Sometimes the real fascination can be in watching how a world deals with a catastrophe like this rather than the personal stories.
What They Say
The population grows desperate, and chaos runs wild in the streets. Crossing any bridge presents a world of problems for Komuro and Rei, while dissension among the ranks splits the bus group in two.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
High School of the Dead moves along at a bigger clip this time, though I rather liked the more personal side of the last episode as it focused on Rei and Takashi's journey in the middle of the night. As the terror continues, there's a really intriguing look at the start about airlines and what's happening there, from the pilot who worries about his family in Tokyo while performing checks on his passengers to how an airport surrounded by water is protected from the infected as important officials and technicians come through in order to keep it running and move those important people to safety. Seeing people working realistically to deal with the problems at hand is a refreshing thing, though there is something to be said for widespread terror.
The show continues to be largely split into two stories as you have Rei and Takashi trying to get back to everyone and relative safety while the rest are still on the bus dealing with one very disturbing and creepy teacher who is trying to take advantage of the situation to build his harem of loyal young followers. For Rei and Takashi, they're seeing the brutality of the worl dup close as for some people, similar to what they saw the night before, it's a chance to cut loose and go wild on human and infected alike. Others are just desperately trying to get past the blockades and to somewhere they think they can find safety, but the police and military are trying to clamp down on bridge access and the like in order to make sure no infected get past. But people are an impatient lot when situations like this occur and survival instincts kick in, adding much fuel to the fire.
With a growing distaste for Shido, the core cast on the us decide that it's time to move on from him and search out for where Takashi and Rei may be at. With an amusing little bit of clarity about their relationships with family and others to cement that they have few real ties to work with, they make their break with Shido, who certainly isn't interested in losing his busty doctor. Hirano in particular is fun to watch during this as he exposes how he's held back for so long the things done to him and how he's freed now, though he doesn't go over the top like some criminal-types out there. Having everything come together towards the end like it does, filled with action, violence and bloodshed, in a very Hollywood way in fact, is priceless as they even give us a bullet time moment. This core group of characters that has come together from the school is a lot of fun to watch and getting them all back on track with each other is definitely welcome, especially since Takagi and the others weren't going anywhere for awhile now.
High School of the Dead touches on a few different areas here but ties it all together at the end to bring everyone back together. Seeing more elements of how the world, or at least parts of Japan, is coping with the epidemic is welcome. The way people react to these kinds of situations is the real draw for me, though I adore the way it doles out violence and bloodshed so easily as the leads realize they have to do everything they can to survive. From start to finish, we get a good mix of everything, including humor and predator-like creepiness, along with a fair bit of goofy sexuality as well. High School of the dead has managed in five episodes to be pretty much the best zombie/infected show I've seen years, live or animated.
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.