Highschool of the Dead (Episode 11) – Dead Storm Rising

Everyone seems to be losing their minds. The zombie apocalypse was bad before, but a high altitude EMP just made things worse. And now, Shido’s back!

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.

I actually think this was the weakest episode, struggling to keep up with the others due to how much it tried to cram in. It was still very good, but it bounced around quite a bit which also didn’t help.

It was interesting to see yet more people unwilling to accept the world around them, looking to blame the people that had protected them and saved them. The worst thing is, it’s completely believable. People can be incredibly stupid and are often looking for someone else to blame.

The scene between Takashi and Rei was good too. There was a lot of tension which you’d expect with their past. It was a good idea not to show them kissing because I think it’s equally believable that they didn’t kiss. Keeps up guessing.

What was your favourite thing?

This episode did a lot to set up the final episode for what will be an epic showdown. I say this having seen the series before, but even to a new viewer that should be fairly obvious.

Everyone is geared up and ready to go. Saeko’s got a new sword and is probably keen to feed it. The group, in general, appears ready to leave, although Marikawa seems to have faded into the background which is a shame.

Shido’s just been kicked out and given his status as the pantomime villain, he’s going to make sure to ruin everyone else’s day. I also really enjoyed the view from the International Space Station as the world powers began to attack one another. Very dark and very cool!

What was your least favourite thing?

It’s going to have to be that everything was a little rushed in this episode. I get it, you want to get everything ready for a big finale in episode twelve, but it would have been nice to take a little more time. It’s a small criticism.

Who was your favourite character?

There wasn’t much time for anyone to really stand out, but I think Rei shades it with her history with Shido and tension she created when she pulled her bayonet on him. That was awesome.

Who was your least favourite character?

Again, not so much my least favourite, but more least used. Marikawa needs to get more time. In this episode, she pretty much stood in the background and did nothing, which is a shame because they’ve used all the characters so well so far.

Are you ready for more?

I can’t wait for the final episode, but I also don’t want it to end. Writing these episode reviews have been far more time consuming than the usual season reviews I do, but it’s been worth it. I think analysing a series that I love to this level has been invaluable and will come in handy when I write my own zombie series. That’s right, I’m going to do it.

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