HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD – First Impressions

HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD is without a doubt the most violent action anime series this season.

The first episode already showcases gruesome carnage (most of it offscreen) as zombies kill students who then become zombies themselves. The story follows a group of students and their struggle to survive this apocalypse. Yes, it may be a standard zombie survival premise, but the focus lies on the characters and their interactions with one another. Who knows what plot twists they might also throw at us?

From the initial episodes, we can already see that the characters are not of the static one-dimensional breed. They must all make difficult decisions that have direct consequences on their chances of survival, especially the main male lead who is already forced to take action in episode 1. Notable voice actors such as Marina Inoue (Kyoko in Skip Beat!) and Eri Kitamura (Yui in Angel Beats!) will be voicing the characters Rei Miyamoto and Saya Takagi respectively.

The animation is very fluid, with the motions and behavior of zombies captured very accurately. Some scenes almost feel like it’s straight out of a video game. But to be honest, I have been playing Killing Floor (Co-op survival horror FPS game) recently. There are hints of fan service throughout, but it’s okay as long as they don’t overdo it.

I loving the series so far despite the apparent failure of the majority of the student population in defending themselves from melee attacks (come on, don’t we all know what to do in the case of a zombie outbreak?).

Rating: Very Good

21 Comments to “HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD – First Impressions”

  1. guuzen says:

    Hey nice impression post! I’m enjoying this show as well, though it is kind of sad to know that it will only be 13 episodes long. Oh well, I guess judging from the visual quality it is no surprise.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Hey, thanks! Too many good series lately have been only 13 episodes (Angel Beats! anyone?). πŸ™

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  2. phossil says:

    I think all Resident Evil movies finally have made some effect! Lol

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    The studio staff probably saw those movies before too, lol.

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  3. Shadow says:

    I have to say this show is a bit of a disappointment. There’s a lot of violence and action, but the story (which isn’t really the focus anyways) is fairly thin. I dislike half the cast (mainly the nurse, although Rei and Takagi have their annoying moments too). Ultimately the production values and action scenes keep me following, as well as some mild loyalty to Madhouse, but I’m not sure how long the interest will last. The fan service is prevalent compared to other shows this season, but it’s bearable.

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    Reltair Reply:

    I could really do without the nurse (who acts like that when they’re about to be killed?). Although the story is thin and the cast have their annoying moments, I could still watch this series for the action scenes alone. πŸ˜€

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  4. Lanir says:

    After watching the second episode (which I don’t think was out when this review went up and probably wasn’t covered by it anyway) the series is interesting. But as far as I can tell they could just call the school nurse Miss Bounce and be done with it. Overall the atmosphere seems to be pretty solid though. If you don’t pay too much attention to the weird little bobbling noises they make every time the nurse moves. In true anime fashion they manage to shift gears from horror to humor and back again without either one falling flat. Although I’m not expecting too many laughs overall, that was a nice surprise.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    The shift from horror to humor and back again was pretty smooth. Even though the school nurse has some ridiculous aspects to her, maybe she’ll play a vital role in the episodes to come.

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  5. Yi says:

    I was really impressed with the first episode as well. For this series, all I hope for is fluid violent mindless slaughtering animation, and it delivered.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Yup, it would have been even better though if they didn’t do the most brutal scenes off-camera. πŸ˜€

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  6. Canne says:

    any anime starting with bloody and gory action scenes gets my interest despite the all too familiar zombie plot devices used in many movies before.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Same here, action scenes are too compelling for me to pass up. This reminds me of Bond movies that start with an action scene.

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  7. Fabrice says:

    Ha, I really enjoyed this one – Hirano in particular. The way he shifts from in awe of Takagi to downright maniacal when he has a weapon on his hands is just hilarious.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Must be the skills he learned from playing FPS games kicking in. πŸ™‚

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  8. K says:

    With all the zombie apocalypse games coming, I’d say I’m more than prepared for a zombie outbreak.

    “(come on, don’t we all know what to do in the case of a zombie outbreak?).”
    – Yep! grow a lot of plants :3

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Aw man, I don’t have any plants in my room.

    [Reply]

    K Reply:

    speaking of which… they sold PVZ peashooters and sunflowers plushies here during the last con… WHY DID I HAVE TO MISS IT?!?! now I’m sure to get eaten T__T

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    D:

  9. ippius says:

    this is the ultimate guy’s anime series: blades, braenz and bewbs lol.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Indeed, sir.

    [Reply]

  10. […] going to have to lower my initial rating. It’s a good series to enjoy some mindless zombie slaying, but there’s not much […]

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