Alrighty, let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that an anime called THE HIGH SCHOOL OF THE DEAD is high art or anything, but you have to admit it was pretty alright. If there’s one thing Madhouse can do well, it’s really straightforward, well produced, and over-the-top mainstream productions that don’t require much in the way of brain power to appreciate.
The action was all really good by my standards, especially when it came to swordplay, or in Rei’s case, large stick… play. The gunplay was less memorable outside of that one awesome sequence when they did bullet time against bouncing breasts and ridiculously detailed crotch shots. On that note, all of the fanservice was really good, too. DIGITAL ACCEL WORKS’ designs weren’t translated super faithfully into animation, but Tanaka Masayoshi (Toradora! anime designer) got the main details right, like the eyes, the hair, and, of course, the breasts.
But what made this stuff great was the amount of detail and effort put into it. There’s an art to animated jiggling breasts, and they nailed it. There’s also an art to good fight choreography, and despite resorting to some corner-cutting techniques, they put out some good fights each episode. Whether it was the characters’ wonderfully shiny skin just as they got out of the shower, or one of them offing a zombie in a totally sweet way, Madhouse nailed it.
What I’m trying to say is, they knew how to make this show–by focusing entirely on fanservice, be it action or jiggling breasts. When it came right down to it, each episode was basically the same thing, but each time it was pulled off so well and so differently from the last time that you didn’t really care.
That said, the show was just a really good candy bar, and had no meat whatsoever. The characters were completely archetypal, and not that likable outside of the fact that they had boobs. Sometimes they’d touch on some moe points with their mannerisms, but that’s about it. I mean, I did genuinely like Alice, but that’s just the kind of guy I am. Well, I liked Takagi’s dad, too. He’s just cool.