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Zombie Land Saga's Real House Draws 1,000 Visitors in Single Day

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The undead idols of MAPPA's Zombie Land Saga eat, sleep, and practice for performances in a large, dilapidated house in Saga prefecture along with their eccentric manager Kōtarō Tatsumi and his dog Romero. The house is really big by even Western standards with at least three floors, a gated garden, a playground, and an enviable view of the sea.

The anime has won over fans for its humor and heart while also helping promote the real Saga prefecture. Like many anime trying to work a tourism angle, the locales in the series exist in real life too, including Franchouchou's headquarters. The Western-style house in the anime is based on the former Mitsubishi Gōshi Kaisha Karatsu Branch Honkan, a cultural property within Karatsu city. Mitsubishi Gōshi Kaisha would eventually become the huge Mitsubishi Corporation, but its Karatsu branch oversaw the company's primary business in shipbuilding, insurance, internal trading, and mining during the Meiji era. The building was previously preserved as the Karatsu City Museum of History and Folklore but it was closed in 2003.

Originally built in 1908, the building was opened to the public on November 25. Approximately 1,000 Zombie Land Saga fans from around Japan explored the warehouse. Organizers were pleased to see the event exceeded expectations.

A similar public event was held for two days last year and attracted a total of 300 visitors. Staff expected an increase to 300 visitors in a single day, but the turnout was triple their estimate. Just two hours after opening, the staff ran out of bonus materials they intended to hand out to visitors. Participants came from as far as Tokyo and Osaka.

Just before the event ended for the day, an itasha car of the anime's zombie idols arrived on the scene. The car was driven by 31-year-old Itoshima, Fukuoka resident Yūya Yoshinaga. Yoshinaga is originally from Karatsu and decided to head out to the event. He said he was initially surprised to see a building he used to draw when he was in elementary school appear in an anime and hopes to see more of Saga prefecture spread in animation.

The anime premiered on October 4. Crunchyroll is streaming the series as it airs in Japan, and Funimation is streaming an English dub.

The anime follows Sakura Minamoto, who dreams of being an idol, but is hit by a car and wakes up as a zombie. A man named Kōtarō Tatsumi appears and tells her he's recruiting her into an idol group made up of zombies, dead girls he has "recruited" from several eras of Japanese history.

Munehisa Sakai (One Piece Film Strong World, Suite Precure, Sailor Moon Crystal) is directing the anime at MAPPA. "Kōhōkōchōka Zombie-gakari" (PR Zombie) is credited for the original work. Shigeru Murakoshi (Kakegurui, Garo -Vanishing Line- epsisode scripts) is in charge of series composition. Kasumi Fukagawa (Persona 3 the Movie #1 Spring of Birth assistant animation director) is designing the characters, Kazuo Ogura is the art director, Takashi Yanagida is the director of photography, and Masahiro Goto is the editor. Azusa Sasaki is in charge of color design, and Yasuharu Takanashi is composing the music. Avex Pictures is credited for music production, while dugout is credited for sound production.

Source: Saga Shimbun LIVE Image via: STA3816 [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

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