July 19, 2010

HotD Ep3: Megalomania

Posted in High School of the Dead tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 9:41 pm by meotwister5

If you’ve seen or read any post-apocalyptic tale of humanity, you tend to notice that the breakdown of social norms tend to show both the unrestrained heroism of some people, as well as the suppressed sociopathic tendencies of others.  Naturally with society in chaos the rules of social graces and socially acceptable behaviors become an afterthought, because it becomes a time when life and death can be decided by a decision involving a questionable act.  It doesn’t mean of course that rules of common decency and of morality no longer apply, but with government all but gone, the Id quite easily subverts the Ego and the Superego.

And from that point, High School of the Dead has it’s own example of the breakdown of social controls.

So enter Shidou Koichi, Megalomaniac extraordinaire.

MOVE OUT!

It’s either stay there and wait for the zombies to overrun, or get their asses (and boobs!) out and find some place to hide and find supplies.  As any true zombie apocalypse survivor will tel you, staying in one place with zombies in the general vicinity is never a good idea.  Takashi then becomes interim leader and tells everyone it’s time to get to the bus and get the hell away from the school.

One thing you might notice is, while we get back to more zombie-decerebrating action compared to episode 2, the characters exercise restraint and control in their encounters, using it only for the ones in their way and to save some fellow students.  Saeko said it best, that even if you get armed to the teeth, biting of more than you can chew (pun intended) is a bad idea.  Take it from a master of close quarters combat to tell you to engage only those that threaten you and to leave the others alone.  Remember, this isn’t a series about a bunch of Rambos mowing down enemies with infinite ammo but a bunch of kids trying to survive with their tenuous grip on their sanity.

Blood splatter that would make Gill Grissom proud.

Speaking of a tenuous grip on sanity, one needs to have a bit of respect for the way they are still mostly able to keep themselves mentally stable despite the fact that they’ve killed zombies who were once their friends, classmates and teachers.  Psychologically speaking it’s simply highly likely that they’re currently repressing or avoiding facing the issue right now, but we can expect an outburst similar to Saya from some of them at some point.  PTSD and all that, but we need it anyway because it goes along with the character development to show just how the human mind can react and, if possible, adapt to hell on earth.

You can't help but love him.

While I’m on the subject of the characters, character polls have put Kohta on top of the lists for favorite characters in the series.  Yes, the guy above.  Not surprising to see the awesome portrayal of the fat guy.  Considering that he’s the second most capable combatant in the group next to Saeko and his obvious capability to relate to most of the viewers of the series, it’s not surprising that he’s on top of the list.

It was really about time we got a new character for the series.  An antagonist of sorts.

Thank god he didn't slowly unbutton his shirt.

Enter Shidou Koichi.  Megalmoniac.  Messiah Complex.  Probable Narcissist.

As I mentioned earlier, with society all but collapsed, it makes a fine time for opportunists like Shidou to make their move.  If the way he walks, gestures with his hands and his kicking of the student to the zombies doesn’t give you the impression that he’s likely an incorrigible narcissistic jerkwad, then his speech on “democratic leadership” on the bus should and then some.  It hasn’t been 5 minutes on the bus that he starts his brainwash campaign on everyone inside.  Of course, since the main characters are badasses and therefore immune to brainwash, they can only roll their eyes in disgust to this flagrant display of ego centrism.

The nameless zombie food on the bus of course end up seeing him the next coming of the Messiah and make him the leader of the “group.”  At this point Rei’s ill-contained contempt flares up again and refuses to be part of this farce.  Shidou, in true classic Narcissist response, can only shake his head on those who cannot see the “wisdom” of his words.  From that point it becomes obvious that Shidou is mainly the guy the viewer is supposed to hate with, representative of the people who use the human discord to further his own agendas and his own ego.  In that sense he makes for an excellent character to antagonize, even if he is a cliche in a suit.

What is a good zombie story without the usual group separation?  Rei, realizing she’s had enough of this bullshit, jumps out of the bus followed by Takashi.  In a classic homage to Resident Evil 2, a bus full of zombies slams into the tunnel, separating them from the bus.

You gotta give her props for her quick thinking.

After subduing the biker zombie, it’s time to kick it up a notch.  This separation thing is almost obviously a vehicle to try and develop a bit more into the strained relationship between Rei and Takashi, especially now that the lives of their loved ones are either over orin jeopardy, as well as the obvious fan pandering shipping.

The stage has now moved away from the school and into the city, which is obviously an even more dangerous place than the school.  In a way the High School in the title is a misnomer because they’re not in school anymore.  Can they survive the perils of the city now that public service and safety have all but collapsed?  We shall see next week.

A sort, non-spoiler comment on the preview.  If my assessment of the preview is correct, Madhouse seems to be planning to animate “The Grab” or “The Squeeze” or whatever you want to call it.  I was slightly surprised by it in the manga considering the more playful nature of the subject matter, but if it does get animated with the necessary dialogue, then it’ll put a whole different perspective on the upheaval that is the zombie apocalypse.

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2 Comments »

  1. Clinton said,

    i would not call the poeple on the bus zombie food one of them at the back is acully named Yuuki miku and they are still alive in the manga

    • meotwister5 said,

      *spoiler alert*

      As of the EMP but when you consider the accident and how Shidou looks like he’s in a bad way as Zombies approach, we don’t know for sure if he or his sex cult made it out of being expelled from the mansion.


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