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High School of the Dead September 23, 2010

Posted by coolmikeol in Anime, Manga.
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It’s been a while since I’ve done a post about an anime, well mostly because I’ve got other stuff to blog about and I have school to deal with which is slowing my anime watching schedule. Anyways before I jump into my review, here is the synopsis of High School of the Dead (from Wikipedia):

“Highschool of the Dead is set in the present day, beginning as the world is struck by a deadly pandemic that turns humans into zombies, euphemistically referred to by the main characters as “them”. The story follows Takashi Komuro, a Japanese student at Fujimi High School who survived the initial outbreak along with several of his classmates and the school nurse, and occasionally jumps to the perspective of other characters.

The plot is initially concerned with survival and escape from the titular high school and zombies, but as the series proceeds it introduces the additional threats of societal collapse, in the form of dangerous fellow survivors and the possible decay of the characters’ own moral codes.”

I discovered this series while just browsing random manga online on onemanga.com (before it closed its reader). I saw the title and read the summary, read the first few chapters and next thing you know, I reach the end of current chapters. I’m not the kind who likes the horror genre, but I’m into the worldwide apocalypse genre so a zombie world is a good mix of both some horror but with the drama and problems of a world gone bad. I was lucky that I discovered HOTD early this year because later on I find out that an anime adaptation will be released. This series started in 2006 but went on hiatus for a while until returning in 2010 with a few new chapters and an anime. The series is being produced at an extremely slow pace for some reason or another, having only 27 chapters to this day.

The characters in this series are quite well-rounded in my opinion. Takashi Komuro is the leader of the group who has resolved to protect everyone, he uses meelee type weapons but also uses shotguns; Miyamoto Rei is Takashi’s childhood friend who used to have a shaky relationship with Takashi but has resolved it, she fights with spear like weapons but is now using a rifle with a Bayonet attached; Busujima Saeko is a senior classmate and is also president of the school’s kendo club, she uses a bokken/katana with skill and power, she has sadistic tendencies since she was young and has overcome her fear of becoming a person who enjoys all the hurting and killing; Takagi Saya is a self-proclaimed genius who helps the group out with her knowledge, she doesn’t directly fight but has used a drill and gun to defend herself against the zombies; Hirano Kouta is a gun otaku who used to be bullied in school, by harnessing his skills from training with Blackwater USA and his anger towards those who bullied him, he becomes an awesome back support who doesn’t miss a single shot, he has used many types of guns ranging from handguns to snipers to shotguns and has a lot of knowledge on firearms who then helps the group out by fighting or by teaching others how to use the guns; Marikawa Shizuka is a school nurse and is the only adult of the group and has a ditsy personality, she helps the group by being the medic and only driver of vehicles; and Maresato Alice age 7 is the youngest member of the group who was rescued by the group after her father was killed, she looks up to everyone like big siblings, she doesn’t directly fight.

Ok I just wanted to get the characters out-of-the-way so that you can understand my review a bit better. This is a 12 episode anime/27 (so far) chapters series that is quite short for running 4 years, but we can’t do anything about that. The anime runs short of where the manga is now but in a way that’s good. The final episode of HOTD ends right before they get to the mall which is quite close to where the current story is. I’m glad that they did not jump into original anime ending mode, but the ending itself is so like a normal episode ending that it screams more. I know that there is an OVA coming out next year but the story is progressing so slowly that it looks as if we need a few more years of waiting until we have enough content from the manga to create into an anime. Though I’m looking forward to more HOTD, I don’t think I can wait for it so I’m going to be watching other animes until HOTD comes back in who knows when.

The anime itself is quite good; animation, music, and action excel while the story and fan service suffer a bit. I personally like the story because it’s really my first time being into a zombie series but if compared to other zombie story works it’s not as original as you think. The fan service is OK, it IS part of the manga, but there are a few scenes that could use a bit less of it such as the matrix bullet Saeko scene, otherwise it’s fine. Overall I like HOTD because besides the action and fan service, it also brings up some critical issues of human moral and the state of the world in a worldwide crisis. You never know if tomorrow will be like today, everything you know could change in an instant, what would you do if the world was ending?

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