Info: Highschool of the Dead is set in the present day, beginning as the world is struck by a deadly pandemic that turns humans into zombies, euphemistically referred to by the main characters as "Them".
The story follows a group of high school students (Takeshi, Rei, Saeko, Saya, Kohta), the high school's nurse (Shizuka), and a young girl (Alice) *plus the Dog Zeke* as they fight their way to safety through the deadly streets of Japan during a worldwide catastrophic event known as the "Outbreak". As the cast tries to survive the zombie apocalypse, they must also face the additional threats of societal collapse, in the form of dangerous fellow survivors, and the possible decay of their own moral codes.
1. Spring of the Dead
2. Escape from the Dead
3. Democracy under the Dead
4. Running in the Dead
5. Streets of the Dead
6. In the Dead of the Night
7. Dead Night and the Dead Ruck
8. The Dead Way Home
9. The Sword and Dead
10. The Dead's House Rules
11. Dead Storm Rising
12. All Deads Attack
13. Ova Special- Drifters of the Dead
Takashi Komuro: is a 17 year-old sophomore student of Fujimi High School and the male protagonist of the series. He and Rei are childhood friends who are in the same class. He has loved her ever since she made a childhood promise to marry him when they were older. However, due to Takashi's indecisiveness, Rei found comfort in their friend, Hisashi. As a result, their friendship was damaged. He was one of the first people to notice that something was wrong in the school, and quickly took action to escape with his friends. His relationship with Rei was shaken further when he was forced to kill Hisashi after he had turned into a zombie. Rei accused Takashi of killing him because he was jealous of their relationship. When Takashi was going to leave, Rei quickly rescinded her words and apologized. After this they hugged and their relationship was improved.
Though initially depicted as a poor student who often skips class, he is proven to be a very reliable and capable person. He has resolved to protect everyone, especially Rei, despite his own feelings of inadequacy. With this resolve, he has taken up the role as leader of the group. Saya Takagi has mentioned that he and Kohta are most likely to snap if things continue. He used a baseball bat in the beginning of the series, then recovers a Smith & Wesson Model 37 from a dead cop, a crowbar, and later finds an Ithaca 37. In Chapter 27, he throws away his Ithaca and swaps it for a Benelli M4 Super 90 which was given to him by Kohta.
Rei Miyamoto: is Takashi Komuro's classmate and love interest and the female protagonist of the series. They have known each other since kindergarten. When they were young, Rei promised to marry him when they were older, and has loved him ever since, but because of Takashi's indecisiveness, he was never able to honestly return her feelings. Heartbroken, she sought comfort in their friend, Hisashi, and ignoring Takashi at the same time in hopes of forgetting the pain. Rei was furious when Takashi killed Hisashi even though he turned into a zombie. However, when Takashi was going to leave, Rei quickly rescinded her words and apologized. After this they hugged and their relationship was improved.
Rei doesn't find it above herself to reprimand Takashi for acting carelessly. She worries about his well-being whenever he goes to fight "them". Rei has also proven to be a skilled combatant through the use of sōjutsu, and is a strong asset to the group.
Initially in the same year as Saeko, Rei was held back despite being an excellent student. Her father–a police detective–had been investigating the corruption behind the father of Shido, one of the teachers at her school. As a result, Shido purposefully failed her so she would have to repeat a grade. Rei bears a lasting grudge against him and feels uneasy whenever he's around.
Although Rei dated Hisashi, her feelings for Takashi never disappeared. In Chapter 12 of the manga, Rei shamefully admits that she dated Hisashi because he was cute and cared for her but says it is different now. She finally understands Takashi's personality and confesses that it is his selfless nature that she fell in love with. Rei also professes that she would do anything to be with him. Like Saya, Rei gets irritated whenever Takashi spends alone time with Saeko, even if they are fighting "them". As her feelings intensifies, her flirting has also become more aggressive on several occasions. She uses a Spear made from a broken Broom and later a M1A Rifle with a Bayonet attached.
Saya Takagi: is the daughter of an influential Uyoku dantai politician, with family deeply involved in Japan's politics. A self-proclaimed genius, Saya's knowledge and deductive capabilities have allowed the group to escape from harm many times. She was among the first to conclude that "they" were attracted to only sound. It is revealed that Saya wears glasses, having worn contact lens prior. Despite coming from a prestigious family, she despises her parents, who she thought had given up on finding her in this crisis. However, Saya was able to amend their relationship before leaving the mansion.
Slightly self-conscious, she detests the fact people, due to her status, only call her by her last name and never look her in the eyes when speaking to her. The only exceptions to this are Kohta, who she has a unique friendship with, and Takashi, who is her childhood friend. Saya acts as a mother figure to Alice in this crisis. Although Saya insists Alice calls her with the suffix "-sama", she has grown very attached to Alice. She does her best to keep intact Alice's innocence, and will severely scold anyone who would dare attempt to tarnish it to any degree.
Saya is hinted to have romantic feelings for Takashi but refrains from displaying any overt displays of attraction unlike Rei. However, she does get annoyed whenever Saeko gets close to Takashi. Saya has also hinted of having romantic feelings for Kohta, such as dreaming about him in Chapter 7, getting angry whenever he looked at another girl, and being jealous of the relationship between Kohta and Asami. She uses a electric drill in early chapters of the series, then acquires a Luger P08 pistol. In Chapter 28, she is given the MP5 by Kohta in exchange for her Luger.
Kohta Hirano: is a 16-year old sophomore student at Fujimi High School. Often bullied in school, Kohta is a gun otaku and knows the ins and outs of the firearms and any military-related equipment that the group comes across. Basically, he functions as the group's long-range combat specialist. His skills as a marksman has proven to be an invaluable asset to keeping everyone alive. On a one-month trip to America, he was trained by the US military contractor, Blackwater USA, which furthered his obsession with weapons.
At the beginning of the story, his abilities helped Saya Takagi escape danger. Kohta has a crush on Saya and asked her out on various occasions, only to be rejected. However, she does care for his well being. His crush has seemingly ended and he later developed deep feelings for the police officer trainee, Asami Nakaoka. Because their feelings are mutual, they have expressed their love for each other and Kohta even managed to convince her to join the group. Kohta has also grown attached to Alice and is often found playing with her. He also has a strong desire to protect her innocence. Unfortunately, he was forced to kill Asami when she risks her life to save a person in danger and gets trapped between a big number of "them". She personally asks him to kill her so that she won't become a zombie and cause pain to others around her. Kohta later finds himself in horror for what he did and tries to get himself killed by them, though with the help of Shizuka, he overcomes this pain. With this situation, Takashi realizes that if one member of the group dies, everyone will die in a matter of hours.
His character may have been based on the mangaka of the same name, as the two look similar. Since Kohta does not know any form of close-combat techniques, he uses a supply of different firearms such as a modified Nail Gun, an AR-10, and a Smith & Wesson Model 37 that Takashi used before. He then finds a suppressed MP5 SFK in Chapter 27. In the following chapter, he gives Saya the MP5 and she gives him her Luger.
Saeko Busujima: is a third-year student at Fujimi High School and president of the school's kendo club, extremely skilled at close combat with a bokken. Her school uniform differs from the other characters, as she wears a long skirt as opposed to the short ones found on the other female students. Calm and collected with a sense of pride in her skills, Saeko is among the most reliable of the group. Everyone can count on her combat skills to pull them through a crisis. Also throughout the journey, she begins to develop romantic feelings for Takashi. Not much is known about her family except for her father who had traveled abroad on a self-defense conference before the advent of the Outbreak. Saya's father, Soichiro Takagi, tells Saeko that her father once gave him guidance so to repay the favor, and he gives her a very powerful sword, crafted in the Tokyo armory by General Murata during the Meiji Era.
Four years prior to the story, an assailant attacked Saeko. Armed with her bokken, she easily disposed of him, breaking several of his bones before the police came. Although it was claimed to be self-defense, this experience revealed her "raw nature". Ever since the incident, she continually struggles with this part of her personality, which causes momentary weaknesses in her otherwise strong demeanor. After telling Takashi her story and encountering a group of "them" afterwards, Saeko considers, for a second, letting herself get killed. However, Takashi stops her and confesses his admiration for her, restoring her confidence and resolve. After this, she accepts her true nature and promises to fight alongside Takashi. She also tells him that he needs to take responsibility for actions as a result of this, which he agrees to.
Saeko has faith in Takashi's ability to lead the group through a crisis. After Saya mentions that Takashi and Kohta are the most likely to "lose it and become a danger to themselves", Saeko simply replies that she will be there to remind them that she is of the female sex. She is later given a katana by Saya's father, and is later given an M92 Vertec handgun which was found by Kohta in Chapter 27.
Shizuka Marikawa:is a single 26-year old woman and the school nurse at Fujimi High School. At the beginning of the story, Shizuka was saved by Saeko. She is rather ditsy as compared to the rest of girls, and her large bust size is often used as a comical element in the story. She is close friends with Rika Minami, a sniper of Japan's Special Assault Team. Their home was used as a safe haven for the group after they escaped the high school. Despite being the only adult in the group, she is emotionally fragile and doesn't know what will become of her life. Like the rest of the main characters, Shizuka worries that she will never see her family or friends again.
Even though she's emotionally fragile, Shizuka feels a responsibility to "chaperon" the kids. As a nurse and the only adult in the group, she is responsible for the health of everyone in the group. Although she is still studying to be a full-fledged doctor, Shizuka has shown incredible medical knowledge; she was even able to bring Kohta to his senses after he was forced to kill Asami Nakaoka. She is the only one seen in the group able to drive, and has been shown to drive a car, a bus and a Humvee.
Alice Maresato: is a 7 year-old child who was saved from being attacked by several undead by Takashi after her father was killed by members of a household who wouldn't allow them shelter. Innocent and passive, Alice is the only member of the group that maintains a cheerful attitude despite all their troubles and the loss of her parents. Looking up to everyone in the group as a bigger brother and sister, she is unwilling to leave them even if it's for her own safety.
Alice is often seen playing with a small dog named Zeke, whom they had picked up while saving Alice and Kohta, to whom she has grown fairly attached. Presiding over her as a mother figure is Saya to whom she has also grown attached. Alice is also bilingual, able to speak in English and Japanese, and maybe multiracial. It was also recently revealed that she was the next door neighbor to Takashi's friend, Imamuru.
Despite being the youngest member of the group, she seems to be able to carry her own burden against "them". In a discussion between Takashi and Kohta, they made to the conclusion that they cannot protect her for long and she will need to learn how to defeat "them". She is yet to have her own weapon, though she did make use of fireworks and poppers that Asami gave to her (using those to distract "them" from attacking the group). In the anime, however, during the attack at Saya's mansion, she attacks some of "them" using some things from the garage, such as a large wheel, to protect Shizuka. Saya, however, finishes them off for Alice.
Zeke: known in the English anime as Zero, is a dog found by Alice right after "they" started attacking her and Zeke, only to be saved by Takashi. Zeke is very energetic and also intelligent, being able to differentiate the living from the undead. Zeke's role in the group is to provide some company to Alice and to alert them of the undead.