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High School of the Dead
High School of the Dead
High School of the Dead
Anime Review

Zombies... You either love 'em or hate 'em, and High School of the Dead won't even attempt to change your mind. Representing the best and worst of the genre, HSotD is exactly what it sounds like, a bunch of attractive high schoolers dealing with the zombie apocalypse.

Protagonist Takashi Komuro is your average anime kid. He'd just as soon pine for the girl next door than lead a motley crew of survivors, but c’est la vie. Thrust into a rapidly evolving struggle to survive, Takashi and Co. deal with the living dead, shortage of supplies, and other groups of survivors.

Despite its highly intentional details, and love for gritty horror, this work is about as trope laden as possible. On one hand, they use piles of harem/plot clichès, yet all the while trying to satirize a number of other zombie works. Fans of Resident Evil or Shaun of the Dead are sure to recognize the occasional one liner, or familiar store clerk. In fact, gun otaku character Kohta Hirano, is a major reference to the mangaka of another hyper violent work, Hellsing.

High School of the DeadYet, despite offering me everything I want, and nothing I need, High School of the Dead was a hard sell. "Extreme" would be the word I use. The violence, the sexual objectification, all pushed to a razors edge of being so excessive it loses all value. This is a cautious warning, as this reviewer enjoyed it all, yet probably is more zombie-addled than the average reader.

While in no way groundbreaking, there are plenty of interesting and creepy happenings to pique a viewer's interest. One of the most notable happens to be the decidedly non-nurturing homeroom teacher who leads a parallel group of survivors.

It may lack the charm of a Zombieland, or the comedy of a Planet Terror, High School of the Dead might just scratch an itch. That said, if you think the whole "zombie thing" is overdone, seek other entertainment. The entire series can be seen on The Anime Network, and at twelve episodes, isn't a time sink with serious commitment.

Reviewed by John Martone, January 2011

Below: Scenes from High School of the Dead.

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead Website Links:


Fujimi Shobo's Highschool of the Dead website (Japanese)

High School of the Dead anime official website (Japanese)

Highschool of the Dead (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

Highschool of the Dead (TV) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

Wikipedia entry for Highschool of the Dead

Below: Promotional and poster artwork from High School of the Dead.

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead



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