What did you read? So, that was volume three of the Highschool of the Dead manga. I seriously can’t explain just how amazingly beautiful the full-colour editions are. Once I’ve read them all again, I will take a couple of side by side pictures so you can get a sense of how much bigger it is than the normal manga book and how the colour makes it come to life.
What Happened? We have our first real difference between the anime and the manga. Volume three contains five acts – eight to twelve. In terms of the anime, manga act eight was episode eight, however, some stuff happened differently and I’ll get into that shortly. Manga act nine equates to episode ten… that’s right episode eight hasn’t happened, yet. Acts ten, eleven, and twelve were episode eleven. Crazy right!
So, from the top. The group cross the river in the Humvee, having just rescued the little girl and dog. On the opposite side, there is a distinct absence of zombies or people. They drive around searching for signs of life and heading towards Takagi’s house as it’s closest.
They run into a horde of zombies and attempt to drive through, but there is a series of wires across the road and they are forced to skid to a halt. Rei is thrown from the rood of the Humvee. Takashi jumps down to protect her. More zombies approach. It’s looking hopeless until a group of survivors with firefighting equipment blast the zombies back and bring the group through the wires to safety.
One of the firefighters was Takagi’s mother who takes them all back to their house. They’ve set up a base for survivors and are preparing to move on. Takagi’s father is a leader of a right-wing organisation and runs a strict set of rules for the survivors.
The group slowly starts to turn on one another, leaving Takashi to reflect on The Mutiny on the Bounty. Even after one day in the new world, they were struggling to return to normal. Takagi’s father gives Saeko a rare sword and voices his concerns about Takashi. Shidou takes his cult of promiscuous teenagers to Takagi’s house.
How was it different from the anime? The main difference is the entire missing episode from the anime. Don’t worry, it’s coming, but it is in a different place in the manga. It’s a shame, I think it really worked where it was in the anime, but had they followed the manga we wouldn’t have got to it until season two…
In the anime, I also think they played down the fact that Takagi’s parents ran a right-wing group. It was mentioned, but only briefly whereas in the manga it is front and centre. They also took a lot more time showing how the group began to fight and it was worth doing it, because at times the anime went too quickly, glossing over the actual issues.
What was your favourite thing? I can’t keep saying the double pages or the fantastic artwork, but it’s still true. One of my other favourite things was how much more time they spent on Shidou and how he was warping the minds of the students following him
What was your least favourite thing? I mentioned it earlier, but the anime episode where Takashi and Saeko had to survive alone is one of my favourites and the placement of it really worked for me. In the manga, it happens much later but that takes away from the stakes and action in the scene where the Humvee is trapped by the horde of zombies and the wires.
Are you ready for more? Definitely. The next volume is another five act one and it should take us through the end of the anime. I’m looking forward to getting into stuff that hasn’t been turned into an anime… yet (fingers crossed!).