Bow to your queen, people!
When there are zombies, you should really read the How To Survive a Zombie Outbreak. If somehow, you are stuck in a Japanese anime with tons of zombies, a melodramatic brat, a whiny girl who nearly breakdowns and a few other random characters, you know you need Saeko. Saeko, the most awesome zombie killing chick of the anime world. This is my Saeko, and this is her show!
Takashi was playing truant, as the world around him is going to transform. We see how Takashi is taunted by Saya Takagi, a supposedly intelligent girl who shows some interest in him because he is a redeeming idiot. Takashi, from the stairs, saw a man hanging outside the school gates. As the teachers confronted him, they were bitten and gradually transformed into zombies. Takashi immediately grabbed Rei and Hisashi to escape before anything happens to them. Instead of rushing through the main gate like the rampaging students, they moved up to the balcony. However, while meeting a zombie along the way, Hisashi got bitten. The other main characters also see some short action. They finally reached the balcony and set up a barricade. It was clear that Hisashi was going to transform into a zombie. Hisashi begged Takashi to kill him before he turned into a zombie. As Takashi killed him, Rei accused him of killing Hisashi because he was jealous. He then wanted to volunteer himself to kill the zombies, but Rei begged him to stay. She needed him.
Hell ya for the show I have been waiting for ages! It started off very well with a In Medias res style of opening, which is always up my alley because it makes you anticipate what will be happening soon. I found that in shows of conflict like High School of the Dead, it can be done in a very effective manner, and I felt that it started off capturing your attention to see how these three unknown characters find themselves in this situation.
What happened after that is one of the best eye catching OPs montage (not the song, because the song is sung quite poorly) of the season for sure with some very cool stylization of the main characters. The ED was also very awesome in my opinion, which made the whole experience just that much better. The animation was also smooth, even though there seemed to be a concern that Madhouse might not be able to keep up with the animation quality. I believe they can to a decent degree, because Madhouse’s anime offerings have been pretty good for the recent anime seasons. That said, I still worry a little if they have blown their budget on the OP and ED too much, because it is seriously good.
The characters are barely developed as yet due to the pretty slow pace. Without providing too much spoilers, I actually didn’t like the two main characters right now. That said, they feel real rather than cardboard characters because they cry, they try to fight fate and they are trying their best to keep their humanity despite the horror movie screening right in front of their faces. Throughout the episode, we see despair, betrayal and even suicide for many teachers and students. The fact that they struggled with their fear and yet continue to live is an endearing trait despite the emotional (which felt very fake in my opinion) part at the end. I generally like stories with apocalyptic settings simply because it usually has this despairing feeling, and it encapsulates the variety of the human spirit.
However, here’s the bad part of the show. Tits, panties and fanservice. Generally, I am very intolerant of fanservice, and Madhouse has done it in a pretty blatant and silly way. As Kurogane noted, it is really weird that they focused on the panties when a girl gets attacked. I generally find fanservice an aberration, but I think that the characters are worth it for now to watch it. It’s tight, the story is engaging and other than the blatant fanservice, it is pretty much a very good first episode. I will say, if your tolerance for fanservice is extremely weak, do not try this anime. It will get worse, I assure you. Everyone else should give this a shot.
Recommendation: 8/10 (Too much boobies/panties, but so stylized and gritty. Worth a look for sure!)