We’ve now reached the midway point of MadHouse’s anime adaptation of the popular horror and ecchi manga series, Highschool of the Dead. Has the series lived up to the original manga source it’s based on?
Having seen every episode since I will have to give that question with a resounding yes as my answer.
Episode 7 starts off continuing with the very ecchi nature of the series as we see the women in the group in some way of undress and provocatively posed while doing so. Again, I will repeat that anyone still watching this series up to this point and still complaining about the heavy fan-service are just nitpicking. If these complainers don’t like the heavy fan-service then they should’ve dropped off the series around episode 2 and, most likely, after the previous episode. By this time of the series I think anyone still watching it either enjoys the heavy fan-service or has adapted and accepted it in some way. I’m definitely of the former.
This episode is notable for it’s introduction of the very last two characters which will join our interpid group of survivors. One is the little puppy Zeke and the other a little girl named Alice. The scene with Alice and her father looking desperately for a place of refuge from the mass of undead waling the streets is one of the most heartbreaking moments in this series. Say what one will about the series’ heavy reliance on it’s ecchi half, but when it wants to start plucking on the audience’s heartstrings it does it well. While Alice’s survival once the zombies start converging on her is not a mystery (I don’t think killing a second child in the series will happen two episodes in a row) it does show our group in hero-mode.
Takashi and Hirano are stand-outs in this episode. The former for showing some humanity and putting his life in danger to try and save Alice. The latter for contuining to be my favorite character in the series as he swings from his awkward “nosebleed” self whenever he sees the ladies in skimpy attire to the ice-cold sharpshooter when it’s time to kill zombies. I have a feeling that Hirano will be a character from this series who will be cosplayed heavily in the coming slate of 2011 anime conventions.
The rest of the episode goes by-the-numbers as the group loads up the Hummer parked in the garage with all the supplies, weapons and ammo it could carry and they head on out into the zombie-filled world looking to get across the bridges to find their families. Missing from this episode (the last couple in fact) is the villain of the series, so far. We haven’t seen the sleazy Shido-san and his bus full of followers. Does this mean that the infamous “bus orgy” scene from the manga has been skipped over or will it appear in the next couple episodes. For fans of the manga the answer better be yes or that may be the first disappointment they will have with this series.
Yes, if that’s the only disappointment fans will have with this series then it just shows how good it is that the storyline itself hasn’t been the focus of any complaint. Now, onto the second half of the season.