H.o.t.D.D. – Highschool of the Dead (Volume 1)

What did you read? Because watching the anime wasn’t enough, I’ve now started on the manga too. Not long after discovering the series, I bought two books that are now two of my favourite possessions. They are the large hardback, full-colour copies of Highschool of the Dead. The first book contains the manga volumes one to four and the second contains five to seven, all in glorious full-colour. In this review, I will cover manga volume one.

What Happened? Volume one covers the events of the first three episodes of the anime, and for the most part, it’s almost spot on. It opens with Takashi, Rei, and Hisashi trapped on the roof. Then we jump back to see the outbreak as it happened before catching up to the intro and then Takashi smashing in zombie Hisashi’s brains.

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H.o.t.D.D. – Drifters of the Dead (OVA)

What did you watch? No doubt released to appease the rampant fans demanding a second season of Highschool of the Dead, Drifters of the Dead is an eighteen minute OVA and I just watched it.

What happened? After the escape at the end of season one, Takashi and the group found a rowboat and took to the sea, but they got tired and lost so they stopped at a small deserted island off the shore of Tokonosu.

On the island, they found a small beach cabin with some bottled water and a variety of swimwear. Relieved to find themselves free from zombies for the first time in ages they throw on some bathing suits and enjoy the beach while the guys try to find some food.

Takashi has no luck but manages to gather dried leaves for a fire. Hirano comes through with a collection of fish he caught spearfishing. They are gathered around the fire, looking forward to their meals when Marikawa notices a funny smell.

The dried leaves were hydrangeas which can produce a hallucinogenic state when inhaled. Everyone begins to get a little crazy before Takashi and Saeko flee the fire to wait for the effects to wear off.

What hooked you? This isn’t season two, but it’s the best we’ve got so far. It’s light on actual zombies, but is a lot of fun. It was nice to see the characters able to goof off and enjoy themselves. As an OVA this one has much more fan-service.

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H.o.t.D.D. – Highschool of the Dead (Season One)

What did you watch and why? Recently I read a long and damning review of one of my favourite anime series of all-time – Highschool of the Dead. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and my opinion is that they were wrong, so I decided to rewatch Highschool of the Dead and review each episode to make this a thoroughly comprehensive review.

One line pitch! A group of high school students and a jiggly nurse attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse…

What’s it really about? One morning while skipping class Takashi Komuro witnesses a commotion at the front gates. Before he knows what’s happened one of the teachers has been bitten, died, and then returned as the living dead. He races back to class to warn the girl he loves, Rei Miyamoto. Soon the school is overrun with zombies and Takashi will have to fight to survive.

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H.o.t.D.D. – All Dead’s Attack (Episode 12)

What did you watch? Hang on. Give me a moment, I’m feeling a little numb! That was episode twelve of the Highschool of the Dead anime series. The last episode… Why does it have to end? It deserves so much more.

What happened? At the end of the last episode, we saw all the world powers firing off their missiles as a preemptive strike. A number of warships around the world attacked the missiles, but one had been overrun with zombies and was unable to stop the attack.

The nuclear warhead detonated in the upper atmosphere, creating an electromagnetic pulse that fried all electronics back on the ground. Phone, computers, cars with microchips are all now useless.

This lead to a series of disastrous events, compromising the security of the Takagi Manor. A wave of zombies crashed into the gates and soon broke through, attacking the survivors. Takagi’s parents tell the group to make a run for it while they see to the other survivors.

Thankfully the Humvee was equipped with EMP shielding so it still works, but it’s not quite ready. The group make a stand as the final repairs are completed. Wave after wave of zombies stumbled forwards, desperate to get their hands on the living.

What hooked you? It’s far too late for that, but basically, everything starts to go wrong and it’s an epic battle to escape. Takagi’s parents are complete badasses as they charge into the zombie horde like a couple of star-crossed lovers.

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H.o.t.D.D. – Dead Storm Rising (Episode 11)

What did you watch? I just finished episode eleven of the Highschool of the Dead anime series. How they never made a second season, I will never know. It makes no sense whatsoever. Well, I better get on with the review and enjoy our time together for as long as possible.

What happened? The episode opened with a glimpse of what I believe to be Air Force One crashed on a beach. Before you get a good look at it, we jump to Shido and his twisted little cult. He’s really hamming it up to turn the students into his own personal harem.

Back at Takagi’s house, she attempts to reason with a group of survivors that are willfully ignorant of the dangers they are facing, preferring to believe that it’s all a trick to control them. Someone needs to pass out the foil hats.

Hirano makes an insightful comment about people no seeing the things they don’t want to see, causing Takashi to remember Hisashi and Rei getting together. Takagi tells Takashi that they believe he should be the leader of their group. He’s not so sure.

Rei tried to convince him that he would be the best choice. She tells him she was wrong to break up with him and she wishes that she hadn’t hurt him. Takashi is understandably annoyed at the revelation but ends up kissing her, at least I assume that’s why we were looking at the chandelier.

Takagi’s father gives Saeko a rare katana as a thank-you for the training he received under her father. Shido arrives at the house as Takashi is about to head out to find his mother. Rei reveals why she had to repeat the grade, which ultimately forced her and Takashi apart. Takagi’s father tells Rei to kill Shido.

What hooked you? It was another slower episode, but at the same time so much happened. I loved the atmosphere that the rain created, very symbolic of the approaching storm. It also reflected the darker mood.

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