At first glance, High School of the Dead seems like animated softcore porn with zombies. It’s full of gratuitous shots of boobs and butts. But if you look past bouncing tits and spread crotches, you will see a George Romero zombie movie infused with anime elements. That’s right. I said it. If George Romero made an anime zombie movie, it would look something like High School of the Dead.
The same social commentary found in George Romero zombie movies is found here. You just have to dig deeper and get past the T&A. Once you realize that this is more than just a series of scenes with a pair of large breasts kicking zombie ass, you can appreciate the fact that you are watching human nature in an apocalyptic scenario. You will then start asking yourself how you would react when zombies suddenly emerge and plunge the world into utter chaos.
In this anime TV show, we see people betraying their friends. We see strangers helping strangers. We see people at their worst. We see people at their best. We see families torn apart. We see families forged with no blood ties. We see fear and courage and hate and love. We see what makes us human and not just walking bags of muscle and bone.
We see a fat nerd who commands the respect of no one suddenly finding himself in a position of power. After feeling worthless and inferior, he is handed a pile of weapons by the hands of fate. From being unable to protect himself from bullies, he is now given the power to protect himself and those around him. The lamb is now the lion. As the world reinvents itself, so does Hirano Kota.
We see a hot loner kendo mistress who is tortured by the fact that she loves hurting people physically. She hates that she is not bothered by this fact. She gets off on using her wooden sword on human flesh but she feels it is making her less human. As the dead start walking the earth, she is presented with the chance to inflict physical damage on rotting flesh. Violence with no guilt. As death surrounds her, Saeko Busujima feels alive.
We see a brokenhearted dude with no purpose in life. He feels paralyzed and hopeless. Depression sinks in. And then people start biting each other IN THE FACE. As he becomes the reluctant leader of a small band of survivors, he finds purpose. He finds hope. He finds love. Takashi Komuro finds all of these in a time of death and destruction.
We see all of these characters changing, growing and evolving right before our eyes. The zombie apocalypse suddenly becomes a tool to undress human nature. High School of the Dead suddenly becomes a sharp piece of social commentary. It’s a TV show that surprises you not with zombies lunging from the shadows, but with the realization that you are actually watching yourself and what you, as a human being, are capable of. AND BOOOOOOBS YAAAAAAYYYY!!!