Highschool of the Dead December (Dead End)

If you’ve ever been curious about Highschool of the Dead or just want to relive the whole thing, check out the time I spent an entire month going over it again.

What’s going on now? Well, this is it. My Highschool of the Dead December project, much like the month of December, has run its course. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, but it doesn’t have to, right? Below you’ll find all of the links to each and every post. Feel free to check out the ones you missed or reread them the next time you watch/read Highschool of the Dead.

Introduction – This gives an overview of why I decided to do Highschool of the Dead December.

The Anime – Each episode reviewed and then a season review, plus the OVA, Drifters of the Dead.

The Manga – All seven volumes of the manga reviewed, with pictures from the full-colour editions, plus Act 30, the start of volume eight and the final act released.

The Characters

So, what now? Well, it’s been a pretty busy month, especially since I completed the 30 Day Anime Challenge in November and I’ve been keeping up to date with the Fall 2018 anime schedule. I don’t have anything planned for January, so it will be nice to slow down a fraction. Not to mention, I’ve got a ton of work to do on a post-apocalyptic trilogy I’ve been working on for too long already.

One last thing, I promised I would show you just how awesome the full-colour edition of the manga is compared to the regular black and white volumes. You might want to sit down for this…

Anyhow, I guess this is it. Thanks for stopping by and supporting me as I compiled what is basically my love letter to Highschool of the Dead. Sure, it took me 31 days and roughly 22,000 words to do, but now we have reached the Dead End!

If you have any questions about Highschool of the Dead, let’s have them. I am always happy to talk HotD and if I don’t know, I’m going to want to find out. Thanks again and have a safe and happy New Year.

Highschool of the Dead (Act 30) – The Manga

After volume 7 of Highschool of the Dead, there was nothing… unless you check online and find the final act – Act 30. Makes you want more, doesn’t it?

What did you read? I’ve been saving this one for last, which seems kind of appropriate. It is Act 30, the final part of the Highschool of the Dead manga ever released. It would have been the beginning of volume eight and it sets up so much, it’s annoying to think we’ll never see the outcome.

What Happened? The opening scene follows a police officer sniping zombies at the gates of a school. When another office asks if that’s the best idea, he says that there aren’t that many zombies around and the noise will help survivors find them.

Then we go inside the school where a group of survivors are threatening to attack a man with a bandage on his hand. Shido shows up and attempts to talk down the angry group, but they aren’t willing to listen until the police sniper comes inside and shuts it down. Presumably this is Rei’s father.

Next, we head to a Japanese warship making plans to rescue the survivors from the cities and talking of approaching Chinese submarines. Rika is on board the ship and asks to go to Tokonosu. They agree as she’s the only reason they found any survivors at the airport. On top of that, they let her take as many weapons as she can carry!

Finally, we’re back with Takashi and the others as they try to make their way to the school for the rescue mission. There are zombies in front and zombies behind. It’s raining hard and the group prepare to attack.

What was your favourite thing? Rika cleaning out the armoury was awesome. It’s just a shame we won’t get to see her enact her plan to find Marikawa, something that I think could be a spin-off series. At least, I’d watch it.

What was your least favourite thing? All that build up and no payoff. It would almost have been better to have not read this because now I have an idea of what was to come and it was going to be exciting. I have no doubt of that.

Are you ready for more? After that set up I am so ready for more. I find myself becoming more and more determined to write a zombie series, probably light novels with a view to one day turning into a manga. I’ve got a ton of things on my todo list and this one seems to be slowly climbing over the others. I need more zombies!

Highschool of the Dead (Character Analysis) – Rika Minami

It’s the character analysis that no one asked for, but once you’ve checked it out, you’ll be glad that did. Could she command her own spin-off series? I think so!

What are you doing now? This should be interesting. It’s the final post in my series of character analysis pieces from Highschool of the Dead. This one is probably the most self-indulgent, but it’s my blog and I’ll do whatever I want.

So, following on from the gif extravaganza that was Shizuka Marikawa. Don’t worry, they’re still there if you want to pop back and have a look! Anyhow, today I’m giving Rika Minami the attention she so deserved and at one point I even champion her own spin-off series…

Age Unknown / Height 5’7” / Weight Unknown

Bust 33″ (D) / Waist 22″ / Hips 35″

Empathy: In the anime, Rika’s role is somewhat limited, but even in that, we get a sense of what she’s like. Clearly, she is an accomplished sniper. She also smokes a cigar and makes sexually suggestive comments to her partner. Basically, she’s pretty awesome.

In the manga, there is an entire act devoted to her and her partner trying to clear away the zombies at the terminal. It was epic. Rika is the hot female version of John McClain from Die Hard.

She has a couple of small appearances throughout hinting that she will eventually make her way back to Tokonosu and meet up with her best friend Marikawa and the others. Sadly, it looks like that will never happen, and she just cleared an armoury ready to head into the city too.

Character Arcs: Rika starts on the floating airport, sniping zombies and generally being a badass. As time goes on we soon realise just how much of a badass she is, not least when Takashi and the others make it to her apartment. She has a military grade Humvee and numerous illegal weapons

She’s obviously very intelligent and well drilled as the EMP didn’t even faze her. The part in the manga where her partner died showed that she was compassionate, but also believed in her role within the police force.

Finally, in the final act to be released, she negotiated a release to head back to Tokonosu so that she could look for Marikawa. She also took all the guns, when they were stupid enough to say she could take whatever she could carry.

Goals: Rika obviously holds her friendship with Marikawa above everything but her duty to the force. Once she had completed that obligation, she was ready to face the zombies on her own to find Marikawa.

The true extent of their relationship is unconfirmed, but you’ve got to be pretty close to want to do that, especially with the potential attack from Chinese submarines approaching.

Obstacles: The biggest obstacle Rika faced, was her location. Had she been home when it all happened, I’m sure she would have busted into the high school and wiped out the zombies long before Takashi and the others made their daring escape.

On top of that, she is dedicated to her role within the police force. She hints at leaving the airport to find her friend, but only once they’re done there.

Traits: Rika is hard, but she also shows a fun side, teasing her partner when he offers to help her with her sore chest from lying in the sniper position too long. She also followed her orders until there were no more coming, never abandoning her position or the people that depended on her. I really do wish she’d got more time.

Motivations: Rika’s training seems to lead her actions, and she appears to be at the top of her game. The quality of her apartment, weapons, and vehicle show that she is a top performer. Hirano even comments on how most unmarried police officers live in the dorms, so she’s doing something above and beyond.

Her desire to catch up with Marikawa and make sure she’s all right is another big driver for her. She makes her moves to do something about that just as the story was abandoned.

Flaws: Honestly, Rika is pretty much the perfect person to have on your side in a zombie apocalypse. She’s a hotter and more accomplished version of Hirano…

Vulnerabilities: Based solely on the act where her partner was killed, I think that maybe Rika expects everyone to be as on top of their game as she is. I don’t think it was her fault that he died, but if they had been a little more careful, he could have lived.

Attitude: Rika is confident and calm, however, she has no problem teasing her colleagues and friends. The two people in her life, both hold her in high esteem and would no doubt follow her on whatever crazy scheme she came up with.

Past Influences: Annoyingly we know absolutely nothing about Rika’s past except that she lived with Marikawa and that they are close friends. Personally, I would love to find out more. If the series had kept going, she could easily have commanded a spin-off series of her own as she tried to track down Marikawa. I would read that, it would have been awesome.

Highschool of the Dead (Character Analysis) – Shizuka Marikawa

If I was to saw Shizuka Marikawa, would you know who I was talking about? Yeah, I thought so. Well, let’s take a closer look at what makes her so memorable!

What are you doing now? All right! This is probably the one you’ve all been waiting for. So, sit back and join me as I delve into another of the characters from Highschool of the Dead.

Yesterday, we looked at the gun loving otaku Kohta Hirano. Today subject for our admiration is the artist favourite Shizuka Marikawa. She’s a bit of an enigma in that there isn’t too much information about her, but she has the most gifs! Make of that what you will.

Age 27 / Height 5’9” / Weight 128 LBS

Bust 43″ (J) / Waist 24″ / Hips 37″

Empathy: Marikawa is the school nurse and it’s apparent that she knows what she’s doing, even though she may come across as a bit of a ditz.

That said, she is likeable and funny, especially when she’s going over the symptoms of the recently infected as a student bludgeons the zombie to death behind the screen.

She also loves her designer clothes and even loses her temper when Saeko rips her skirt so that she can move more freely.

Character Arcs: I think Marikawa has the least growth out of all of the characters. She is the only adult in the group and takes on the role of the mother figure. Her knowledge and life skills are invaluable, but she’s definitely not a fighter.

It would have been interesting to see how her role would have changed once Rei’s mother joined the group, or if they ever caught up with Rika.

Goals: Marikawa seems to be in it for the ride. She’s joined up with the group of students and seems determined to stay with them. She seems to enjoy the company of the girls and even has a soft spot for Takashi.

Outside of surviving, her main goal is to find her friend, Rika, although it’ll probably be best to wait for Rika to find them. It’s a shame that it ended before Rika really got involved.

Obstacles: Being a ditz hasn’t hampered Marikawa at all. Mostly due to the group that she has around her, but she more than pulls her weight, driving the cars and offering medical and life advice.

She also took them to Rika’s house where they were able to relax, even if only for a short while, plus they got the Humvee and the guns.

Traits: Marikawa doesn’t take herself too seriously. She likes to enjoy herself and probably feels rejuvenated by being with the students. She can be a little clumsy and often knocks things with her enormous boobs. The funniest moment was when she knocked Hirano over as she ran to console Takagi.

Motivations: Her motivations seem to be focused around keeping everyone alive and searching for Rika, but she’s such an airhead she seems to forget what she’s doing a lot of the time. She tends to focus on the here and now and doesn’t worry to much about the future.

Flaws: Marikawa’s main flaw is probably how relaxed she is. Maybe it’s a by-product of her being such a ditz, but she seems to take everything in her stride, which sometimes leaves her exposed…

Vulnerabilities: She’s a sucker for designer clothes, preferring not to damage her designer skirt even if it would slow her down.

Attitude: Marikawa doesn’t seem too self-obsessed, which wouldn’t be hard to imagine for someone so attractive. Again this could be down to her carefree attitude towards life. She does have a lot of respect for the students and knows that she would have been in trouble had they not found her.

Past Influences: We don’t know a great deal about Marikawa’s past. I think they alluded that she used to work in research before taking the post as the school nurse. There seems to be more to the relationship with Rika but I think that won’t get explored now.

Highschool of the Dead (Character Analysis) – Kohta Hirano

Kohta Hirano… you remember him. He’s the gun crazed otaku from Highschool of the Dead and not one to be taken lightly.

What are you doing now? It’s another look into what makes the characters in Highschool of the Dead tick. Yesterday, I got yelled at by Saya Takagi. Well, today I’m going to spend my time breaking down Kohta Hirano. He’s the gun-loving sharpshooter with a serious crush on Takagi.

Age 16 / Height 5’2” / Weight 196 LBS

Empathy: Hirano starts out as just some geeky otaku who happens to be in the right place at the right time, although he wouldn’t have known it at the time. In the absence of Takashi, Takagi grabs Hirano and uses him as her shield while the other students attempt to escape from the school.

Even though Takagi constantly berates him, he continues to follow her every move. However, once they are locked up in a room and assessing the tools that Takagi has gathered, Hirano shows a new light. He quickly customizes a nail gun to become a ranged weapon. He may be a geek, but he’s also deadly and things are about to get interesting.

Character Arcs: Hirano possibly showed the most growth of all of the characters. I say possibly because it’s possible that he was always that way, but only surpressing his true side. He tells Takashi later in the story that he trained with a former Black Ops agent in the States. It’s obvious he has a real love of guns and knows how to use one.

His biggest growth comes at the Takagi house when a group of adults attempt to take the guns from him. It’s then that he realised that without the guns he would go back to being another geeky otaku.

He has a darker side, like Saeko, and that gets pushed to its limits when he is forced to kill Asami, rather than see her become a zombie.

Goals: Hirano’s parents and extended family are all abroad on business so he has little chance of finding them at present. He focuses on keeping Takagi safe since she told him too and as he’s got a soft spot for her anyhow, it’s no big deal.

There are a couple of times that he butts heads with Takashi, but I don’t think he has any real desire to break away from the group. After everything they’ve been through together, they’re more of a family than a group of students.

Obstacles: Without his guns, Hirano would struggle, sure, he could fashion a weapon out of a nailgun or something similar, but it wouldn’t be as good. It also affects his confidence, which could potentially see him spiral back to shutting himself in and hoping it all passes him by.

Traits: Hirano isn’t physically gifted, but is an ace shot and know a lot about weapons. He’s calm under pressure and good at giving instructions. His love of guns have given him a unique insight, but also prepared him for dealing with the aftermath of such events.

Usually, Hirano lacks confidence in himself, but with a weapon in his hands, he turns into someone else entirely. The group don’t appear to judge him as you would expect, with the exception of Takagi, who we already know doesn’t know how to talk to people.

Motivations: Like Takashi, Hirano is driven to do what he thinks is right. He is quick to assess the situation and act appropriately, guessing what his friends are going to do before they even do it. He knew that Takashi would try to save the girl when he took that first shot with the sniper rifle.

Flaws: Hirano’s weakness is his physical strength and stamina. He’s an amazing fighter with a gun, but without one he would struggle. His fitness could use some improving, and the way things are going, it’s only a matter of time before that happens. There’s only so many days you can run from zombies without losing weight or improving stamina.

Vulnerabilities: Girls are Hirano’s Achilles’ heel. After all, he’s sixteen years old and surrounded by beautiful women. He will do whatever they ask of him and it can make him blind to certain situations, for example at the mall.

Attitude: Hirano is determined and focused, for the most part. He has realised that he changed when the dead started getting up and attacking the living. Like the others, I think he would struggle if the world returned to normal.

At times he gets frustrated with Takashi, especially when it comes to the attention he gets from Takagi, but they are becoming close friends who can discuss the serious issue when they need to.

Past Influences: Hirano’s parents live colourful lives with jobs that require them to travel a lot. I think Hirano has benefited from this with his trip to the States where he trained with former military veterans and learnt about guns. Without that training, it would be hard to say if he would have even survived the first day.