Highschool of the Dead (Character Analysis) – Rei Miyamoto

Rei Miyamoto is one tough cookie. She’s more than capable of looking after herself, but can she make amends with Komuro or are they doomed?

What are you doing now? Yesterday, I looked into the character analysis of Takashi Komuro. Keeping to the same format and style, today I’m going to be talking about Rei Miyamoto. She’s the lead female character and potential love interest of Takashi… at least that’s what they want you to think, but I’ll get into that later.

Age 17 / Height 5’5” / Weight 110 LBS

Bust 34″ (E) / Waist 22″ / Hips 35″

Empathy: Rei starts off as the damsel in distress with Takashi running in and dragging her out of class. However, it soon becomes clear that she is much stronger than that, especially with her skills in spear martial arts.

Even with that though, she needs saving a couple times in the first episode, mostly from her judgement and unwillingness to accept the situation. It’s even harder when her boyfriend turns into a zombie before her eyes.

To make matter worse for Rei, she also recently dumped the hero for his best friend, which instantly puts her in a negative light. It makes for an interesting dynamic with their relationship. They’re long time friends and he appears to still have feelings for her, but it also seems to be too hard for him to completely get past what she did to him.

Character Arcs: As I said, Rei starts out looking like your typical damsel in distress, that was until Hisashi gives her the broken mop handle to use as a weapon. It’s pretty obvious from that point that she is more than capable of looking after herself. When Hisashi turned she struggled to come to terms with it, focusing her anger on Takashi who killed the zombie Hisashi.

For a while, Rei and Takashi butt heads, mostly because they both have feelings for each other but their past decision make it difficult. Even when they were separated from the group, they went back and forth. Rei slowly starts to realize that her anger has been misplaced and that Takashi isn’t the same guy he was before the outbreak.

However, later Rei realizes that she’s most likely missed her chance as Takashi and Saeko grow closer together. In a way, this seems to free her up to focus on fighting the zombies, similar to what drove Takashi from the start. She’s still not given up on him though, and struggles to hide her jealousy.

Goals: Rei’s main drive is to find her parents. After that, I think she’s determined not to be alone. In the first episode, after Takashi killed Hisashi, he threatened to leave but she begged him to stay. At that stage, I think it was less about it being Takashi and more about not being alone.

Sure, her feelings for him grew with every courageous act he performed, but by the time she came to act on it, it was too late. I also think, she still hopes that the world will return to normal. She has a more naive and hopeful outlook that most of the group.

Obstacles: The obvious obstacles are the zombies and other survivors slowing things down. As a group, they’ve already decided that they will look for each other’s family. With Rei’s father being a senior police officer, that will be harder as he’ll likely be involved in the survival operations.

Traits: Rei is the most hopeful member of the group. She finds it hard to come to terms that they will have to give up on saving or helping people. The only exception was with Shido, and given what he did to her that’s understandable.

She is obviously very clever, Takashi mentions how it’s impossible for a top student to get held back, but for whatever reason, she doesn’t confide in him at the time.

Motivations: It’s her desire to find her parents and somehow restore the world to the way it was. I think this what makes it harder for her to accept the zombie outbreak at first.

Flaws: I think Rei’s naivety is her biggest weakness, but I also think that she goes a long way towards addressing that as the story continues. It would be silly to say that dumping Takashi was a short coming, but it was obviously something she starts to regret as he proves his worth time and time again.

Vulnerabilities: Her anger towards Shido, whilst understandable does lead Rei to make some ill advised decisions. Again, she does work on it through the story, but I get the impression that not finishing him when she had the chance would have come back to haunt her had the story continued.

Attitude: Rei is confident in herself and also puts faith in those around her. She is respectful of others positions and observes all the correct addresses, often refering to Saeko as an elder, since she was forced to repeat the year even though they are the same age.

Others see her as dependable, although Saeko notices her insecurities.

Past Influences: One of Rei’s biggest influences on her life is her friendship with Takashi. They’ve known each other for a long time and even made future plans together, even if they didn’t quite go to plan.

She draws strength from her parents and doesn’t make a fuss when forced to retake the year even though it brought her father to tears. She has been quietly determined to make Shido pay but is prepared to wait for the right moment to do so.

The death of Hisashi in the first episode changed her outlook on life, making her realize that Takashi isn’t a bad guy and does have drive. Maybe it wasn’t visible before the outbreak, but it is now. Even so, she can’t help but compare him to Hisashi which hampers her attempts to reconcile with him.

Hinomaru Sumo (Episodes 5-8)

Hinomaru Sumo Title

With a team of unlikely companions, Hinomaru will look to take the first steps towards going pro. Can they help him get there?

What’s happened since last time?

Hinomaru Ushio has now managed to build a team that can compete. That’s the first steps to Nationals and potentially becoming a professional sumo wrestler. The team includes the captain and third-year student, Shinya Ozeki. Bizarrely, the former school thug, Yuma Gojo has also enlisted and is determined to turn his life around.

Then there is Chihiro Kunisaki, a national wrestling champion who is seeking to increase his fighting knowledge so that he can become the ultimate MMA fighter. The last member of the team is Kei Mitsuhashi, a first-year who caught the bug after seeing Ushio fight.

The final member of the team is Kirihito Tsuji who is the manager, and despite being a first-year has an incredible understanding of sumo and a wealth of interesting training techniques. The team has been training and now, they’re in finals of a tournament with just Ushio to fight. Winners go to Nationals!

Continue reading “Hinomaru Sumo (Episodes 5-8)”

Highschool of the Dead (Character Analysis) – Takashi Komuro

Takashi Komuro is the reluctant leader of the group of survivors, but he’s got his own baggage too. Let’s find out what makes him tick?

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.

RErideD: Derrida, Who Leaps Through Time – Second Chances (Episodes 5-8)

What’s happened since last time? Derrida continues to search for Mage, hoping to find some answers to his recent time ride! He’s unsure of how he managed it, but he definitely altered the timeline.

Following a lead, they go to an abandoned museum, prompting some forgotten memories and causing Derrida to ride time once more. He confides in the other as he continues to experiment with this new found ability, but every time he tries to change something significant he is kicked back to now.

Unluckily for Derrida, Donna isn’t the only one hunting him now. Bounty Hunters and government officials are after the patch to the faulty androids.

Have your feelings changed? Not really. I enjoyed the concepts and the science fiction elements from the first four episodes but felt like the characters were a little flat. Nothing has changed, although the time travel stuff is getting interesting.

Favourite character so far? There still isn’t any one character jumping out at me. Donna started talking to herself and chastizing Derrida for his sins. Not sure she’s going to end up helping them anymore as she seems to be completely insane. Vidaux is probably the coolest character, but it’s still the plot that is the most interesting element.

Who do you want to see more of? Mage still hasn’t really shown up and she seems to have a lot of answers, which is something we need. The final third of the series should start to provide more answers. They don’t have to give us anything, but leaving everything hanging and hoping for a second season is not a good look.

Are you going to continue watching? Time travel! Of course, I’m going to keep watching, unless I already did… The timeline is starting to get distorted with all of Derrida’s experiments. It’s only small changes, but I get the feeling they’re going to become bigger and more impactful.

Zombie Land Saga – Second Chances (Episodes 5-8)

What’s happened since last time? The group continues to try to break into the mainstream with a number of stunts and opportunities. First, they manage to score a commercial for a chicken restaurant that has Saki all excited. Then they compete in some sort of mud games, which also floats Saki’s boat.

There was some interesting developments with their pasts and the way they died. Most notably, was how they managed to hit us in the feels in episode eight. You keep your chin up big guy, it’s going to be all right from here…

Have your feelings changed? This series was a bit of a surprise for me. I expected the worst but was pleasantly surprised. Since then I think it’s only got better. It’s weird and bizarre, but it’s also cute and funny. I’m really starting to enjoy their manager too, which is something I never thought I’d say.

Favourite character so far? Saki is still the best girl for me in this series. I especially enjoyed how she started shouting with the manager when they were getting excited about the commercial and the mud games. That said, I am really starting to enjoy all of the characters.

Who do you want to see more of? We need a little more backstory for some of the girls, and definitely for Sakura, who we’re still not sure why she’s in the group as all the others are seasoned professionals, apart from Saki who was a biker chick…

Are you going to continue watching? Definitely, I think this series may have even jumped up a tier. It’s one that I am looking forward to watching and, dare I say it, I’d watch a second season based on what I’ve seen so far. Who knew zombies and idols would go together so well…