Nothing makes great TV like cops shooting bodies rising from body bags outside of an ambulance.
What They Say
Democracy Under the DEAD
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While we've seen one city in Japan that's falling slowly to the spreading of the undead, it's not the only place where events are happening. A quick newscast summary at the start of the episode shows us that North America is under siege by these things and the government has relocated out to an aircraft carrier in the ocean in order to provide for a little distance. London seems to be holding its own while mainland Europe is falling in a similar way to the US with widespread looting and riots. Chaos and fear is certainly spreading quickly as the dead rise and attack all over the world.
The fact that this has hit all over the world in just a few hours is certainly shocking and surprising as the pandemic spreads and communications start to dwindle. Those who survive are starting to figure out the best way to stay alive and that they have to do everything they can in order to do just that. Likening the spread to both the Black Plague and the Influenza outbreak, this one takes on a decidedly different turn because of how the people are affected and the shear brutality of it all as the mindless undead claim more in such an overt way. The students make a small team in order to survive this and work together to try and escape to someplace safe. There's a good feel to it as they make sure to save others where they can, but also the focus on making sure that they make it out, so there aren't any sad moments of having to kill fellow students if the need arises.
Not everyone survives this mad dash to get out of the school, but they do try to put some theories to the test in order to understand just what it is that draws the undead to them. While some fall, others see what's going on with Takashi and his group trying to get free and they make their mad dash to escape as well. Not that all of them are looking out for the survival of the group, which isn't unexpected, but survival is a personal priority for most and having the less than decent teacher, Shido, as a part of the survivors is unnerving as he shows just how much of his humanity he's lost without being bitten yet. Shido also introduces a bit of a problem into the group that it didn't need by talking about the need for a leader when they're just focused on group survival.
The world is falling apart around them and the true nature of individuals is becoming clearer.
High School of the Dead deals with the undead infection in just the way I want. We're not getting hugely smart people but they're doing some smart things. They're resting out ideas and doing what they can to survive. At the same time they've gleaned some useful information on the state of the world at large and realize that there's going to be a lot of difficult choices ahead. The visual design of the show continue to be top notch with a lot of brutal moments but also the eerie and beautiful calm of cities that are falling prey to the undead. There are certain things that I want out of shows and movies of this nature and so far High School of the Dead is spot on with every instance of it, making each episode hugely exciting.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.