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Headscratchers / Highschool of the Dead

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  • The zombies are blind and can only detect ordinary people by sense of sound. In fact, their sense of hearing is so sensitive and their perception is so primitive that the sound of a tossed shoe or a wet towel hitting a wall can send them all into a frenzy. So why doesn't the footsteps of their fellow not-zombies cause them all to start feeding on one another?
    • They can smell hormones? When did zombies ever make sense?
    • At least in the anime, Hirano asks Saya whether they can detect heat or not. While they never had time to experiment with it, it could be that they can detect heat, which is why they only go after humans and not their dead comrades.
    • Notice how they're never set into a frenzy by the human characters WALKING. They don't respond to footsteps because they're used to each other's footsteps, but living humans make all sorts of noises. We don't know that if one of them tripped over a metal bar and landed on some bubble wrap that the others WOULDN'T go crazy.
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    • Also, how do "they" always know exactly where to bite? If "they" truly only respond to sound and not touch, how did the one that bit Rei's boyfriend, Hisashi, know where his arm was?
    • Also the zombies seems way too coordinated for blind creatures who are only going by sound. They are never shown bumping into walls,falling down stairs, or crashing into each other. They are not bats so what hell?
      • If I recall correctly, most of them seem to stumble around very slowly with their arms outstretched, like people walking through a dark room or people who have been rendered blind for the very first time. Perhaps their slowness is less because of them being dead, and more a result of them being extremely careful about where they step?
      • I think you're simplifying the scope of this. These zombies took over only Japan but the U.S.A and all of the world. Which means these BLIND zombie must be able navigate through woods, forests, swamps, mountains, cliff, deserts and all sorts of enviroments guide only by sound? Even if they careful is no way in hell a blind person without a guide or walking stick would be able to do that let alone a blind zombie.
      • If I remember correctly, we do see zombies bumping into things in the same chapter that confirms they are blind.
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    • If the zombies could only react based on sound and heat, then a long spear could kill most zombies with no issue, just stab into their eye, they won't notice, and if the spear is long enough they won't sense your heat in the daylight either. The zombies are just a device used to set the setting and atmosphere they don't need to adhere to the rules else the story would get boring.
  • How do these zombies distinguish between humans and other animals I mean you never see these zombies trying to kill or eat other animals. and These zombies have proven that they can't distinguish humans from them selves when they are quite.
  • How can you be a spinster if you're only 27?
  • How did Zeke did not become a zombie even though he bit one of "them"?
    • When he bit the zombie, maybe his teeth didn't punch through the fabric of the pants.
      • There is the possibility that the virus that created "them" doesn't affect animal-life and other non-human life-forms. If you remember in one of the earlier chapters, we saw a couple of alley-cats drinking what appeared to be a puddle of blood that might have been infected, and it looked as though they were perfectly fine. I could be wrong, but then again the walking dead aren't necessarily backed by logic.
      • A virus jumping between species is very dangerous to work into a story. People start talking about zombie mosquitoes or insect vectors in general and you realize survival is only possible in the arctic.
      • Additionally, a virus jumping species that aren't particularly similar (like, say, a dog or cat and humans) is a complex process.
      • And it's never SAID that it's a virus, after all. We don't KNOW what caused "them".
      • The series' author has directly stated that these zombies are purely supernatural beings. He made this choice to get around the ugly ethical implications of killing plague victims en masse.
  • This is just a small thing, but the "Chairman" on Air Force One asks for an assisted suicide...and then crosses himself.
    • That actually makes sense. Wouldn't you do that if you knew you were about to die/on your deathbed? The only difference in this case is that when he dies, his body lives on as a flesh-eating monster. In his eyes, he's dying either way, but he doesn't want the latter to come to be and risk the infection of his comrades.
  • Okay, now this might sound like a very strange question but seriously, what's up with Saya Takagi's teeth? She's like a vampire. There are people with very prominent fangs in real life, but this is just absurd. Other characters rarely get to show anything except a white block for teeth, but this is fine because it's a part of the drawing style. But what does it mean when a character has fangs like that showing all the time? "Realistically", they must be pretty freaking huge to stick out like that. As in, she can probably bite Them to death if they ever come near her.
    • Probably just to show how biting Saya can be when she's in full bitch mode. Hopefully that pun also works in Japanese.
    • It's actually possible in real life - teeth differ from person to person in exact shape, size and positioning. This troper has quite long fangs himself - it runs in one side of family while other side has "fangs" that look like other teeth.
    • fangs in Japan are seen as youthful, Saya seems to start out as immature maybe the fang represent that as I noticed in the later chapters of the manga they don't use the fang as much as she matures.
  • Saeko's high-heeled combat boots. As cool as they may be, who in their right mind would actually design such a thing?
    • Someone who's probably died already.
    • Military-esque stuff is already in fashion right now, including shoes. I've already found high-heel combat boots with a quick google search.
    • A lot of women (those that wear high heals a lot due to occupation or social surroundings) can walk in heals very easily. Saeko obviously fits into those social surroundings. There are also regular injections one can get to eliminate the pain that extended use might cause, made just for women like her.
    • Not to mention that having a sharp little heel is very good for stomping Z heads.
  • Asami's Partner/sempai leaving the mall unarmed (as it seems as though both of them are traffic cops/meter maids). It definitely feels as though all the other ingrate mall residents kinda forced the pair to act even though they aren't adequately armed. Hirano had to arm Asami, for crying out loud.
    • Current NPA policy states that uniformed women officers can't have sidearms. Except if you operate in civilian clothes.
  • The issue of the human mount aside, it bugs me how the importance of proper gun safety is stressed by Hirano, and then in episode 8 Takashi goes right ahead and shoots directly at Saeko. That was unique to the anime, but such a flagrant disregard of common sense and personal safety is just astounding.
    • That works both ways, considering it was Saeko who made the decision to dart across the line of fire.
    • The rifle he was using had a bayonet of it, that would make the bullet very inaccurate, Hirano should have known better to give Rei that weapon.
      • Desperate times, desperate measures.
  • Did Saya ever mention being some sort of Gamer Chick? Because she makes quite a lot of remarks that would really only make sense for someone seriously into that kind of thing. ("What period is your character sheet from?!")
    • No. In fact, she seems to being trying to make it as clear as day that she hates nerds and anything else resembling them. Hm. On second thougght, that might be overcompensation to cover up her own geeky hobbies, who knows? I suspsect those references themselves were put in as a way to make her more appealing to the target audience.
  • Why exactly did the US EMP Japan? Okay, I can understand taking advantage of the crisis to blow away your enemies. But Japan isn't exactly the biggest threat to American national security.
    • An EMP is a side effect of all nuclear detonations, even for nukes that are destroyed mid-flight. Japanese & US Naval forces, independently of each other, succeeded in destroying the nuclear missiles using some kind of non-nuclear missile.
      • The missile that knocked out Japan's power wasn't fired by the U.S. It was one that the U.S missile defense system wasn't able to stop.
    • The world is in crisis, some idiot, or an automated system could have been triggered to fire nuclear warheads, for all we know it came from North Korea. All that matters is that it happened.
  • So, in twelve episodes of the anime they've managed to reach the home of exactly one of the characters. They've been shown crossing a river and driving on highways for quite a bit. Even taking into account that they probably aren't taking the shortest possible route, just how freaking far from home do these kids go to school anyway?
    • They mention dorms a couple of times in the manga, so apparently it's a boarding school.
      • Tokyo is a very large city, and it is very common for high school students as well as college students to rent an apartment closer to their school if their parents live far enough away. Having a 2 hour commute each way to get home would be too much of a distraction rom studies.
  • Why does Takashi use Rei as a human mount while firing her rifle? The recoil so close to her chest was clearly causing her a considerable amount of pain.
    • Maybe because he thought that if he couldn't shoot reliably they'd die? Eh.
    • The whatever-is-called was tied to Rei, the alternative was to get eaten.
      • Sprinfeild M 1 A 1 Supermatch battle rifle. 7.62 millimetre civilian version of the M14 battle rifle. And desperate times...they didn't really have time to get it off Rei did they?
    • Also, rule of fanservice.
  • "Alright, we've established that the zombies primarily track their prey by sound. Therefore we should be as quiet as possible and not shoot unless strictly necessary — BUT LET'S CONSTANTLY SHOUT AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS! EVEN WHEN WE'RE NOT FIGHTING OR TRYING TO COMMUNICATE IN AN EMERGENCY SITUATION! LET'S ALSO DRAMATICALLY SHOOT AT A ZOMBIE MULTIPLE TIMES FOR NO GOOD REASON!" *facepalm*
    • How often does their arguing actually attract zombies? I remember maybe 2 scenes where they weren't already screwed and zombies appeared while they were talking, and even those scenes didn't seem to be showing zombies attracted to their speaking. I think it's just to set up drama, so we don't have to watch people yell at each other in whispers.
      • But that's my point - their arguing should be attracting them. The manga has already established that they can be terrifyingly sensitive to sound, so its breaking its own internal consistency by having gunshots be a problem but yelling is fine. And if a writer doesn't want to be limited to only quiet dialogue, then he shouldn't have filled his manga with creatures that stalk prey by sound.
    • It should also be noted that the shouting was in intense emotional moments. They are usually pretty good about that when they are calm.
  • So in Episode 8 of the anime (not sure if the manga is the same, but I think it is) why do they act like death is unavoidable once the Humvee's crashed into the wire barrier and they've ran out ammo? Couldn't they all just climb over/through the barrier instead of just Alice? The only one who looks like she'd be unable to do it would be Rei with her back problem, but even then the others could have carried her over/through.
    • They wouldn't have even had to bother with carrying her. The gaps in between the wires looked big enough to crawl through. That fence must have been the least obstructive obstruction in animated history.
      • Anyone heard of monowire? It's this stuff made by the military to replace barbed wire. It's almost invisibly thin and really, REALLY sharp. My guess is, that fence was made of that stuff, which is why the it hadn't broken. Any zombie that tried to go through it would get cut up like cheese under a wire cutter. Of course, the same would go for the group...they tried to go through it like they were, and they would have probably lost something important. Of course, they get rescued by firefighters, who have suits that can protect them from it...
      • Monowire is pure fiction. Its not real.
      • He's probably thinking of razor wire, which is real. Thin and sharp in one direction, flat and safe in the other, very strong, hard to spot, and entirely real.
  • What is up with volume 3 of the manga? They all get to Saya's house, and then it gets confusing. What is the right-wing party and why are they so violent? Why is there conflict between everyone now, including the main characters? It just seems like they started feeling angry with each other for no reason.
    • Saya's father political group, department-wide. They're violent to preserve the discipline of a military-like organization, necessary to survive in the new hostile environment, and usually to the taste of right-wings. Everyone is in conflict because they have time for that: no immediate pressure anymore, the adults are keeping watch and temporarily feed them. Sayu is upset her parents did not try to save them, Kohta is afraid he'll lose his guns and his Rambo status with them, Kohta wishes Takashi and Sayu would be less intimate, Rei wishes Takashi would talk to Saeko less and commit to his relationship with her instead, Rei just wants some kinship apparently, Saeko Saya Kohta and Shizuka are upset Takashi doesn't understand anything, Shizuka apparently would have wanted to confide something to Takashi, but she cannot for various reasons, one being Takashi does not understand. And they all understand at the end of the day that's quite petty given what they just lived together, so it gets on their nerves that it gets on their nerves. They need to shoot things.
  • It's been like half a year since the last chapter. WTF?
  • Given his stated martial art experience, Hisashi made some really dumb decisions when he was fighting that first zombie. First, grabbing onto the opponent. I figured a striker would go for the back of the neck, rather than grapple. Second, holding onto the zombie, and not doing anything. Why? Hit it, darn you.
    • We're never told which martial art he took. If you assume the took one that focuses on grappling rather than strikes (eg judo), and that he was expecting the first zombie to be about as strong as an average human (trying to move something that won't move looks a lot like holding on and doing nothing), all the problems you stated go away.
      • I reread. It was karate
      • I actually had this convo before. If you look at the way Hisashi is holding that first Zombie, his got one hand under his chin, and the other arm in a hold. Now I'm no expert on Martial Arts, but this looks like a hold that would be tough to break for a normal person. Hell, said Zombie had to turn itself around while in his grip to bite him despite there being an arm right near it's mouth, because the way Hisashi had it positioned made biting difficult (Zombies tend to go for the closest limb when the opportunity arises). Had the damn thing not broken it's own neck (or whatever it did to get him) he might have eventually tossed it aside once he was sure Rei was safe.
      • This still raises the question of why he wouldn't do something inside the hold. Like, say, slam the zombie skull-first into a nearby wall, shattering it's brain and killing it. Assuming we're still going by the kill-the-brain rules, it's not that hard in martial arts to accidentally kill a guy by breaking and pressing an opponent's bones (in the nose especially) into their brain, with enough force. This is something you're trained not to do, but easily could.
      • At that point in the series Hisashi did not know that they were undead zombies. He probably wouldn't kill a random stranger just because he could, restraining them and proving you are stronger would've probably been enough to make a rational person think twice about attacking without unnecessary bloodshed.
  • Why the hell did Russia join in America’s panicked and seemingly random nuclear first strike against China and North Korea?
    • Ever hear of the "nuclear football?" In this case it was nuclear Idiot Ball.
      • One of the main thrusts of the series is that in the event of apocalypse, authority in general becomes incredibly stupid.
      • Russia and America get along with each other (now), much better than they do with China or Korea ( who are both seen as very serious possible threats). Plus, if they attacked each other, there would be nuclear retaliation. Korea and China have little-to-no nuclear capability comparatively, so it makes more sense to unload on them ( in theory).
  • So, around episode three of the Anime, one of the students on the Pre-Orgybus kept going on about how he hated Takashi. Did they ever say what his problem with him was, or did Shidou put him up to starting a fight?
    • Takashi asks him "what did I ever do to you" and the guy says "you know", then Rei hits him with her weapon and the matter is dropped. Maybe Shido was influencing his students in some direction before they got on the bus. Maybe he wanted to stir up trouble so that he could appoint himself leader. But I don't think there's any particular reason the kid doesn't like Takashi.
  • How did the school get infected so quickly? It seems like almost everyone besides our main group was a zombie within minutes of the teacher getting killed over the intercom.
    • Because Zombies were already in the school, and kids were panicking without knowing what was going on, so many of them in their rush to escape like ran teeth first into a flesh eater.
  • Blocking people from escaping Them is incredibly stupid. Not only are you wasting resources that could be put into creating human safe zones and forming a perimeter, you're potentially depriving yourself of people with valuable skills, even if it's just fetch and carry in the absence of electrical power. Not to mention that every death adds to Their ranks, giving you even more problems. The smart play would have been to use the bridge as an "airlock", only releasing people to the other side when they were verified human and unwounded. With such a relatively confined killzone, the guys stationed on the sides can take out any infected who change in the airlock, since it takes several seconds for newly-dead Them to actually attack.
    • World War Z addressed some of those same problems. When dealing with an epidemic, there's the need to try and sift the infected but not dead yet from the healthy. If you have safe zones established, you don't want to accidentally let in an infected person. While they could try and find a way to sift healthy individuals, in a rush or crowd, that's not realistic. It's one of those 'I did what I had to do' moments.
  • In one of the last two episodes of the anime, Saeko says to Rei "you know we're..." and Rei cuts her off saying, "I don't even want to think about that." What was Saeko going to say to Rei?
    • Bet you anything it was going to be "rivals." The mall arc that occurs in the manga after this has a moment where Saeko practically challenges Rei over which one of them can best "console" Takashi after another survivor gets killed pointlessly.
    • I only just watched the series but I assumed that since Saeko was telling Rei to call her by her first name right before the line that she was going to say "the same age." Rei cuts her off because she's still bitter about being held back a year. As far as I can tell the younger students referred to the ones in the next grade up on a Last-Name Basis, and the one thing that seems to be Rei's Berserk Button was being held back a year.
  • The orgy bus. Why? Just... why? In real-life crisis situations, people don't act like that. They don't decide to immediately abandon their loved ones and kill their classmates so they can have an orgy on a bus. Seriously, there is no reason whatsoever for the students to act like that.
    • Yes, yes, there is. You see, in real-life crisis situations and, usually (and especially), during bouts of desperation, people tend to be easier to influence. Basically, toss a bunch of impressionable youth with no one to turn to and a psychopathic teacher in a bus during a crisis, and you get what you get. Likeiwse, we don't really see or hear what the teacher said to them but it's possible that he convinced them that the world was ending or something, giving them more of a reason to do what they did.
  • Why is "Highschool" one word?
    • Because not all Japanese people are great at English.
    • It's one of those Spell My Name with an "S" cases where something has multiple spellings.
  • One of the things that bothered me about this series is why Shidou's students were also ejected from the mansion when the real problem was Shidou himself. That just seemed like one more pointless middle finger to kids in a series that was already heaping more cruelty and darkness they didn't deserve onto them than you find in other zombie stories.
    • I don't think they were ejected, rather, they (or a good number of them) went willingly with him. However, if they were ejected, it's possible because the area was overcrowded (or starting to be).
    • The reason is clearly stated in both the manga and the anime adaptation: Mr. Takagi kicked them out because they had been tainted by Shidou's influence. They were basically a cult and couldn't be trusted to not try spreading their influence among the other survivors on his estate.


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