Manga Review: High School of the Dead
Boobs, guns and zombies: I can’t find anything wrong with this combination of words, can you? Hmmm, unless you’re thinking of a zombie with a huge rack holding a gun…if that happens to be the case, well shame on you. I find this the easiest way to describe High School of the Dead in a nutshell, but obviously there’s more to it than that.
Sometimes, all a tried and true concept needs to become in vogue is a simple change in location. Zombies (like ninjas) never seem to completely go out of style, but their prominence does seem to wax and wane. Case in point: HSotD has been in print since 2006, but has recently been adapted into an anime (which I also recommend you see). Now, I’m sure we’re all familiar with the basic beginning of any good zombie tale: for some initially unapparent reason, the dead rise and wreak havoc upon the living. Now then, you shift focus onto a small group of survivors, each with something to hide or a sordid past of some sort, and showcase their efforts in not only attempting to coexist with one another, but also in surviving the zombie apocalypse around them. Simple enough, right? Well, take that concept, add an almost indecent amount of gratuitous fan service, and an eclectic (if not obviously stereotypical) group of main characters and you would have HSotD.
The story is initially narrated through the eyes of one Takashi Komuro, but as the story progresses the perspective jumps to other characters. Since the manga is quite a bit ahead of the anime, I will not go into detail about the series. What I can say without ruining anything is that like most stories of this type the initial plot is always about survival but then evolves into a spotlight on social and societal collapse and moral corruption. The fact that the main cast of characters is a group of teenagers only compounds that loss of innocence.
The artwork and character design are top notch. There is a vivid sense of variety in not on the designs of the female characters, but the male ones as well. (Considering that the artist has dabbled in h-manga, that is a breath of fresh air in my eyes). The decaying anatomy and amount of detail put into each and every one of “them” is truly mind boggling. One cannot fault this series for not being thorough.
Go Rating: 4/5
Of course I could be looking too much into all of this… *laughs*