Anime Review: Highschool of the Dead Episode 1

(Originally published on Livejournal on 7/9/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Highschool of the Dead Episode 1

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about.

tl;dr review: Small group of students try to survive a zombie epidemic in a high school; Blood, boobs and panties, plus more blood, boobs and panties.

The Skinny: Takashi is still bitter over being turned down by his childhood friend, Rei, in favor for his best friend, Hisashi. But when he sees an attack at the school’s front gate, immediately followed by the teachers turning on each other, the first thing he does is run to class for Rei. The three of them make a run for it, but within a matter of a couple of minutes the campus is overwhelmed by zombies. They stave off one attack, but Hisashi is bitten in the process. They make a break for the observatory on the roof, to wait out for help; however soon Hisashi’s infection takes hold and soon he is transformed into the undead. It’s up to Takashi to smash in his skull in front of an unbelieving Rei, who is torn between a seething hatred for what he has done, and uncontrollable fear of being left alone.

My Thoughts: A pretty straightforward zombie flick, and if you’ve seen any of the fast-zombie movies of the past several years you have a pretty good idea what is going on. The school descends into chaos **fast**, it’s just a matter of minutes from calm to death; this episode focuses on just three characters, but a few other characters are briefly introduced and it’s clear they’ll be joining the band later. They spare no expense at the gore, and the artists must have bought red ink by the gallon for all the splatter.

The other thing that is unavoidable in “HSOTD” is the gratuitous fanservice shots – the Gainax Bounce has nothing on these guys, and I didn’t know that panties could have shine spots! Call me a fuddy-duddy, but I really don’t think that the anime-style panty-and-boob-shots mix with the serious gore at all. While I am not opposed to fanservice per se, I tend to believe it works fits in comedies and light dramas, not dark survivalist zombie flicks. On the first viewing, the jiggle-and-wiggle really stood out and left a poor taste in my mouth, but on the second viewing (in order to get all the screencaps above), I was better able to tune it out and focus on the story itself. (Maybe because I had just watched the over-the-top Sekirei so I had become inured to the fanservice)

The single biggest problem I have with nearly all horror shows is that eventually the characters act up doing something really boneheaded that leads to their own downfall. Let’s hope the characters are not played as FREAKING MORONS, and behave like intelligent, calm, collected characters. Ahhhh…who am I trying to kid? I’m sure they’ll fuck it all up somehow.

For more info:

Random Curiosity Review: http://randomc.net/2010/07/05/highschool-of-the-dead-01/
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highschool_of_the_Dead
Pretty intense trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e–2aU_q8do

The Verdict:

Up Next (not necessarily in this order): Shukufuku no Campanella, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Strike Witches 2, Legend of Legendary Heroes, Mitsudomoe, Kuroshitsuji 2, Digimon Xros Wars, Sekirei: Pure Engagement, Occult Academy, Nurarihyon no Mago, Kurenai, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail

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