Shocking Terror Beyond Your Imagination! 2010 Digital Boy in: HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD!

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I love zombies. I got into them when they became a craze, and I’ve adored them since. This is hideously ironic, because I’ve seen very few of the proper zombie flicks, always having been afraid of them; I don’t do well with horror (although these days I can pretty much handle anything, so maybe its time I viewed the classics.) I love zombies in spite of this, because they’re an excuse for mass wanton violence, and as I detailed in my last post, there’s nothing I love more than violence.

As for how I got into zombies without horror movies, the biggest contributing factor was Dead Rising. The story proper was too difficult for me, but I spent plenty of time massacring endless hordes of undead. I remember finding the big-ass gas-powered corkscrew drill thing – I’d explain, but that’s what videos are for.

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I think it was after experiencing this weapon that I was sold on the awesomeness of these shambling monsters.


Adding to that was all the fun zombie culture out there. Shaun of the Dead provided a hilarious but still very brutal zombie movie, and is one of my alltime faves. There was also horror-themed music like the song above by Wednesday 13. A big one for me was playing the Undead race in World of Warcraft; Undead are the coolest motherfuckers in the game because they mosh and throw up devil horns and have the best starting area; I digress.

Highschool of the Dead is finally bringing proper zombies to anime, and it’s everything I could’ve wanted. Bitches are getting their clothes torn off as they’re eaten alive, and unlike most anime, the show isn’t afraid to gruesomely massacre cute girls (ever notice how in most anime, the random people who die are almost never cute girls?) There’s plenty of camp going around, too, such as a hilarious scene in the first episode wherein two girls are running along saying “we’ll escape together, ’cause we’re best friends!” and then one girl gets bitten and cries for help, to which her friend replies “let go of me, bitch!” Naturally, she gets eaten, too. It’s classic.

But HSotD also delivers on what I love most about horror and violence in general – psychological meltdowns. Anyone could tell you that “lol dead boyfriend zombie apocalypse” is going to make a girl flip her lid, but what’s hard is making it convincing. The big advantage HSotD has over live-action zombie movies is that the acting is fantastic and the animation is high-budget.

I can tell the actors are having a total blast with this show. Marina Inoue’s breakdowns as Rei in the first episode were equal parts fun and chilling. Miyuki Sawashiro has a totally predictable role as the swordsman girl, but I like the signs that she might be more sadistic than she first lets on. Only the amazing Nobuyuki Hiyama could play the best fat guy ever, Kouta Hirano. (Is it a coincidence that he shares his name with the guy who draws Hellsing?) Eri Kitamura does a great job of making the pink-haired girl a lovable bitch, and stole the show in episode two with that amazing drill scene (DVD VERSION WANT SO HARD.) Apparently, there’s a loli who joins the cast later on – something else to look forward to~

Possibly my favorite character so far.

Each episode is apparently adapting only one chapter of the manga – this would ordinarily be a terrible thing, but Madhouse doesn’t just pad the episodes with boring stills and droning dialog – instead it uses the opportunity to show as much crazy death as possible. By the way, this show’s already licensed by Sentai Filmworks! And I’m already pretty convinced that I’ll buy it.

Much like Roberta’s Blood Trail, this show came at a great time for me, as I’m in the middle of writing a ridiculously turbo-violent novel series with a good amount of fanservice (in the form of highly graphic sex scenes that are actually important to the plot!) This show made me realize that I’ve been letting the story take itself a bit too seriously so far. My original intent for the series was to have a lot of smiling badassery and crazy hijinks, and I’ve got some of that, but not enough. I think I particularly need to beef up the first part of the story with even more zaniness. I also remembered that my original plans included zombies, and I somehow haven’t managed to write them into the series anywhere. This will be amended.

9 thoughts on “Shocking Terror Beyond Your Imagination! 2010 Digital Boy in: HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD!

  1. It’s interesting how everybody has their “thing” to like about zombie flicks. Moe Sucks likes the social commentary, you like the mental breakdowns and violence, Glo apparently likes lots of blood. My brother finds something interesting about the notion of being reduced to prey animals.

    Me, I’m STILL sitting on this show. Very hesitant. But I’ll take that plunge soon. Right after I read your excerpt. :)

      • Superfani’s brilliant. Possibly the only blog I check more often than this one.

        Of course, their posts are sometimes difficult to understand.

  2. Pingback: 2010 Anime Review | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

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