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.
Next, we follow Takagi and Hirano as they try to escape from the school and finally Marikawa and then Saeko. The group all comes together outside the teacher’s lounge, rescuing Takagi and Hirano.
After catching up on the worldwide events on the television, they make a break for the school bus, collecting a couple more survivors on the way. One of these survivors is a teacher – Shidou. The volume ends with Takashi and Rei getting off the bus and being separated from the others by an exploding bus full of zombies.
How was it different from the anime? There were a number of fairly small differences, several that changed the location of certain events and the look of some peripheral characters.
In the anime, one of my criticisms was that Hisashi took so long to turn into a zombie compared to the gym teacher at the gates. Well, in the manga, they made a comment about how the bite barely broke the skin.
We also learn that the school has dorms and all of the students live there during term times. There were several other little pieces of information that helped to add to the world but didn’t do too much for the story.
Ironically, two of the things that the anime series is most known for were not as prevalent in the manga. Sure, there was fan-service but not as much. Even the insane action was slowed down and not nearly as intense.
What was your favourite thing? I love the artwork. I’ve read some manga where the artwork is not as clean and seems a little rushed. Not in Highschool of the Dead. Every panel was beautifully drawn and the added colour really made the pages pop.
What was your least favourite thing? I definitely missed the heart-pounding action from the anime, but otherwise, it was an excellent read.
Are you ready for more? Definitely. The first four volumes are all in the first book, so it was a tough decision to force myself to stop and write this review. I can’t wait to pick it up again tomorrow.