YMMV: Highschool of the Dead

  • Acronym Confusion: The series is typically referred to as "HotD". What's House of the Dead?
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Alice witnessed her father's murder, and is stuck in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. Considering this is her default expression, she's taking it very well.
    • The same can be said of Shizuka, who was nearly raped by Shimada. Yet, from the next chapter onwards, she's back to her usual self as though it never happened. In fact, the only one bothered by it was Rei, having nearly been raped, herself.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Base Breaker: Rei. Depending on which camp you're in, you'll either see her as a cute Clingy Jealous Girl who pulls her weight within the group, or as annoying dead weight.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: It's about a group of teenagers, who're trying to find their missing families in the midst of a sudden (and unexplained) zombie outbreak, all while trying to survive the death and carnage around them. But you'll be seeing so much cleavage, ass crack, and camel toe, that it makes really easy to forget all of that.
  • Bizarro Episode: The "Drifters of the Dead" OVA special.
  • Complete Monster: Koichi Shido{u} first shows he's a man to fear when, during a zombie attack, a student he's guiding twists his ankle and begs Koichiís for help. Koichiís response was to kick him in the face, before gloating over the poor kid's impending death and his own survival by stating that the new world had no place for people that weak. Then he uses his position as a teacher to get himself elected leader of the surviving group. Koichi sets out to make himself a cult leader, promoting sexual activity amongst the kids to make them loyal to Koichi. A student doesn't like the action going on in the "orgybus" and asks if he can just be dropped off at his house to see if his family is ok. Koichi and his group, who are at this point a cult, decide that the best way to grant his wish is to throw him out of the bus and let him be eaten. In a Zombie Apocalypse, Koichi stands out as more evil and vile than any walking corpse.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Accidentally shooting an infected woman in the breasts? Fan Disservice. Accidentally shooting an infected woman in the breasts, and then accusing the offending bullet of sexism? Hilarious!
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Across from the obvious bloodshed, gore, and people turning into zombies, it's very hard to sympathize with the characters who are willing to cross moral boundaries simply just to survive the zombie apocalypse. The very blatant right-wing politics and the villain's infamous orgybus also doesn't help.
  • Die for Our Ship: Rei. Clingy Jealous Girl, occasional Distressed Damsel and in the wrong corner of a Love Triangle that also involves the extremely popular Saeko Busujima. May the gods of canon have mercy on the poor girl's soul, for the fanficcers will not.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Shidou, for some, despite or even because of his status as a Complete Monster.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Saeko. She has more fans than the rest of the cast combined.
    • Surprisingly, "BFFs" Misuzu and Toshimi appear in quite a few fanfics that shows them being saved by someone and journeying with the main cast.
    • Also applies to Kyoko Hayashi, despite being one of the first to be killed in the series.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Takashi and Saeko.
    • Saya and Hirano have a respectable fanbase as well.
  • Fetish Retardant: The constant Gainaxing can bounce into the Uncanny Valley at times.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the mall survivors wears a jacket with the words "Bad End" printed on the back, and he gets one.
  • Les Yay: Despite the love triangle between Rei/Takashi/Saeko, the series doesn't shy away from girl-on-girl action. Though the bath scene in episode 6 is so risque, that it's a wonder how they got away with it.
  • Memetic Molester: Likely intentional on the writer's part, given how inappropriately Shidou was caressing his female students along with the creeptastic manner in which he kept licking his lips, in episode 5. Which Saya lampshaded while whispering to Hirano:
    Hirano: (arms nail-gun) "Shall I... "interrupt" them?"
    Saya: (sighing) "Forget the pervy teacher and 'Slutty McSally' over there, we've got bigger things to worry about."
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • ORGYBUS!!!
    • Boobs Dodge Bullet!
    • I'M GETTING WET had spawned a new Memetic Mutation in 2ch, as noted here. NSFW.
    • Takashi slapping Rei in Chapter/Episode 1, due to her scrappy status.
  • Mis-blamed: Some people who watched the anime but haven't read the manga complained that Madhouse inserted sexual fanservice, but some of it was taken directly from the manga. Though some of the more infamous instances of fanservice (such as Saeko's "boob matrix" scene) are exclusive to the anime.
  • Moe:
    • Alice/Arisu Maresato.
    • Asami Nakaoka: Initially seemed completely helpless, but even when she's pointing a gun at someone, she's so moe that it hurts.
  • Moral Event Horizon: A given due to the setting. Among them:
    • As the High School is overrun by zombies, two BFFs proclaim their everlasting friendship right before one gets grabbed and the other turns on her and kicks her to her death, right before getting chomped on herself.
    • The household that kills Alice's father and ignores her.
    • When Rei says that Shidou isn't to be trusted, you wonder why, until a couple pages later when he kicks a student in the face when he twists his ankle and asks for help.
      • Shidou's father himself crosses the MEH when he deliberately has all evidence of his corruption destroyed or otherwise disposed of during an investigation into his activities, as Rei implies when she states that her father found absolutely nothing incriminating about the bastard.
      • Oh, and as if Shidou's willingness to harm his own students (and even murder them; see Complete Monster) wasn't bad enough, he had to go and get Rei's mother ostracized. Yes, his family finally shamed Rei's entire family. And That's Terrible. Perhaps Rei should've crossed the MEH (see below); it's a wonder the main party found Mrs. Miyamoto alive and not infected after being shut out by her own neighbors following a simple shopping trip.
    • The protagonists themselves have acknowledged they may cross the line as far as old human society is concerned. So far, two of them think they already have crossed the line: Takashi believes he crossed the MEH by killing his best friend partly out of jealousy over Rei and doesn't regret leaving someone (a violent nutjob, granted, but still a living human) as live bait for the zombies for attempting to kill him and take Rei, and Saeko claims to have crossed the line long ago, when a man attempted to rape her and she defended herself, but enjoyed it and continued hitting him even after he was no longer a threat. Rei comes very close to the Moral Event Horizon when she's given an opportunity to kill Shidou as revenge for rigging her grades over her father's involvement in the investigation of Shidou's father's corruption (an act that can be considered Shidou's earliest candidate for Moral Event Horizon, by the way—both Rei and Mr. Takagi definitely think it's bad enough to warrant a summary execution). However, she decides he's Not Worth Killing, thus averting this trope. Perhaps she should've killed him (and potentially crossed the MEH) then and there, considering what the fuck almost happened to her mother shortly after Shidou recovered from the subsequent ambush on his lot by "them".
  • MST3K Mantra: The curious interaction between gritty realism and gratuitous, over-the-top Rule of Cool makes this the best reaction to several aspects of the show, especially the matter of zombie navigation. The fanservice is another point of contention to deal with if one is to enjoy the series.
  • Narm: The fanservice reaches ridiculous levels at times.
    • Takashi grabbing Saeko's boob during his rousing speech at the end of Episode 9 becomes this, which seems strange since there was no apparent reason for it. Not mention, he was damn near crushing it. It's a wonder Saeko wasn't in pain. Instead, she seemed to get off on it.
  • Never Live It Down: Rei gets handed the Distress Ball all of three times in the space of 30 chapters. Meaning, hardly at all. Plus, each instance was relatively minor and resolved within minutes. But if you let her haters tell it, you'd swear she was Princess Peach.
  • Periphery Demographic: HOTD has a surprisingly large amount of female followers.
    • In fact, if this poll is anything to go by, HOTD might actually be more popular with females than males.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Fans of the series dislike Rei mainly for competing with Saeko for Takashi's affections. And use the fact that she's occasionally handed the Distress Ball, and grieved over her boyfriend's death as justification. She also gets bashed for accusing Takashi of wanting to kill him out of jealousy - even though he admitted to himself that she may have been right. That she apologized for it immediately afterward and only said in it in the heat of the moment, has done little to redeem her in their eyes.
    • Shizuka gets this for being the cause of Ishii's death (covered in the Too Dumb to Live entry on the main page), and an airhead. She was also The Load until Chapter 26.
    • Saya's anime portrayal is generally disliked for being a condescending know-it-all and her tsundere-ness, with strong emphasis on tsun-tsun; especially towards Hirano. Though the manga cast her in a much better light.
    • For a minor character, the unnamed kid from the mall arc gets a lot of hate, since he was responsible for letting the zombies into the mall, while trying to save himself. Which lead to the deaths of several of the others he'd abandoned, as well as Asami and Shimadanote , who both died saving him.
    • The Straw Nihilist mall survivor who meets a hilariously pathetic end after suicidally charging into a group of zombies, armed with only a knife, and failing to even knick one of them.
  • Snark Bait: Even when the show gets complimented, it's still called mindless and stupid.
  • Squick:
    • Any fanservice having to do with the brainwashed kids or the zombies.
    • In "Drifters of the Dead", Takashi spends the night banging Saeko... until the morning after reveals he'd been hallucinating and was actually with a trio of bikini-clad zombies. Let that sink in.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The anime's first episode features a track mimicking "In the house, in a heartbeat" from 28 Days Later. Episode 4 features another track mimicking "Abide by Me" from the same movie.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Operating motor vehicles without a license, generally showing independence may not seem so bad, but consider that the series takes place in Japan.
    • Uyoku dantai, hardcore nationalists. Not really the type of thing the networks would like to present in a Fanservice show.
  • What an Idiot: Okay, Mr. nihilistic mall survivor, you claim to be such a huge zombie fan and yet charge into a group of zombies while pathetically flailing a knife about, when it's been established that any melee weapon shorter than an arm's length will only let them get within biting range? All for the sake of going out like a badass? Not to mention that your stab wound wasn't even critical and the zombies could have easily been avoided? Enjoy your undignified, lameass death.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: All the fanservice, gorn, and craziness seems to be a Seinen series, right? WRONG. It's a Shonen series. Let that go into your head for a while.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Saya's family and their supporters are a group of uyoku dantai- militant, traditionalist Japanese ultra-nationalists with an eye on reclaiming lost territory and historical revisionism. It's considered politically incorrect in Japan to forward ideas like that, much less on a Fanservice show. Simultaneously, anyone displaying leftist views such as the protestors and survivors in the camp are depicted as Straw Man cowards, idiots, and/or hypocrites. It's not clear if this is the authors personal opinion or dramatic embellishment, but his older works like USA vs. Japan 2025 and an alternate history where Japan is divided Korea-style after World War II clearly state that he is more sympathetic to the Japanese right, even though not necessarily belong to them. The ultra-nationalists were censored in the anime as their views are considered politically incorrect.
  • The Woobie: Asami gets belittled and ignored by the mall survivors, found that her instructor got zombified while looking for help, has a Heroic BSOD, and is later Mercy Killed after being trapped while rescuing the person that necessitated escape.
  • Woolseyism: When the gang shacks up at Shizuka's friend's apartment (who is not there), they find entire closets full of guns. Takashi mutters "Who is this chick, Sarah fucking Palin?"