This is part of a series of reviews on notorious anime, anime shows or films that attracted controversy upon their release.
Zombies are a big part of popular culture these days, not only in the United States but also in Japan. Fanservice is also a big draw in both countries. So what do you get when you combine the two?
“Highschool of the Dead.”
Based on the manga by Daisuke Sato, “Highschool of the Dead” tells the story of a group of Japanese high school students who suddenly find themselves facing a zombie apocalypse and go on a mission, with the help of each of their special skills, to find any relatives that may still be alive.
The show is violent, which most anything involving zombies are considering that you are dealing with a creature that eats human flesh. But what has made this show stand out is the amount of fanservice in the episodes among the blood, guts, and violence. The character designs for the women are of almost impossible proportions – all the girls have big busts that jiggle like Jell-O powered by a small motor, all are willing to get naked or partially dressed in front of each other. But then again, the character design was done by Shoji Sato, whose previous titles were self-published “adult” titles, so it’s not surprising that the characters look like they stepped out of a hentai film.
One of the more infamous scenes from the show has to be seen to believed – as the group is getting attacked by zombies, a male character takes a female character’s gun and, without taking the gun off of her, starts shooting zombies while both are lying on the ground, which ends up putting the two characters into an interesting position.
Now, when watching a show like this, you might wonder if there is anything resembling a plot. Amazingly, there is. The show starts out at a private high school, where a 17 year old named Takashi, who is brooding over the fact that his childhood friend Rei is now dating his best friend because of his indecisiveness, is the first witness to the zombie attacks. He ends up becoming the leader of a band of students and a teacher who end up escaping to find their families. It’s a very thin plot, but it’s there.
Now, whether you’ll like this anime will depend on your personal tolerance for violence and fanservice. Because there is a lot of both in this show. Sometimes with whole episodes dedicated to one or the other – for example, one episode has a lot of the focus on the story with the female characters spending most of their time in a communal bath.
Just be aware that the show takes no prisoners with the material.
“Highschool of the Dead” manga and anime are both available in the United States. You can buy both wherever you purchase anime or manga.