Highschool of the Dead (Season One)

Highschool of the Dead Title

The dead have risen up, trapping Takashi and a handful of students in their high school. They’ve no idea what’s going on or if their families are all right. Will they be able to survive the insatiable hunger of the dead and find out?

The Overview

Takashi and Rei survived the initial outbreak, but not without loses. Trapped on the roof of the school they need to decide if they’re going to fight or give up, stay together or go it alone. It makes no difference to the dead, they’ll just keep coming. They don’t sleep, they don’t get tired, and they’re always hungry. Finally, they decide to make a break for it and run into other survivors. Together they escape from the school and attempt to find somewhere safe to lay low.

After things have calmed down, they plan on searching for their families, but they’re all the way across town and a horde of zombies stand in their way. Can they find their families or will they become one with the shuffling mass? The world as they know it has crumbled and it’s now survival of the fittest. Even if things do somehow return to normal, will they even want it anymore?

Highschool of the Dead Episode 2 Zombie Charging Saya Panties

The Story

I love zombie stories and have seen a lot. This for me is the best zombie story out there. It does so much in such a short amount of time and yet it feels like you’ve known these characters forever. It shows the way that society can turn on itself and covers some of the really hard elements of zombie and post-apocalyptic fiction. I really can’t fault it and that’s why I am able to enjoy it every time I watch it. This story is far cleverer than you would expect from an ecchi anime zombie story. I can’t recommend it enough.

The Characters

Highschool of the Dead Episode 1 Takashi Skipped Class

Takashi Komuro is a massively underrated character and someone that I relate to. He was knocked back by Rei because of her being forced to repeat a year and not being able to talk to him about it. Takashi has been a drifter, floating through life without much of a purpose, so when the zombie apocalypse began, it would be fair to assume that he wouldn’t last. You’d be wrong though as this appears to be the drive that he’s been missing. He’s calm and considered, but willing to jump into action to save people at any moment.

Highschool of the Dead Episode 3 Rei happy to still have Takashi

Rei Miyamoto was Takashi’s first love and she left him for his best friend. When the outbreak occurred, Takashi raced to save her first. Together with her boyfriend, Hisashi they were quick to act and as a result, Rei survived. Hisashi, however, got bitten and turned into a zombie, forcing Takashi to take him out. Rei has never really gotten over this and it’s put a continuous strain on their relationship. She’s a master of spear martial arts and because her father is a policeman, she’s comfortable with guns.

Highschool of the Dead Episode 5 Saeko Gets off the Bus

Saeko Busijima is a goddess. She is calm and resourceful, but also fearless and a little terrifying. As a master with a sword, she can more than handle herself and is a large part of the reason the group has survived this long. Her past is dark and raises questions of her temperament, but there’s no doubt that she is a vital member of the group. She’s also fairly traditional and has views on what is acceptable and what is not.

Highschool of the Dead Episode 2 Saya wearing Glasses

Saya Takagi is highly opinionated, but she’s also a genius. There’s no doubt that the advice she’s given the group has saved them on several occasions. She’s a great strategist and can assess a situation at the drop of a hat. Her biggest flaw is that she doesn’t have a filter and can come across as arrogant and just plain rude. She’s not a fighter, but when needed she will do what she has to.

Highschool of the Dead Episode 2 Shizuku Fell Over

Shizuku Marikawa is the school nurse and a bit of an airhead. She loves her clothes and all the usual comforts, but she’s actually fairly clever and can be relied on. As the oldest member of the group, she’s taken on the role of the older sister and makes sure that everyone is getting along. She can also drive and knows about medicine which are two vitally useful skills in a situation like this.

Highschool of the Dead Episode 5 Hirano Shooting

Kohta Hirano is the hopeless otaku… well, he was until the zombie apocalypse gave him the chance to show off his survival skills. As a part of that, he is also a gun expert and has spent time training with ex-military groups. In the beginning, Saya dragged him along as someone to help her, but even she didn’t realise just how helpful he would be. Like Takashi, Hirano really came alive after the zombies rose up.

Fan Service

So, this is ironically the thing that seems to upset people the most. They can’t see the glory of the story through all the bouncing boobs and panty shots. It’s as if the story must be terrible in their minds if it also has ecchi content. Well, at this site, we very much disagree with that statement. Like any genre, there are good stories and bad stories. Even in ecchi, there is good ecchi and bad ecchi. Well, this ecchi is great. All of the girls are incredible and there is a lot of bouncing boobs and panty shots. There are also some of the truly memorable moments in the ecchi genre such as Saeko standing on top of a Humvee in just an apron and a thong. Then there is the bullet time moment with the bullet flies between Saeko’s jiggling boobs before hitting a zombie. It’s completely bonkers but also the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.

Ecchi Highlights

Ratings

Story Rating: Excellent

As I’ve already said, this is the best zombie story in all formats. If it didn’t have all the ecchi content, there would be no disputing this, but sadly some cannot see past it. And frankly, that is their loss because this is a classic and I will continue to rewatch it and reread the manga. It manages to combine all of the expected zombie tropes and deliver believable characters in dire situations behaving as you would expect them. It really doesn’t do anything wrong.

Ecchi Rating: Smoking

Every girl in this series could be a Waifu of the Week, even the ones that only appear in it briefly like Rika Minami and Yuriko Takagi. The uniforms are excellent and then get even better when they start to customize them. I’ve mentioned the Humvee moment and the bullet time, but then there’s also the bath episode and much much more. It’s not as free with the nipples as say High School DxD or Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, but it is just as hot and that’s down to the characters who are easy to fall for.

Conclusion

This is my number one anime series in any genre. Quite frankly, it ticks all of the boxes for me and never seems to get old. I’ve started making it a part of my annual viewing and own a copy of all of the manga, even the one chapter that was only ever available in digital format. If you love zombies and ecchi, this will be the perfect anime for you. If you like just one of those elements, I dare say you’ll still enjoy it. The writing is far better than you would expect and the characters are all beautifully designed.

The biggest crime is that this series doesn’t have a second season, or a third or fourth. Admittedly, there is probably only enough manga for a second season. Sadly, the mangaka, Daisuke Satō passed away before finishing the series and there appears to be no interest in reviving it. Every year there appears to be another rumour of a second season and it may one day happen. I’m never going to give up hope, but I will remain sceptical until it actually happens.

Highschool of the Dead Episode 12 The End

Episodic Highlights

If you still want some more, there are more images and highlights on the episode reviews below.

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