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Manga / Highschool of the Dead

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"But our world as we knew it had already been completely destroyed."

Imagine waking up one day, going to school, and going to the roof of said school to pine over your lost love. Then imagine looking down and seeing a teacher's fingers get bitten off by a trespasser. Then imagine seeing that teacher literally eat another teacher. Now imagine rushing back into school to get your ex-love and her boyfriend to save them, all while fighting "not zombies". You try to call for help, but the lines are busy because of emergencies all over town. When you finally get to a television to find out what is going on, you learn that this nightmare is happening everywhere.

Imagine all that, and you would have the beginning of Highschool of the Dead. In a new world of surviving "them", Takashi Komuro and a group of unlikely allies must learn to adapt and change so they can survive, but will they like what they become? This manga, written by Daisuke Sato and drawn by Shouji Sato (no relation), is filled with monsters both living and nonliving, loads of guns, and big breasts on nearly every woman who is old enough to have them.

The manga began its run in Monthly Dragon Age in 2006. An anime adaptation by Madhouse aired during the summer of 2010 under the direction of Tetsurō Araki, who also directed Death Note for Madhouse, and would later direct Guilty Crown for Production I.G, and Attack on Titan and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress for WIT Studio. The anime was licensed and dubbed by Sentai Filmworks in 2011, premiered on The Anime Network, and even streamed on VIZ Media's Neon Alley service for a while.

In March 2011, the manga was put on hiatus; it had fallen into 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 was not doing any other writing, but Shouji Sato was still seen working on Triage X, a series that he produces by himself. Shouji was supposedly also taking his time with research on weapons, vehicles, and so on for future HOTD chapters. He even colored all seven volumes of HOTD during the hiatus. In April 2013, the HOTD team released the manga's 30th chapter, then put the series back on hiatus. Almost four years later, on March 22 2017, Daisuke Satō tragically passed away from heart disease. Shouji Sato later confirmed they would not be continuing the series, leaving it understandably Cut Short.

It is currently available to stream on Disney+ in both Japanese and English in certain regions.

This series has a character sheet and a shout out page. Please list character tropes on the character sheet.

Highschool of the Dead contains the following tropes:

  • 12-Episode Anime: The anime only goes up to the twelve count due to the series being released as a monthly manga (though it did have two OVAs). If it gets another season remains to be seen, though due to the death of the author, and its very extended hiatus it likely won't be for a long while... if ever.
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Certain vehicle and background animations and large crowds of "them" are animated this way in the Anime, similar to Araki's later works. The infamous bullet scene in episode 8 also uses this.
  • Abandoned Hospital: Rather an abandoned clinic, here 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.
  • Adults Are Useless
    • Played pretty straight throughout. With rare exceptions (like Saya's parents) anything an adult does makes the situation immediately worse.
    • Averted in Shizuka's case. She initially seems like The Load, but is actually the team's benefactor (covered extensively in the related entry in her section of the character sheet).
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Takashi and Rei have been noted for their similarity to Aniplex's Kirito and Asuna, with anime fans considering the former pair to look like older versions of the latter. There's even a comparison vid showing they've also shared similar scenes.
  • Apathetic Clerk: In episode 3 (Chapter 3 of the manga) there is a scene with a convenience store clerk standing behind the counter in an open-mouthed daze, somehow apparently oblivious to all the chaos currently happening while a zombie shuffles across the road towards him until it is hit by the bus the protagonists are driving. The clerk doesn't even bother to turn his head or even notice it all happening a few feet away from him.
  • Apocalyptic Log: The news report the students watch in one of the classrooms that ends with the broadcast abruptly cut.
  • Apologetic Attacker: The household survivor who tearfully said sorry over and over as he stabbed Alice's father, leaving him for dead and abandoning Alice to the zombies.
    • 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/episodes take place in a highschool.
  • Attempted Rape: It nearly happens to all four of the main female cast members at different points in the story, with Saya being the lone exception. Each instance is noted in their respective sections of the character page.
  • Author Appeal: The work of the 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.
    • There's also the overt favoritism displayed for the Japanese far right. See YMMV for more.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The battles that the students fight eventually become this.
  • 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.
  • Badass Crew: Takashi's group consists of: his spear wielding Action Girlfriend (Rei), a katana wielding Lady of War (Saeko), a Friendly Sniper with frighteningly Improbable Aiming Skills (Hirano), a Short Tank with genius level intellect (Saya), and a fomer School Nurse who Drives Like Crazy (Shizuka).
  • Badass Family: The Takagi famly and the Miyamoto family.
  • Beach Episode: The "Drifters of the Dead" OVA has the gang cross the river to what appears to be a deserted island. So they decide to take some well-earned R&R from "them" and hit the beach. Ecchi and Hilarity Ensues.
  • 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 7 of the manga and Episode 7 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.
  • Big Fancy House: The Takagi mansion.
  • Bigger Stick: During the party's raid on the abandoned police station, Takashi is given a Benelli M4 shotgun which is, as clearly stated by Hirano, an all around better weapon than the old Ithaca 37. In an oddly heartwarming twist, Takashi salutes his old gun before leaving it behind.
  • Black-and-Grey Morality:
    • 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.
  • Bloody Horror: Nearly every cast member is covered in blood at some point due to having to fight off hordes of zombies.
  • 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.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Shidou used his charms to manipulate the students into his personal sex cult.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • In Chapter 9, while trying to drive through a zombie horde, Shizuka cries out "I'm not supposed to be this kind of character!"
    • In Chapter 25, Saya acknowledges Takashi's leadership: "We get it, you're the main character."
    • A German localization changed the bathing scenes dialogue:
      Saya: Well, the manga's X-rated after all...
      Saya: Why do we have to take a bath all together?
      Saeko: You should know that Saya. One at a time would've been only half as pleasant for the reader.
      — Volume 2, Chapter 6
    • When asked why she is spacing out during a zombie attack, Shizuka breaks the fourth wall.
      Saya: Why are you dazing off?
      Shizuka: (Apologetic) That's how the author wrote me...
      Saya: Yeah, ok. Get in the car!
  • Bullet Time: Happens a lot in the anime whenever guns are involved. Taken to a ridiculous extreme in Episode 8 when Takashi fires various rounds that manage to pass between Saeko's thighs and breasts.
  • Burn the Undead: Fire seems to be effective in putting Them down, although they do shamble around for a while after being ignited.
  • But What About the Astronauts?: The crew of the ISS are shown watching the situation below unfold.
  • Car Fu: Zombies get mowed down several times over the course of the series.
  • Car Skiing: Episode 12 of the anime adaptation has the group escaping the overrun mansion in the Humvee. To get past the barricades, the Humvee leans so far over it nearly tips.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • 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.
  • Cool Bike: The bike that Takashi and Rei find on the highway. That they operate without a license.
  • Cool Car: Rika's Hummer and the prototype buggy.
  • Cosplay: Seen during the "Cosplay of the Dead" subchapter, where Saya, Saeko, and Alice take turns dressing Rei in different fetish costumesnote .
  • Crapsack World: By virtue of a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Crossover: With Triage X, the illustrator's other work, in Lightning Pop.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Anyone who gets bitten by a zombie will slowly die and then turn into one themselves. And that's only if the zombies don't kill them first.
  • Dangerous Windows: Zombies several times have made surprise entrances from breaking through windows to get to the survivors.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Invoked by Episode 9 of the anime. This and the ending of Episode 8 are where the anime deviated from the original manga (in the manga, these events happened after the group escaped from the Takagi compound, not before they got there). 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.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The series has numerous scenes where things are deliberately made to resemble sexual acts, at one point firing a sniper rifle is framed in a sexual way.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • 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".
  • Due to the Dead:
    • 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.
    • Asami herself gets one with a little help from Hirano.
  • Dying Smirk: After being bitten, Tajima jokes with Rika about not being able to have sex with her, when she asked if he had a last request. Then he sends her on her way and sets off of a bomb, taking himself out along with the fuel tanker and all the zombies in the vicinity of the blast.
  • 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.
  • Establishing Team Shot:
    • Done as the group prepared to leave the school.
    • Again when the others come to Kohta's defense in keeping their guns from being confiscated by the ultranationalists.
    • Once more as the group prepared to leave the mall.
  • Facial Horror: Many of the zombies, and very likely some victims.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • There are even several accounts where female zombies give a Full-Frontal Assault.
    • Shidou turns the protagonist's original escape vehicle into a roving sex cult, by encouraging free love between high schoolers.
    • Panty Shots and huge bouncing breasts on a girl who's being eaten alive by zombies can seriously mess with your mind.
    • Any panty shots from zombies.
    • In chapter 29, Saya unintentionally shoots a female zombie through the breasts.
    • There's official art of Rei and Shizuka with their blouses torn, to where they're nearly topless... while covered in blood.
    • In the "Drifters of the Dead" OVA, Kohta wears a girls' school swimsuit.
  • Fastball Special: Takashi pulls a motorcycle-assisted version of this to launch Saeko into the fray in Episode 5.
  • Fast-Roping: The JGSDF troops in Chapter 24 land on the roof of the mall in this manner.
  • Female Gaze: Takashi's skimpy swimsuit in the OVA gives him a lot of shots of his ass in certain scenes.
  • First-Name Basis:
    • Saeko starts calling Takashi by his first name, much to Rei's chagrin.
    • Saya wants Takashi to call her by her first name, but he usually doesn't manage it.
    • During the clinic raid, Asami asks Kohta to call her by her first name.
    • Beginning in chapter 28, Saya and Hirano now address each other by their first names. Hirano even drops the "san" honorific and Saya's shown to be okay with it.
  • From Bad to Worse: Good luck finding many situations that don't start going to crap within 5 pages in the manga.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man:
    • After Hirano suffers a Heroic BSoD from having to kill Asami, Shizuka steps up to break him out of it.
    • Saya had also given him a bright slap immediately prior to that which also counts.
    • Saya got a similar one from her mother right before both her parents went to hold off the horde.
    • In the OVA, Takashi gave Saya a bright slap when she not-so-subtly came on to him, but being under the influence of the funky smoke, it only caused her to swoon over him even more.
  • Godiva Hair: To be honest, it seems to be an accident in this Fanservice heavy show.
  • Glass Cannon: Zombies are dangerous. One bite and that's it, but you can push them over without even trying if you are careful.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Alice's father did his best to comfort his traumatized daughter and smiled at her before he died.
  • Gorn: Nearly anytime you see "them", you can expect to see hapless victims being torn apart in horrific detail and in excruciating pain.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Used in the anime for particularly gory scenes.
  • 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.
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: Two notable examples in the franchise. In the anime, at least, at the start of the story, one of "them" is trapped just outside the school gate, trying to smash his way in, and of the two teachers that stumble upon the scene, one of them reaches through the bars, to predicable results. Then there's Shido. Every time he shows up, the audience can be sure things are soon going to go to hell in a hurry.
  • 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.
  • Held Back in School: Rei was held back for a year due to her father tangling with her teacher's father.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Used to subvert the Adults Are Useless trope - adults can fight just as competently, if not more so, and even sacrifice themselves so that the protagonists can live on. Even the guy who tried to rape Shizuka.
  • High-Pressure Blood: In the anime.
  • High Turnover Rate: Discussed by the missile controllers on a US Navy submarine (just before they launch their nukes) in regards to the office of the President of the United States since the infection first began. First the president was killed, then every person to succeed him since was infected as well. The Secretary of Homeland Security lasted two days before it was revealed he had been bitten beforehand. This inconsistent leadership is implied to be a key reason as to why things had fallen apart so fast.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Averted when Hirano hands an MP5 over to Saya, warning that even with a suppressor, any shots will still be audible enough to be heard by "Them".
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • 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 win.
  • Hot Teacher: Kyoko Hayashi, the Ping Pong Club's advisor. Her glasses add a Hot Librarian appeal.
  • 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, and in some cases, the turn is so fast, they don't even get the chance to ask.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Replacing a word in a famous title or name with "dead", eg. "The Good, The Bad, And the Dead".
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: In the OVA, the ladies use this tactic to get Takashi and Kohta to gather food for them.
  • Improvised Weapon: A given due to the setting, including but not limited to broom handles, power drills, and drip stands. Alice is also 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.
  • Intimate Lotion Application: Played With. After Rei injured her back in a fall, she needed to get some medicine applied to her bare back. Takashi naturally thinks Shizuka should be the one to do it since she's a girl and the School Nurse, but since Rei is a Tsundere, she gets offended and thinks he doesn't want to touch her instead, much to his confusion.
  • I Reject Your Reality: With the world around them suddenly changing for the worse in less than a day, many people in Tokonosu City simply refuse to acknowledge the existence or consequences of a Zombie Apocalypse. Instead, these people see "them" as simply victims of an unknown epidemic and treat anyone who kill "them" as violent, bloodthirsty maniacs. Reasons for this selfish attitude include the desperate need to save infected loved ones and the desperate hope to restore social normalcy as soon as possible, at any cost. When their delusions are shattered, these people often go insane, usually while being devoured by "them".
  • The Jaywalking Dead: Shizuka manages to kill a shitload of "them" via the handy process of "hit and run".
  • Just a Kid:
    • The group received this treatment from some of the refugees at the Takagi mansion.
    • The remaining mall survivors eventually reversed this view of them.
  • Karmic Death: Misuzu Ichijo. All the noise she was making to be let go earned her a Death by Irony a few seconds later.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: In the OVA, most of the group hook up with each other after getting high on the fumes of burning hydrangeas. Rei and Saeko make out while thinking that the other is Takashi, and Saya and Shizuku get rather cozy while hallucinating that the other is Saya's mother and Rika, respectively. Meanwhile, Hirano hallucinates that he's at a Vietnam War protest and dry-humps a broom, and Takashi fends off four of them in his sleep while thinking that they are the four girls.
  • The Last Dance: The Nietzsche Wannabe mall survivor was surrounded by zombies and nursing a stab wound, so he opted in his own words to go out like a badass. He failed. Badly.
  • Laughing Mad: Many are reduced to grinning and/or laughing right before and during their rather undignified deaths.
    • When one of the pro-infected protesters met "them" up close and personal Hilarity Ensued.
    • The survivors in the city who attacked Takashi and Rei. They were a bit off.
    • Two mall survivors descended into mad laughter, with one of them shanking the other.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Gee Hirano, you sure do look a lot like Link right here. This could probably also qualify as a voice actor joke.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Oftentimes some of the characters have claimed that the Zombie Apocalypse feels like it's from a movie or a Manga.
  • Lighter and Softer/Denser and Wackier: The "Drifters of the Dead" OVA is devoid of any violence, unlike the series itself. But makes up for it by ramping up the sheer amount of fanservice, sexual innuendo, and sex related humor.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Takashi lost out to his best friend, Hisashi, after Rei broke up with him, though she still harbored feelings for Takashi. The matter wound up being settled when Hisashi was bitten and became one of "them"; leaving Takashi no choice but to put him out of his misery, thus ending the triangle.
    • Takashi soon found himself in another triangle, this time, between Rei and Saeko. It's made more explicit in the anime, particularly in regards to the additional amounts of Ship Tease between him and Saeko, which isn't present in the manga.
    • The mall arc introduced the none-too-subtle triangle between Kohta, Saya, and Asami, though Saya had decided to step aside so Kohta and Asami could be together, and even suggested taking her with them. Until Asami got taken out of the picture.
  • Luminescent Blush: Happens to many of the characters in various situations.
  • Male Gaze: Regardless whether it's the manga or the anime, you'll be seeing so many close-ups of boobs, ass, panty shots, and camel toe, that if we noted even half the times it happens, it'd need its own page. If that wasn't clear enough, here it is condensed in amv fashion.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • Takagi's father makes a very public demonstration executing a zombified friend, and justifies it with this trope.
    • Saeko also does this for a bitten classmate.
    • Asami for Hiro Tamaru after he got bitten in the Abandoned Clinic.
    • Hirano does this for Asami.
  • Moment Killer:
    • Usually done by Saya. She lampshades this in Chapter 28 where she promises not to ruin the hug between Takashi and Rei upon finding the possibility that Rei's father may still be alive.
    • In the same chapter, Takashi is the one to kill off the moment between Kohta and Saya when Saya briefly lets her deredere side slip to him.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Scenes of zombie violence feature constant cuts to pantyshots and gratuitous bouncing. The effect swerves between jarring, sad, and hilarious.
    • Episode 6 is interspersed with scenes of the girls bathing together, offset by depressing conversations and people dying horribly, and back again.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Shizuka and Saeko jockey for the top spot, as they're the ones most often used to provide T&A. Though Rei and Saya provide ample amounts, themselves.
  • Mushroom Samba/Love Potion: The gang (minus Alice) inhales the smoke from burning hydrangea leaves 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).
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: One of the mall survivors.
  • No Bikes in the Apocalypse: Averted. The group comes up with using bycicles while they were stationed in a mall along a group of survivors. For the most part it works, as they decide to have Alice (who was the fastest) to survey the road ahead to warn the others about herds ahead. Then they stop using the bycycles after Alice fell from her bike and almost got caught.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
  • No Ending:
    • The anime ends with the main characters escaping and continuing the search for their parents.
    • And with the Mangaka's passing in 2017, the manga is put to an indefinite hold: Chapter 30 has the characters are about to meet a group of survivors at a nearby elementary school and Minami is redeployed into Japan's main land to stay with them.
  • No Help Is Coming: When the protagonists get to a shopping mall, they find patrol officer Asami Nakaoka, who tells them that her superior officer had left the mall in order to go find help for the survivors holed up there. Unfortunately, the zombies got to her first, as her zombified self is seen shambling around with the rest of them. Because of this, all the survivors have to get out of there themselves, with no help of any kind coming to save them.
  • 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 own adaptation.
  • 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 Misuzu and Toshimi in the beginning. When Toshimi's leg gets caught by "them" on the stairs, Misuzu kicks her and abandons her to die, in a desperate attempt to save herself. But her screams attracted "them", so they both die anyway.
    • Also subverted with Shidou kicking in one student's face, who'd been asking for help after twisting his ankle. Then he left him to die, believing him to be unfit for survival in their new world.
    • Played Straight when Takashi told Shizuka to wait for Shidou and his group of students to get on the bus, despite Rei's insistence that they should leave them behind. She was right, they should've.
    • In chapter 7, Hirano disregards the "no shooting" agreement in order to keep Alice safe, long enough for Takashi to get to her.
    • During their escape from the mall (chapter 25), the group takes the time to escort one of the mall survivors to the rooftop where the others are.
    • Shimadanote  and Asami split off from Takashi's group and dies while saving the kid responsible for letting "them" into the mall.
    • The JSDF arrive in time to save the remaining mall survivors, after gunning down the advancing horde.
    • After Kohta suffered a Heroic BSoD from having to kill Asami, he nearly breaks off from the group to suicidally take down as many zombies as he could until Shizuka talks him out of it.
  • No "Police" Option: The anime adaptation has Saya specifically imply this when Kohta suggests they call the police. The fact that Takashi and Rei have already tried and failed twice to reach the police via Takashi's cell phone only makes Saya's comments on the matter more realistic than pessimistic in light of the zombie outbreak.
  • Not a Game: Hisashi said this in regards to the zombies at the school.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Takashi, Takashi. If only you had listened to Rei and abandoned that monstrous teacher...
  • Not the Intended Use: Played for Laughs at Hirano's expense, when he impresses Saya and Shizuka by showing that condoms can be placed over gun barrels to help keep them dry in rain. Shizuka remarks that she hadn't known they could be used 'that way', which prompts Alice to ask Hirano what condoms are supposed to be used for... in front of Saya. Cue Hirano tearfully admitting he'd never used one before because they're "meant for adults".
  • 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.
  • Oddly Visible Eyebrows
  • 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.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Anime adaptation only. Takashi and Rei rush down a tunnel after an overturned bus that had caught fire exploded, separating them from the others.
  • Paint the Town Red: Things get icky during a zombie invasion.
  • Panty Fighter: The series makes frequent use of upskirt shots during tense scenes, or simply has the girls' skirts flare dramatically both in and out of combat situations. In fact, you'll be seeing seeing as many girls' undies as zombies.
  • Papa Wolf: Inverted. Rei almost kills Shidou because he made her father cry.
  • Parental Substitute: While Takashi's group has essentially 'adopted' Alice, Hirano and Saya are the ones she's latched onto as her new 'parents'. Which was lampshaded and used as Ship Tease in Chapter 29.
  • Pedal-to-the-Metal Shot: Twice with Shizuka in episode 3, the second of which serving as an Establishing Character Moment for her after realizing the students are no longer students:
  • Perpetually Shiny Bodies: Whenever the female characters' skin is exposed, which is almost all the time, it reveals unrealistically shiny body parts, like their shoulders, legs, and boobs.
  • The Power of Friendship:
    • The main characters have never hesitated to protect and support each other.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Takashi does his Steve McQueen imitation in Episode 5 (see below), Saeko and Kohta watch in awe then say, in perfect unison, "Holy shit."
  • Pushed at the Monster: When the outbreak starts up at the high school, we see two girls, apparently friends, running away from some of the zombies while holding hands. Once of them gets grabbed and begs for help...and her friend callously tells her to let go and pries her hand off her to let the zombies take her. Too bad for her, she backs right into a zombie behind her a minute later.
  • 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.
    • A similar instance happens in episode 3 when the minibus busts down the gates of the high school and catches some air as a result.
  • Reckless Gun Usage:
    • This occurs somewhat often due to the main characters being perfectly normal high school students (in Japan) during a Zombie Apocalypse. However, since there's a resident gun otaku, their errors are quickly pointed out and Gun Safety is properly followed... eventually.
    • Except in the anime's infamous "boob dodge" sequence where Takashi repeatedly narrowly avoids gunning down Saeko instead of the zombies.
  • Refuge in Audacity: How brazen can a show get? It seemed that the animators decided to see for themselves:
    • Starting with the bath scene in episode 6, during which, they made it seem like Rei was banging Shizuka doggy-style, while the other girls were present.
    • Episode 8 had Saeko dodge two shots from a high-calibur sniper rifle. The first of which passes directly between her legs in Bullet Time (complete with a gratuitous zoom-in on her panty covered crotch), while her breasts dodge the second shot independently of each other!
    • The "Drifters of the Dead" is a 15 min. exercise in seeing just how much skin they could reveal, how much they could get away with having the characters do, and how much of it they could get away with showing - without actually crossing 'the line'. And did it by saying most of it didn't really happen.
  • 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.
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: As with most zombie stories, it's the only sure-fire way to kill "them".
  • Rule of Cool: The anime runs on this, often to ridiculous extremes.
  • Rule of Three: The manga covers cycle through Rei, Saeko, and Saya in that order.
  • Sanity Slippage: See Laughing Mad.
  • 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.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Used once in the manga and anime respectively:
    • During the bath scene in chapter 6, Rei gropes Shizuka's boobs to see if they're real, due to their enormous size. The very next panel shows Saya's reaction, while Shizuka's cries of "No more! ♥" and "Not THERE! ♥" are seen from just out of frame, along with various sound effect hiragana.
      Saya: (deadpan) It sounds like an H-Game over there...
    • Midway into the "Drifters of the Dead" OVA special, Saeko and Takashi flee to a secluded area of the island in an attempt to escape the effects of hallucinogenic fumes. While they're alone, they begin making out with Takashi lying on top of her. From there, the camera pans downward until only their lower legs remain in the frame, stopping just as Saeko spreads her legs for him, with her barefoot resting next to her discarded bikini bottom. The scene then Fades to Black. Sadly, it was all in Takashi's head, as the real Saeko and the others find him still hallucinating while surrounded by a group of bikini-clad zombies.
  • Sex Is Violence: For Saeko, who literally gets off on inflicting pain, or having it inflicted on her - judging from how she responded to Takashi almost crushing her breast, near the end of episode 9.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: 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, all that could be seen were the protrusions of her nipples through her T-shirt.
  • Shipper on Deck: Rei, Saeko, and Shizuka get really sly grins after observing a Ship Tease moment between Takagi and Hirano.
  • Ship Tease: Seeing as they're a group of highschool kids in the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse, it's only natural that they'd develop UST, since any of them could die at any moment. Which isn't to say their feelings for each other aren't genuine.
    • Takashi and Saeko get a lot of screentime together, especially in the anime. They're even forced to separate from the rest of the group twice, during which, it's made obvious that there's an attraction. There's even an instance of Did They or Didn't They?, much later.
    • Rei has just as much ship tease with Takashi, if not moreso. In chapter 6, she gives him a "Shut Up" Kiss when he loses his patience with her for always reminding him of Hisashi and tells her to accept the fact that Hisashi was dead. Which surprises Takashi and causes him to get an erection. And, later while they're at Saya's parents home, she admits to being in love with him and says she couldn't go on if he ever fell in love with another girl, before kissing him again.
    • There's also ample amounts tease between Hirano and Saya. Such as the scene in chapter 7 where Saya was dreaming about Hirano. There was also the scene at her parents' house where she made it a point to cover Hirano's eyes to keep him (rather than Takashi) from ogling her mother. Hirano even won her father's approval, when he told Hirano that he was entrusting Saya to him. And chapter 28 lays it on thick, with Saya admitting to watching Hirano in order to become more like him. Which leads to a tender moment where they exchange guns; causing Alice to wave a pair of flags while the others smile knowingly.
  • 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.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • 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.
  • Sinister Switchblade: The nameless thug at the gas station briefly holds Rei hostage with one.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Note the positions of Hirano's gun and Zeke's tail.
  • 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.
  • Spreading Disaster Map Graphic: In the anime adaptation a map of the globe is shown with red being the zombie infection spreading from Asia to Europe and the Americas at a fast pace.
  • Stealth Pun: See Alice in the background on the bottom panel? "A flag was raised" for Kohta 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.
  • Team Power Walk: The group do this as they prepare to escape the school.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Oh boy, where do we begin? Nearly all of the protagonists have their issues:
    • Takashi admits that a part of him enjoys the lawlessness of the post-apocalyptic world. He also seems disturbed by the fact that he murdered his best friend - partially as a Mercy Kill, partially out of jealousy for Rei - and doesn't seem too bothered by it. He also has very little issue with wounding a living human (a violent nutjob who tried to kidnap Rei, sure, but still a living person nonetheless) and using him as bait.
    • Saeko's extreme Blood Knight tendencies. Several times, when she fights, she revels in orgasmic pleasure.
    • Kohta is so thoroughly traumatized through years of bullying that he has no qualms with murdering the living people who made his life hell. The instances where his darker side comes out are all prime Nightmare Fuel.
    • Misuzu quickly turns on her BFF, Toshimi, when zombies attack her, and abandons her "friend" to a brutal end to save her own sorry ass.
  • 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?
  • That Didn't Happen/Kissing Under the Influence: The gang (minus Takashi) agreed that the hydrangea smoke episode never happened.
  • This Is a Drill: Saya makes like Reno when confronted by one zombie early on.
  • Title of the Dead: Highschool of the Dead
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The male Phys-ed teacher who saw and heard one of "them" shuffle up to and thrash against the locked and barred front gate then responded by reaching through the bars, and turned away to tell his female companion that he planned on "teaching him a lesson." Lots of students died needlessly thanks to his utter idiocy, and the unbelievably slow reaction of the rest of the staff. If Takashi hadn't been on the roof playing hooky, the entire school might have been lost.
    • 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.
    • Shizuka qualifies for this, by taking her time to gather supplies while there was a horde of zombies right outside, breaking through the windows. Which ends up costing Ishii his life, when he'd been urging her to leave. Then she stands idly by asking him his name while he's being Eaten Alive.
    • 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.
  • Too Hot for TV: Technically, as the English dub of the anime can be purchased on DVD in the and was watched on Time Warner's "Anime on Demand" channel, so aside from those things, it is otherwise too hot for TV.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Hirano goes from a nerdy, awkward doofus to Rambo once he gets his hands on some guns.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Gender-Inverted. The team consists of four females and two males. Later this gets bumped up to five females with the addition of Alice/Arisu Maresato (though there are three males if you count Zeke/Zero).
  • Undead Child:
    • 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, Kadokawa 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.
  • We Need Some Zombie Bait:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wingding Eyes: Appears to various cast members in various forms.
  • World of Action Girls: While Takashi and Kohta are definitely no slouches themselves, the general rule of thumb is that if you're a female suvivor, you're an Action Girl.
  • World of Buxom: The guy from Honest Trailers would have a field day with this series, since practically every female is a D-Cup and above. "Heh, heh. BOOOOBS."
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Several members of the cast have brown or blonde hair, which is implausible in Real Life Japan, but they're at least normal hair colors. The same can't be said of Saya's pink hair, or Saeko's purple hair.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Chivalry goes out the window when fighting hordes of the undead. All zombies, male and female, get the same treatment of getting gruesomely killed by the main cast out of self-preservation.
    • When all of the students scramble to escape, two girls are shown in nasty predicaments. One girl is being restrained with her hair being pulled back by a male student, fear and panic all over her face. Another girl got kicked down the stairs by a boy, giving him a view of her striped panties. Given where she was kicked from, that poor girl was likely trampled to death or sent through the window, multiple stories above the ground.
  • Wrench Whack: The preferred weapon of Mad, the Takagi mansion's mechanic.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Saeko Busujima, emphasis on the 'wild flower' aspect.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: This story seems to by and large 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 Apocalypse Hero: Takashi's team are a group of highschool students who find themselves in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and band together to survive and make their way to a safe zone.
  • Zombie Infectee: Happens several times off-panel, like how zombies got aboard Air Force One and the USS Curtis Wilbur or how they breached the airport island.

"Blood and guts and boobs and butts, and I just wanna make your head explode"


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Highschool Of The Dead


School Girl Betrays Friend

High School of the Dead - Ep 01 (Spring of the DEAD): As the zombie outbreak ravages the high school setting. We see two female friends trying to find safety together... least until one of them get grabbed by a zombie coming up the stairs. As she's pulled down she begs for her, but her friend turns out to not be as care as shown before. Thankfully, karma won't let her action slide.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / PushedAtTheMonster

Media sources: