Saturday, May 27, 2017

Anime RE-Claimed: High School Of The Dead

So as written hither-to in my previous post about my disappointment in modern anime I said I'd eventually check out some animes I've had my eyes on and it looks like that day has come. Yesterday I checked out "Highschool Of The Dead". "High School Of The Dead" is one of those anime series that constantly referenced for copious amount of fan service;

Case in point

Anyway, on my quest to inspect anime I've diced to give this series a shot and while I've only seen the first episode, I'm gonna drop a review and my thoughts. So here we go!

Okay! So HOLY SHIT! What an opening! Now let me back pedal a little bit. When it comes to zombie stories, let's be real, it's kinda hard NOT to have a great opening. To be completely honest, the opening of "The Walking Dead" didn't grab me by the balls the way it should have. This felt more like the opening of "Dawn Of The Dead" the 2004 remake (which in my humble opinion remains the scariest 7 minutes in movie history) and by that I mean a typical day that quickly devolves into absolute chaos in a matter of minutes. This is no different and to be fair, when it comes to zombie stories grabbing people by the balls isn't entirely hard. Step 1: established characters and the normalcy, make everything as typical as possible to the point of boredom Step 2: First encounter with the zombie Step 3: Chaos Step 4: Someone important or likable gets infected establishing anyone can die.

"High School Of The Dead" follows that formula to a "T" but that's not to say it's tired or old hat. The characters are pretty solid and well established early on. The characters we're introduced to are Takashi and we get a good introduction to him as the plucky main character who's in love with Rei, and we get a few flashbacks regarding the deterioration of their relationship. Despite this Takashi & Rei are on good terms and he seems to be in the 1st episode, an overall good guy. Rei's current boyfriend Hasashi is even a good guy and serves as the sacrificial lamb (e.i the character who dies to get the feels from the audience). But I like the fact that there is no love triangle, there is no rivalry between Takashi & Hasashi (granted he doesn't stick around very long anyway).

Takashi is a great character because he immediately recognizes the dangers and goes straight for Rei, even going so far as to slap her in front of an entire class and her boyfriend to listen to him. He's clearly ahead of the curve on intelligence and guile and does what needs to be done to Hasashi when that time came. Rei is a good character too and from one piece of dialogue we get a glimpse into her character. When the situation begins she states that she could call her father who's a police officer. Immediately, this establishes Rei's position in the group of survivors. She's the law & order type, right and wrong, justice etc. etc. Not to mention she's in the martial arts club and is capable of fighting.

Saya is the 3rd character but we have yet to see where she stands during the outbreak. Saya is clearly set up to be the brains of the operation and she makes that very clear in her introduction. How she'll be rescued is anyone's guess and I suppose I'll find that out in Episode 2. As it stands, "High School Of The Dead" from the 1st episode established everything we needed to know about the characters and the situation at large in a very brutal and non-stop fashion with all the right levels of despair and horror. Takashi's "WHAT THE FUCK'S GOING ON?!" sums up all the horror of the opening episode and really sets in to place that despite the amount of fan service in this series (and oh boy, is there ever!) it's not going to let up one bit on the gore.

My fear is that this series doesn't devolve into the same problem that all zombie media has, which is eventually it stops being about zombies are starts being more about how people are dicks; but with only 12 episodes, I don't see that happening. Now when it comes to fan service, thus far in the 1st episode all we've gotten were panty shots but if this gif above is any indication of what's to come, I imagine that in addition to being a horror series, it's also a soft core porn but not like "American Horror Story". So here's to "High School Of The Dead", looking forward to finishing you off!

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