Fall's Biggest Mystery: Who Is the Voice Actress of the Legendary Tae Yamada?

ZOMBIE LAND SAGA has caught many of us by surprise, but there’s a mystery to be solved: Who is the voice of Tae?!

One of the surprise delights of the fall season so far has been ZOMBIE LAND SAGA. Following the misadventures of the recently deceased and confused Sakura Minamoto, Sakura finds her unlife as a zombie is a bit more complicated than her life before death: she lives in a weird mansion with other zombies, a seemingly cute but monstrous zombie dog, and a manic and mysterious man claiming to be a producer, Kotaro Tatsumi, who states that with his group of zombie idols he’ll save Saga from an unknown danger.


Sakura doesn’t quite know what to make of things, and neither do the other girls once they’ve awoken to their new zombie (un)lives, but so far it’s involved some of the most hardcore headbanging ever seen and an epic rap battle that even senior citizens enjoyed! There’s also been gunshots, de(and re)capitations, stage fright, and the looming mystery of what, exactly, is up with Tae Yamada?


THE LEGENDARY YAMADA TAE


When we first got a glimpse of ZOMBIE LAND SAGA, we frankly had no idea what to expect. As the show moved closer and closer to finally airing, we knew even less, and Mamoru Miyano’s usual antics didn’t help the matter any. What we ended up with so far is a musical comedy featuring zombie idols, with gorgeous animation and Mamoru Miyano being, well, Mamoru Miyano. After episode 2 aired, however, many fans in Japan and abroad started to notice something curious about the list of voice actors: The Legendary Tae Yamada’s voice actress is simply listed as “???”!  

 

???

 

While the first episode had few voice actors listed because the rest of the girls had yet to “wake up”, Tae remains un-awoken, and this seems to be for an unknown reason in regards to revealing her voice actress. Voice actors have been credited in the past for voicing somewhat “non-vocal” lines, and even the zombie dog, Romero, has a voice actor in character voice actor Yasuhiro Takato (the voice of Artemis in Sailor Moon and Nezu in My Hero Academia), so the fact that Tae’s voice actress remains a coy mystery is seemingly very intentional. The official Japanese ZOMBIE LAND SAGA Twitter account even sent out a picture of the full cast, with a suspicious “Tae” face over an otherwise unidentifiable woman, and posts featuring the cast of ZOMBIE LAND SAGA are conspicuously 6 women posts, despite there being 7 zombie idols  (with the cast even mentioning in one that they might have a “surprise guest” soon in upcoming social media posts…)!

 


Anime fans love a good mystery, so Japanese fans have already started trying to figure out who Tae’s voice actress might actually be, even starting a twitter hashtag, “#山田たえCV”, to try and post theories and hunt for clues about who the Legendary Tae might actually be. On some Japanese blogs, fans have started to consider a few possible ideas, trying to discern who the voice actor could be from what small hints (or, at least, suggested hints) that we currently have. So far, there are a few prevailing theories:

 

1) Tae’s voice actress is from Saga, or at least, from Kyushu, where Saga is located.

2) Tae’s voice actress is a famous or legendary voice actress, as a newer or younger voice actress wouldn’t benefit from being a secret.

3) There actually is no voice actress, and Tae will remain voiceless.

 

Tae used Bite!

 

Of the three theories, as mentioned it isn’t unusual for voice actors to be listed for roles that are “non-speaking”, like Romero, or other animals with “voices” in anime, such as Toradora’s Inko, voiced by Saori Goto. This would mean that keeping Tae’s voice actor a secret because she will remain voiceless isn’t very interesting, because that’s just what she’ll sound like throughout. Also, even in episode 1, when all of the girls had not yet “woken up”, they still had their voice actresses listed, but Tae had the same ??? notation. That leaves 1. and 2. as the most likely possibilities to who could be voicing the mystery Zombie 0 of the group. It also bears minding that the anime has so far placed some decent attention on Tae, as her antics (losing her head in particular) have given her the most screen-time of any of the girls other than Sakura so far; it seems like they want us to be invested in Tae, so that when she does wake up, we’ll be surprised! But who could the voice actress be? Frankly, there’s just far too many amazing and legendary voices actresses that could be Tae, and that isn’t even taking into account the idea that she may not even be a legendary voice actress, but a celebrity of some type!


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


It seems that ZOMBIE LAND SAGA is intent on being a show that keeps its secrets close to its vest for the entire season, surprising viewers with every new episode and using its comedic setting and ideas to take idol anime in a very different direction than normal. The shift between episode 1 and 2 certainly helps make that much obvious, as I doubt many of us were expecting a freestyle rap battle that touched on the concept of life and living in the moment from a zombie! As for Tae, we’ll have to see just where this goes, and how meta the ZOMBIE LAND SAGA team want to be about things; I for one will be keeping an eye on their social media updates in between episodes for any hints or surprises!


Want to try out your detective skills? Who do you think Tae’s voice actress could be?  Let us know in the comments!

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Nicole is a features and a social video script writer for Crunchyroll. Known to profess her love of otome games over at her blog, Figuratively Speaking. When she has the time, she also streams some games. Follow her on Twitter: @ellyberries 

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