So the Summer 2010 anime season has well and truly begun. As usual, everyone’s assumed that it’ll be crap and that anime is doomed. But it can’t be that bad, right? Err… Anyway, there are usually a few hidden truffles to snuff out every season, and I’ll be hoping to cover some of those over the coming weeks. At the moment, Occult Academy and Shiki are looking interesting enough.
One anime has arguably had magnified interest before the season started thanks to a fairly unique premise for an anime, which is strange both because “unique” and “anime” don’t often belong in the same sentence these days, and because the trope almost feels like it has been overused in other media. Zombies!
It beggars belief that there hasn’t been a proper Dawn of the Dead-esque zombie apocalypse anime before (at least, not that I know of). The medium has the potential to lend itself very well to emphasising the scale of such a disaster, as well as the human stories that arise from it.
So here we have High School of the Dead. It’s based on a popular manga which, as of Comic-Con 2010, has been licensed by Yen Press in the US. Luckily, US Yen Press releases tend to trickle on to the UK market as well.
An admission – I am terribly excited about this show. It has an original premise, giving it lots of potential, it promises balls-to-the-wall action thanks to the undead perusing the streets and as we see from very early on (episode one), it isn’t afraid to get into some of the moral strains that can appear during zombie apocalypses.
It’s being animated by Madhouse, which as we recently found with Redline, appears to still have the money to push the animation of its works into a different league compared to your typical late-night anime. The stellar opening sequence takes the time to transliterate its staff members into English. If that isn’t a sign of a show confident in itself, I don’t know what is. All in all, everything’s looking good.
The show doesn’t waste much time in setting up its advertised plot. While Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 left us waiting for the whole episode for the inevitable to happen, HOTD drops us right in with the gore turned up to eleven. Excellent!