Highschool of the Dead Half Season Review [Completed]
I should add a tag for ‘holy shit this post was supposed to be fucking published three months ago’, but it’ll take too long to type out so I’ll stick with my good ol’ Rewrite History.
Wow, I honestly thought HotD was getting better.
And it was, really. From the first episodes’ ‘boobsboobsboobsfightingfightingfightingohboyallofthezombiesareinschoolgirluniforms’ to a more serious reflection on society. From Shido’s sex bus’s reception to the dictatorlike, yet logical, rule of Saya’s father, the series gradually begins to take on a very political tone.
Though instances like so still occur sporadically, the camera angles even reflect the changing view – instead of concentrating on the boobs, they now almost always focus on the people themselves. There’s none of that episode 6 bullshit (with the exception of Shido’s… heh), and the entire thing really did turn out to go on quite a good run.
Actually, it did become better – but fragrant shit is still shit.
“HOW DARE YOU INSULT SHIT!”
That’s what I thought three months ago, when I finished watching the last episode. It’s pretty stupid how I started watching this when it aired, stopped for like half a year at episode 8, and then watched the last four episodes three months ago before making a post. Maybe I should do this for more posts – it does give a much more focused view on things. Actually, I’ll probably write a post about how… /different/ shows look like if you wait a while after it – not only because you’re less affected by spur-of-the-moment judgements, but because maybe, you’ll have personally grown and see the world in another light… or something.
Indeed, HotD got a lot of things right – for example, Takashi’s harem. Instead of being a stupid fluffy group of emotionless characters with the exact same personality, there’s serious competition between Saeko and Rei, and it’s not obvious – in fact, their entire emotional fight is between the lines and behind the scenes. Not only is the story not ruined if you don’t notice it, but if you notice it, it just becomes that much more amazing, that the screenwriters were able to do such a thing. Especially the scene in the last episode, where Rei saves Saeko from that zombie – that doesn’t just show that the characters are killing zombies, but shows that Rei accepts her defeat and is now moving on.
The drama between Shido and Rei was also brilliant, and the old-fashioned strictness (complete with sexism) of Saya’s dad gives contrast between all the humans.
SIDNET, because there needs to be a contrast between non-humans too
Why do I say humans now, and not characters? Because that’s what Highschool of the Dead ultimately is – a story of humanity. That is undoubtedly the crowning point of Highschool of the Dead’s awesome, how every aspect of humanity is fully fleshed out – the good, the bad, and everything in between. From the gym teacher who refused to believe that this was reality to the woman who refused to believe zombies weren’t human, every character in HotD is definitely human. The contrast that the producers use is especially nice, but gets old after a while – the cowardly man running away and the brave man protecting humanity to the very end, or the insane man losing it all in the middle of the mess and the sane man trying so hard to keep it all together.
One thing that rather irked me was how the main characters were always ‘correct’ – they knew it wasn’t a dream, they knew the zombies were not human anymore, they knew they had to escape the city. Yet, it makes sense – if this were a real-life event, the author would write about the people who survived, right? And the people who are correct often are the people who survive.
Yet, HotD’s very human feel also lead to one of its main detracting (or perhaps supporting) points – the fanservice. I somewhat understand the author’s idea – action and fanservice are the two things men love the most, since they’re ingrained into our basic animal instincts (in case it isn’t obvious yet, HotD’s not exactly catered to female viewers), but… y’know, it’s pretty stupid to put so many reflections of society in a show that shows huge-ass boobs (not huge ass-boobs, in case that was your thing) half of the time. I’m not going to say any more about that, as I’m sure others have more than compensated, though I’ll also add one more thing – the action is as much fanservice as the overly sexualized female characters. We just think that it’s somewhat more socially acceptable? It’s pretty stupid how in America, children are allowed to see blood and death but not sex scenes. That’d make more sense in China, where people might be better off if they killed more people and had less sex (not really, China’s birth rate is lower than America’s). The action was pretty pointless too, IMO, but hey – fanservice. Shows need them for profit.
The man just happens to have long hair. And uh, that cleavage is just… a flap of skin. ok.avi
The sudden jump into the Presidency, the ISS, etc. was also very well done – a glimpse of the world in disaster. HotD really wasn’t about a highschool of the dead, it was about the entire world dying (or should I say, undying?) and it showed that excellently with many cuts into the lives of other regular people, as we realize that our protagonists are not anybody special – they’re just people too, trying to survive.
I started watching Highschool of the Dead expecting it to be something cool, something new – perhaps a real semi-realistic zombie show, where everything was more focused on the logistics of rebuilding society than defeating zombies (since really, zombies are easily defeated – 10 years and they’ll all be gone). Why did I ever think about it like that? At the end, it was the same as any zombie flick – full of zombies. Granted, it did show us stuff about humanity, but hey – tell me a zombie flick that doesn’t. They all have to – by definition, a zombie flick is a political essay.
I wonder if there’s going to be a second season – I’d not be happy if it was announced, but I wouldn’t be sad, either – in fact, I’d watch it. I’d be indifferent. I’d be neutral.
Overall Rating: 3/10 (Neutral)
Highschool of the Dead is surprisingly deep, and definitely not mindless. The action detracts from the show just as much as the fanservice, and it’d be nice if it explored more in-depth into the various issues it hinted to and explored behind the scenes.
I’m not bothering to rewatch this since it really wasn’t worth it, but if you feel like (re)watching it, do keep your mind open – there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye.