It happened suddenly: The dead began to rise and Japan was thrown into total chaos. As these monsters begin terrorizing a high school, Takashi Kimuro is forced to kill his best friend when he gets bitten and joins the ranks of the walking dead. Vowing to protect Rei Miyamoto, the girlfriend of the man he just executed, they narrowly escape their death trap of a school, only to be greeted with a society that has already fallen.
Soon, Takashi and Rei band together with other students on a journey to find their family members and uncover what caused this overwhelming pandemic. Joining them is Saeko Busujima, the beautiful president of the Kendo Club; Kouta Hirano, an otaku with a fetish for firearms; Saya Takagi, the daughter of an influential politician; and Shizuka Marikawa, their hot school nurse. But will the combined strength of these individuals be enough to conquer this undead apocalypse?
#01: "Kimi to Taiyou ga Shinda hi" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 1) #02: "Color Me Dark" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 2) #03: "Return to Destiny" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 3) #04: "Cold Bullet Blues" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 4) #05: "Memories of Days Gone By" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 5) #06: "Under The Honey Shine" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 6) #07: "fuss fuzz" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 7) #08: "The place of hope" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 8) #09: "Houseki no Spy" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 9) #10: "THE last pain" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 10)
#11: "Hollow Men" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 11) #12: "The Eternal Song" by Maon Kurosaki (ep 12)
One could review this in a single sentence: "Why is no one having sex in this hentai anime?"
Here's the plot: In an alternate universe where the average female has breasts the size of grapefruits and all bras are made of wet paper towels, a zombie apocalypse happens. And as far as the plot goes, that about covers it. You could probably replicate it by watching The Walking Dead on mute next to a porn hub playlist.
In all seriousness, this is one of the worst anime I've ever seen. Here is one of those anime that really struggles to understand what its trying to be.The mindless
sex and violence, which is what it is, is constantly being undercut by one of the worst harem anime plots I've ever seen. Character development is minimalist to say the least, and every time it tries to make a character even remotely interesting, it's undercut by how silly the whole thing is. One minute a girl is talking about how she's afraid of her inner, violent, dark side, and the next she's riding on the roof of a van wearing nothing but underwear and an apron while holding a katana.
This anime accomplishes virtually nothing. It fails at being hentai, it fails at being harem, and it doesn't add anything to either genre or any other. Would not watch again.
Highschool of the Dead is a show that knows a very, very base demographic and knows exactly how to pander to it. It aims to please simple-minded, uniformly male teenagers with base level action and lots and lots of large, jiggling breasts. Highschool of the Dead has quickly entered into the ranks of shows extremely popular, not for being well-written or emotive, but simply for being a barrel of big, dumb fun.
The problem is... it's not very good at it.
As the name would suggest, Highschool of the Dead involves a highschool and dead things. More specifically, the series begins in a highschool and revolves around
a bunch of highschool students, who happen to have walked into a George A. Romero film. In other words, they're surrounded by undead, bloodthirsty corpses... zombies. From here, the plot is about as simple as can be. The cast has to try and not die.
So all in all, it really speaks volumes that Highschool of the Dead manages to fuck up such a simple task, for a wide variety of reasons. But let's start with the most glaringly obvious one... the fanservice. OK, so considering the demographic the show is aiming for, it's hardly surprising that HotD uses a lot of fanservice. But Highschool of the Dead crosses the line of what an acceptable amount of fanservice would be repeatedly. Any scene that was otherwise good had an irritating tendency to shove some schoolgirl's underwear into the camera. And don't even get me started on the infamous "Boob Matrix" scene.
Of course, no matter how much fanservice is in a show, it would not destroy an otherwise good show. So let's get to the next reason HotD is an incredibly poor anime - the characters.
Let's summarize the cast very quickly. The everyman, the ditz, the needy girl, the bitch, the action chick, and the nerd. Not one of these characters has any more depth than that. I have literally told you everything you need to know about the characters in the space of one sentence. Takashi is completely unremarkable, Shizuka is dopey and annoying, Rei is irritatingly helpless and inconsistent in her character, and Saya (probably the worst member of the cast) is a self-righteous bitch who has no consideration for anybody else and considers the rest of the cast below her. The only passable members of the cast are Kouta Hirano (named and designed after the creator of Hellsing, a MUCH better take on the same style), who manages to make his military obsessions at least entertaining, and Saeko, who manages to not be annoying.
The worst thing about Highschool of the Dead, though, is that for a show that tries to be simple and fun... it's very boring.
All in all, a survival horror really needs you to care about whether the characters live or die to work. At first, after a seemingly significant character is killed off, it seems quite possible that major characters will be killed off, and that the series will be a struggle to survive. And yet, after that, not one character we care about dies. It becomes quite clear that the entire cast is in no real danger, due to having that strange immunity from danger that being a main character grants you. This means that we are simply stuck watching these unlikeable characters do things we don't care about. It would have at least been passable if the action had been well-directed, but it really isn't. There are no fight scenes that really stick out (barring the aforementioned Boob Matrix, which sticks out for all the wrong reasons). The action is mediocre at best. All of this leaves it up to a plot that really doesn't exist.
So what does this leave us with? A show that really doesn't have any positive points at all, really. It's watchable, I'll give it that much, and the first episode was quite good. But it really doesn't follow through on any of the potential it has. The themes in this show have been done before many times, and almost always better.
Final Words: Just watch a George A. Romero film instead. Seriously.
Warning: the following review contains spoilers and gratuitous amounts of pure, seething rage. Please don't be offended or take this review too seriously. I don't actually want to kill zombie fans. I just REALLY hate zombie media.
Highschool of the Dead represents the latest in an endless string of attempts to cash in on Zombiemania. If there is one thing that makes me go blind with rage it is zombie media and the brainless IDIOTS that keep this cash train rolling. Shows, games, and movies that are decent or mediocre become "OMG da best thing EVAR!" thanks to moron zombie fans. Walking Dead is a mediocre
show, but zombie fans think it is Godlike. The Last of Us was a decent 3rd person shooter that stole some puzzle elements and escort missions from the vastly superior game Ico. Zombietards voted it game of the year and say it is the best game on the PS3! I own The Last of Us and enjoyed it somewhat, but I could name 20 better games for the PS3 off the top of my head without even breaking a sweat. These rabid, conformist fans are the only real zombies and I feel like one of the few lone survivors to not get infected by the zombietard virus!
Story and characters: 1/10
Zombies randomly start attacking and some bland Gary Stu and his harem of poorly drawn, badly proportioned, G cup babes must fight the zombies. Japan is quickly overrun and the world's governments decide to nuke each other with ICBMs. The US is able to shoot down all but one ICBM from China and Russia while completely destroying both countries with thousands of ICBMs. Yet, the blanket of radiation from the hundreds of missiles used to wipe out China has no effect on Japan, less than 100 miles away! Only the 1 missile that hit Japan has the minor effect of taking out the electric grid. The radiation is simply ignored. I am not even going to bother explaining why the US isn't capable of shooting down thousands of incoming hypersonic missiles with our current technology. I am thinking WAY too hard considering the average IQ of this fandom. Sadly, the only reason this series isn't rated an 8.5 out of 10 is that the fanservice angered Western female viewers. If this series had ditched its piss poor attempts at humor, toned down the fanservice, and taken itself seriously it would be called...Attack on Titan. Which Zombietards also think is "da best show Evar". They are so conditioned like Pavlov's dogs to have a kneejerk positive response to zombie BULLSHIT, that you can replace the zombies with drooling, stumbling giants and the positive response is the same. As long as everything else in the formula is left unchanged.
You fail human anatomy FOR EVER!
The soundtrack is very lacking. At least a horror series should have a creepty OST, but this one sucks shit through a straw.
I want to use a baseball bat and brain the production staff and everyone who worked on this lazy, mockbuster!
The massive production budget barely saves this one from the lowest rating, despite my overwhelming hatred of this series! Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to go read something good like The Brothers Karamazov. Then I will use the book's tremendous size to beat some zombie fans to death with it!
After seeing the long line of reviews on HotD, I thought I'd say my piece on here to what I think is a "good" show. Not a "very good" show, not even a "great" show, but a "good" show as it is. Of course this may change should the anime continue to be as entertaining as its been so far.
Having come with no expectations, seeing as that ecchi seemed to ooze the moment you watch opening credits(something people should have noticed when they started this series), I was pleased and amused to what it had delivered.
Story - 6
Before I start I believe it my duty
to just add this trivial information for those asking about the plot since some say its lacking or that there are none. So what is plot?
Plot: In fiction, the story of a play, novel, romance, or poem, comprising a complication of incidents which are gradually unfolded, sometimes by unexpected means. - ardictionary.com
Whilst a 'subtle' plot does play in the background of a world on the brink of a zombie outbreak, one must understand that it will never be its main focus as we're lead by a group of high school kids and their ditzy school nurse. This series is about survival in its most basic whilst the 'subtle' plot unfolds. If they were to ever find a cure in this show, I don't think it'd be by any of the casting members as they're too bothered with who likes who, and who has bigger breasts then the other. They may not be 'teh best' cast to date(mostly mediocre), but what's wrong with that? There once was a reality TV show who had crammed a group of nobodies into a house full of cameras just to see how they'd react and called it Big Brother. Look how big that became as an entertainment medium. HotD is in the same class, but better as it sticks your clichéd anime archetypes into a world infested with zombies.
Now for those not into reality shows are probably asking; why watch something if it doesn't even have a plot? We watch HotD for the 'over the top' reactions the cast get into when pitted with something that's out of the ordinary. I don't know about you, but that in itself is plot. The emotions and reactions executed are both hilarious and captivating at the same time, and to me is just pure entertainment!
And are we entertained? Definitely. HotD is so entertaining, it's fanbase now consist of zombie-lovers(who tally the frags), ecchi fanboys(who howl at every moment of cleavage), action enthusiasts(who now has Kouta & Saeko in their favorites) and even whiners(who pretend to dislike the show and yet has kept up to the current episode).
Art - 8
The art in HotD is crisp. From the well drawn scenery of a sunset backdrop that provides you that feeling of an impending doom, to the hack-and-slash execution of each action scene(which the zombie-lovers anticipate), one has to appreciate that HotD maybe a cut above the rest in terms of animation for this season. Coming from artists well known for their over-the-top ecchi(Daisuke & Shōji Satō), I hadn't expected anything less when I first seen their character design, and when I heard from HotD's anime director Tetsuro Araki(well known for DeathNote) stating in an interview :
Tell us what motivated you to make Highschool of the Dead?
"I’m aiming for something I would have bought myself in middle school. At present, this would definitely have been a “buy” for me. I can feel my schoolboy heart rejoicing even now."
...I knew this was going to be a series dedicated to a lot of fan-service for a particular audience.
Whilst some proportions may have been overdone, well hey...its anime. If you were expecting realism from a zombie-and-panty flick aimed at hormonal adolescents, then you're watching the wrong show .
Sound - 8
Sound is great with Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets "HotD" opening and the BGM sets the tone for every interaction within each episode, using rock as a theme. What's made me appreciate it even more is the director's choice of using Maon Kurosaki vocalize different lyrics for each episode which suits each ending very well. By the time the OST is out, I can guarantee it'd be number 1 for awhile in regards to downloads and music bought if your a fan of anime soundtracks.
Characters - 5
Unfortunately what sets my rating back as a whole is the casting for HotD as they are mediocre at best. Due to the pacing of the show, any form of development that they try to achieve are ruined and only comes off as cheesy, making you realize that this really is just a zombie-and-ecchi show. For those expecting romance to blossom, may be waiting a while as even I don't know where these characters are headed. One stage it may look like your average romance but by next episode it builds to a triangle and then a harem! Seeing this in the span of six episodes is just bad writing and I believe they should just stick to what they were already doing best: the zombie killing and ecchi!
To describe each member's characteristics as best as I could, would be to say that they are on a thin line between 2D/3D due to following their stereotypical archetype which I had mentioned earlier, whilst trying to adapt to the rules of the zombie genre. This can prove frustrating at times as each cast can act a little too superficial when facing a dilemma. Whether the creator had seen to these flaws as intentional is open for debate, but I guess overall it's growing on me and is leading me to continue just to see what they'd do next.
Enjoyment - 8
Well I won't lie to you, I have enjoyed the wild and bumpy ride that is High School of the Dead thus far(even with the ecchi) and now that we're over the half-way line(seeing as MAL & ANN has listed the series at 12), I can only hope that we aren't given a forced ending or have to wait too long for a second season so that the adaptation can provide more source.
Overall - 7
So as I had mentioned, HotD is a good show. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise that it's overrated especially if they've rated a 9 or 10 for shows like Sailor Moon or any other moé blob. Whilst it's not a Death Note or TTGL or whatever others are comparing it to at the moment, what it is is pure entertainment...and isn't that the sole reason we watch anime?
So my only advice to those new to this series is: if you view the show with no expectation then you'll definitely not be disappointed...and if you can't handle the ecchi then get out of the kitchen, that's reserved for Saeko in her 'Hadaka' apron..