Monday, 13 September 2010

Highschool of the Dead - Episode 11

As rain and storms descend over the city, things are getting decidedly dark within what is left of Highschool of the Dead's humanity itself, whether it's upon Shidou's bus as its occupants reach cult-like proportions and what seems to be a rapid attempt to repopulate the planet, or those who have been saved by Takagi's father as they seek to turn against his violence ways and opt for a peaceful way out of the current chaos, whatever that might be.

While our group of high school students have unanimously decided upon Takashi as their leader, there's also some tension here, namely between Rei and Saeko - although nothing explicit is spoken about that particular love triangle, all of Rei's works to both Takashi and Saeko seem to be dripping with meaning, suggesting that she's more than a little aware as to what went on between the two of them while they were on their own together.

Mind you, love is the least of Rei's worries as Shidou and his troop of subservient students arrive on the doorstep of the mansion they're staying at - it's at this point we learn exactly why Rei hates this teacher so much, and surprisingly it isn't as perverted as you might have initially thought, with Shidou responsible for holding Rei back a grade at the behest of his father, a corrupt Senator with a dislike for Rei's father and his position within the police force. Seeing Shidou's face again causes Rei to fly into a rage, threatening him at knife point, while Soichiro Takagi is quite happy to allow her to make her own decision as to whether he lives or dies before he leaves, angry and disgraced. Not that it's going to matter where anybody goes, judging by the depressing final few scenes which look set to lead us towards a brutal ending for the series.

After all of those episodes with a hefty dose of outright action to enjoy, this was another instalment that was remarkable for featuring exactly zero action, focusing instead on various relationships much like the episode which preceded it. The trouble is, some of these encounters went on too long while others were unsatisfying in their brevity - the fallout of Rei and Shidou's face-off felt like it deserved far more than simply seeing him thrown back on his bus and out of the compound given how it had been built up throughout the series. That slightly skewed pacing and lack of action aside, it seems as though Highschool of the Dead now firmly has its eyes set on its end-game - and what a gruesome (if perhaps fitting) finale it looks as though it might be.

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