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Reviews Manga / High School Of The Dead

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09/24/2011 22:50:37 •••

Headshots Or Pantyshots?

Take your pick, this series has both. And plenty of them.

Let's get the bad out of the way first. As you probably could've guessed by now, the Fanservice. Now, don't get me wrong, fanservice sells, and for good reason. It's a fictional mainstay and it's not going anywhere. But there's a time and a place for it, and HOTD occasionally forgets that. And by occasionally I mean all the damn time. The infamous Matrix Boobs scene is evidence enough of that. The fanservice tries just a little too hard sometimes, and it ends up souring a number of scenes that would have otherwise been quite dramatic and gripping.

Now for the good. To sum it up quickly, you only wish this was your highschool. This is, unquestionably, a full-bore World Of Badass, where only those capable and willing to kick ass survive. And boy howdy do they. Fight scenes are beautifully animated, well choreographed, and totally off the wall. No matter how you like your zombies, beaten, stabbed, chopped up or shot full of holes, HOTD delivers.

The characters themselves are also quite entertaining to watch (once you get past the incessant fanservice of course). The survivors as a group have great chemistry, and their interactions almost make you feel like you're reliving your own highschool days. Just with more zombies. The cast is large and diverse, and no two characters are alike. They each possess their own distinct personalities, strengths and goals, and you can tell they're much more than cardboard cut-outs.

As a final strength, HOTD does what maddeningly few zombie works do. It shows in extensive, heartwrenching and gruesome detail, the complete breakdown of modern society under the rising zombie threat. There's no skipping step two here. The total collapse of order and social norms as we know them is executed masterfully, to the point where sometimes you'll wonder how our heroes are even keeping it together (hint: they aren't).

Sadly all these pluses serve to do is balance the scales, not tip them in HOTD's favor, leaving it far beneath the glory its best moments deserve. In the end, it comes down to this. Is there a lot wrong with it? Yes. Is it mostly the fanservice? Yes. But are you willing to look past that and strap yourself in for the best goddamn Zombie Apocalypse this side of Armageddon? That's up to you.

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