Title: Highschool of the Dead Vol 1
Author: Daisuke Sato & Shouji Sato
Publisher: Yen Press
For Mature Readers
May Contain Spoilers
A mundane day at school takes a turn for the gross when a zombie invasion has Takashi Komuro and a group of his classmates running for their lives! Hungry zombies are everywhere, and it’s going to take every bit of sheath, courage, and luck to avoid being eaten.
This is a fun read, but it doesn’t do much to set itself apart from other zombie tales that I have read. An intrepid group of students and teachers band together to avoid the rampaging zombie horde, and body parts and blood quickly fill the panels as the undead gain the upper hand. Tensions mount between the survivors, as egos clash amid the slaughter.
There’s lots of non-stop action as Takashi’s group undertakes the number one activity in any zombie yarn – they start running as fast they can away from the monsters. I have developed a love for zombies, and I’m not quite sure where it came from, because I don’t usually enjoy horror stories. The terror of being chased by things that can’t be killed appeals to me, as do the relationship dynamics among the surviving humans. That has got to take a toll on your psyche, wondering when you are going to be chased down and eaten by a rotting, stinking zombie. If zombies weren’t so appealing to me, Highschool of the Dead would have gotten a “meh” from me. The female character designs have me wondering how these girls can stand upright, but that is a common point of contention for me in seinen manga.
I altered my grading scale to better reflect how I felt about this book:
Fun Factor: Summer blockbuster fun, but avoid eating popcorn while reading unless gore doesn’t dampen your appetite
Action Factor: Tons of running, hiding, and whacking zombie skulls, resulting in blood spatters everywhere
Page Flipping Factor: Fast. Really, really fast, though dialog to skull-whacking factor is surprisingly high
Jiggle Factor: Too high. Not sure how the women can get back up if they fall, and I worry about back strain
Review copy provided by publisher