Friday, December 5, 2014

High School of the Dead OVA Drifters of the Dead Anime Review

Highschool of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead
Gakuen Mokushiroku Haisukuru obu za Deddo
Section 23/Sentai Filmworks
15 mins. - 1 episode - 1 disc
$9.98 (2013) Blu-Ray
$6.98 (2013)
ISBN 9781616153991
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Tetsuro Araki
Studio - Madhouse

Synopsis: One day Takashi and his friends were regular high school students and then the world ended in a zombie apocalypse.  A small group managed to stick together and survive the initial outbreak.  They include:
The group find themselves on a tiny island just outside of the city.
From left - Rei, Alice, Kohta, Saya, and Zero
  • Takashi Komuro - childhood friends with Rei and best friend was Hisashi
  • Rei Miyamoto - swore a pinky promise with Takashi to marry each other when they were kids, but she ended up dating Hisashi until he turned into a zombie
  • Saeko Busujima - president of the kendo club, she is calm and reserved
  • Saya Takagi - also a former childhood friend of Takashi's, daughter of wealthy and political parents
  • Kohta Hirano - nerdy and overweight, he likes guns and has surprisingly good survival instincts
  • Shizuka Marikawa - school nurse with enormous breasts, despite being the only adult in the group she is mostly helpless
  • Alice Maresato - young girl whose parents were killed by zombies and was rescued by the group
  • Zero - Alice's dog
Time to relax and have fun at the beach!
The group is on the run again and stop on a tiny island off the coast of the city.  The island appears deserted except for a summer food/clothing stand.  Taking the opportunity to relax without a horde of zombies on their heels, Takashi and crew don skimpy swimwear and enjoy a day at the beach.  What they don't know is the island may be harboring a dark secret and safety is just an illusion.  

The girls convince the guys to go foraging for food - from left:
Rei, Shizuka, Zero (being squished), Alice, Saeko, and Saya
Pros: A lot of funny scenes with slapstick and lewd poses, pushes the boundaries of fan-service (practically all fan-service), bridges the gap between the first and upcoming second season, good dub
Rei lies out to get a tan
Cons: Incredibly short at only 15 minutes, should have been bundled with first season collection (instead of a standalone release), nothing actually happens in the episode, total fluff(er) episode
Saya plays in the ocean water
Mike Tells It Straight: This title has one single, short OVA episode and it's a joke to release a standalone volume for it.  It should have been released with the HOTD complete collection set as a bonus feature.  I think this OVA was released with a volume of the manga in Japan, but it's not standard for a single episode to be sold in the US market.  I dunno, maybe it did really well because it was cheap and rode the popularity of the first season, but I have to think a lot of consumers were pissed to find out it was so short.
Takashi rocks the 'banana hammock' 
I watched the first High School of the Dead season and found it to be somewhat interesting, but focused too heavily on fan-service to be taken seriously.  While there were exciting moments and some small character development, the show is definitely geared toward adolescent males and its highlight was the jiggling boobies.  This episode took out all of the story elements leaving just the comedy and fan-service aspects of the regular series.
Things heat up at the campfire, but what's really going on?
It's not uncommon for an anime series to release OVA episodes which are just hot springs or beach visits.  Drifters of the Dead pushes the boundaries of the fan-service, but stops just short of baring full nipples.  This episode is pure T&A (even Takashi dons a 'banana hammock') and basically exploits women as helpless, sexual objects.  There, I said it.  The most recent HOTD collection release includes this OVA, but it's a premium release which costs a ridiculous amount of money.  Don't waste your money and it's actually cheaper to buy the regular first season plus OVA disc.  Overall, check out this OVA if your favorite part of HOTD was the fan-service.
It gets even hotter away from the campfire, whose hand is that!?

TO BUY and Recommendations: