HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD – 12 (END)
「All DEAD’S attack.」
As memory failed me last time, it seems that last episode’s EMP shots actually became the plot shifting point of this episode. The EMP blast has disabled all electronic devices, one of which is Shido’s bus (I felt so bad for the guy with the pacemaker). The bus crashes into a barrier set up not too far away from the mansion, creating an opening for “them” to get through. Soon enough, “they” make their way to the mansion, easily bringing down the iron gates. Since the mansion is no longer a safe place, all plans hit the fan. Soichiro decides to take on “them”, as there’s really not much else to do, and tells Takagi to leave with her friends. Takagi finally realizes their love as parents (but gets an honestly unnecessary slap from her mom, more forced actions), and Nurse Boin finally realizes her place in the story (which made me laugh pretty hard). The group leaves, have a rather odd “everything’s going to be okay” scene, and soon end up at the mall. End season one. All in all, a rather faithful episode, besides the fact that because the Saeko and Takashi arc was originally after this, they now have their old Humvee instead of the small all terrain vehicle. That doesn’t matter anyways, since they crash it not too long before they get there.
So what’s the verdict? What started out as seemingly incredible, fizzed a little and lost a lot of seriousness along the way due to a couple of odd scene directions. I believe you have to keep some level of seriousness in a SURVIVAL show, because without it, how can you possibly care about what happens on screen? Although, knowing that none of the characters weren’t going to die didn’t really help either, so that definitely gives me some unfair bias. Besides the character and plot issues (which I won’t even bother getting into, but that’s the source material’s fault), the other big element of zombie shows is of course the killing of said zombies. However, the action was only good for the first few episodes, and slowly diminished to uninspired shooting and whacking by the season’s finale. The gore in the manga was what made each death special, and kept the ongoing conflicts fresh. Since HOTD didn’t show any of that, every fight became somewhat of a RPG game, where all you see is boring hits and misses. The most interesting kill by far was Saya’s drill, and that was way back in episode two (and censored at that). From a highly critical point of view, comparing to top series, HOTD offers nothing new except animated zombies. For the people with high ideals and adore well written shows looking for some serious apocalyptic zombie realism, go read “The Walking Dead”, or watch the live action series premiering on AMC this fall. For the casual viewer looking for some harmless entertainment to pass the time, then it gets a little tricky.
And so, HOTD basically comes down to this. Like anyone who reads the manga before an adaptation, the show might feel a little stale throughout, finishing with a rather lackluster finale. Of course, seeing as how they decided to follow the manga till the end, a more exciting finale couldn’t have been possible, so a season two is very likely (if not greenlit already) and would continue the story through the mall arc and beyond. However, based on what I’ve read of the series so far, the story never really “ramps” up to anything really amazing. You’ll get more of your typical zombie cliches inserted, except with a slight twist of the show being “loljapanese”. Obviously, season two would be more entertaining if you haven’t read it, but if you’ve liked the adaptation so far, then by all means, keep on watching. For me, I might watch it for obligatory reasons, but I highly doubt I’ll be blogging this show again.
On the other hand, people who have not read HOTD, might have found this series to be quite entertaining. If watched with no expectations whatsoever, one could possibly find themselves thinking that HOTD is the best show of the season. Sadly, I wasn’t one of those people, but for those that haven’t seen the source material, HOTD just might be an interesting venture. Ignorance is bliss, and this show is a prime example of that, in more ways than one.