Manga: Highschool of the Dead aka: High School Of The Dead
Boobs won't save you now.
"But our world as we knew it had already been completely destroyed."
Imagine waking up one day, going to school and then going to the roof to pine over your lost love. Then looking down and seeing a teacher's fingers get bitten off by a trespasser. Then seeing that teacher eat another. Then going to get your ex-love and her boyfriend to save them and fighting "not zombies". You try to call for help, but the lines are busy because of emergencies all over the town. And when you finally get to a television to see what's being done, you learn that it's happening everywhere.That's the start of Highschool of the Dead. In a new world of surviving "them", Takashi Komuro and his group of unlikely allies must learn to change to keep living, but will they like what they become? Written by Daisuke Sato and drawn by Shouji Sato (no relation), this manga is filled with monsters both living and nonliving, guns and big breasts. Really, nearly every woman who's old enough to have them has them.The series was licensed and dubbed by Sentai Filmworks in 2011. It premiered on The Anime Network on March 10th and for a period of time was streaming on VIZ Media's Neon Alley service.In March 2011 the manga was put on hiatus, the series was already falling in Schedule Slips before but Chapter 29 was the final nail as it concluded the number of chapters needed for Volume 7; reasons for the hiatus are scarce: Daisuke Sato doesn’t seem to be writing any other manga series at the moment, but Shouji Sato still is seem working on Triage X, a series that he produces by himself, supposedly taking time with it to research on weapons, vehicles, etc for future HOTD manga chapters.; he even colored the available 7 Volumes of HOTD meanwhile the hiatus. After nearly two years, in April 2013, the 30th chapter was released; after that it promptly went back to hiatus.Has a character sheet and a shout out page. Please list character tropes on the character sheet.
Highschool of the Dead contains examples of these tropes:
Abandoned Clinic: Where some of the group go to collect frozen plasma and a blood transfusion kit for the old woman.
Action Dress Rip: Happens a couple of times to Shizuka as well as Saeko and Saya's mother.
Adult Fear: The first couple episodes are particularly brutal. Scores of underage teenagers are simply massacred in some of the most horrific ways imaginable with no pathos whatsoever. Imagine you were an adult survivor of whatever zombie attack hit your office, you're able to get home and you learn that you 15-year-old daughters' high school was ravaged. Your worst fears are confirmed when you learn she died slowly in agonizing pain, and not only did she come back to murder others, she was killed AGAIN by friends who knew her since grade school; shedding not one tear or giving not even the slightest shit about killing her again. Yeah. Kids in the first couple episodes are livestock.
Adults Are Useless: Played pretty straight throughout. With rare exceptions (like Saya's parents) anything an adult does makes the situation immediately worse.
Laser-Guided Karma: ...and now they're stuck in a house with the horde right outside, while the team that "remembered they were human beings" escapes with a carful of supplies.
Artifact Title: Only the first few chapters take place in high school.
Asshole Victim: Asshole teacher Shidou, a thug who threatens to rape one of the main characters, and some really stupid protesters who were in denial of the dead coming back to life and refused to cooperate with the police or the ultranationalists.
Thug also counts as Tragic Villain, as he was forced to kill his entire family (including his little sister) when they turned into zombies. He readily admits that he's insane, and argues anyone in his situation would be.
Author Appeal: The older and current work of the original manga artist make his preference for larger breasts pretty clear. The only difference with this work is just how blatant it is. Almost every female on the page past puberty sports at least a D-cup.
The rerelease of the manga in full color can be seen as this too, Shouji Sato is known for making many of his works in full color, likewise the colored version of the series is also made by him.
Daisuke Sato is a well-known military otaku, having even written a number of straight-out wargames, and this is plainly obvious here.
Badass: Practically a bare minimum survival requirement.
Badass Army: The army is shown to actually be very competent in fighting the zombies. The greatest example can be seen in Chapter 24, when Japanese commandos take advantage of their superior tech and helicopter support to rescue the mall survivors.
Big Damn Heroes: Everybody gets a turn, it seems. Outside of the main cast, the JSDF actually gets one rescuing a trio of side characters.
The most purely heroic of which being in chapter seven of the manga and episode seven of the anime when they unhesitatingly rush out of a secure hideout to rescue a little girl at considerable personal risk, a turning point for the group.
The kids are forced to drive without a license, use guns, act strongly as individuals, rely on themselves instead of authority figures or the government and steal things to survive. It doesn't seem that bad from an American point of view, until you remember that this story takes place in Japan. Takashi's narration actually makes reference to this several times, usually in the form of "It had been just half a day, and we had already changed this much."
Takashi shoots a would-be mugger/rapist, but leaves him alive so he can be bait to draw off any zombies in the area.
Bleached Underpants: The artist draws Hentai, to no surprise. And by the looks of it, it seems that the artist also placed a character from one of his H-Manga in the story here (The reporter with the lightning-bolt earrings).
Bolivian Army Ending: The Takagi household storyline ends with Takagi's parents trying to fight off a massive zombie horde.
Bottle Episode: "In The Dead Of The Night" plays with this trope, combining it gratuitous and obscene amounts of fanservice and mood whiplash while confining the characters to an abandoned house, showing just how fast the world around them is deteriorating.
Way, way back in the high school, Saya and Hirano snatched a toolbox from one of the workshops. When they finally reach the police station, Saya lends Hirano one of the tools from that toolbox, a hand-powered drill. He uses it to break into the armory.
Mad the mechanic in the manga explained that the buggy was capable of water transportation but suggested sticking to the riverbanks or cutting into the nearby park. Takashi and Saeko ended up driving the buggy into the riverbank and ditched it in the park.
Did They or Didn't They?: Invoked by episode 9 of the anime. This and episode 8 are where the anime deviated from the original manga. The "Shut Up" Kiss between Takashi and Saeko was not shown in the manga, if it had happened at all.
Disproportionate Retribution: Rei was martyred academically for her father's attempts at busting political corruption. This makes her so mad she almost executes the man responsible, which itself would be reasonable in her situation.
The old couple in the mall, though it seems more like Better to Die than Be Killed. The situation did seem hopeless and with the old woman's sickness... It would have been nice if they had been so kind as to do it before Tamaru died getting plasma for her, though.
There was also the gym teacher early on, who was actually doing a good job dispatching zombies with his hand-to-hand skills before jumping from the roof, convinced that there was no way it could be real and that all he needed to do was wake up.
The police officer at the bridge placed his pistol to his head after the situation gets out of control and he gives the final order to exterminate everyone. Even came complete with a Fatal Family Photo.
Dub Name Change: Alice's name in the dub is "Arisu", as in "Ar-Ri-Sue" even though her name is written and translated as "Alice" in the manga.
Although in "Drifters Of The Dead" Dub. Her name is now said "Alice" which is actually how her name should be pronounce instead of "Arisu".
Takashi takes the time to cover Alice's dead father's face with a shirt from a nearby clothesline before making his daring escape with Alice and Zeke in tow.
Upon returning to the home base at the airport, Rika recommends a posthumous promotion for her dead partner Tajima.
Dying as Yourself: A major theme in this series that has cost many characters their lives.
A student named Kazu Ishii who is protecting Shizuka gets bitten from behind by zombies breaking through the windows, and Saeko offers to kill him before he turns. With a smile on his face, he replies "Please do it."
Hiro Tamaru gets one by Asami's hands after getting caught in the hole at the clinic.
Dying Like Animals: Many people simply cannot cope with the existence of "them", and many others, like Shidou, take advantage of that.
Dysfunction Junction: The team has decent grasp on reality, but the horror of their current situation has made everyone a tad bit unstable, and a few of them have displayed Sociopathic / Ax-Crazy tendencies.
The End of the World as We Know It: The group is acutely aware of this, especially Takashi when he realizes near the beginning that their moral code is adapting to the circumstances, thereby changing their personal world forever. Saya also knows that those who try to change the world back to what it once was will be doomed.
Enemy Mine: The US and Russia seem to launch an all out nuclear attack on China and Korea together, though, not necessarily as allies, as theres no words on who else has launched at whom other then that, if any.
Facial Horror: Many of the zombies, and very likely some victims.
Face Death with Dignity: Considering the nature of death caused by a bite from "them", this trope is difficult but not impossible to achieve in this franchise. Karma seems to determine who gets to die with dignity.
Ishii, Officer Tajima, and Asami get rather dignified deaths in the form of assisted suicides.
Averted when Rei is about to execute Shido for what he did to her because of what her father tried to do to his father; he's clearly sweating, and when she decides he's Not Worth Killing he makes enough of a scene to be kicked off the Takagi property even though the very fact that he did such a horrible thing to his own student, thus martyring her academically, already warranted Mr. Takagi's boot at the very least.
Chapter 23's extra story seems to exist for no other purpose than to expressly point out that every single girl in the cast is ridiculously hot, and that if her mom is anything to judge by, Alice will be too if she grows up.
Gainaxing: From the artist of the original manga: "The animation studio says they're making the characters' boobs jiggle with no mercy, so the fans should be able to rest easy." Combined with Bullet Time in one scene!
From Bad to Worse: Good luck finding many situations that don't start going to crap within 5 pages in the manga.
Genre Savvy: Everyone is quite aware that they are in the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse, even if they are pointedly Not Using the Z Word, and act accordingly.
Gray and Gray Morality: Found among the humans forced into conflict by "Them", such as at the bridge (desperate refugees vs police trying to maintain order) and outside the first hideout (panicked father trying to break the door down vs the already crowded group inside).
Gun Nut: Kohta is a self-proclaimed "gun otaku", but as he is a sixteen-year-old in Japan at the start of this series, he doesn't actually own any. He did however go to America and learn how to shoot (at a Militia camp in the translation, by Blackwater in the original and the anime).
Gun Porn: There's almost as many focused shots of guns as there are of breasts.
Heel Face Door Slam: Yamada decides his family's more important than the Orgybus and gets left to the zombies as a direct result. In the anime, Misuzu Ichijou may have regretted killing Toshimi Niki on impulse right before the zombies crush her own head.
Heroic BSOD: Kouta goes through one in chapter 26 After being forced to shoot Asami so she wouldn't turn into one of "them". He shows it largely by not caring about making noise, and shooting everyone of "them" he sees, which ticks off the group because of the amount of noise he's making. It takes Shizuka doing a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man to snap him out of it.
Lampshaded when the team raids a hospital to acquire plasma for a dying old woman. They point out that since the woman needs regular blood transfusions and they can only bring back enough usable plasma for one, they are essentially risking all their lives to buy her an extra week or two at the most. One of them does in fact die during the raid. As if that weren't already messed up, the old couple commits suicide a short time later.
Played triumphantly straight when our heroes brave a veritable horde of "them" to save one little girl... and won.
I Cannot Self-Terminate: Some survivors who have been bitten have to be mercy killed by others. Justified - if Hisashi's and Ishii's (nurse's office student) deaths were any indication, the zombie bites would have weakened them enough that they would not be able to kill themselves and would thus need outside help.
The Immodest Orgasm: Saeko sounds like she's had one at the end of her fight against the zombies at the end of Episode 9. The infamous "I'M GETTING WET!" kanji only seems to strengthen that possibility.
Implausible Hair Color: There is a rather large percentage of blond and brown-hairs in the cast. More so than in Real Life Japan, at any rate. These, at least, are natural hair colors. The same can not be said of pink-haired Saya.
Improvised Weapon: A given due to the setting, including but not limited to broom handles, power drills, and drip stands.
Alice is able to use a tire to knock a zombie away from Shizuka
Infernal Retaliation: A molotov cocktail proved that fire does not really bother "them", but does make them slightly more dangerous.
Plus episode 6. Jesus Christ. It goes from the girlsbathing together to depressing conversations and back again.
Ms. Fanservice: Nearly every female character, really, but special mentioning goes to Shizuka Marikawa.
Mushroom Samba/Love Potion: The gang (minus Alice) inhale some funky smoke in the OVA and have some rather sexy hallucinations. Saya sees her mother (Shizuka), Shizuka sees her best friend Rika (Saya), Rei and Saeko each see Takashi (each other) and Takashi sees Saeko and later the other three girls (a bunch of scantily clad female zombies).
The first lady looks like Condoleezza Rice, and the president having to decide if using nukes is simply shooting the dog to protect Americans or crossing the Moral Event Horizon looks like George W. Bush.
Nonuniform Uniform: As the students make their way across the city, some of them only wear part of their school uniform with other clothing. Saeko got the biggest response from the group from her ownadaptation.
No One Gets Left Behind: A major recurring theme. Some characters die trying to save others, while some kick them to the ground.
Subverted with the whole BFF scene.
Also subverted with Shidou kicking that guy's face to get him to let go.
Takashi telling Shizuka to wait for Shidou and a group of students to get on the bus.
The group while rescuing Alice.
During their escape, the group took the time to escort one of the mall survivors to the rooftop where the others were.
Shizuka's near rapist and Asami split off from the main group trying to save some bratty kid.
The JSDF saving the remaining mall survivors, invoking this trope.
After Kohta suffered a Heroic BSODfrom having to kill Asami, he nearly broke off from the group to suicidally take down as many zombies as he could until Shizuka talked him out of it.
Not Using the Z Word: "Them" is the word used for the undead in the story. An early character specifically says that they can't call them "zombies" or "the undead" because then it would be too much like, well, a fictional story.
Played straight in the dub but there are a few slips.
Nuke 'em: Attempted by several nations' governments at once, for reasons that are vaguely-explained at best.
Obligatory Swearing: The countries in which the manga received a mature rating, decided to "prove" the rating by having the main characters swear more often, and of course by spewing the strong ones.
Ordinary High-School Student: All of the students in the group, as Takashi tells the mall residents upon their departure. When combining their talents, however, they become anything but ordinary which the mall residents then acknowledge to their rescuers.
Otaku: Mall survivor Hiro Tamaru showed hints of being a gun otaku like Hirano.
Panty Shot: From the living, the dead, and the undead.
Papa Wolf: Inverted. Rei almost kills Shidou because he made her father cry.
Parental Substitute: Though the whole group has pretty much taken it upon themselves to be the new family of Alice, Hirano and Takagi seem to be the ones she's latched onto as surrogate parents. This was lampshaded and used as Ship Tease in chapter 29.
Ramp Jump: Done a couple times with Takashi on the bike. The first time occurred at the bridge where he and Rei reunited with the others. The second time occurred when he went off to save Alice. Both times involved use of improvised ramps and abuse of Slo-Mo Big Air.
Redemption Equals Death: The mall survivor who earlier attempted to rape Shizuka-sensei goes off to try to save the twerp who let the zombies into the mall in the first place. He gets bitten for his trouble.
Schedule Slip: Daisuke and Shouji's regular schedule in Dragon Age Maganize began to slip after the 20th chapter or so, monthly break followed by monthly break, eventually going for a hiatus after chapter 29.
Series Hiatus: Chapter 29 marked the longest break the mangaka duo ever took for their series, Kadokawa Shoten accordingly put the series on hiatus, taking their time with rereleasing the first 4 volumes in full color; meanwhile Shouji Sato (artist) is working on his other series (Triage X), and still works on what made him rise to stardom in the first place.
Senseless Sacrifice: The raid on the clinic ended with one able-bodied survivor killed and the old woman that they were trying to save committing suicide anyway.
A bit between Hirano and Takagi in recent chapters, especially in chapter 28.
Saeko and Takashi in general, especially in the anime.
Shoot the Dog: Must be done often if anyone wants to survive or does not want to turn into one of "them".
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The scenario of getting medical treatment for the old woman. In the clinic, one of the able-bodied survivors dies. Later, when the zombies get into the mall, the old woman and her husband commit suicide by jumping off the roof anyway, meaning all that came of it was one less survivor and conflict between the characters.
Shoot Out the Lock: Averted. Hirano stops Takashi from attempting to shoot out the lock of the police station's armory, worried that the bullets will riccochet and hit one of them.
The guns are amazingly detailed, and are shown to have actual limitations. Kohta Hirano also makes sure that everyone who even touches one follows strict gun safety, as American gun enthusiasts are generally taught to do.
The author shows a decent understanding of how the American government works, although that's a bit more subtle.
Sixth Ranger: Takuzo and his party briefly serve as companions to Takashi's party.
Skinship Grope: Sure, flesh-eating ghouls are overrunning the earth and civilization is crumbling. No reason not to throw in some scenes of the girls feeling each other up in the bath, right?
Made even more ridiculous by the fact that the last broadcast of a radio station is playing over the scene of this going on.
Smug Snake: Shidou can order people around, but anybody who can stand up to him knows he is actually a sniveling coward who does not even live up to his own ideals.
Spoiler Opening: For those who have not read the manga, they may be confused as to who the little girl in the anime's OP is. She does not appear until episode 7.
Stealth Pun: This page◊. See Alice in the background on the bottom panel? "A flag was raised" for Kouta and Asami.
Straw Character: The protestors on the bridge and the woman in the Takagi compound who somehow connect the zombie apocalypse with government repression and Japanese repression of the rest of Asia, respectively. They all also think that the zombies can be cured of their disease. It's notable that they all die horrible deaths.
Stupid Sacrifice: That one mall survivor didn't need to go out like a badass. As Shizuka pointed out, his stab wound was not even serious.
Sweat Drop: Common. It is a rather tense situation.
Taking You with Me: After officer Tajima is bitten he stays behind to blow up the fuel tanker taking as many zombies with him as he can.
Tempting Fate: On the way to Saya's house, Rei noted that the group hadn't run into any of "them" so far. Guess what was waiting for them as they got closer?
The people who were utterly convinced that the dead were just people with a disease looking for help and that everyone else was just bloodthirsty maniacs.
At the international level, the US, China and Russia decided that a Zombie Apocalypse would be a great backdrop for open nuclear combat. Against each other, that is, not the zombies. They probably killed a good deal of zombies too, but they ended up paralyzing parts of Japan with an EMP in the process.
The small band of punks who attempted to cross the bridge knowing full well that it was heavily guarded by officers in full riot gear that would open fire on anyone who dared to defy them. They got washed out for their trouble.
The Nietzsche Wannabe mall survivor who attempted to knife several zombies but did not even scratch one before getting swarmed and devoured. The dumbest part was that Shizuka pointed out that his knife wound was not even critical, making his actions senseless.
A special mention to the would be mugger who tried to rape Rei, OUTSIDE, in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. You know where the zombies are going to most likely to hear and then eat you. This idea is not only despicable but beyond stupid. Even if Takashi had not been there, the mugger's actions would have gotten both, him and Rei killed. Good thing Takashi rescued her, shot the guy, and left him alive to be zombie bait.
For this mugger, he was more like Too Crazy To Live. Both Takashi and the mugger agree that he's gone insane due to the zombie outbreak.
The undead children Takashi and Saeko encounter in the park.
The kid who zombified its own mother on the bridge.
When Takashi says his mother is a teacher at another school we cut to a shot of it and a few zombified children.
Updated Re-release: When the series began with the erratic schedule for its releases, Kodansha decided to have Shouji rerelease the previous volumes in full color, it stopped at the 4th volume after a regular release between each new volume, it's unclear if the project will go further than that.
A morbid example with Takashi wounding a thug at the gas station and leaving him for dead. His screams of pain attracted the zombie horde, allowing Takashi and Rei to escape with little notice.
On a less grotesque note, Takashi and Saeko used the prototype buggy to lure some zombies away from the rest of the group and into the river, eventually ditching it in the park's water fountain.
In episode 8 of the anime, Takashi and Saeko attempted this by making noise to draw attention away from the others. Unfortunately, they were too far away to distract any of the zombies. Then they get separated from the others and have to find an alternate route to Saya's house.
Asami and Alice made excellent use of fireworks.
Asami started yelling at Kohta to draw as many zombies to her position as possible, leaving Kohta to finish her off.
Wet Sari Scene: Saeko gets soaked twice in episode 9. The first time she's wearing her white uniform shirt, giving a clear view of her lacy purple bra. The second time she's wearing a black tank top, so not so much see-through.
Wham Episode: Chapter 28 - What?! Shidou and his cult are still alive?
What You Are in the Dark: The positive and negative aspects of this trope as the zombie apocalypse allows some people to discover the depths of their hidden courage and ability while others show the depths they're willing to sink to just to save their own hides.
Wilhelm Scream: In episode 1, as the Outbreak begins and students flee in a panic.
Zombie Apocalypse: This story seems to follow the Romero rules, but "they" have a very strong grip. Also the zombies start slow, but if they hear a sound nearby they can move quicker. The fact that it's played as realistically as possible is also notable. The protagonists test and figure out that "they" must find things through vibrations. No circulation also means that in Japan's humid weather, the dead will probably decompose to the point of uselessness in a little under a month. Nobody has a clue how the dead are still capable of moving, though.
Zombie Infectee: Happens several times off-panel, like how zombies got aboard Air Force One and the "Curtis Wilbur" or how they breached the airport island.
"Blood and guts and boobs and butts, and I just wanna make your head explode"