April 01, 2012

High School Of The Dead Ep03

Yes, really.  If I can, I want to get a few more episodic recaps done before the next F1 race, too. 

As you may remember from just a couple of days ago, the three pairs of survivors had made contact with each other and were making plans to rescue their family members when Rei turned on the TV...

...just in time to see a remote news team turned into hors d'oeuvres by a wave of reanimated corpses.  The reaction of the television channel to the death of their newswoman and cameraman... on camera, no less... is just about what you'd expect from the world of TV.

Is there nothing that can't be fixed by a brightly colored scene, hand-drawn by kids?  End of the world?  Zombie apocalypse?  Eh, just get more crayons!  Saeko, apparently repulsed by the color magenta, changes the channel, perhaps looking for Ninja Warrior but instead stumbling across...

...uh... CMN?  Whatever.  The Cable Mews Network anchor reports that things are going zombietime all across the planet.  Beijing is in flames.  Contact has been lost with Moscow.  London has managed to maintain control, undoubtedly because they've had experience lately, what with 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead and all.  There's looting in Paris and Rome, which means it's basically just like every other day in Paris and Rome.  Here in the US, the President is allegedly being evacuated to an aircraft carrier-based command post.  Meanwhile, A-10 Warthogs are bombing the streets of New York City.

I'm okay with this.  Really.  Do we need to have a reason to do that?  Aim for the New York Times building while you're at it... the place is full of mindless undead.  Oooh, snap! from the apolitical anime blogger!  While I'm feeling all sorts of triumphant for sticking it to Da MAN, the Pink Haired Harpy Saya is harshing everybody's groove by pointing out that they've got a pandemic on their hands... one that seems to be following a similar pattern to the 1918 Spanish Flu... or the Black Death in the 1300s.  Y'know, two pandemics that ended only because they killed people too quick for them to pass the disease on?  Except with this one, the vectors are human-sized and they walk...

With that thought ringing in your ears, sleep well tonight!



Oh, so they've got Congress in their reality too, huh?

Oh boy, when I'm rolling out jokes about Congress, you just know this is gonna be a good recap.  Gather the family around the monitor, folks, it's indisputably Go Time now!  Speaking of which...

"Big damn heroes, sir."  "Ain't we just?"
The Fellowship of the Ring Rebel Alliance Road Warriors Superfriends SOS Brigade Teen Titans survivors decide to make for the parking lot and the minibuses therein, but not before striking a hero pose or two.  It seems like it takes them no effort at all to make it outdoors.  Guess this whole zombie thing isn't much of a much at all!

Except not all survivors are as organized or well-prepared as Our Heroes.  Take, for example, these unfortunates, trapped on a staircase by a small group of slow-moving undead.  Why they don't, y'know, just go farther down the stairs is never explained.  One of these imminent victims lets out a scream...

...HEEEEEEERE WE COME TO SAVE THE DAYYYYYYYYY!
Each of the combatants gets into the act.  Hirano snipes one that's just about to attack (BOOM!  HEADSHOT!), Saeko performs a graceful leap into the midst of the undead and begins bashing heads, downing three, Rei kicks one down the stairs, and Takashi does his Sadaharu Oh impersonation, taking one deep.  The other group of survivors joins Our Heroes, and almost immediately you get the idea that they're not long for the world... only one of them is introduced.  The rest?  Not important enough.  May as well be wearing red shirts, guys.  Enjoy your limited amount of screen time.  Returning to the inside of the school (and I'd kill to have a map of this place right about now... near as I can tell, Maurits Escher and August Mobius were the consulting architects), the augmented group finds their path blocked by a huge number of zombies in the school lobby.  Or are they really blocked?  Earlier tests seemed to indicate that the undead were attracted by sound only... somebody needs to find out if this is truly the case.  Takashi, being our suicidal idiot Hero, volunteers himself, much to the consternation of the Praying Mantis, who picks this moment to start getting all "Like, why, and stuff?"  Takashi, being made of stern material, tells her to have a verbal dialogue with his manipulatory appendage and walks into the lobby.

No, his initials aren't "JC", why do you ask?  He's quickly surrounded and eaten left alone by the undead horde, even though one passes within a couple of feet of him.  Getting cocky, he tosses a shoe down the hall and the zombies all go lurching for it.  Wah-hey!  The path to freedom open, the group heads for the doors.  Most make it through with no problem whatsoever.

Say hello to Skippy.  Skippy is just your ordinary average high school student, neither a genius or an idiot, neither a star athlete or a member of the Going Home Club.  He's just another J Random High School Boy... except his name is Skippy.  What he really wants to be when he grows up is an interior designer, because, well, he enjoys that sort of thing.  Some people want to be accountants, others attorneys, Skippy wants to be the guy that figures out the best way to work that cherrywood coffee table into a room otherwise populated by oak furniture and what color paint would tie the whole room together.  In time, he intends to get married, have a child, and have an immaculate, if small, house on the outskirts of the city.  He might never be rich, but unlike his better-paid salaryman friends, he'd be happy.  Skippy is just a boy with a dream of a future, much like you or me at that age.  He's also a clumsy oaf who bangs that metal pole-thingy that he's holding into the metal railing.  The resulting sound, similar to what you'd get if you dropped an entire kitchen down a flight of stairs, draws the attention of every zombie within 100 yards.

Again with the running.  Seriously, there's an outrageous amount of running involved. 

Our Heroes get to do their thing, Saeko in particular pulling off some flashy acrobatic maneuvers.  Everybody gets their momentary spotlight... except for the League of Substitute Heroes Other Survivors.  In fact, three of them, including Skippy, simply disappear, never to be seen again.  One, Takuzo, is swarmed under when he stops to fight.

When Takashi says "run," boy, you'd better run.  Ain't no time he said "fight," he just said "run."  So why'd you stop to fight?  Boy ain't got the sense god gave a muffin.  And his girl, Naomi, she ain't much better.

In fact, she's dumber than a box of hair.  She runs away from Saya to join her guy in death.  The Pink-haired Harpy just doesn't understand this at all, and is nearly eaten as she soliloquizes about how stupid Naomi was.  Other than that brief moment of pathos, Our Heroes show no remorse about the loss of the Legion of Substitute Heroes Other Survivors, or even any sign that the Other Survivors ever existed past this point.  They served their purpose, however: you don't have to outrun the zombies, you just have to outrun the redshirts.  Let us have a moment of silence for Skippy, who simply vanished from the show, all his hopes and dreams lost as if they never existed.  He will never get the chance to accessorize a guest bedroom, will never decide that magenta is the perfect color for a bathroom.  Now he belongs to the ages...
...
...okay, that's enough. 

Our Heroes make the relative safety of the mini-bus, but there's a snag.  Just as they're about to shut the doors and head for the hills...

ANOTHER group of survivors, led by Mr Shido, comes running across the field towards the bus, screaming for Our Heroes to wait.  An intense debate breaks out, as the undead are beginning to swarm in front of the bus.  Also, Rei seems to have an intense dislike for Shido for some reason; she advocates leaving him to die, preferably staked to the ground on top of an anthill and with a sign saying "Free Zombie Chow Here" stuck in his stomach. 

She may have a point.  When one of his students trips and sprains an ankle, he begs Shido for help.  Ever the compassionate instructor, Shido smiles, says "Then it's the end for you," kicks him in the face, and strolls off as the student's cries of pain lure the approaching undead away from him.  Apparently, none of this is seen by Our Heroes, as they don't slam the door and drive away until he's onboard.  At this point, we discover that Boing-sensei is a frustrated NASCAR driver at heart.

Ohhhhhhhhhh, the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round...
After some wild vehicular antics that, quite honestly, can't be physically accomplished by any four-wheeled vehicle, the bus leaves the school grounds and heads for the city.  Safe!  Except for two little details.  One, the city is burning and full of undead.

And two, Shido's Survivors begin to complain about everything... where the bus is going, why it's leaving the school, why didn't Our Heroes consult them about the destination, yadda frickin' yadda.  One of them, whom we'll call "Gristle McThornbody," even decides to pick a fight with Takashi.

Quite reasonably, I thought, Takashi points out that he doesn't even know who Gristle McThornbody is, and hasn't said a word to him ever.  This infuriates Gristle, for reasons unknowable... perhaps he has a secret crush on Our Hero?  Anyway, McThornbody growls and comes at Takashi, fists raised.

Rei, perhaps sensing McThornbody as a potential rival for Takashi's affections, beats the everlovin' crapola out of Gristle.  As he lays on the floor of the bus, mewling and puking like a babe in swaddling clothes, Rei simply says "You suck."  It's hard to disagree with the Preying Mantis, as much as I'd like to.  Shido, pointing out that if the bus had a leader such conflicts wouldn't occur, offers himself for the role.

His seven students all agree, of course.  As that's more than Our Heroes number, he says he wins due to popular vote.  Oddly, Our Heroes just sit there and take it.  No Hirano putting a nail thru Shiro's skull, no Saeko flossing his teeth with her wooden sword, not even a baseball bat in the ear from Takashi.  Only Rei takes action, but instead of jamming her pointed stick through his gullet...

...she leaps off the bus.  Takashi follows, trying to talk her out of it while Shiro points out that it'd be best if they leave, dissension should be avoided at all costs.  While they stand there and scream at each other, something bad approaches.  No, not a zombie... but a full-sized bus, chock full of zombified passengers in the process of eating the non-zombified passengers... and driver.  SFX-sensei gets the minibus out of the way, but...

Oh dear.  This would be a good time to make with the running again.  By a miracle, and by miracle I mean they're the main characters, they survive the bus crash, but are cut off from the others in the process.  Now, here's a question for you... what's worse than plain old zombies?

FLAMING ZOMBIES!  As the "survivors" come staggering out of the wrecked and flaming bus, Takashi yells to Saeko that they'll try and meet up at the police station at 7pm the next day.  Then the fuel tank explodes, and they're well and truly cut off.  As they stand there panting from all the running from the flames and the zombies and the glavin!...

 Evel Knievel comes plummeting down the stairs and attacks Our Hero.  Of course, he's relatively safe, because Zombie Motorcyclist's mouth is inside the helmet, but still and all, the day's pretty much shaping up to be a very very bad one indeed.  Rei promptly splats the zombie with a paving stone.

It takes little effort to find his motorcycle, and Takashi and Rei no longer have to walk into the city.  Roll credits, fade to black.

*phew*  Lots going on in this episode, almost all of it action.  The whole Shiro thing is uniquely annoying, as you'll come to find out later on in the series.  As the kids say, however, "it is what it is."  Just remember, you can't hold me responsible for what happens later... you guys are the ones who voted for High School of the Dead.

FANSERVICE SHOT OF THE EPISODE:


Next time, more zombies!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:08 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 2165 words, total size 17 kb.

1 Hate to harp on the "browser won't show the whole page" thing, but (from Chrome) I right-clicked "open in new tab" the timestamp link on WD's front page to get to this post, and it would only scroll to the picture above "Again with the running. Seriously, there's an outrageous amount of running involved."  I copied the URL and opened a new IE window, and it loaded the whole page fine.  Then I pasted into a new tab in Chrome and it showed the whole page.  Go figure.

Posted by: RickC at April 02, 2012 09:32 AM (OGSbi)

2

Sometimes when that happeens, if you reload the page it will work thereafter. It has to do with the fact that the page source doesn't include picture size info, so the browser can't figure out  how long the page is until it's loaded all the pictures. When you reload, all the pictures are in the cache and the browser can get it right the second time.

It wouldn't happen if the "img" tags all had image sizes, though. Then the browser could do the calculation before the images load, and get it right the first time.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 02, 2012 11:42 AM (+rSRq)

3 Every time someone complains about the page not fully-loading, a cat-girl gets turned into a  zombie.  Please, think of the cat-girls!

Posted by: Siergen at April 02, 2012 04:40 PM (3/gGt)

4 Steven, refreshing has never worked for me as such; I have to open the link in a new tab.
Also, oddly, enough, I don't think I've ever seen it happen anywhere else but mee.nu and mu.nu.  I've seen many long web pages with lots of pictures, and I don't recall ever seeing this happen anywhere else.

Posted by: RickC at April 02, 2012 05:22 PM (WQ6Vb)

5 *sigh* 2165 words and all anybody can talk about is how the post doesn't load all the way.  

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 02, 2012 06:04 PM (AzTWp)

6
*sigh* 2165 words and all anybody can talk about is how the post doesn't load all the way.
Well, since you posted a picture of Saya wearing glasses, brickmuppet is...busy, and can't type right now.  Also, it's dinner time in many time zones; zombie posts are best viewed on an empty stomach - or with a spill-resistant keyboard...

Posted by: Siergen at April 02, 2012 06:22 PM (3/gGt)

7 I don't think Skippy is his real name.

Posted by: brickmuppet at April 02, 2012 07:53 PM (EJaOX)

8 I stand by your misstatements.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 02, 2012 08:15 PM (AzTWp)

9 I'm gonna have to re-watch this series.  It'll be a great palate cleanser when I'm through with Deadman Wonderland.  (Just posted my first episode review.)

Posted by: Mauser at April 03, 2012 05:38 AM (cZPoz)

10 Sorry.  I find these posts wildly entertaining, if it helps.

Posted by: RickC at April 03, 2012 08:25 PM (WQ6Vb)

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