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!