I had expressed some of my thoughts about High School of The Dead (HOTD) in a previous post and likened watching it to taking drugs. Well, due to its addictive effects, I managed to finish the first season. My impressions of the characters remain largely unchanged; the only one I really feel different about is Kouta. He was awesome in the first half of the series, but then when his guns were about to be taken away in one episode he turned all sissy and started whining like a kid. That one scene just totally ruined my view of Kouta as a cool military dude with an awesome shot. It’s one thing to cave in to the girl you like, but it’s another to cry like a kid when some strangers start insulting you.
So what were the good points about this this anime? Well, after watching the first episode, I wrote up an article talking about how realistic the characters acted, and I was glad to see that they managed to keep up with that aspect. In times of uncertainty, people naturally seek leadership and we see this throughout the series. Shido, Rei’s former teacher, was able to gain a sort of cult following by offering leadership and a sense of security to his followers. This is also seen with the Takagi’s, and even with Komuro, although in his case, I think he only gives off an aura of confidence because he’s too dumb to doubt himself.
A lot of the “followers” in the series also seem to be in some form of denial. One of the characters (I can’t remember who) mentions that everything seems like a dream and that they’ll wake up and everything will be ok. I’m positive that this view is shared by many of the people depicted in HOTD. There was also one character that refused to believe that the zombies were just suffering from some illness and looking for help, and she thought that they could work things out by talking (yea right). I really liked this aspect of the anime, when your world gets turned upside-down it’s only natural to cling onto what you’re familiar with.
Besides having a few insights into basic human behaviour, HOTD is very much what I’d call a “guy” show. Its got zombies, guns, swords, and boobies, lots and lots of boobies. I don’t mind these things every once in a while (I am a guy after all), but making a whole series based on those things seems a bit overkill. It’s a good thing they decided to just go up to 12 episodes for now, because there’s only a certain number of times you can rehash the same formula (zombies appear, run, fight, slow-mo boobies, run) before it starts to get old.
So from a guy’s point of view, High School of The Dead is a good anime to get your zombie/action/boobies fix, and it has a pretty good portrayal of what people would probably do during the apocalypse. It does not have a very deep story or many likeable characters though, which may be a downer for some people.