Anime Review: Highschool of the Dead OVA

Anime Review:
Highschool of the Dead OVA

What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! — I’m taking a look at the first episode of every show from the Spring 2011 anime season that has been subtitled, and giving it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. For more information about me and my reviews, click here.

Series Premise: Highschool of the Dead is a 12-episode anime series that aired between July and September 2010, based on the smash hit manga series of the same name. The story follows a small band of mismatched Japanese high school students as they try to survive a zombie apocalypse. In April 2011, an Original Video Animation special, subtitled “Drifters of the Dead”, was released.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

ep. tl;dr review: Island getaway turns into drug-induced sex orgy; Throw-away fanservice extra with none of the charm of the series.

Episode Summary: The group makes their way to a deserted small island near the city, which has a beach house full of swimsuits but no food. As the girls don the skimpiest of swimsuits and play, the boys look for food. While cooking the catch that night, they soon discover the leaves used to make the fire are actually hallucinogenic, and they all pair off into dreamy sexual activity for the night (except for the underage Alice, who is conveniently absent for this part). They wake up in the morning filled with regret, and discover the island is also connected to the mainland by the tunnel, so they’re no longer safe.

My Reaction: Perhaps the less said about this, the better.

This is a 15-minute-long short that was bundled with the final Japanese DVD release, a fan-service thank-you to the fans, but I feel this is less of a fan-service and more of a fan-dis-service. Not HOTD is any stranger to fanservice, which in large part defined the series itself; but in the regular episodes there was a certain balance between the deadly action and the over-the-top skin-show that *worked*. But in this special, without the threat from the zombies there’s none of the dramatic tension, and it’s all floppy boobies and shiny acres of skin…and it just doesn’t feel right. Seems you can’t have one half (e.g. “the flesh”) without the other half (“the zombies”), at least not with this show.

I am still a fan of the regular anime series, in fact I ranked it as #11 on my list of Top Anime Shows of 2010, but this OVA should be avoided, even if you’re a fan. It adds nothing to the series, and just leaves a bad taste behind. But I do take solace in the belief that it is very likely that a second season could be right around the corner. Nothing announced yet, but I would be gobsmacked if I didn’t see a new episode within the next year.

The verdict:

  • Videos and Previews:
  • Additional Info Resources:
  • Official United States Licensing Information:
  • A Sampling of the Blog-Roll of Reviews:
    • “But hey, when you don’t really care for the series, what’s to get mad at? Ya’ll can thank Madhouse for providing this “service” because porn is never an oversaturated industry, and for giving viewers hope for a second season (sigh).” – Random Curiosity
    • “To dampen the long wait fans has endured for the inevitable second season of Highschool of the Dead, the creators felt that they may need to up the ante of a fanser/disservice OVA such as we are about to check. It got boobs, more boobs, and a lessons of broom handling with a dash of crotch humping.” – Dere Moe Project
    • “For all the hype that H.O.T.D received in 2010, you either were ‘anti- or for’ the franchise and all I can say after watching this short 16 minute episode is that for those who were anti-; Drifters of the Dead is just going to add fuel to your fire. Drifters of the Dead DOES NOT add to the story. It DOES NOT continue from where they last left off in the TV series. What it does give us is a short clip of the cast being drifted to an island where we get to see more breasts jiggle then a tub of jelly. Grade: 5/10.” – My Anime List Reviews
    • “Terrible, terrible OVA that had the entire cast act incredibly out of character just for the sake of fanservice (and with this show, that’s saying something!) and a whole slur of unfunny jokes. Grade: 3.5/10.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog


  • First Episodes from the Spring 2011 Season receiving a thumbs-up: Steins;Gate, Deadman Wonderland, Hanasaku Iroha, Dog Days, Moshidora, Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, Tiger and Bunny, Fireball Charming, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, A Channel, Sengoku Otome: Time Paradox, Nichijou, Yondemasu-yo Azazel-san, C – The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, X-Men, Blue Exorcist, Kaiji Season 2, Hyouge Mono, Showa Monogatari
  • First Episodes from the Spring 2011 Season receiving a thumbs-down: Sket Dance, Softenni, Happy Kappi, Astarotte’s Toy, Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera, Inazuma Eleven Go, Hidan no Aria, Suzy’s Zoo Daisuki Witzy, Seikon no Qwaser Season 2, The World God Only Knows Season 2, Toriko, Maria Holic Alive, 30-sai no Hoken Taiiku, Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai, Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream, Fairy Tail OVA, Plastic Nee-san, Yu-Gi-Oh: Zexal, Nana to Kaoru OVA, Shukufuku no Campanella OVA, Gintama, Tono to Issho: Gantai no Yabou, Hen Zemi, Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi, Honto ni Atta Reibai Sensei, Senjou no Valkyria 3, Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA, Amagami SS OVA, Katte ni Kaizou, Digimon Xros Wars Season 2, Seibu Tetsudou Ekiin Tako-chan, Highschool of the Dead OVA
  • Coming up next (in this order – 51 down, 6 to go!): Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt OVA, Detective Conan OVA 11, Kung Fu Cooking Girls, Appleseed XIII, Asobi ni Iku yo OVA, Fujilog

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One Response to Anime Review: Highschool of the Dead OVA

  1. Pingback: Anime Review: Recap of the Spring 2011 Season | This Euphoria!

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