September 24, 2010

HotD Season 1 Finale: We Will Survive

Posted in High School of the Dead tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 5:41 pm by meotwister5

When we saw those nukes rising up into the sky over the remains of civilized Japan, we already knew that deep shit was already on its way.  It might be considered almost unexpected that Japan, the only country that has ever felt the nightmare of the atom’s destructive powers, would be the country to feel it again when civilization is on its death knells.

As fate (or word of god) would have it, the nuke never strikes land and explodes over the atmosphere, sending electron shock waves that, in reality, might simply be worse than simply wiping Japan from the face of the earth.  Now with humans still alive, they’ll have to deal with the aftermath of an atmospheric explosion:  EMP.

They just HAD to make it worse...

As anyone with any knowledge of electronics will tell you (or otherwise have Saya do it for you), electromagnetic pulses will generally fry any circuit with a running current by surging the system.  Basically, any electronic device that was on at the time and not properly shielded will get shorted out, while gadgets not operating at the time of the surge will likely be affected less.  As evidenced by the mansion, all electrical appliances from computers to cars to cellphones just blew, and as Rika says, the nights just got darker.

Electronics and gadgetry obviously gave them a bigger advantage over the zombie hordes, but with one of humanity’s greatest achievements now gone, humanity will now have to resolve to more basic and primal methods.

Which suits the group just fine.

Indeed.

After a brief but highly technical explanation, everyone at this point knows that the gauntlet is about to come down now that the gates cannot keep out the raging bloodlust of the undead.  Rei and Takeshi still have their family’s they need to find, and thus Saya’s father wishes them well and entrusts their daughter to the group.  Perhaps he knows that given the circumstances she is much safer with them than in the mansion.  Perhaps he trusts Takeshi, Hirano and the rest of the group more than enough with his daughter.  Whatever the case may be, the only way for them is to escape, and now is the only time to do so.

I have to assume that the Hummer had electromagnetic shielding similar to that of a Faraday Cage, though it is quite convenient that it had one if at all.  A good thing given that most of the cars are now essentially fried, and the Hummer is the only way out for them through the zombie horde.  As much as they hate having to abandon the mansion and its occupants, they have to, if they are to survive and find their parents.

And so it is back into the wasteland for them.  And, perhaps, back for a second season?

If only she had listened!

The Good

It is almost refreshing to see a series that doesn’t attempt to be pretentious with its contents.  High School of the Dead, through and through, has been about 5 things, and these 5 things it does well:

1.  Tits

2.  Asses

3.  Zombies

4.  Killing said zombies

5.  The physical and social collapse of mankind

Okay perhaps the last item would make it rather pretentious for a series that is really about fanservice and violence, but it is rather ironic that a series based on a shallow premise can deliver some deeper material without skewing its purpose or its focus.  The series avoided pretentiousness by not relying on the more obvious long-winded expositions, direct social commentary and the like by simply and directly showed us the fall of human civilization:  empty streets, mob rioting, people driven insane, people being abandoned and, of course, people being eaten.  No excess symbolism, no philosophizing and no overbearing social angst.  Just a straight up presentation of what is likely to happen when the world as we know it ends all around us.

True badassery never dies.

The Bad

There is such a thing as fanservice, not enough fanservice, and really too much fanservice.  For the most part the series stays to giving us just enough fanservice to keep us watching, but there are times when the fanservice can get too much and starts to become distracting.

Like BOING!

Those are some of the biggest pairs of mammaries I have ever seen animated, and I’ve seen a lot of mammaries in my day.  As primarily a fanservice series for people with the love of guns, pantsu and zombies, it obviously needs to stick to the demographic, but I think even the demographic has a saturation point.  Probably not as bad as some other series out there, but as a lover of all of those three, I still do find it a bit distracting to see boobs jiggling beyond belief every 5 seconds, especially with that boing sound.  I almost can’t believe that was moderately endowed Nia in TTGL.

Too awesome to die.

The Best

Some say that bonds made in life and death are the strongest.  Aside from war, it’s probably never been as apparent as the end of civilization as we know it.  Beyond the fanservice and the violence, we also see a show about a diverse group of humans, each with their own skills and abilities, banding together despite their differences in an attempt to survive the madness that is unfolding before them.  In the span of 3 days we see 4 students, a school nurse, a grade schooler and a little dog transform from scared kids to a ragtag group of badasses ready to take the zombie horde by the balls.

Okay so they aren’t as average as you’d think.  You have medical experts, combat specialists and genius savants in that group, but you can say the same thing about the police and the military, and any zombie genre fan knows the relative lack of capabilities of those groups when it comes down to the zombie apocalypse.  While they don’t have the similar degree of expertise those groups have, they do have one thing that people in in a panic lose when shit hits proverbial fan:  the complete desire to live no matter what.

The desire to live is a natural instinct, but there are times when instinct isn’t enough to make it through the moments of life and death that separate the survivors from zombie chow.  Pure instinct will likely get you killed, and what these characters have shown is not only instinct but the ability to take time and think, plan ahead and most importantly, rest when needed.  Going around guns blazing, killing everything in sight and rampaging through the streets will likely get you killed as fast if not faster.  These are the times that show how survival needs more than instinct.

It needs badassitude.

Badassitude.

A second season is probably a foregone conclusion by now, given the ridiculous reception the series got.  Call the season finale a bit of a downer after the first 20minutes dripped with so much manliness my dick could taste it, but it’s still a perfect setup for s second season.  The mall is still well within the current confines of the manga, and in reality all that remains is for the Satou brothers to really now just go do the manga.

While they’re at it, the rest or us will wait eagerly for our next foray into the world of TAZ:  Tits, Asses and Zombies.

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