Highschool of the Dead: Episode 4 – First Impressions

We’re now an third into the first season of Madhouse’s anime adaptation of the Highschool of the Dead manga. The first three episodes have been used mostly as a set-up to lay out the basic premise of the anime series in addition to introducing the main players. The third episode also sets-up conflict between two groups of survivors as our students (plus one ditzy school nurse) must contend with another teacher (Shido-san) who seems to have some ulterior motives in trying to proclaim himself the appointed leader of the surviving students and faculty in the school bus which just escaped from zombie-infested school.

So far, the series has followed closely the storyline from the manga. There’s been some minute changes to character backstory and certain scenes have been extended or given more time to develop unlike their original manga. Still the writers for the anime look comfortable enough in following the manga with some fidelity instead of venturing on a different path or switching the order of story-arcs around like how some anime adaptation of manga series in the past.

If there’s one thing to take away from this fourth episode it is that the Anime Network’s simulcast of the series definitely has censored the more ecchi scenes to make them more acceptable to North American audiences. I like to point out specifically the sequence at the gas station between Takashi, Rei and the crazed human who holds Rei hostage. In the manga this scene definitely remains uncensored (though it remains to be seen whether Yen Press will keep it that way when they bring the manga over to the North American market), but in the simulcast the scene has some of the details blurred out, but not enough that the audience cannot figure out what is going on.

I definitely think that the more blatant use of fan-service deeper into the series will get the same treatment. This definitely will mean the dvd set when its released better have these scenes uncensored or there will be much declarations of shenanigans sent Sentai’s way. But now that censoring of these scenes have been established further use of it in upcoming episodes shouldn’t come as surprise so I shall keep my complaints to this recap and leave it at that. Other than that the episode was good just like the previous three and I don’t see the series doing nothing but continue to be very good as it moves forward.

Highschool of the Dead manga has been licensed

The relatively successful airing of the anime adaptation of the very popular manga title Highschool of the Dead seems to have had a major consequence. The original manga has now been announced as having been licensed from Monthly Dragon Age (title’s original Japanese publisher) by North American manga publisher Yen Press. This is great news for the new fans of the anime (still just 3 episodes in but having impressed with those so far) and for the veteran manga readers who have been relegated to reading fan-translated versions of the series.

Yen Press has licensed some very solid titles from Japan and they’ve actually done a good job at bringing over these titles with as little censoring and changes to the artwork and dialogue as possible unlike some other NA publishers. I hope they do the same for Highschool of the Dead once they start releasing the first couple volumes over here in the US and Canada.

Highschool of the Dead has gore and violence aplenty which should appeal to the teenage and young men demographic the title has been targetting from the onset. The title also happens to be quite ecchi (fan-service) which makes American publishers of licensed manga nervous of late. It’s interesting to note that these very ecchi images wouldn’t be seen as too much of a problem over in Japan but here in NA where there are more puritanical groups lobbying to censor or outright ban these kind of titles then manga such as Highschool of the Dead will always have a harder time of coming over to these shores unedited.

Here’s to hoping that Yen Press does a very  hands-off approach in their handling of this popular title. It would be a shame for the title to finally be licensed but only to get the Tenjho Tenge treatment which would definitely get the title’s fans in an uproar. Hopefully, Yen Press saw what happened when CMX did that with Tenjho Tenge and just leave things well enough alone.

Source: Anime News Network