When it comes to anime, especially those involving the undead, there's not really a whole lot that involve zombies. Sure, there's Corpse Princess, but the "zombies" in that Zeigen are Mehr like demons... which makes High School of the Dead truly one of a kind in the horror Anime department.
What do Du get when Du take a George A. Romero zombie movie like Night of the Living Dead oder Dawn of the Dead, combine it with an ecchi/harem Anime such as Liebe Hina, and throw in a few elements from Splatterhouse and Dead Rising? Du get High School of the Dead, a 12-episode Anime series based on the Manga of the same name Von Daisuke Sato. As Du can expect from the title, the Zeigen is revolved around zombies, something that not a whole lot of other Anime shows delve into. Depending on whether you're a Fan of zombie Filme and games, the very fact that it contains zombies can be enough to hook Du and get Du watching it. However, once Du start watching, you'll find that zombies aren't all that the Zeigen has to offer. Not only are there zombies, but there's also tons of blood, graphic violence, and fanservice. oben, nach oben that off with the touching dialogue, an intense heavy f***ing metal soundtrack, characters that range from likable to lovable (with the exception of characters that are supposed to be unlikable slime balls, and this Zeigen also pulls those off really well) in terms of both personality and appearance, well told story... and you've basically got a recipe for pure awesomesauce.
High School of the Dead was produced Von Madhouse, who Du might know as the same company responsible for shows and Filme such as the following.
Birdy the Mighty
Cardcaptor Sakura (known as simply Cardcaptors in the U.S.)
Devil May Cry: The Animated Series
Marvel Anime: Iron Man
Marvel Anime: Wolverine
Marvel Anime: X-Men
Marvel Anime: Blade
Trigun: Badlands Rumble
So if you've seen Trigun, Devil May Cry, oder Death Note, Du might recognize the Animation as the work of Madhouse.
Speaking of which, the Animation for this Zeigen is simply gorgeous. The backgrounds are a marvel to look at, and the characters (including the zombies) are well detailed and visually appealing (especially the female characters with their sexy, luscious breasts). The action sequences of the characters bashing and maiming zombies, such as Komuro smashing zombie heads with a baseball bat, Kohta firing his rifles, and Saeko slashing the dead to bits, are all fast paced and exciting with fluid character movements. One sequence that deserves a mention is in the episode "The Dead Way Home", where Komuro is balancing an AK-47 on Rei's boobs and Saeko is in the middle of a horde of zombies smashing them with a bokken. Each time Komuro fires a shot, the bullet zooms past underneath Saeko's crotch and even between her breasts, and each time the Animation slows down, giving Du a clear visual that puts the fight scenes from The Matrix to shame. It even cuts away to Rei's breasts balancing the sniper gewehr and shows them bouncing and rippling as Komuro fires.
Also, just as a bit of warning, since I know that this could turn people off pretty easily... there's a little bit of nudity. Granted, it's only in one episode (yes, almost every Sekunde of this entire goddamn Zeigen is filled to the brim with jiggly titties and girl's underwear... and yet, only one episode contains nudity), but it's definitely there and hard to miss. Quite honestly, though, it shouldn't deter Du one bit from watching this Zeigen and discovering the beauty that most ecchi Anime (some with nudity) tend to have, but are still overlooked.
The story in this Zeigen isn't anything original, but it still works. It starts out on a normal Tag in high school, when all of a sudden, a stranger shows up at the front gate. The teachers go out to check this guy out, but are surprised when the stranger bites one of them in the arm. One of the students, Takashi Komuro, notices the attack and alerts the other students and teachers, sending everyone into a panic. The rest of the story unfolds as something you'd expect from a typical entertaining zombie movie, with our band of Heroes trying to do the obvious thing: survive the zombie pandemic. As far as characters go, we have the main protagonists, such as the previously mentioned Takashi Komuro (the average joe, and the school kid equivalent to Frank West from Dead Rising), his girlfriend Rei Miyamoto (the school girl, and the main Liebe interest of Komuro), Saeko Busujima (the president of the school's kendo club, and an expert swordsman... oder woman, whatever), Kohta Hirano (based on the Autor of the Hellsing manga, an overweight and rather badass nerd who is an expert in firearms), Saya Takagi (the bitchy, snobby, and quite frankly unlikable genius, as well as one of two characters you'll want to see die a horrible death at the hands of the zombies), and Shizuka Marikawa (the busty, voluptuous, and sexy school nurse, and the group's medic, as well as a Quelle of comic relief). As for the main antagonist... there's not really one. The closest we have to a bad guy is Koichi Shido (a perverted and sadistic teacher, and the other one of two characters you'll want to see die a horrible death at the hands of the zombies).
The soundtrack is quite simply phenomenal. This Zeigen doesn't use J-pop for its soundtrack. Instead, we get raw, hard, powerful, heavy f***ing metal. If Du thought that the heavy metal soundtrack in the english dub of Dragon Ball Z was awesome, Du ain't seen nothing yet. I haven't seen a whole lot of Anime that use heavy metal, and High School of the Dead is proof that Mehr Anime shows need to. The Musik is fast paced, exhilarating, instantly gets your blood pumping, and cranks your adrenaline up to eleven. Did I mention that the main theme song of this Zeigen is worthy of a spot on your iPod (or whatever device Du download MP3s to and use to play music)?
The english dub for High School of the Dead was produced and handled Von Sentai Filmworks, who have also dubbed other shows such as Night Raid 1931, Xam'd: Lost Memories, and Angel – Jäger der Finsternis Beats. While the quality of their dubs isn't as good as Funimation oder Bandai, Sentai Filmworks is capable of producing impressive english dubs (I'm judging this from having seen their dubs of High School of the Dead, Angel – Jäger der Finsternis Beats, and Night Raid 1931), such as this one. The voice actors all turn in performances that range from passable at worst to amazing at best. Here's the voice cast of some of the main characters (see if Du can recognize the voice actors from other roles).
Takashi Komuro - Leraldo Anzaldua
Rei Miyamoto - Jessica Boone
Saeko Busujima - Taylor Hannah
Saya Takagi - Maggie Flecknoe
Kohta Hirano - Mark X. Laskowski
Shizuka Marikawa - Monica Rial
Well, that's all I have to say about this awesome masterpiece of a japanese cartoon, other than that if I were to compare this to anything, I'd compare this to Splatterhouse (the Kürzlich 2010 video game, not the side-scrollers from the 80's and 90's). Both have tons of blood, tons of violence, some nudity, and a complimentary heavy metal soundtrack, and they also both involve the undead. The only differences are the story, and the facts that Splatterhouse focuses Mehr on demons than zombies and doesn't have any fanservice at all.
If you're looking for an action Anime with lots of blood, an Anime with plenty of fanservice, an Anime involving the undead, oder just a plain good action anime, then look no further than High School of the Dead. It's available on DVD and Blu-Ray, as well as streaming on Netflix, and I highly recommend that Du give this sucker a try. I guaran-f***ing-tee Du that this Zeigen is worth both your time and money.
They've covered wars, you know.
The question everyone asks themselves whenever there's a zombie invasion.
The first of the many hapless victims to die.
This is one of many things you'll see for 12 episodes... and it is awesome.
Another thing you'll see for 12 episodes... and it is also awesome.
The episode title appears in the environment like this every episode. Pretty creative, if you ask me.
You'll never look at geeks and nerds the same way ever again.
... what? You thought I was joking? *sarcastic laugh* ... yeah, you're f***ed.
You know you want to grab em'. Don't lie to yourself.
BLOOD! BLOOD! BLOOD!
It's amazing how, even in a zombie pandemic, horny teenagers still manage to find time for romance and love.
It's impossible for a show to have big titties and not subject them to the titty-grab.
Whoa... a little rough, don't you think?