series, which has been identified by a Japanese viewer.
    • A search has been made and it was found that she lived near Mount Kagamiyama in Karatsu, within a radius of 300-500 meters.[12]
  • As of “Episode 13”, she and Tae Yamada work part-time as caretakers of a local pasture farm.
  • It is revealed in “Episode 18” that her family’s gravestones are positioned right next to the Yamada family’s gravestones.
  • Her seiyuu, went to lunch at the Drive-in Tori restaurant, as an extra documentary on Volume 2 of the Blu-ray.
  • Sakura Minamoto doesn't have a picture song of her own during the first season, but on the album "Franchouchou The Best", she gets her own solo song specific to hers known as "Sensei! ALIVE Sensation". This song focuses on her own "life after death" goals, backed up with an upbeat feel, which would not sound out of place for an "overflowing with life" anime opening theme.

References

  1. Episode 23
  2. Zombie Land Saga Gaiden: The First Zombie, chapter 5, page 25
  3. Episode 1
  4. Episode 4
  5. Episode 5
  6. Episode 6
  7. Episode 10
  8. Episode 12
  9. Episode 18
  10. Episode 23
  11. Episode 19
  12. https://www.reddit.com/r/ZombielandSaga/comments/j53ffl/sakuras_house/
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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