Zombies attack a highschool?
Okay, if you’ve been following my blog you know I have a strange fascination with horror and I’m not too concerned about the quality of it. Highschool of the Dead is a case in point. I will freely admit that this is fanservice laden brainless action that suffers from an extreme absence of plot other than survive and kill zombies, and it doesn’t even conclude, but I will still tell you this is fun to watch.
I think it is during the first episode when the zombies are first attacking where I just kind of fell in love with the over the top nature of this show. While we are meeting our core group of students/teachers that we’ll follow as they venture out from the school and attempt to find other survivors/safety we are also introduced to a lot of high school students that exist only to be cannon fodder. During one of these scenes, we see two girls who are busy swearing that they are friends and they’ll look out for one another when one of them is grabbed by a zombie. Rather than help her friend, the other girl kicks her free and attempts to run off but is also ingloriously killed. It’s cheap but it works to set the tone for this show. Everyone who is not part of our main group exist only to fill the screen time until we need to rack up a body count and it doesn’t feel like they are using this for cheap thrills or to hit you in the feels. This is used entirely to maintain the ridiculous atmosphere constructed by episode 1.
My real issue with Highschool of the Dead is that it isn’t actually horrific. Sure, there’s a lot of zombies, blood and death, but at no point does it really engage you emotionally (unless you are in it for the bouncing female anatomy). It really is horror at its trashiest as they use death solely for entertainment without any underlying message or purpose and without a hint of remorse or tragedy. Not saying that it isn’t entertaining, because they did nail that aspect of the show, but it’s just that with so many other zombies out there, it would have been nice for this show to attempt to distinguish itself with some aspect of depth.
Our cast of characters are pretty much what you would expect. You’ve got the two characters who weren’t dating (she was dating his friend but now he’s dead and there’s guilt a plenty to go around), the overly serious girl, the ditz, the nerd, etc, etc. They come together and each use their own ‘skills’ as they cross through zombie infested cities.
There are some great action pieces. Great but not in anyway grounded in reality. And for those who are fans of seeing zombies get blown away you won’t be disappointed. The soundtrack is also pretty good and fits with the energy of the show.
This is a short review but there just isn’t that much to say. The show doesn’t finish and leaves our characters still on a journey that seems to have no real destination. They’ve been changed and hardened by their experiences, but they have also become quite the zombie killing crew. If you want zombies, murder and mayhem without much to think about other than what your weapon of choice would be, and if you don’t mind excessive amounts of panty shots and other overly suggestive shots of women, then you’ll probably have fun with this anime. For everyone else, probably best to give this one a miss.