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High School of the Dead: The Complete Series (Drifters of the Dead Edition) (Blu-ray + DVD)
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A deadly new disease is ravaging the world, turning the populace into mindless zombies, and the number of infected is skyrocketing by the second. As their fellow classmates and teachers succumb to the infection around them, a small group of students at Fujimi High School are fighting for their lives after surviving the initial outbreak. It is up to Takashi Komuro to unite the group of weary survivors and try to escape the horrors that surround them. In this new world of the living dead…will they escape?
Now! For the first time, the complete first season of High School of the Dead is packaged with the acclaimed bonus episode OVA, Drifters Of The Dead. Please note that the bonus OVA is available as a subtitled DVD only.
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The opening titles alone has a dozen crotch and boob shots. None of them serve any purpose. Throughout the show you are constantly plastered with this given the slightest opportunity. Or even when they have to create an opportunity. The number of dialogue scenes where the camera slowly goes down to focus on their panties averages out to at least two an episode. Probably more. The worst episode by far is episode six. In it the girls all bathe together, with predictable fondling and lesbianism, while the two guys sit in the other room and talk about guns. That's the whole episode right there. Oh, except for the fact that all the girls try to sleep with the main guy. I'm assuming that they got drunk somewhere in there because they all act it after the bath. Either it's just assumed or that's just how this guy thinks girls act when they let their crazy feminine emotions out.
This is symptomatic of the treatment of the girls in general throughout the series. All of the girls (with one exception) offer nothing but an opportunity to show off their bodies. There are four main girls. I can't be bothered to remember their names so I'll just identify them by their hair color. Pink is a total b*tch. She says she's a genius at every possible opportunity although she never demonstrates any proof of it (many of her 'facts' are wrong and the ones that are right she cannot possibly know), and she enjoys belittling people for it. The blonde girl is a complete bimbo. She's the school nurse but she has giant breasts and the IQ of a five year old. She never speaks except to whine or fawn all over the main character who is I might point out, actually an underage student. I suspect she works at a high school for a very specific reason... Brown hair is also obnoxious and likes to go on about how great the guy's friend was even though he's still traumatized from killing him. At one point she's thrown from a car and she just lies there for at least 3-4 hours (it goes from midday to sunset) while everyone else protects her. She's not hurt or anything, she just gets up and walks it off. Naturally she's the main love interest. The last girl is purple haired and she's the only semi-good one. She's a master with swords and genuinely loves killing zombies. Her competence and professionalism do not prevent her from being used as yet another sex doll for them to display. It is made quite clear that even the competent girl can do nothing without a guy to lead her. More than that the girls cannot think for themselves and constantly put everyone's lives in danger because of their uncontrolled emotions and lusts. It really is a disgustingly misogynistic and exploitative show.
So now the zombies. Zombies are cool right? How can they mess them up? Well first off they never call them zombies. They seem to think this makes them realistic somehow. Secondly they bind them with stupid rules and then constantly break them. These zombies are cannot see, smell or touch. The only sense they have is hearing. Sounds interesting right? So naturally they'll be quiet and sneak around to prevent the zombies from hearing them. Except they don't. They run around screaming with zombies all around ignoring them and then one of them will bump into a pole, or drop a bat, or the wind in the trees will make noise and suddenly the zombies are attacking them everywhere. I want you to think hard about that last one. The wind in the trees attracted the zombies. THE WIND IN THE FRIGGIN' TREES!!!!!! So having established by the second episode that zombies need sound to hunt they then proceed to ignore it until it is convenient to the show for them to be in danger. How can there be any actual sense of danger when they ignore their own rules when it's convenient?
The two guys are there too. That's really all that can be said of them. The main guy is basically how the author views the perfect guy to be. He has no real flaws and is fawned over to an obscene degree by all the women. The other guy is a fat nerd and a gun buff. He's probably the most interesting character there since he's extremely competent at one thing and enjoys it immensely. Naturally he's treated with nothing but contempt by all the girls who are nothing if not superficial.
So, the good things...
I'm drawing a blank here. I suppose that technically it's an impressive film. Certainly it has made some extraordinary breakthroughs in jiggle physics. The animation is quite good and the character designs aren't that bad. The main theme's pretty catchy too. Apart from that zip. Zilch. Nada. This show has no redeeming features whatsoever. I suppose that if you're a 12-year-old boy or can't figure out how to search for hentai on the internet this might be a good show for you.
Beginning in Japan which is in the very early stages of a zombie outbreak, the show initially focuses on three school friends: Takashi, Rei and Hisashi as their school is attacked by zombies and the entire building goes into a mass panic, leaving the three of them to fight their way through an ever increasing horde of the undead in an attempt to escape the school, which they eventually manage to do, but not before events take a tragic turn and one of the group is forced to do the unthinkable when one of them is bitten by a zombie. So as the survivors meet others trying to escape the school and make a narrow getaway, the series then becomes the story of them trying to find safety in Tokyo which is already overrun by a massive number of zombies... while also dealing with a veritable buffet of cliched personal issues and relationship problems throughout the show's fairly short 12 episode run. Lets face it... zombie stories? They're all more or less the same plot with minor variations and Highschool of the Dead has no aspirations towards breaking with tradition. Nope, it's too busy with filling up as much screen time as humanly possible with sleaze, boobs and camera angles that always seem to show right up the female character's skirts to worry about trivialities like character development and story progression. Seriously, I was taken aback by the relentlessness of the wobbling funbags filling the screen, the obscene camera angles and the pretense dropping scenes of every female character having a bath together... I just never thought I'd live to see the day that anime producers would take a straightforward idea and twist it into a thinly veiled outlet for their perversions... But all sarcasm aside, the "fan service" is far too much for a show that otherwise presents itself as seriously as this one does. There are moments of genuine horror here, like two schoolgirls vowing to escape together no matter what, only for one to feed the other to a group of zombies to save herself... then the camera focuses on the dying girl's underpants as she is screaming in agony for her friend to help her while the sickening crunching sounds of zombies chewing through her bones is heard from off camera. This sort of scene sums up the show in a nutshell, giving the appearance that it's makers couldn't decide whether to go all out serious with the plot, or all out OTT sleazy, leaving something that tries to have it's cake and eat it but in the end only comes up with combinations of visual which together I can only describe as being somewhat sickening. It can be unpleasant viewing at times and I'm not sure that the show is really worth having to put up with some of the nastier scenes' scizophrenia.
I get that this show probably holds a lot more mass appeal than the average anime due to the continued popularity of zombie focused media(which ironically just refuses to die), but considering that the series plays up to all the worst stereotypes and tropes that anime as a whole is all to often tarred with being like it would be a real shame if something like this ended up putting newcomers off of anime completely, and that's pretty much what would happen if the subject matter appeals to recent converts of The Walking Dead and they jump in blind. I've always thought I had a high tolerance for such things in anime and even I had difficulty with this one. It's like the worst things about anime threw up on The Walking Dead inside a thirteen year old boy's brain.
The show does look good and has some nice soundtrack work, but even relatively high production values can't change the things that stand out in my memory when I think of this series. Scenes like the lead male character cornered by a herd of zombies desperately aiming a sniper rifle to hold back the herd for a few extra moments to buy time for a rescue to arrive sure sound like the stuff tension is made of, but when said lead male is lying on top of his female classmate, using her breasts as a gun-rest while doing this and she is moaning with arousal every time he fires you can appreciate it dilutes the tension somewhat. If this show were presenting itself as more of a comedy it would be one thing(It has a few comedy scenes, yes, but it's not the primary focus), but the persistently bleak tone of the overall story and the truly damaged portrayal of most of the cast prevents it from getting to play that card in my eyes. Having an occasional 'funny' interlude where someone gets drunk or has an OTT gun fetish or whatever is fine, but when this is coming straight off the back of a scene where a little girl is forced to watch as her frantic father is stabbed to death by other survivors who are afraid the noise he is making will draw the zombies it obviously does not transition well. Some shows can pull off tone shifts like that, but this is not one of them.
It's not a show for me clearly, and some may get some fun out of it, but the levels of "fan service" mixed and matched very ill fittingly with some truly gut wrenching horror and gore mean that the only service THIS fan wants from the makers of this series is to decide what kind of show they're trying to make or get a little better at striking a balance between your tones and don't, just for God's sake DON'T try to titilate your audience with images of scantily clad women being ripped to pieces and shots of corpses' cleavage and underwear... you're not aiming this show at Jeffrey Dahmer folks... at least I hope not. This is the kind of show that represents all the worst things about anime for me, so unless you're of the more 'hardcore' anime fandom, you might find this show to be kind of sick. I know my tolerance was sure pushed to it's limits getting through it.
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Most recent customer reviews
To me this is Just nipples and upskirt schoolgirl angles.
Not for me thanks
Do you like zombies?
Do you like boobs?
if you answered yes to all three of these then buy this .