Highschool of the Dead (Volume 4) – The Manga

This volume takes us to the end of the anime, with a slight detour to catch up on the missing episode, but it’s definitely worth it.

What did you read? I just finished reading volume four of the Highschool of the Dead manga. It had five acts – thirteen to seventeen, plus bonus special Cosplay act at the end. This also concludes the first book in the full-colour editions. Can’t wait to get my hands on the next book!

What Happened? Act thirteen took place on the floating airport, following Rika, Marikawa’s friend as they tried to overcome the zombie outbreak there. This was awesome, especially as I really wanted to see more of Rika in the anime. This entire act was boiled down to the pre-opening music scene of episode twelve in the anime.

After that, we jump back to the Takagi house where Takashi and Rei are about to head out to find their parents. The Takagi’s have sorted out a vehicle for them – an eight-wheeled amphibious military vehicle. As they’re getting ready to leave, Saeko shows up in her combat gear and offers to go with them, but before Rei can object something else catches her eye.

Shidou has just been allowed into the Takagi house. We have a quick flashback of his life, where it reveals his dead was a crooked politician and that he made Shidou hold Rei back. It also alludes to him either being gay or asexual, something it didn’t really touch on in the anime.

Everything is getting tense. Chairman Takagi tells Rei to kill him, but she decides he’s not worth it, so the Chairman banishes him and his warped students. As they’re leaving, there’s a flash in the sky and all electronics die. Zombies pour into the estate as they struggle to close the gates.

The Takagi’s tell the group to make a run for it now. They all squeeze into the eight-wheeler and race towards the exit. Having escaped they discover that a mass of zombies is shuffling their way. Takashi and Saeko take the eight-wheeler to draw away the zombies, leaving the rest to sneak through the streets.

Takashi and Saeko spend the night in a temple where they get to know each other a little more… Not like that you pervert!

How was it different from the anime? Once more there were a lot more details in the manga. For example the whole of act thirteen becoming no more than two minutes of anime. Also, the Humvee didn’t make it, killed by the EMP. So sad! That said, we do finally get the Takashi and Saeko episode, just after they had escaped from the Takagi estate and not before.

The final act in the manga had Takashi and Saeko meeting up with the others at a mall, which is where the bonus cosplay act took place. Sadly, there are no Drifters of the Dead in the manga.

What was your favourite thing? Act thirteen was awesome. Rika is basically an action-hero who we really need to see more of. She tore through the zombies on the floating island, set them all on fire and then ran back to the terminal shooting flaming zombies. Epic!

What was your least favourite thing? It’s the intensity of the action scenes that I really miss from the anime. It’s easier to create the mood and atmosphere when you’re controlling the sound, visuals, and pacing, but in the manga, it just doesn’t have the same level of excitement. It’s good, but this is definitely where the anime is stronger.

Are you ready for more? No, that’s it. I’m done… haha! You’ve got to be kidding. From here on it is all after the anime now. I can’t wait to refresh my memories of these stories. Like the anime, it’s been several years since I last read them. Bring me the next book!

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