High School of the Dead Episode #11 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, September 13, 2010
Release Date: Monday, September 13, 2010

As the series inches ever closer to the end, it's truly looking more and more like the end times.

What They Say
DEAD Storm Rising

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With one more episode to go, the show takes the path of setting things up for that by working through what's going on in the Takagi family compound. For Takagi, it's a difficult time as she's confronting adults who have blinded themselves to what's going on and think that there will be a peaceful resolution to things that they, the real adults, will come up with. The one fomenting this talk is even more out of it than some we've seen as she brings in various bits of national politics and class warfare to all of it, which just has the kids somewhat confused and uncertain of what her point is, not that she truly knows either. But the discussion about blinders is useful as it reminds Takashi of his own blinders from the past and he's able to admit it, which is why Takagi claims that he's the most fit to be their leader.

His leadership skills come up in a discussion with Saeko and Takagi's father as well as he gives to her a sword that will most definitely help her shine in the time going forward. With her past and what he knows of it from her father, he's certain she'll survive and help protect people, but there's that small belief that she may be better suited to being the leader of the group since she isn't hesitating, something that Takashi is still doing. Takashi is definitely working through the role this new life has thrust on him, and there's a cute moment of proper introspection about it as we see him describe the group in video game terms pretty much, with each member fulfilling a particular role. It's also noteworthy as it's the first time we see the name change for Alice as it's now apparently Arisu.

What we do learn in this episode is that Rei's distaste for Shido, who has now arrived at the compound with his bus of buxom beauties, is very legitimate as he tried to gain favor with people and caused Rei a lot of problems because of it. His arrival is unwelcome in general by those who know him, though some of the men can't help but want to bring in the buxom beauties in the bus. His arrival is timed to when Takashi himself is ready to leave to go find those that he can of his family and Rei's, making it a complex moment. Particularly because when Rei confronts Shido, she's somewhat actively encouraged to follow through on what she wants by Takagi's father and even Saeko holds Takashi back from interfering, allowing Rei to make the decision about what she wants her life to be about and what to do with Shido. It's an intriguing moment that's definitely a good defining moment for Rei.

In Summary:
High School of the Dead is light on action this time around but it does some good character material and really cements what Takashi is going to do. The material between him and Takagi's father works rather well I think since it shows an extreme that Takashi has to emulate to some degree in order to survive in this new world and lead, though he'll likely be a bit more empathetic with people as it goes on. The final moments of the episode are the real highlight as we watch what the US Navy is up to, along with other countries, and we get a glimpse from space about how it's all playing out which makes it only more intense as the emotions run high by those who can only observe and weep.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 17 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: The Anime Network
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: High School of the Dead