Saturday Review: High School of the Dead

Once again it’s Saturday, so it’s time to review another Anime. For this week we are gonna look at House…. I mean High school Of The Dead. 

The series was first written by Daisuke Sato and illustrated by his brother Shoji Sato and it first appeared in 2006 on the September issue of Fujimi Shobo’s Monthly Dragon Age where other manga such as Blaze, Armoured Core and Chrono Crusade got serialized. On March 1st the following year the manga would be released by Kadokawa Shoten in seven volumes until April 25th 2011, the anime that this review will look at was made possible by Madhouse who also produced the anime for Death Note, Beyblade and even Devil May Cry just to name a few. The anime was aired from July 5th till September 20th of 2010, around 2 years later I managed to get my hands on it during MCM Expo at London.

The story would start out like any High school day would start, with the main character ‘Takashi’ upset over the fact that the girl he liked since childhood ‘Rei’ is with Takashi’s friend Hisashi which is followed by pink haired smart ass ‘Takagi’ telling him he’s stupid and he should get over it. Of course a few seconds later we see our first zombie of the series at the school gate from which it bites one of the PE teachers trying to get it away from the school, in true zombie fashion the bitten teacher gets up and bites another one of the teachers. Takashi witnessing this goes back to the classroom to tell Rei about this, after some convincing (plus a slap to the face) Takashi and Rei followed by Hisashi make their way up to the roof when an announcement is made about a violent incident in the school. During the announced the announcer is eaten by zombies or ‘them’ as they are referred to, when the announcement ends there is silence throughout the school broken by a drop of a chalk stick, cue mass panic followed by students being eaten until there are a few survivors left. Along the way Hisashi tries to restrain a zombie with his black belt karate skills, this obviously goes wrong and Hisashi is bitten and it isn’t until they reach the roof that Hisashi begins to turn and cue zombie film cliches.

The rest of the series involves a group of survivors including Takashi, Rei and Takagi fighting their way out of the school to the city where there are more zombies as it turns out the pandemic is happening across the globe. The other surviving characters include Nerdy military gun-nut Hirano, typical busty blonde Shizuka and purple haired psycho/kendo club president Saeko (get it?). There is also a sub plot mainly centered around Mr Shido who can be considered the antagonist of he series.

High school Of The Dead has what you would expect from an anime as well as what you would expect from zombie shows or movies, so don’t expect anything that new. Another thing I am quite disappointed in is that it most of the time they make the female characters look provocative and this is why anime can’t be taken seriously, in fact chapter 6 has so much provocative material it’s a brazzers logo away of becoming porn. Despite these flaws it is still enjoyable to watch, the action isn’t too over the top and it can still keep it’s vibe even if watched in English.

This anime is actually quite well known in the anime universe with crossover illustrations with Triage X as well as a Downloadable Saeko costume for the video game Lollipop Chainsaw.

Overall it’s worth a watch, whether you feel the same is up to you.

DC

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