Review of High School of the Dead (2010)

Moving picture, 5.0 hours

A Romero-like virus suddenly breaks out around the world. A few survivors from a Japanese high school band together and kick ass.

Pulp zombie apocalypse, including moments of pretty serious horror, but with massive T&A, featuring big-breasted zombies getting blown away in small arms fire, and a shot of a girl’s underwear as she is being eaten by zombies in the first episode. Non-stop fun in poor taste. Many of the softcore elements are tongue-in-cheek, others not so much. The animation quality is surprisingly high for this type of production, and there’s some good music.

The feel-good schlock factor is undermined by poor physics and general ignorance. One bullet-time sequence shows a gun geek firing what appear to be hypersonic bullets from a .38 police revolver (not likely) and then saying “Double tap!” after hitting two zombies with one shot each, which is not a double tap. A drug reference (man with a metal marijuana leaf in his necklace, rare in Japanese animation) is strongly negative (rape crazy), and the authoritarian politics are ridiculous. The US President is told to nuke the world for no reason and anyone opposing the police and its violent methods is apparently a pathetic lunatic.

References here: School-Live! (2015), Daybreak (2019).

moving picture zombie Japanese production animation fiction series