Before diving into plot dynamics, characters, and animation appeal; let us begin with the reception of this anime by the fans. The reason I titled this review North American Dream is because of the relatively high popularity it has received in North America, far exceeding the popularity it received in Japan. Who can blame us? Zombies, fan service, and gore - even Milla Jovovich has nothing on these kids. With that being said, how well does this anime play out the zombie apocalypse scenario we all have grown to love?
The plot summary is as basic as it comes, a bunch of high-school kids being thrown into the mass chaos that is the zombie apocalypse. I really enjoyed the first episode, as the first few take place in their school, and follows our main characters attempting to stay alive. This sort of entry really does a unique job at combining the high-school life of anime and analyzing how things would unfold in a zombie apocalypse. From there we get to see the struggles of a society that is undergoing a dramatic change due to lack of structure and Marshall law, and the survival of the fittest mentality that takes over. The anime does a good job at combining political agendas inside the subplots, making a basic concept more intriguing and giving a more thorough example of what life inside a hell like this would look like. One of my favorite aspects of the plot is the clash between instinct and humanity, as we see our characters struggle with the choices of saving others, killing other infected humans, even best friends, and maintaining their integrity that they aren't murderers.
Spoiler Alert! Click to show or hide
Like when Takashi is forced to kill his best friend, whom is dating the girl he loves in the very first episode. Brutal
We have several main characters. I won't bother going into names and specific character personality details, but will reflect the overall appeal to the characters in general and what makes them good or bad.
This anime does a good job at creating multiple character archetypes, some that create comedic relief, and some that create an intense setting you wish you could be part in. For a short series, the character development in the story is more than you would imagine, especially for a simple plot, but we get the chance to see romance grow, characters expand on their past, and most of all group of characters grow together as a group that becomes a family unit, protecting each other at all costs.The negatives to the characters comes down to the shortness of the series. Sometimes the character expansion seems out of no where for no reason.
The animation was great. The flow of every battle, every blood that flies across the scene is beautifully animated. You can expect plenty of fan service in this anime, as it is a more straight forward ecchi, with lots of underskirt and bouncing tata action! Characters seem more unique than other anime, and the zombies weren't too shabby either!
High School Of The Dead is a good horror/harem anime that could have been great.
Spoiler Alert! Click to show or hide
The cut off ending left much to be desired, and much to be accounted for.
The anime had a great cast of characters that made it appealing, comedic, and intense all in one package. The fan service wasn't something to complain about, and the overall presentation of a zombie apocalypse did a good job at displaying the violent struggles that society would face, along with the ethical dilemmas that people would face during this. I give it 4 stars - It should have been atleast 26 episodes, especially with the slow start it got during the first 3 episodes!
High School Of The Dead was the second anime I ever watched, and I watched it from start to finish. Lucky enough for me, I watched the dub on Netflix, so it was easy to watch many episodes at a time. The only familiarity I had with the show was that I recognized one of the characters (Saeko) and I remember having the premise explained to me. That was enough to get me to watch it, and boy; did I have a blast.
Story is actually not that complicated. Our protagonist is Takashi, who attends high school in Japan. Basically, one day, a random zombie appears at the school gates, bites one of the teachers, and all hell breaks loose. Takashi finds himself with two of his friends (the two of which are actually dating), attempting to survive in their escape out the school. The boyfriend friend (if that makes any sense) ends up being bitten, and asks Takashi to kill him, so that he wouldn't hurt Takashi and the (soon to "widowed") chick. Takashi follows through, and even though I'm rushing the explanation here, you can bet that in the show, it's all pretty tense and Takashi's relationship with this girl becomes pretty complicated/dramatic. Some people end up tagging along with the remaining two, as the remaining two make their great escape.
This anime is interesting, for some meta-esque reasons. It's pretty serious, all the way through. It's heavy on action for sure, as you could a imagine a zombie anime would be. But on top of that, you have the dynamic of high school type relationships, which increases the drama every now and then. You also have fan service now and then, but honestly it's not THAT bad. With my previously watched anime being Rosario + Vampire, I found all the ecchi scenes to be "passable." Seriously, in this show, they try a TAD more to ignore its own panty shots and boob physics. In return, it makes me not care for some of the "hot" bits they do. Seriously, why would seeing underwear be hot in anyway? There's only one episode where it can really get annoying for some, and I get that - but all those scenes serve more like comedic relief, and that's a smart way for the show to tone down its own seriousness. There are some laughable decisions that are attempts to make the show sexy, so I'd rather see all the ecchi stuff as a way to relax from all the zombie killing.
Art & Music //
I'm just going to get this out the way now: the opening theme is beast, and it really gets you revved up. You almost want to pick up a gun and help slay some zombies! The soundtrack is good as well, and can be pretty dope, even when it comes to serious, drama-filled moments. Art style is one of my favorites, honestly. Everything is slick, and shaded very richly. Yes - the lighting effects are pretty sweet for this anime. Only gripe was that one of the characters, girlfriend friend (Rei), gets drawn strange in the most perverted episode that I mentioned. Almost felt like a subliminal way to get dudes to forget about her.
The horror of a zombie apocalypse would make most question wanting to fight for survival. I enjoyed seeing a group of teens that were filled with conviction as to what they wanted - they all wanted to live. Somehow, the show ends up feeling like a good time, because you actually get to see the main characters grow and grow closer to each other. I felt for each one of them, and I rooted for them all the way. Takashi may come off as boring as first, but he develops quite nicely. All the girls are gorgeous as hell, and I can imagine that even Takashi being the subtle guy he is, feels comforted that in a time of despair, his amazing friends, that are female, happen to be hot.
High School of the Dead, this anime is a mixing bowl full of zombie killing action and borderline hentai animation(which I liked of course... just saying). This anime is a roller coaster of excitement and thrill with a lot of horror and blood to go with it.The setting is an apocalyptic world that is overrun by zombies and there is a small band of survivors(high school students and a ditzy teacher) that are essentially, well, trying to survive.Now the characters are generic at best with your tsundere, smart one, mysterious one, crazy one, slow one, and main lead girl and guy. But what separates this anime from other horror anime is probably its ecchi design. With clothes flying off every cut scenes and boobs jiggling every action scene you can tell why it was so well received. To conclude, I would say if you want an anime with panty shots and blood this is the anime for you and I promise you'll get more than enough.Oh, and one final thing, that matrix scene though(for those you've watched High School of the Dead know what I'm referring to).
Thanks for reading and have a nice day!!
0 out of 3 people found this review helpful:
Now I love me some Zombies and I love me some Fanservice and a series thaats just Fanservice and Zombies is fine.
What do you mean they are playing it straight Romero...
No no god no its a straight up apocalypse serious as cancer situation with tits and ass thrown randomly in, often at the worst times ok.
Wow WOW there is a lot of fan service like satirically so and then past that WTH.
No this is so painful to watch maybe it gets better later?
Maybe it has a decent ending.
Npoe cliff hanger and a tolerable goofy OVA
This combines 3 of my great love. Anime, an good horror, and zombies zombies zombies. As a huge zombie filim and Romero fan this is one Anime I would recommend this anime to anyone out there looking for something to watch Anime wise this or any Halloween. Wish there was more zombie horror anime s out there
my favorite anime ever great story and cool characters. very adventurous and a fun time anybody who puts this down does not know what good anime is. the characters are relatible and amazingly well written my favorite is saeko though there is a character for everyone. over 9000/10
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful:
I've watched this show twice now, first subbed, then English dubbed. Both the Japanese audio with subtitles and English audio are very good, if not slightly different. Some dialogue in the English dub is different than the sub and the characters feel a little more Western, but the voice acting is good and the lip syncing matches up nicely (dubs that don't match well really bother me).
-Plot: The plot of HOTD is just like any other zombie story. The infection suddenly breaks out with no explanation as to where it came from or why it's happening. But now the characters are forced to find ways to survive without getting killed by these walking corpses. It's not overly complex, and if a deep, intelligent plot is what you're looking for, this show isn't really it. For such a simple plot, 12 episodes works very well, because if a show like this were to be dragged out, a lot of fans would probably drop it. Granted, we all are waiting for a season 2, but I certainly don't want this show to have more than 25 to 50 episodes or so. Then it just gets repetitive and ridiculous.
-Characters: I love the characters in the show. While some stereotypes of anime characters are present, I don't really feel like they're all just cardboard cutouts. Each character develops nicely throughout the 12 episodes, with the exception of Shizuka-sensei. She remains a ditz throughout pretty much the entire show and is really only there as fan service and to drive the other characters around.
-Fanservice: Yes, HOTD is heavy on the fanservice. And a lot of people criticize and even hate it for that. However, if fanservice and ecchi shows aren't your thing, all you have to do is stop watching. Fanservice doesn't automatically make a show bad, so long as it's done in an appealing way (everybody's opinion of appealing is going to differ). Personally, I like the way the fanservice is done. It can be over the top and unnecessary at times, but it doesn't feel cheesy or awkward (most of the time). I appreciate that it isn't shy about fanservice and is willing to shove boobs in your face. If a show claims to have fanservice, I expect full-on fanservice, not wimpy, awkward pantie shots.
Overall I give HOTD 4 stars. Much as I love the show, I recognize that the plot is a little too simple, the fanservice can be a little over the top at times, and the characters still feel a little bit stereotypical. I recommend High School of the Dead if you're into action and ecchi. However, if not, just don't watch it and please don't bash it just because of all the fanservice.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful:
High School of the Dead
Takashi Komuro is a normal high school boy (as are many anime leads), but one day, an infection breaks out that turns people into zombie-like creatures. Along with his friends and the school nurse, he fights his way out and begins a journey to find out what exactly has happened to the world. (Adapted from ANN)
Highschool of the Dead is essentially what Japanese animators make when they feel inclined to produce something that screams "trash!" from the very onset, complete with a well-worn story of zombie apocalypses, a never-ending stream of gun violence, and, in between the various battles, scenes that approach pornography, seemingly placed precisely to placate impulsive sexual urges when the desire to see zombies have their heads blown off is exhausted. Exploitative from start to finish and entirely unapologetic about its own raunchiness, Highschool of the Dead at least has the good grace to maintain an enjoyable if derivative plot, rarely becoming boring and always managing to keep the viewer curious, and yet its tone makes it difficult to like and, at times, nearly impossible to watch. Indeed, once you get past the spectacle of the gunfights and over-enlarged mammaries, there is precious little to love in this series, its unlikable cast failing to bring any joy to an ultimately bleak and unsatisfying story and thus making the show feel like wasted time.
As said, the cast of Highschool of the Dead is made of the most stereotypical possible archetypes, and while I felt occasional affection for some of them, it was the kind that will never transcend the series itself, the characters being utterly dull when compared to those from some better-developed series. Once again, we get an angsty and troubled lead in Takashi, and this time one whose pettiness, stupidity, and bigotry make him entirely impossible to cheer for as the series progresses. Meanwhile, there is a banal romantic interest in the selfish and whiny Rei, anime's obsession with "cool and mysterious" presences manifested in Saeko, a precocious lolifang in Saya, an overweight and unintelligent otaku in Kohta, an insultingly stupid (and well-endowed) school nurse, and even a creepy and possibly pedophilic teacher, none of whose personalities are ever given the space to expand and hardly any of whom appear to be anything besides a means through which the show extracts basic drama and, in the case of the females, fan service galore. Kohta is at least charming in a lovably stupid way, and Saya's tempter tantrums are ocassionally amusing, but when compared to the many other characters in the field of anime, they hardly stand out at all. To make matters worse, the show actively renders an initially likable character, Saeko, into a detestable mess by introducing an entirely unnecessary backstory through flashback, and indeed, it seems as if this show's story was extracted from any and all possible trends within the medium of anime, the creators throwing in whatever love triangles and stories of abuse they could find in the hopes that they could make something interesting out of their lifeless cast.
With that being said, the show is very capable of being entertaining on a basic level, with the enjoyment of seeing zombies have their heads blown off trumping my dislike of the main characters and the pacing usually being measured enough to keep the story coherent and fast enough to move it along. There is absolutely nothing new to see here, for the various components of past zombie flicks (the scene where crowds of people desperately scramble to reach restricted zombie-free zones, the moment where weapons of mass destruction are released as a last resort) are present in full force, but it's a decent ride all the same for those who can stomach gun violence and more than just a little blood in their shows. The story is really nothing besides an exploitative bloodbath, the junk about biological weapons causing the outbreak being window-dressing in the end, but I will give the director (Tetsuro Araki of Death Note fame) credit for keeping it interesting.
And yet, as I went along, I could not escape the fact that the show seemed entirely pointless, and there were two events that brought that conclusion to mind. First of all, there is a point in the middle of the series, during the 6th episode, where the already ridiculous amount of fan service escalates to extremes, with panty shots giving way to an unwatchable communal bath scene and at least four places in the space of a single episode where mammaries are groped and manipulated. That particular episode is so irrelevant to the plot, so over-the-top, and so unpleasant to watch that it entirely derails the show, and the series just keeps on plugging it afterwards, the female characters going about their business in clothes whose width wouldn't even cover your little finger, butt and boob alike being endlessly highlighted, and, in one ridiculous scene, Takashi using Rei's breasts as a rangefinder for his rifle. The effect would be bad enough if the show was merely a sexist show that turned any and all females into objects of ogle as it does, but it is compounded by the fact that the series has no satisfying conclusion, the story petering out on a ridiculous cliffhanger and nothing regarding the state of the world or the zombies being at all resolved. I came away from this series with the feeling that I had been flipped off, lured by a vaguely entertaining premise and then slapped in the face, confronted with a series unaware of the fact that fan service will never be enough to sustain my interest in a story.
It's worth noting that I despise ecchi content and thus probably enjoyed this series much less than some people may have, but my core problem with Highschool of the Dead is that it, underneath its flashy spectacles of zombies being torn to pieces, is unlikable and unsatisfying. The fan service, as annoying as it can be, is really only an index of the cast's vapidity: there is no hope for characters who must be stripped naked to become remotely interesting. While Highschool of the Dead manages to avoid being boring, it leaves a foul taste in one's mouth, the kind that makes me wonder if I'd have been better off not bothering at all.
It gets a second star for (mostly) being entertaining, but the unlikable cast, unsatisfying story, and suffocating amounts of fan service make it very hard to recommend. Those who don't share my dislike of ecchi content may add at least one star, and those who can't stomach gun violence and gore should skip this alltogether. — Bobby.
My Score 3 Stars Out Of 5
Recommended Audience: Absolutely not for children. When the show isn't exploiting with copious amounts of blood and gore, it instead turns to exploiting with clothing of wire-thin skimpiness, communal bath scenes, gluteal shots, whole minutes where one's face is trapped against a mammary, and scenes in which the entire female cast appears to be having an orgasm. The English dub, meanwhile, also contains many utterances of strong profanity.
AKA: 学園黙示録 (Gakuen Mokushiroku)
Genre: Apocalyptic drama / ecchi action (with survival horror elements)
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Sentai Filmworks
Content Rating: 17+ (borderline-pornographic fanservice, graphic violence, vulgarity, profanity)
Related Series: High School of the Dead OAV (sequel)
Also Recommended: Elfen Lied, GANTZ, Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (for a better and very different disaster anime), (Non-Anime) Return of the Living Dead
Notes: Based on a manga by the Sato brothers, which has been on hiatus since 2011. The anime covers the first segment of the manga's story, while a subsequent OAV was released with the Blu-Ray version as a "bonus" episode that is reportedly little besides a concentrated version of the fan service from the main series.