Project Haruhi

Review: Highschool of the Dead 9

This is a guest post written by The Austin Critic. Check out his blog here!

I don't get Highschool of the Dead. There are times when it's trying to be a gritty zombie show, and other times when it's a completely over-the-top, fanservice filled action show. For example, the previous episodes had scenes which featured realistic weapon handling and a few uses of strategy, giving me the impression that this was a realistic portrayal of the zombie apocalypse. The next minute however, the main characters suddenly gain the abilities of Schwarzenegger and start dodging bullets, using weaponry, driving CG military vehicles into hordes of zombies and plowing through countless undead with melee weapons. It also doesn't help that the fanservice just stops any chance that anyone could take this show seriously. This episode was further proof that this series is having an identity crisis, as one minute it decides to show the mental conflicts that Saeko has gone through before and during this zombie apocalypse, only to completely discard this serious subject matter with fanservice.

Read more after the break.

The beginning of the episode had Takashi and Saeko trying to reunite with their group, deciding to use a vehicle which can go in both water and on land in order to get there faster. Unfortunately, the sound of the engine just attracts more zombies, resulting in Takashi's decision to drive on the lake in order to avoid the zombie menace. I know that at this point, the show just has too many plot holes in order for it to be labeled consistent, but I do wonder why the zombies notice that there is water separating them from the survivors. Why didn't they go into the water in order to chase after them? I understand that they would probably be unsuccessful if they attempted, as these are mindless zombies who lack the ability to go up stairs, but why didn't they at least try? All we see them do is stand at the shoreline, giving me the indication that they are aware that they lack the ability to swim and can also see the water, despite falling from a pair of stairs a few seconds earlier that they were apparently oblivious to!

The middle portion of this episode had Takashi and Saeko fighting their way into the city, with the duo attempting to distract the zombies by leaving the car motor running in order to distract them. The plan, while clever, fails due to Saeko's inability to kill zombie children, causing Takashi to kill the children via shotgun, alerting another horde of zombies. The group then decides to hide out in a temple, where the show actually gives a small bit of backstory about Saeko. We then learn that Saeko is actually a sadist, which explains why she takes pleasure in killing the zombies. The flashback scene featured in this episode was executed pretty well, as it was intense while not feeling cheesy. At this point in the episode, I was prepared to give it a fair rating.

But then, Takashi tries to make Saeko regain her resolve and accept her dark side by... grabbing her breast. Of all of the dumbest plot devices I have seen in the ecchi genre, this was the most surprising and retarded. WHY IN GOD'S INFINITE WISDOM DID YOU GRAB SAEKO'S BREAST?! WHY? I DON'T GET IT! I DON'T FREAKIN' GET IT! I DON'T CARE IF THIS IS AN ECCHI SHOW! YOU CAN'T RESTORE THE RESOLVE OF SOMEONE BY SEXUALLY ASSAULTING THEM! (BTW: The tactic succeded, meaning that this show was dumber than I thought!)

Overall, this was a poor episode, which is surprising, considering that it focuses on the best characters of this series. Sure the action was pretty damn awesome, and the final fight scene was Saeko's best (despite the fight getting Saeko "wet"), but those merits alone aren't enough to make this a fair episode. It's enough to stop it from being horrible, but at this rate with only three episodes left, I don't see how this show can improve. Hopefully the final episodes will only be fight scenes, as that is the only thing that this show can succeed at executing properly.

Rating: Poor

About Guest

Written by a guest author. See post for more details.

  • Oh wow. This show keeps finding new ways to suck. I bet the last episode will be a nonstop orgy of zombie-on-human violence and rape. That’s pretty much the only depth they haven’t sunk to.

  • At least I wasn’t bored during this episode, which automatically puts it above all the other ones that I’ve watched. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the part at the end where Takashi monologues to himself that he only “accepted her darkness to survive,” which to me more or less meant that he thumped her self esteem back into her at the temple just so she’d keep slashing zombies for him. At least he “took responsibility,” whatever that was supposed to mean at that point.

  • So you’re saying that it was entertainingly bad? Kinda like Battlefield Earth?

  • Anonymous

    Watched this on Youtube earlier just to see what people are talking about… and… yeah, it’s pretty bad. I agree with you on the problems with zombie intelligence. Particularly, in the middle section: Saeko hits two zombies with her wooden sword (I think that’s what it is) and then points it at another zombie. Why is it whimpering… and why is it deterred by the sword? Then she insults its hygiene and jabs it (which makes it go flying). WTF?

    I can see why people have problems with this show. But, I can also see why people like the show. For me this quote from the Youtube comments says it all: “amen, mindless violence and anime tits are like water and oil.”

  • Basically. There was nothing wrong with this episode that hasn’t been wrong with every other episode, but at least it wasn’t driving around empty streets for 10 minutes with no dialogue like the last one. They actually managed to put in some decent character development for once to fill in what would have otherwise been wasted time, and Takashi’s blatant chauvinism and the ‘wet’ thing actually made me laugh out loud.

  • It pains me to see so much potential squandered or cut short in this show; every episode is like a knife through the heart X_X

    I still have this overly optimistic and naive belief that there is a diamond amongst the rough. . .the only reason why I refrained from vehemently dropping this anime is that there must be at least one decent enough episode? I’m beginning to doubt that though.

  • I actually liked this episode, despite its numerous glaring flaws. I believe I’m starting to get used to what this show really is, a flaming train wreck of insanity and sex. This episode also did take some moments from the insanity to develop a character a little, albeit an insane character. I take the battle near the end of the episode as the show’s way of saying that it did a little plot so we wouldn’t get too used to the insanity, now back to the usual. …hooray.

    I have to admit, I did feel a little love and pity for Saeko at the end (moe?). She’s basically being used as a weapon, presumably for Takashi (did I find get his name right?) to use.

  • Near the beginning of the series one of the girls throws a wet towell at a zombie and it doesn’t react… then she throws one at a wall near it and it turns to the sound and walks INTO the wall.

    To think that a zombie like that can be scared by a sword… or notice water… kinda dumb.

  • These were pretty much my thoughts too. The previews for the next episode though, kept me from leaving this anime for good. I thought it was better- wonder what everyone else thoughts are on ep.10.

  • Anonymous

    Lets see… Last anime character i can think of that got laid was, Makoto Itou, from school days…

  • This episode seemed to further demoralize some of the more tolerable characters. For the most part, this show makes me feel like I should set myself on fire. The only like-able characters they have yet to make me detest are the ‘Gunslinger’, the ‘Child’, and the Dog. Other than that, the cannons are weak and verily annoying idiots. Save the ‘Know it all’, but i tend to like her more when she ISN’T talking.

  • Misk Alsaadawi

    this cartoon was sexy and scary at the same time right?

  • Tsuyoi hitsuagi

    I just properly watched it for the first time tonight, and I found it was good, but a huge problem is- the characters are ridiculous. Lets start with the two from the first episode- the third guy, the one who died, i have no qualms with him. No, the guy who’s cut up over the girl is a huge manipulative jackass “Oh, i killed your boyfriend, your blaming me, I’m going to go threaten to kill myself now, bai bai”

    No. Just no.

    And the girl isn’t much better, “Oh, I can fight, but I’m going to be useless like most love interests” No

    I like the pink haired girl, the only thing wrong with her is she takes herself too seriously

    THe nurse…. no, I’m not even going to- shes only there for the fanservice, thats IT, no other reason.

    The fat geek is pretty cool, though, I always picture myself trying that stuff

    okay, i have problems with three characters, but either way…

    I had to rant this out, sorry peeps

  • Jeroen

    Dude, you seriously don’t know why Takashi grabbed Saeko’s breast? Then you didn’t get the episode. He did that, so Saeko would attack ‘them’ because she would relife the time she was almostly raped.

  • rocconorth

    The guy above is the only guy who got it. Sure it also served for fanservice, but the idea was it was supposed bring back that memory of somebody trying to force themselves on her.

  • rocconorth

    I meant the guy with the post on the bottom