Highschool of the Dead (Character Analysis) – Saeko Busujima

Saeko Busujima is my favourite anime character of all time. No questions about it at all. Read on and I’ll tell you why.

What are you doing now? Firstly, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that jazz. Now, with that out of the way, Highschool of the Dead December can continue.

Yesterday, I looked into the character analysis of Rei Miyamoto. Today, as it’s a special day, I’m going to focus all of my attention on Saeko Busujima. She’s the undoubted best girl in the series and one of my all-time favourite characters.

Age 17 / Height 5’9” / Weight 123 LBS

Bust 33″ (D) / Waist 22″ / Hips 34″

Empathy: We first meet Saeko as she rescues Marikawa from a horde of zombies. Then she thanks the boy that was with her and offers to give him an honourable death as he’d already been bitten.

Now, if that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about Saeko, I don’t know what does. She’s strong and independent, like a ronin samurai. You may not instantly agree with her approach to life, but you better respect her commitment to the code of honour.

Saeko leads Marikawa through the school, fending off zombies and only killing when necessary, showing how calm and considered she is.

Character Arcs: At the beginning, Saeko comes off as being calm and collected. There are a couple of moments where you see the glint in her eyes or the sly smile as she rushes into combat, but that doesn’t seem too crazy, yet.

By the middle of the story, you can see that she has developed feelings for Takashi, asking him to use her first name when he addresses her. She also doesn’t seem too phased by Rei’s interest in him. Her maturity, despite her and Rei being the same age, is noticeable.

It’s not until later that we find out more of Saeko’s past, about how she was attacked on the way home from school and then defended herself, putting the attacker in hospital. The thing that upset her most was how much she enjoyed it. It’s because of that that she was not willing to allow herself to find love. She felt that she didn’t deserve it.

Goals: With her only family, her father away on business, staying alive appeared to be her only goal. Then she made a promise to Takashi and with her code of honour, her word is binding. Later, her interest in Takashi grows until she confides in him about her dark past. When he accepts her unconditionally, it seals their paths together.

Obstacles: Saeko is unusually confident and calm, most likely due to her training and code of honour. It makes it appear as if she has no problems that she can’t overcome, but her past haunts her. She watches others transforming to become more like her as a result of the zombie outbreak, but she was already like that. Her biggest roadblock was believing that anyone would accept her like that, forcing her to guard her feelings.

Traits: With her manner and serious approach to things, she commands respect and even a little bit of fear. Saeko comes across as being very formal and proper, but given the chance, she has a wild side. We don’t see too much of it in the anime and only little more in the manga. She’s confident about who she is and isn’t afraid of anything. Riding on top of a Humvee in a thong and apron is clear proof of that.

Motivations: Saeko acts like a samurai. If there is an opponent in front of her, she will face it. She doesn’t run from a fight. Her code of honour is a big driving factor in her decisions. After that, Takashi gives her a reason to continue, accepting her as she is.

Flaws: Sometimes Saeko can be a little too straightforward. She will point out stuff that others prefer not to directly address. She doesn’t always mean what she says and because of her serious nature, that often gets missed by the person she’s addressing.

Her past haunts her, leaving her to suppress her feelings. In one way it helps her fight without distractions, but then she sees something in Takashi that gives her hope for the future.

Vulnerabilities: Saeko appears to be invulnerable, but she is afraid that she’s a monster and the more she kills they further she’ll descend into the darkness. Takashi offers her hope and a reason to live when he accepts her for who she is.

Attitude: I think she causes friction with the girls because of how well she holds herself. Also, the attention from Takashi doesn’t help. That said she’s taken on the role of the older sister, rushing into combat and doing what she must to protect the group. She knows how strong she is and isn’t shy about showing it.

Past Influences: The time Saeko was attacked on the way home from school left a pretty deep scar on her personality. It forced her to shut off from others, not from fear of being attacked or having to open up about it, but she realized that she enjoyed having power over another person’s life and didn’t want to slip back into that.

It also goes against her teachings and training in Bushido, although from what I understand of her father, he would not see this as a flaw, but merely her showing her strength.


  1. David Boone (moonhawk81)

    Sounds like “best girl” material!

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