So, as of July 5, 2010 , Madhouse released their animated adaptation of high school of the dead, showering Japan, and now curtosy of Sentai Filmworks and anime network the US, with their regular required dose of zombies, fanservice and blood and gore.
But what about the original manga that spawned it?
First Published in Monthly Dragon Age [ home of full metal panic] in 2006 and currently still ongoing, is written by Daisuke Sato and illustrated by Shouji Sato, follows a group of school kids, lead by the hot-headed Takashi Komuro, as they try to survive in a japan where the unliving have risen and, in true Francis ford Coppola style, proceed to chomp down on any hapless school students and civilians, with them resultantly coming back as zombies.
As to be expected for a zombie film the scenes of victims being attacked and killed are unforgiving in their graphicness – if you liked the manga adaptation of Battle Royale then this will definitely be your cup of tea. Additionally the amount of fan service in the anime adaptation is definitely influenced by the manga, with panty shots, disproportionately sized boobs [were talking smothering someone to death size.
Fortunately the creators knew that Takashi alone couldn’t carry the series, and the support characters each have their own personalities and agendas – from Takashi’s childhood friend
[who he still has an unrequited crush on] Rei Miyamoto, gun otaku Kohta Hirano and his foil uber genius and group Tsundere Saya Takagi. Kendo practitioner and quotient sword wielding girl Saeko Busujima and sole adult/ giant breasted school nurse Shizuka Marikawa fill out the remainder of the core group, with the group later on joined by the surprisingly calm second grader Alice marisato.
With the artwork on one hand is split between the acurate and well detailed [buildings, weapons, vehicles] to the shonen manga like [most of the characters in the series] to the …….embellished [shizuka’s, and to a lesser the extent for the female characters, cleavage].
Although the the series has already been licensed in Spain, Germany and Brazil, there’s been no word to date of a US release [although with the graphic content of the series, the chances of an English adaptation are slim at best].
At the end of the day if your an avid zombie film fan, or know of one and want to introduce them to manga, or liked worked like battle royale or Kurosagi corpse delivery service, then high school of the dead is one series worth looking out for.