Highschool of the Dead – or the High School Hero complex

Highschool of the Dead turns out to be a direct manga-to-anime adaptation of the manga, HOTD. Not that I’m complaining.
What intrigues me , however, is the phenomenon I dub the ‘Highschool Hero Complex’.

Basically, this phenomenon dictates that any highschool student thrown into another world will inevitably become the hero without question simply just knows how to do what they’re supposed to do. In Fushigi Yuugi, the high-school student Miaka is thrown into the storybook world to be the priestess of Suzaku, which she takes without question. In Neon Genesis Evangelion,the student Shinji simply becomes the pilot of the most destructive weapon known to mankind without any proper experience or training. In Highschool of the Dead, Takashi simply smashes his former schoolmates’ faces without question in cold blood.

So basically, after he witnesses what happened at the front gates, he pulls his  childhood crush Rei  (who dumped him on her promise to marry him and went to be in love with someone else), beats the crap out of zombies with complete bravery and whatnot. He turns out to be extremely good at fighting and comes equipped with the ability to be GAR. After which , her token boyfriend who no-one seems to give a shit about gets bitten by a zombie. He requests to be killed. Rei objects. He turns into a zombie. Takashi gets to kill his rival in cold blood with good reason. Everyone wins.

Oh wait.

Rei goes into temporary insanity, then completely becoming a pussy (haha I made a double entendre.) when Takashi attempts to leave her behind.

Then Rei, being the oh so ambivalent character she is, cries and hugs him like some crazed slut begging for his protection.

So in succinct summary : Takashi’s world gets turned upside down when zombies attack. He turns from a highschool student to a zombie-killer who kills in cold blood and is the attention of all the ladies lady of his dreams. Not to mention he gets to kill his rival and not feel any bit guilty about it. Niiiiiicccce.

So to elaborate on the Highschool Hero Complex.

The phenomenon is that High-school students who are cast as main protagonists often have amazing skills not expected of their calibre. Obvious, I know. What I mean is that they all have the perfect skill – at perfection- whenever the show starts. Hirano can assemble guns (?) (if I’m not mistaken), Rei uses spears, and Takashi with his baseball bat.  But this isn’t important, it’s just poorly phrased obvious bullshit.

The Highschool Hero Complex refers to another effect : that the fate of something huge rests in his or her hands. Shinji has to protect Tokyo-3 from Angels. Yuuki has to help her faction battle off the evil forces of Soryuu (?). Light just finds the Death Note. Hitomi is a tarot-enthuiast turned prophet. This is the part of the HHC which actually matters and isn’t as obvious as you’d think it’d be. Who were these shows aimed at? Teenagers. Exactly. The audience loves being able to relate to the show, giving rise to this phenomenon. If it were “Office of the Dead” I wouldn’t give a shit. But highschool…hey, I’m in high school! Sounds interesting, let’s watch it.

Point is, the reason  the audience will love him/her no matter the situation,be it a war between an angst-filled hypnotism-wielding chopstick boy and his father with a bad hairstyle or a girl falling into a well to meet some random dog-man.  In the end, this gives rise to protagonists which defy our imagination and logic – thus resulting in being very, very entertaining indeed.

Looking forward to the next episode, although I can guess what would happen next.

Next to "voice"

P.S. Who is this ‘Sala Powell’ that appears on the fliers? She appears during the OP as well, if you look carefully. Albeit in a flier, but still.

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12 Responses to Highschool of the Dead – or the High School Hero complex

  1. scorchnroses says:

    Lol this made me feel like playing L4D2 xD

    And this is one anime that I don’t mind fanservice, in fact I enjoy it, ’cause I love the art 😛

    • Valence says:

      Holy crap. I just realised how much fanservice is in the show – and I don’t even mind, not like usual!

      The art is nice, the gore is detailed. I hope it can live up to how nice the manga looked. I have it on my side-table : thus far, it’s only chapter 1 of volume 1 that was animated, and the art in the anime is vastly superior.

  2. karry says:

    “He also develops street-fighting skills and the ability to be GAR”

    He does ? I didnt realise it takes a special skill to swing the fucking bat in someone’s face. And maybe he’s not exactly a pussy, but a true badass ? Really ?

    • Valence says:

      ..well, it’s not that hard, but you’re going around killing people you know without hesitation…that’d take some guts, if you ask me for my opinion, so yeah, I’d say that’s something not everyone can do,I suppose.

      Well, the second point I can’t substantiate convincingly, or so I believe. Compare him to the likes of other male protagonists, say Yuuji or something. They both fight, yes, but really.

  3. trewdys says:

    Why were you using those shit-looking subs?
    Compared to your other examples, the students in HSoTD aren’t really that magical in their starting skill level. Rei is in the spear club, the unimportant boyfriend is in martial arts and everyone knows how to swing a bat. Hirano probably has some background.

  4. Fabrice says:

    He got rid of his rival in the first episode. Lol. How convenient.
    Nice start of the show. Don’t stop with panty shots pls. I’d be sad.

  5. howeirong says:

    Hirano can’t build guns, but he sure as hell can shoot them. Rival was supposed to be his best friend, but I guess they didn’t really show it much, did they.

    Anyway, from the manga, about half the main cast is useless when it comes to fighting. Hirano happens to be a gun otaku who trained with some US crack team so he’s got shooting credentials. And the main character actually needs about 5 chapters to learn how to use a gun, and even then only a shotgun – his skill with a rifle is about as good as shooting fish in a river in the dark.

    • Valence says:

      I read the manga, it’s on my bookshelf.

      What I meant was that the heroes have this uncanny ability to look completely normal – but turn awesome when something happens. They just do what they do. I mean, Hirano’s gun fanaticism was okay to me, but I doubted that for a moment.

  6. Nopy says:

    You’re completely right, it seems like every high school protagonist is perfectly suited to being the hero. One series you missed that I liked was Zero no Tsukaima 🙂

    I still remember my teenage years and how I enjoyed watching shows like these. Now that I’m in my early twenties, it’s getting harder to imagine myself being a hero after some crazy event takes place. On the contrary, I’d probably be running for my life.

    • Valence says:

      Yeah, haven’t got to watch that yet. I suppose you’re right. After all, I only started anime-watching like, last year or something out of boredom, haven’t got to watch much anyway.

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