August 2, 2010

HotD Ep5: Exodus and Anarchy

Posted in High School of the Dead tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:58 pm by meotwister5

Obviously not everyone gets turned into zombies.  The massive wave of humanity that clings on to their lives have to go somewhere, whether they must crawl or drag themselves, as the desire to survive overwhelms everything else.  While we see the people of Japan desperately pull themselves from zombie-eaten corpse of their modern civilization, the same can be said of everywhere else in the planet.  We see people clinging on to dim hope in their bid to escape the undead nightmare that has befallen their lives.

We see both the good and the bad sides of people in the turmoil.  While we’ve seen enough of the main cast to see how people still retain their humanity in the midst of the inhuman, we also see the chaos dealt by those who try to leave their violent mark on this new world.

In that sense, this is an exodus and anarchy of Biblical proportions.


The people who were so absent in the previous episode appear now as a massive sea of refugees streaming through the roads to the “safer” lands beyond.  With the chaos slowly catching up with them it’s expected to see the terrified people panicking as they walk and drive looking for a safe haven away from the madness.  As the bus carrying everyone else gets stuck, it’s pretty obvious that no one’s getting anywhere at this rate, and waiting around for your turn is just asking for the zombies to catch up with them.

I guess it’s distinctly part of the concept of “life” to cling to self-preservation so tightly.  I sincerely doubt anyone really wants to die, especially while in the process of having one’s internal organs consumed.  With this of course you expect people to push down everyone else in the way just to survive, but it doesn’t mean everyone’s like that.  Specifically with the scenes of the people pushing and rushing through while others get left behind, the terror of death haunts people and those scared out of their minds will do anything to survive.



Now once you have enough people who have rejected the society’s laws and orders with the collapse of government and band them together, Herd Mentality begins.  The breakdown of social order isn’t isolated to individual opportunists.  If you’ve seen any riots on the news then you know what happens when enough people who’ve gone batshit insane congregate.  Clearly those guys don’t really care who’s who.  Like the rapist in episode 4, there are those simply too lost in the madness of chaos to care who’s a zombie and who’s still human.  Just loot and burn everything, anyway this whole city’s gone to shit.  With people now doing whatever the hell they want, it’s likewise natural for the violent and lawless elements to rear their ugly heads.  Even in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, chaos and destruction itself isn’t only because of them.  Zombies may try to destroy humanity, but humans will also destroy each other.

All in the name of survival.

The Cult of Shidou

Shidou’s brainwashing of the other students is essentially complete.  If anything, Shidou knows how to take the students’ fears and turn it into blind idolatry.  The females are completely enamored by him and the men practically worship him.  His charisma is rather questionable: there are those who will be captivated by it and those repulsed by it.  Again, being the badasses that they are, the main cast are immune to this and decide to screw this BS and like Takashi and Rei before them leave the bus.  I’m sure they realized that staying in the bus is both impractical as it’s not gonna be going anywhere soon, and that they can’t stand Shidou anymore.  Of course, being the magnificent bastard that he is, insists that the school nurse.

Obviously, Hirana will have none of that crap.

He'll fuck up your day.

Admittedly, the police and military response to the human exodus is slightly appalling.  Normally you’d assume that they’d do their best trying to get as many people to safety as possible and try to hold of the zombie waves.  The barricades and the water canons one would see as a deterrent to people’s survival, as the idiot students who jumped the fence learned first hand.  By slowing down the masses of people with fences and riot police you can only get so much people through before the zombies catch up.

As inhumane as it may sound, we have to be realistic here.  In truth just letting people run through in terror would do more harm than good because, with them being outnumbered, you can’t save everyone. The police have to maintain order because in the long run you have to make sure that no zombies or bitten survivors get through, and that more people could also die in the resulting chaotic stampede.  It would be foolish to take more people than you can handle if you can’t protect them all.

In the end yes, while human selflessness and altruism survives in the midst of Armageddon, you can’t expect to save everyone, and you can’t likewise save anyone if you can’t save yourself.

Bullet Time.

With even the remnants of society collapsing around them it’s understandable that the cast will want to try their luck on their own.  Humanity’s running out of options for a means to survival, but in the end you can’t really rely on going with the flow if you want to survive.  Sometimes it entails making your own decisions on what’s right for you and those who are traveling with you.  If surviving one more day means distancing yourself from the evacuating masses then so be it.  There are ways to survive even without succumbing to the pressures of lost inhibitions and lost morals.  Society may be on it’s death throes, but the morals that you learned from it do not.

You can still survive without becoming a monster yourself.

As an aside, Act 6 will be up next week.  Yeah.  Every manga reader knows what’s in store for the anime.


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