Highschool Of The Dead

June 25, 2011

Imagine one morning when you wake up, you suddenly find a great portion of society have turned into flesh-eating zombies. What would be your first reaction? What would you do? I may not fancy horror series but can you actually mix the horror genre with fanservice? At least that is possible in Highschool Of The Dead. Don’t get the wrong idea. You’re not going to see the undead with panty shots or bouncy boobs. That would totally be horrible. So it goes to show that fanservice is best done on the beautiful and living. Oh wait. What am I talking about again?

Basically in this series, you’re going to see a small group of high school students fighting and smashing their way across hordes of ex-humans-turned-zombies while trying their best to survive this sudden destruction of their boring daily tranquil everyday lives. Sounds fun? Unless you are the characters in the series having to think fast on their feet for survival and having sleepless nights about it or else you’d be zombie food in no time. So be prepared for some fanservice along the way as well as the excessive blood and gore. Hey, there are plenty of zombies to kill. It’s like somebody unleash a cheat code of an endless wave of them. Yeah, not fun if you’re them.

Episode 1
Take our main protagonist, Takashi Komuro. Right at the start, he is having a bad day. His girlfriend, Rei Miyamoto once promised to marry him when they were young, has dumped him for his indecisiveness and is now going out with their best friend, Hisashi Igou. That’s just great. He gets an earful from genius childhood friend, Saya Takagi for being heartbroken, depressed and being stupid. Yeah, how bad can his day turn? Much worse as he’ll soon find out. I guess he was ‘lucky’ to skip class as he witness a weird bloodied guy comes dragging his feet to the school gates. The teachers think he is trying to be funny and gets rough with him. Before he knows it, he gets painfully bitten. Worse, he turns into a zombie and proceeds to bite the rest and that is how the ‘infection’ starts. Takashi has a bad premonition so he barges back into class to take Rei (after slapping her, that is) and Hisashi to flee. Things start to intensify when Rei calls her police dad but he doesn’t pick up. Then the announcement from the PA system that everybody needs to evacuate before the announcer is attacked by the zombies. This causes the entire school to fall into pandemonium as everyone panics and starts running away in a hysterical stampede. As the trio make their way to the top roof, Hisashi gets bitten by the zombie principal. Up on the roof, the see military helicopters zooming by and the nearby town in chaos. In no time, a big majority of the local citizens have fallen victim to an unknown outbreak. Just like vampires, when you are bitten by a zombie, you turn into one. And man, believe it when you see a big chunk of the school has turned into the undead in just a blink of an eye! With a temporary barricade, the trio seek refuge at the top but Hisashi knows he is going to turn into a zombie and wants Takashi to kill him before that happens. Too bad Hisashi turned into one so Takashi has no choice but to butcher his head, the only way to kill a zombie. Rei is upset over Takashi’s act and she even thought of getting bitten to be turned into one seeing Hisashi is no longer around! She starts blaming Takashi that he enjoys doing it out of jealousy that they’re dating. Takashi tells her that he is going away since she doesn’t need him. At that moment Rei realizes he is serious about facing the zombies and going to his death so she pleads for him to stay. You can’t blame her for being fickle minded, considering everything that has happened today. They both embrace for the first time, on a day when everything has ended. Yeah, what a way to steal your best friend’s girl after killing him.

Episode 2
We see other survivors like chubby otaku Kouta Hirano escaping together with Saya. If not for Saya’s foresight and intelligence, Hirano could’ve been a long goner. But somewhere in Saya’s heart, you can tell she’s a tsundere because she did mention she’d prefer to be stuck with Takashi rather than this fatty. Takashi and Rei sit around in a daze as Rei tries to contact her dad. Although she was connected, it seems that there is panic at the other end of the line. She is cut off. Busty school nurse Shizuka Marikawa is such an airhead that when zombies crash into the infirmary, an unfortunate student got bitten in her place. If not for the skilful head of the kendo club, Saeko Busujima, she could’ve been the bustiest zombie. Saeko also takes out that poor kid before he turns into one of them. At least he died a human. Saya should learn to thank her lucky stars that she’s with Hirano. He’s not just an otaku, but someone who is obsessed with guns. He improvises some of the lab equipment to make his own gun and manages to kill several zombies. Looks like he enjoys his newfound calling. On Takashi and Rei’s end, they use the water hose to temporarily blast away the zombies who are breaking through before charging their way down. Don’t worry. Rei won’t be playing t a damsel in distress role. She is from the spear club so she can fight as well as Takashi. Saya does a little experiment. Seems the zombies are sound sensitive (they lunge towards the nearest loudest sound) but do not have any feelings (they do not react when things are thrown at them). Hirano’s ammo is running low and Saya’s b*tching and complaining did nothing but to attract the zombies. She is cornered when Takashi-Rei and Saeko-Shizuka group arrive in time to smash the nearby zombies. As the rest introduce themselves, Saya becomes distraught and hysterical after all those bloody sight and after seeing her own self covered in them, she breaks down uncontrollably. While taking refuge in the teacher’s room, Takashi thinks that they need to make sure that their families are alright.  They can try and get out via Shizuka’s mini bus. Then they turn on the TV to see horrifying sights of the pandemic and the camera crew being attacked. Looks like the whole damn world is done for.

Episode 3
The gang discuss what this possible outbreak is. Remember the Spanish Flu and London’s Black Death? But you know, people don’t turn to zombies and infect others. So this has got to be some new phenomenon. They need to stick together and cooperate if they’re going to survive. As they make their way to the mini bus and being careful not to make loud sounds, they stumble upon a small group of surviving students being cornered and go to their aid. The hall is their only exit and is filled with mindless wandering zombies. To prove Saya’s theory, Takashi decides to use himself as bait by standing in the midst of the zombie sea. It is working as he throws a shoe away as distraction. As the zombies move towards the sound, the rest silently make their move. However one of the guy’s metal weapon accidentally hit the stair railings. The loud sound echoes throughout the hall as the zombies’ attention shifts. Now they have to make a dash for it. Then that guy got caught by the zombie so I guess his girlfriend would rather die with him than live without him as she rushes to his side and gets bitten. Everyone gets into the mini bus and is prepared to go when they hear sounds of other survivors rushing towards them. Let by the sadistic teacher, Kouichi Shidou, you can tell this guy is a villain. Looking like a cross between Kuroshitsuji’s Sebastian and Claude, he lets one of his student gets bitten by the zombie after he sprained his ankle! Oh sh*t! Rei isn’t happy that Takashi picked up this guy and warns he will regret it. Shizuka powers her bus as they escape from school. On the bus, some delinquent kid didn’t like Takashi and fights him but gets beaten up. This allows Shidou to propose that the group needs a leader to survive and proposes himself. Those who are with him are taken in awe of his smooth speech but Takashi and co aren’t convinced of his cult-like nature. Look at how the other students’ eyes are so fixated on him as though they’re under his hypnotism spell. Rei couldn’t stand him anymore and decides to leave the bus. Takashi goes after her but a bus filled with zombies nearly crashes into them. Rei and Takashi are trapped in a tunnel and separated from the rest. Takashi tells them to meet up at the police station at the east section before both sides go their own way. Seems the fire burned out the zombies in the bus. Takashi and Rei fight and subdue a biker zombie before taking his bike and riding through the eerily quiet streets.

Episode 4
What’s this?! Already a recap episode?! What are they trying to pull?! Anyone it isn’t a detailed one and just a brief one from how it all started to where they are. The story proper resumes in the second half of the episode. Takashi and Rei stumble upon a dead police patrol car and take their guns and ammo. They stop at a petrol station to refuel but have no matter so as Takashi try to break the register for cash, a hoodlum guy takes Rei hostage. He’s human but has gone crazy. Yeah, after bludgeoning his entire family including his little sister, how can he stay sane? He proceeds to caress Rei’s boobs and thinks of making her his woman and threatens Takashi to refuel the bike or he’ll kill her. Takashi does so but as that guy begins one of his crazy yelling, Takashi whips out the police gun and shoots his shoulder point blank. Their ruckus have already attracted the zombies so Takashi and Rei zoom off on the bike and leave that braces guy to get bitten. Pitiful to let another human die but in such circumstances, would you do the same thing too?

Episode 5
Rika Minami, one of the 2 expert snipers sniping out zombies on the runway and clearing the way for the airplane of VIPs to take off. Meanwhile Shidou continues his annoying cult preaching so Shizuka and the rest thinks of getting off this bus and away from this weirdo. I agree they should because I think he’s much scarier than those zombies. Shidou agrees to let them go but wants Shizuka to stay as she is a medic. Hirano fires a warning shot at him that he can kill living people too. Shizuka and co successfully alight from the bus. Takashi and Rei zoom pass a chaotic section as humans attack them for no reason. Yup, everything is going out of control. The bridge is jam packed as the police are preventing people from crossing over. The duo try another bridge but it is also blocked. They hear familiar shots and find Shizuka and co cornered by zombies. They dive in to help as Takashi throws Hirano his police gun so the fatty has a field day taking out the zombies. The day is getting dark, they can’t cross the river but need a place to stay. Shizuka mentions her friend’s place (Rika) close by as she has the keys to her place. Upon arrival, I’m sure everyone could sleep in peace since the place has a high fence and there is even a humvee too! But the place is filled with zombies inside. I guess they have no qualms in taking the offensive and slaughter the entire place.

Episode 6
After all that blood and gore, I guess we need a little refreshing view with some bath time fanservice. I hope the girls’ loud bathing folly won’t attract the zombies. As for the guys, they check out the owner’s closet and to Hirano’s happiness, it is filled with lots of guns! He sure knows his stuff well. They ponder what kind of person Shizuka’s friend is for her to be living in such a posh place and having all these guns. It’s a good thing Shizuka has this kind of person as her friend, eh? As they watch the TV, they see the chaos unfolding on the bridge. If the police isn’t having their hands full barricading it, there are a bunch of troublemakers sympathizing with the zombies staging a protest, blaming all this as some cover up thingy. The police chief warns the leader to back off but he continues to mock them. He then pulls out his gun and shoots him dead! It’s getting crazier by the second! Even back in the apartment too. With the girls’ clothes left to dry, they are left to wear sexy outfits for the time being. Saeko in a naked apron? Why is Shizuka and Rei acting like drunken people? Are they going through some menopause stage with their emotional state of being? Must be the recent events. Rei talks to Takashi about Hisashi so he gets pissed off for bringing up the past and comparing his faults with him. As they calm down, they get intimate with each other. That is interrupted when they hear a puppy barking below. They go outside to see their place swamped by zombies. Back at the bridge, the police order the bulldozer to bulldoze through the zombies. Then the chief shoots himself in the head.

Episode 7
As they watch from above how the surviving humans get bitten, Saeko suggests that they dim the lights so as not to attract other survivors. She assures them she is just telling them the facts of reality and hasn’t sunken that far. Then they witness a father and her daughter, Alice Maresato trying to take refuge in a house. The occupants are reluctant to take them in. When the father threatens to break the door down, they relent but it was just a ploy to stab him. Alice is shocked as she sees her father dying in his own pool of blood. Poor kid, she’s going to be very traumatic. This also attracts the zombies. Hirano snipes them while Takashi plans to rescue her on his bike. Takashi dashes his way across as Hirano provides the much needed cover. Finally he arrives and takes out the zombies closing in on Alice. The other girls prepare to load the necessary stuff into the humvee and get ready to leave. Can’t stay here forever, right? Takashi gives Alice and the dog, Zeke, a piggyback ride as they carefully trudge their way on the wall. One mistake and they’ll fall into the sea of hungry zombies. Suddenly Alice has to go to the toilet. Of all times, now? He allows her to let it go on him. What choice has he got? Better keep your footing and balance. Though the humvee cavalry is arriving, it seems like an eternity for them to get through the zombie horde. Saeko must be pretty confident standing on top while the vehicle barges its way through. Takashi and Alice hop on as the gang make their journey to find a way across the river.

Episode 8
We see that even onboard Air Force One, the American president is having a dilemma to unleash some attack. Too bad the First Lady and some of the crew are already zombies. Better hurry. Meanwhile as the humvee makes its way across the river, Hirano and Alice have gotten pretty close to each other. Hope he isn’t a lolicon. Alice sings her cute rendition of Row Your Boat while Hirano his bloody version. “Shoot, shoot, shoot your gun, kill them all now!” WTF?! Rei gets a little jealous to see Saeko sleeping closely to Takashi. What’s more, she’s drooling over his pants! When they reach the other side, the girls change into their clothes while Hirano teaches Takashi how to use a gun. They continue their journey and it seems there is nobody around. Not even zombies. How peaceful. All that comes crashing down when they see the undead in the next corner. Shizuka makes sudden turns at any corner to avoid the zombies. So much so she loses control after it slides on some blood and crashes into some barb wires. The Rei is thrown off and the humvee cannot start. Oh no. Zombies closing in. Takashi tries to fire his weapon but as an amateur misses. With Hirano’s guidance, he gets by. The numbers are going to overwhelm them so I don’t know how Takashi got this idea as he uses Rei’s boobs as recoil cushion when he fires his gun! Isn’t that painful? What’s more, her boobs are shaking like jelly! Saeko’s acrobatic moves are another mind blowing act. We see her gracefully in action as Takashi’s bullets zooms by just inches between her legs or boobs! WOW! Saya decides to help out and not be just a useless lip service whiner and goes crazy with the gun. But the numbers aren’t decreasing. Takashi and Saeko barge through the zombie wave intending to draw their attention away from the rest. However even after at a safe distance and no matter how loud noises they make, the zombies aren’t attracted to them and continue their march towards the humvee. Hirano plans to release only Alice to safety but she doesn’t want to be alone as his face brings back memories of a similar one when her dad died. In the nick of time, firemen from opposite the barb wire rescue them as it turns out that one of them is Saya’s mom. She happily reunites with her while Takashi and Saeko continue their run through the town to meet up with them.

Episode 9
Takashi and Saeko turn back to a bike shop to take an amphibious vehicle. They did a little experiment and find out that the zombies are not good when it comes to slopes or stairs. Plus, they seem to not cross the river and ‘lost interest’ in chasing them. They take refuge at a sandbank in the middle of it. Saeko got wet from that experiment and changes her clothes. She mentions about him looking at her as a woman and he asks if she has anyone she loves. Her reply is that she does. After a little rest, they resume their journey deep into the town. Takashi crashes the vehicle into the little fountain pond and makes the vehicle go round in circles as a ploy to distract the zombies. The duo get off as Saeko starts smacking her way through. She seems to be having lots of fun striking the zombies till she sees a kid zombie. She is frozen and paralyzed at its sight and could’ve been another victim if Takashi didn’t swiftly take it out with his gun. Seeking shelter at a shrine, Takashi tries to cheer gloomy Saeko up and successfully manages to break her into laughter. Portable toilet? Saeko starts telling her past. She had a guy she liked but never got a chance to confess to him as she thinks she isn’t good enough. Apparently she mentions about killing someone before. Long ago, some guy wanted to make a move on her but because she had her bokuto (wooden sword) with her, she broke his bones. However the point wasn’t the fact she violently defended herself from being raped. It was she didn’t hold herself back and enjoyed beating the crap out of him. That is the real her and was this way long before the zombies showed up. The reason why she froze back then was she remembered this and realized she hasn’t changed but gotten worse. Takashi holds her palm as they soon kiss. Next morning, it’s bright and sunny. Only the sight of those incoming zombies is spoiling the atmosphere. Looks like they need to make another run. Saeko is still feeling miserable so Takashi forcefully grabs her boobs. If she needs a reason, she’ll give her one but even how tainted she is, he’ll admire her as the best woman for as long as he lives and wants her to live with her sins as her true self. Erm… Is he serious about that admiring part? Well Takashi, looks like you’ve got to take responsibility for that now. Saeko thanks him and returns to her vicious self, coolly taking out all the zombies and enjoying every bit of it. Finally the duo manage to reunite with the rest at Saya’s huge mansion.

Episode 10
Rei is undergoing Shizuka’s painful ointment treatment. No thanks to that Takashi who used her boobs as recoiling cushion. Ouch. I hope she doesn’t need to go for breast surgery or further implants. Just kidding. Saya is fresh from her argument with mommy. Soon they learn they may have to leave this place because it won’t be long before electricity and water supply will be cut off. And it’ll be hard to maintain for a large mansion like this. The reason those supplies were available was because the army was sent (that helicopter incident) to defend those plants and the people there continued to work freely from zombies. But how long can they hold out? They have families too. Saya assembles her pals and throws them a decision they need to make: To join or split from this bigger and stronger group. Takashi commends how Saya’s parents are doing everything they can to help but Saya gets pissed off and snaps. She goes on ranting about their success in a sarcastic way so much so Takashi couldn’t take much more of her b*tching and grabs her by her collar and shakes her! He chides her that she is the only one who knows her family are safe. They then see Saya’s dad, Souichirou, the current family head and former lord of the Tokonosu, demonstrating to the other survivors about the tough reality of survival. One of his retainers got bitten while trying to rescue another. Though a noble effort, he isn’t a human now. Souichirou will fulfil his duty to his retainer and slices his head off. Hirano isn’t convinced since a sword can break when it hits the bone but Saeko counters with other factors which makes a sword ‘strong’. Upset Hirano chides Takashi for not being able to use a gun properly and runs away. Hirano is caught by the adults as they want him to give up the guns he is hoarding. He refuses and clings on tightly to them. Souichirou comes by and learns what is happening and Hirano reiterates he won’t hand them over no matter what since he has found something he is good at. He is unable to answer when Souichirou asks him the thing he is good at. That’s when Takashi steps in to say Hirano is good at protecting his daughter. All his other friends stood by him and praise his bravery. He even gets Saya’s approval as she mentions from her own mouth she was being protected by him unlike her dad (she has something against her parents?). Lastly, we still see that Shidou guy still around. He receives a report from his ‘follower’ about a chance of being taken in to the mansion. Despicable Shidou seems to have absolute control over his students, taking pictures of them in an orgy. What the?! And I was hoping he would’ve turned into a zombie now.

Episode 11
Can you believe it? Shidou still continues his dramatic speech to his mesmerized students while he lets that ‘follower’ get chewed by the zombies outside the bus (apparently his punishment for talking back). Meanwhile Saya gets into an argument with a group of adults who refuse to believe about this zombie thingy and are against the use of violence. So does getting loud and going crazy count? Saya discusses with Takashi and Hirano about people in denial and change and then acknowledges Takashi as their leader, surprising him. Souichirou is having a talk with Saeko. He gives her his sword and thinks Takashi has grown into a fine man though he is still hesitant. Then Takashi’s turn to talk to Rei (did she put camera straps to support her boobs?). The way Rei said things was like she now really loves him and wants to be by his side even if he loves other girls. What a total change of heart. I guess Takashi isn’t that all a jerk now when he first smashed Hisashi’s head, eh? Women, can’t understand them. Oops. Sorry. Later Takashi talks to Souichirou that he plans to go out to search for his parents and Rei’s. However Souichirou’s party will be moving out tomorrow so if he doesn’t return, Takashi says to assume that he’ll be staying put there. Saeko is ready to go on another journey with them (what’s with all the sexy clothes she always wear? “Do you always try to seduce everybody”?).  Suddenly Rei bursts into an angry rage. It seems Shidou and his students have legitimately entered the mansion. We see a brief history that Shidou is the son of a senator but to him his dad is just a noisy bastard that drove his mom to suicide. That’s when Shidou decided to leave the family and became a teacher. Then his dad ordered him to hold back Rei a year in school just because he had unpleasant ties with Rei’s dad. Rei lunges the bayonet at Shidou’s face. She blames him for making her dad suffer and the guilt he held. She had to hold it all in as she knew it was him who altered her grades and if the investigations went well, Shidou and his dad could’ve been arrested. She is going to kill him. Souichirou encourages her to do what she has to do so Shidou dares her. But Rei puts her bayonet away and claims he isn’t worth killing, upsetting Shidou very much. Have you ever seen his face contort that much before? Souichirou has Shidou and his students leave his estate immediately. Meanwhile a bunch of submarine guys pray to God for mercy as they receive orders to fire warheads. And from Nasa’s view from space, it’s like several countries firing missiles, destroying each other and bringing Armageddon. Hey, we don’t need Judgment Day to come, don’t we?

Episode 12
The missile war begins so much so we can see that familiar mushroom bomb smoke from outer space. Shizuka finally remembers Rika’s number and calls her. She is relieved her Special Assault Team friend is still alive but their joy is cut short when a sudden bright light engulfs the sky and cuts out all communications and anything that is electronic. So which means if you are driving a car powered by electronic, the brakes won’t be working. Like how Shidou’s bus crashes into the barricade and letting all the zombies through. Calm Saya explains the electromagnetic wave effect that fries anything that has a computer chip inside it. Souichirou commends her for being able to stay calm during this time of panic. Just then a swarm of zombies converge at the main gates. The workers close it, trying to hold them back but their numbers are overwhelming so much so the gate breaks. Let the hungry fest begin! Soon the zombie count increases as our heroes and other survivors defend themselves from the endless nightmare. Souichirou gets word that their neighbouring house hasn’t been attacked so he suggests that the survivors break through to that place. He tells Takashi to walk his own path and leaves his daughter in Hirano’s care. Saya know what this means but she gets a little slap from mommy that this decision hurts them too, it is what they want and that they have their own roles to play. Souichirou and his men start the offensive as Takashi’s head towards the garage to escape via another humvee. Though it is electromagnetic wave-proof, the mechanic is trying to repair it seeing that it is a little damaged. For the time being, the rest will have to defend the place. Once the humvee is up and running, the gang busts out and heads straight over the horizon. Souichirou and his wife’s fate are left hanging. But what are the chances when you’re being surrounded by zombies? Yeah, no regrets. Salute. Saya probably knew this was going to happen as she tries her best to remain her composure. Takashi and co continue their travel, with the usual zombie killing till their humvee can’t go on further. They reach outside a shopping mall.

OVA
There was an OVA episode released back in May 2011. Somehow it felt like a relaxed version because it lacks all those flesh-eating zombies. So if it doesn’t have that, what does it have then? Why, fanservice of course! Lasting approximately 16 minutes or so, we see Takashi’s narration of fighting and escaping zombies in the opening but he too gets distracted and fallen into the fanservice trap when he thinks about those erm, fanservice moments about the girls. So during their escape from the zombies, the gang ended up on a secluded little island with no other life forms in sight via little boat. Oddly there is a beach house filled with water supplies though no one is around. And yes, there are swimsuits too. Guys included. Get out of your tight clothes and let your bodies breathe! Disgustingly, Hirano put on a female school swimsuit. With the lack of food, the girls ‘force’ the guys to go hunting. Or else Shizuka’s boobs will shrink, according to her. Nope. Not her stomach. Takashi comes back empty handed while surprisingly Hirano has his net full of seafood catch. If it’s any consolation for Takashi, he and Zeke brought back some leafs to start fire. As they cook the fish, they suddenly smell something funny and as Shizuka point out, the leafs are actually hydrangea, supposedly gives hallucination when inhaled. Too late. I don’t know but how come every busty girl who hallucinates must get horny? Yeah, Shizuka and Rei start seducing Takashi. Even Saya. Something hot is raging inside her body! Saeko seems not to be affected by the smoke yet and takes Takashi to safety. But at a distance, I’m not sure if it’s her hallucination or her real desire because she wants to be his woman.

Meanwhile Shizuka and Saya start hugging each other because they see each other as Rika and mommy respectively. They proceed to do lots of skinship on each other. Back to Saeko, she starts kissing Takashi. But that’s not the end of it, Takashi pushes her down and, let’s say it really gets steamy from here. Morning comes, Saya realizes she is totally naked with Shizuka! Then to her horror, she spots Hirano doing something pleasant with a broomstick. Let’s say it was between his legs and moving in a systematic motion. The worse one has got to be Saeko. She’s not making out with Takashi actually. It’s Rei!!! HOLY SH*T! So once the gang realize their embarrassing folly, I’m sure it’s natural that they’re just sitting there in shock, reflecting if all this was just a bad nightmare. It isn’t. They really did it on each other. Suddenly Alice runs up to them saying that Takashi is in deep trouble. The disturbing part wasn’t the fact he is amazingly keeping 4 zombikini (zombie in bikini) babes from biting his flesh with all his limbs, but rather is still daydreaming that Rei, Saya, Saeko and Shizuka are doing something so perverted on him that he is going to cum!!!! I’m not sure if they want to let the zombies eat him or wake him up from his unsightly dream. I’m not sure if there is another OVA because as Alice presents in a slideshow form in the end, she’s saying how they discovered a tunnel that links to the mainland and that their fight will continue. Hey, where was she when the rest were engaging in such unholy act?

“The Zombies Are Coming…”
That’s it?! That is how it ended? Doesn’t feel like an ending! I can’t believe it was left hanging like this! It’s not over yet, really. It could have been quite a good series in my opinion if not for that half-assed ending that left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Just like how the end quote perfectly summarizes the way the series ended: “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a whimper”. That’s right. What a wimpy ending. Anyway that quote was taken from a poem from T.S. Eliot, Hollow Men. Not that I have read it before or any of his works probably there’s a hidden meaning to it to say about us humans. Later I found out that the comic that this series is based on is currently ongoing. So I guess it’s better to end it there instead of putting in mindless fillers like a long running show that has everyone all vexed up.

For a horror genre, I was always on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of this series. It is not that I was scared out of my wits, but rather each time the zombies attack, it was nail-biting to see how the gang survives each fight. Of course we all know that our heroes will always make it through in the end but each of the assault from the zombies gave that dangerous feeling that they could be bitten the very next second. They may seem dull and like clones but they do give off that eerie feel. The subliminal message that this series is trying to say is probably the survival nature of humans. When faced with such a situation, we can see the true colours of our kind emerging. Some true leaders are born and some will turn to their dark side to do just about anything to survive. Then there are some that are willing to brave for changes and some unable to accept reality and shroud in their own world of denial. But even as we are now, are we no better than being mindless zombies? It makes us think of the many possibilities of the extinction of the human race and whether or not our own foolish doing is the cause of apocalypse. I wonder if those greenhouse and pollution effect has anything do with it.

You can’t help but root for Takashi and his gang. They may not be perfect but they rely on each other as they try and survive. Each of the characters has their own personalities, making the group quite fun. However because the series is too short, there isn’t enough time to appropriately flesh out the characters and how they will change as they further survive the carnage and pending apocalypse. We have short glimpses of Saeko’s past and Saya’s family but that doesn’t do much justice. Takashi has turned from someone who is indecisive into someone capable and reliable leader. I felt that Takashi and Rei’s relationship takes a back seat after halfway through. I felt that Rei didn’t really ‘stand out’ nor do anything significant other than her scorn for Shidou after reaching Saya’s mansion. Then again like I said, this series is too short for anything. Maybe I was having a wishful thinking hoping there will be some love polygon seeing that there were little hints of some budding romance. Uh, maybe this whole zombie thingy has got me crazy too. I have a feeling about Hirano’s character. I felt that as though the producers are telling us that otakus aren’t as useless as they seem. Saya may not be good at taking offensive but her intelligence proves vital. She isn’t a rich spoilt brat no more. But I couldn’t say the same for Shizuka because she’s still the busty airhead from start to finish. Hey, every group needs a bimbo like her. Who else provides a ‘good’ driver than her? Remember, everybody else is underage so they have no driving licence. Heck, you don’t need one now in this world. Come to think of it, don’t they look just like an RPG party? Takashi, Rei and Saeko for melee combat, Hirano the long range fighter, Shizuka the medic and Saya and Alice as supporting backup class such as mage and priestess. Don’t forget about Zeke as the mascot. Shidou is the creepiest non-zombie character and I’m not sure about his fate in the end when he crashed his bus. Did he get eaten or did he escape? I prefer and hope it is the former.

The characteristics of the zombie sometimes puzzle me. For instance their sensitivity to be attracted by sound. When Zeke was barking like mad against the hordes of zombies during its first appearance to protect Alice, why didn’t the zombies bite the puppy? Does it mean that they only bite humans? Then around the time Takashi and Saeko tried to distract the zombies from the rest and banged on the railing as loud as he could but the zombies continue their slogging towards the restless one. So this had me thinking that if you accidentally make a loud noise but slowly get away from the spot without panicking or being noisy, would you be able to evade the zombies? Just how come they know when to bite the human flesh if they lack all other senses? So if you play dead, are your chances of getting bitten lower? And why is it zombies can’t cross water? How can they tell when as mentioned they lack senses? Will they sink to the bottom? Yeah, might as well start living in the sea if you’re going to live a life free of zombies. Baffling but I guess that is what being a zombie means. Don’t try to understand them. Just kill them all! Bang, bang, bang, bang! Oops, sorry. Got carried away with Hirano’s modified overkill version.

The action of smashing zombies is definitely violent. But sometimes the action especially those involving riding vehicles can really be absurd. Take for instance the final escape scene from Saya’s estate. I’m not sure if Shizuka is that skilful in handling the humvee but can you believe it when she actually is able to tilt it and squeeze through the tiny opening of the barricade and zoom past it without error?! Wow. I’m speechless. And about Saeko’s ‘bullet time’ ability? I have no qualms about her excellent kendo skill and am confident that with her around, the gang will be in safe hands. But during the scene whereby she gracefully dodges her comrade’s bullets and continue her swinging like as though this is some sort of sophisticated art made my jaw dropped. Why not? This whole outbreak thingy was unexplainable in the first place so why not go all the way with the fanservice and violence. Yeah, who cares for the fanservice when you have zombies to fight. Probably to ‘relieve tension’ for viewers in between the bloody carnage? So perhaps that is why the girls still continue to choose to wear short skirts rather than long pants that may or may not be baggy and restrict their movements during fights. On a trivial note, each of the episode title has the word ‘dead’ in it. Dead on. Plus, it is a little creative to see how the title is being displayed as the episode starts after the opening credits, like being written with blood or on a signpost. Why do we need to be reminded of the episode title again right at the end just before the ending credits? This time in a more standard font. The next episode preview sounds like a cacophony of people speaking and shouting. It’s crazy. Besides, when everybody is talking, nobody is listening, right?

I don’t really have any qualms with the voice acting. Except for Takashi’s who is voiced by Junichi Suwabe (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis, Undertaker in Kuroshitsuji). Somehow I find his voice unsuitable as a high school student as he sounds more like a young adult. Noboyuki Hiyama as Hirano (Ikkaku in Bleach) proves to be quite fun when he gets loud or excited. Other casts include Marina Inoue as Rei (Kyoko in Skip Beat), Eri Kitamura as Saya (Ami in Toradora), Miyuki Sawashiro as Saeko (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Yukari Fukui as Shizuka (Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Ayana Taketatsu as Alice (Azusa in K-ON!, Ako in KissxSis) and Kishou Taniyama as Shidou (Saten in Needless, Takeya in DearS). The voice acting of the other minor characters are also convincing as they portray the people in panic as they scream just seconds before they are devoured or the fear they faced when they are so close to the undead or being bitten. Truly scary. The opening theme, which is the same name as the series is a total hard rock piece sung by Kisida Kyodan & The Akebosi Rockets. The tune and lyrics are definitely befitting the pace of this series. However each of the ending themes is different though they are all sung by Maon Kurosaki. They may range from slow ballads to fast rock to pop beats, and even one totally in English. I may not be right but I feel that many of its lyrics have this lingering feeling of what has happened to the world whether it’s ‘wanting to be with you’ or ‘if time would stop like this’.

It’s just frightening and terrifying to think that if all six over billion of us humans are turned into zombies. And that number is to hit seven in no time. It’s just a daunting task for the survivors to put a bullet in each head or smack it off. I don’t think the world has produced that much ammo. This is one case where disrespecting the dead is okay. But will be being the dead really be better off? So if it does happen, what would I really do? What can we do? Blowing up the entire world with nuclear bombs may be a way to ‘clean up’ the world and start anew but that would be just the easy way out, don’t you think? As for me, erm… Maybe I better start playing and practising those Resident Evil games just in case.