Debate between the positive and negative persona of Canne: High School of the Dead anime review

Due to the unexpectedly successful K-ON!! anime review post which utilized conversation-styled writing, I have decided to use this particular format when reviewing controversial anime or anime that creates internal conflict for me. This time, it’s High School of the Dead.

Positive Canne: Anime about zombie apocalypse! It’s not every day anime fans get to enjoy the violence, the sarcasm and entertainment from this subgenre of horror which mostly exist in live-action movie. I, aside from being an anime fan, am also a zombie movie fan and I enjoy watching army of undead wrecking havoc in the city despite the lack of plausible scientific explanation for the zombies’ very existence. In addition to bloody violence, High School of the Dead also provides tons of fan-service. In short, this anime is a real treat for me and arguably is the only bright spot in the long, dull anime lineup of 2010.

Negative Canne: So basically, you get all dazzled by the bloodbath, the unnaturally large rippling boobs and the gravity-defying actions that you overlook all the basic elements that make up a good anime. I admit that I love zombies and blood as well but we are reviewing the anime here not rambling aimlessly like fanboys. Seriously speaking, High School of the Dead is literally a collection of disjointed fragments of post-apocalyptic zombie cliché and typical anime fan-service. There is nothing new. It’s just that no one has ever explicitly put these two elements together.

Positive Canne: May I offer you a word of advice? Get a life! Last time I checked, you are no professional film critics or something. Have you forgotten the very first reason you love watching anime? Wasn’t it the fun and the craziness? Wasn’t it because anime could take you to the world beyond your imagination, reason and logic? When did you lose sight of the meaning of ‘magic’? High School of the Dead is a rollercoaster. It’s bold, wild and crazy. The anime knows exactly what it’s doing and offering and it go straight towards that. High School of the Dead is all about premise and mindless fun. If you are worried about the plot, dialogue or the hidden message, then you totally miss the point. I believe that part of being a critic is to know the right way to look at each show. Not every anime can be fitted into the same criteria.

Negative Canne: Wow, I didn’t see that coming. You are probably right about letting go and enjoying the show. So let me clarify one thing first. Despite what I may have to say about this anime, I did have a good time watching it. Call it guilty pleasure and you are absolutely correct. One thing though, when you said ‘magic’, you didn’t mean the magical bullet-dodging boobs? *smiles devilishly*

Positive Canne: Tell that to yourself. Now, since we both agree that the staple of this show is fan-service. I would like to emphasize on how successful this show is in that particular field. High School of the Dead teaches me that there is more than one level of achievement in fan-service in regard of the effort and work put into it. And I can confidently say that incredible effort is put into creating the entirely new laws of physics for boobs. My goodness, look at them moving in The Matrix-inspired, slow motion or how detailed they are under wet shirts!

Negative Canne: Do you realize what you sounded like? *sighs* I know that they elaborately create fan-service scenes but when every scene is considered, the animation is not so perfect. Excluding action scenes, you get significant amount of lazily animated sequence. The background, after careful inspection, appears to be full of crudely computer-generated zombies. The animation is mediocre at best in places we are not paying attention. There is also another thing about fan-service that bothers me. I think they are crudely put into the show whenever there is the slightest of opportunity. The show ends up switching back and forth between blood and fan-service. And someone please explain to me why the girls spontaneously get drunk and sexually excited every time they settle in any shelter (including the shrine!) or every time someone touches them. Is that normal? *makes innocent face*

Positive Canne: Yep, that’s perfectly normal. *looks dead serious*

Negative Canne: You are kidding, right? I think we are done talking. What’s your verdict?

Positive Canne: I know High School of the Dead is never a candidate for getting A rating or above. But I genuinely had great fun watching it and that was enough for me. The only thing that almost ruined my viewing experience was the ending. It didn’t end! Now, when will the second season coming out? My rating is B+.

Oh, and did I mention that Saeko rocked my world?

Negative Canne: High School of the Dead is the very definition of guilty pleasure for me. It’s fun like crazy but it was also severely flawed. But then again, many anime manage to be both good and entertaining so just being fun is not an acceptable excuse for me. I think it’s like pizzas. You can’t stop eating them even though you know it’s not very healthy. My rating is C.

Overall rating: C+

Title: High School of the Dead
Genre: action, horror
Released date: July 5, 2010 – September 20, 2010
Episode: 12
Director: Tetsuro Araki
Animated by: Madhouse

23 responses to “Debate between the positive and negative persona of Canne: High School of the Dead anime review

  1. A review of this series can be summarized into a single line :

    An excuse to show girls in skimpy outfit, boobs and abnormal physics ruining the atmosphere of the “crisis” they were living and making everything simply ridiculous.

    C is a highly generous vote for an anime with no other meaning than fanservice. (there isn’t even comedy or real romance to try to back it up like many other fanservices anime out there. Only half assed action that end up in stupidity like that bullet passing through the legs of Saeko).
    Nevertheless good job trying to make sense of it. :D

    • It has zombies. Thus it gets bumped to a C. :D

      • I’d have to agree with that. The fanservice turned me off a lot (especially when it popped up during gory scenes – really, panty shots while some poor girls are getting killed?), but I decided I’d at least try to stick with it because of the zombies. I got as far as episode 3 and was then distracted by other shows – but it’s still on my list of things to finish up sometime.

    • @feal87 – I really cannot contradict with what you said. It’s true. Though I think it’s still ridiculously enjoyable. Lots of people gave it very high rating and I understand them :)

      @Janette – If this show had only zombies and no fanservice, I may get higher rating. I don’t know.

      @LG – jusu wait for the sequel so you can marathon the whole thing in one watch. Marathon really helps keep the excitement going on.

  2. The average of a B+ and C is a B-, not a C+. Is Negative Canne a cheater?

    • Yeah, it should have been B- but that means I’ll have to revise my entire rating system. And yeah, Negative Canne can be a cheater sometimes :P

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  4. Pragmatic Valence: Oh come on, you know the only things the show is good at are boobs. And of course, breast physics, boobs, breast physics, and breasts.

    Madoka Valence: No! You’re wrong! Please! Don’t be so mean! But what about all the a-

    AIC Valence: Let’s do a sequel before they can! We’ll show them who’s the king of breast physics!

  5. Who says it can’t get an A? I have it my top grade possible. I don’t care about things like plot or character development. All I care about is enjoyment, and I enjoyed the SHIT out of this anime.

    This was arguably the best show of the year. It was unarguably the most bad-ass. Even the little girl killed a zombie.

  6. Eventually I will get around to this series, if only because of the zombies. But I am kind of anticipating seeing the infamous breast movement I’ve heard so much about.

  7. I don’t mind fanservice but sometimes it’s too much for me, I’m on the fence on whether or not to watch this.

  8. So…zombies and sexy girls…what more can a man desire. However after working as a forensic autopsy assistent during my education I just cant distract my brains from “l’odeur de cadaverositas” so the rather enthusiastic way the show tries to appeal to the species that is the male, is quite inefficient for me.
    And…sigh…again another anime with breasts the size of elephants. What is it with the development of anime and sex-appeal these days…wait another 10 years and every anime-female will only consist of a pair of mammarian glands with a couple of legs and arms attached. Now that will be a hassle for a future plastic surgeon :-)
    But hey, the dead walking AND fanservice combined is a rather fresh and challenging approach for an anime so thumbs up for the production team for their courage. It is on my “to watch” list just for the laughs of it, and it seems I can expect just that and nothing more, judging from your verdict :-)

    • Yeah, the combination was fresh even though each individual elements was quite formulaic. I think if one knows what to expect from the show, the person is unlikely to be disappointed.

  9. It seems like any discussion about HotD inevitably surrounds the fan service. It didn’t actually do much for me. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It was just sort of there. I don’t think it makes the anime any less because it was a stylistic choice that works for the genre.

    However, one thing that made HotD really unbearable for me though was the unnecessary teenage angst. God was that painful to watch.

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  11. I can’t decide which side I agree with, this internal debate between the two Cannes have influenced the two sides of Bass >__<

    Like Yi said though, the angst is quite a drag. Luckily I read the manga, and I can drown that all out by swiftly turning the page or skim read emo scenes :3

    A great review once again, I love how you managed to hit all the points precisely. I've probably said this before but this review method is awesome XD

    • Thanks! I love this review method so much as well because it is also fun to write :)
      I hope you don’t mine me removing the duplicated comment. :)

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