What are you doing now? Ha! You didn’t expect me to stop Highschool of the Dead December just because I had run out of anime or manga to consume, did you? From here on, I will be looking at each of the main characters. We’re going to find out what makes them tick (and I’m also grabbing their statistics from the Highschool of the Dead book 1).
First up, and it seems only appropriate as he’s the protagonist, with have Takashi Komuro. These are my observations based on the anime and the manga.
Age 17 (December 7) / Height 5’8” / Weight 128 LBS
Empathy: There isn’t anything particularly special about Takashi, even his design is plain and ordinary. He doesn’t have any special skills or training. He lacks confidence and when ranking himself, he can even be the best at being worst, ranking himself as the fourth least successful person.
He could be anybody, and I think that’s what makes him so relatable. That said he always looks out for his friends, no matter what, but he also has moments where he can’t verbalise his issues and loses his temper, something I think most can relate to.
Character Arcs: Takashi starts the series without any purpose. He doesn’t care about anything or has any drive, but when he sees the beginning of the zombie outbreak, he finds a purpose – save Rei, but their relationship is complicated.
By the middle, he is starting to realize that he is thriving in the new world. He almost admits to enjoying it. The fear and lack of purpose is gone and he charges into every situation without hesitation.
At the end of the story, he has accepted his role as the leader and will do whatever he needs to keep everyone safe, often making difficult decisions.
Goals: As I’ve mentioned before, Takashi started with no goals whatsoever. Rei had been his main focus until she broke up with him. Without her, he became withdrawn and lethargic. Then when the outbreak happened, even despite Rei choosing Hisashi, his first thought was to save Rei. Surviving seemed to come second to that.
When it became clear that she was mad at him following Hisashi’s death, he was prepared to leave her and face the zombies alone. I don’t think he ever got over that, volunteering for whatever dangerous situation they encounter.
Obstacles: Takashi’s first roadblock was Hisashi, his best friend who had started dating Rei, and killing the zombie version of Hisashi did nothing to improve the situation. Time will tell whether Rei’s feelings for him comeback and even whether he will still feel the same when and if they do.
Traits: For the most part, Takashi is calm yet determined. He will do whatever he has to for his friends, even at his own expense. He’s selfless, honourable, and controlled. I don’t think he craves the limelight and is often self-deprecating, but always kind and polite.
Motivations: Takashi is driven to find his family and save his friends. There doesn’t appear to be anything that he wouldn’t do for them. That said, he can see their strengths and weaknesses and will use them to his advantage. At first, I think it was subconciously, but now he seems to be more thoughtful of it.
Flaws: His biggest flaw at the start is the belief that he can save everyone. Sure, he was focused on his family and friends, but was not willing to turn away or giveup on anyone in need. By the end of the story, he’s become more realistic and makes decisions that may come off as harsh, but it’s always in the best interest of the group.
He’s also not the best at spotting subtle hints from the ladies.
Vulnerabilities: Takashi will put his life on the line for others, time and time again. He does seem to learn from this, but he still throws himself into dangerous situations without hesitation.
Attitude: I think Takashi is switched on. He’s surrounded himself with people he can trust and that have something to offer him. He accepts Saeko’s dark side because he knows that it gives him the best chance of survival.
Past Influences: The breakup with Rei hit him hard. They had known each other most of their lives and when she was forced to repeat a grade, they drifted apart until she broke things off and grew closer to his best friend.
I think that moulded his attitude to see himself as being unworthy, but that gave him the ability to charge in without hesitation. A trait that has formed the group around him and led to his survival. He’s ended up inspiring others and gaining their admiration.