Summer 2010 – First Impressions (High School of the Dead & Legend of the Legendary Heroes)
Another couple of new shows today – High School of the Dead and Legend of the Legendary Heroes.
High School of the Dead (Gakuen Mokushiroku)
Glad that High School of the Dead seems to know what it is and where its going. Basically this show is all about tits & ass with lots of gratuitous violence – and you know what? For a change I’m ok with that! I don’t know if it’s because I generally quite enjoy the horror genre, and find zombie flicks to be massively entertaining; but I did enjoy this first episode. The show does exactly what it says on the tin – zombie apocalypse hits japanese high school and we get to follow a small group of survivors around. I can’t profess to like any of the characters at the moment; Marina Inoue’s character in particular is a whiney bitch; but hey, in her shoes I’d probably do nothing but scream and cry too!
There’s not really a whole lot else to say really. I enjoyed the violence – geysers of blood are always fun. The fanservice is as blatant as I thought it would be, to the extent that when girls are being attacked the camera zooms into their pants or boobs rather than concentrating on the attacking zombie! There are so many panty-shots just for the heck of it that you wonder why they even gave the girls skirts at all! The animation itself is pretty solid, and the direction is pretty good too. Character designs are decent (lots of Gainaxing going on) and I quite liked the music (although the OP is awful). The OP animation is probably the most stylish piece I’ve seen for a while – pity the accompanying song is pretty terrible.
So the show as all the depth of a child’s paddling pool, but really that’s not what you’re going to be watching this for. If you’re in the mood for some fanservice-laden, gory, zombie action though; High School of the Dead is just what you’re looking for. I’ll be sticking around for another few episodes at least!
Legend of the Legendary Heroes (Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu)
Well this was pretty middle of the road. Nothing particularly wrong with it, but nothing to really make you sit up and take notice either. Its been a while since I watched a fantasy series with decent slapstick, so I was pretty amused by this episode. Its got a few pacing issues though – splitting the action between Ryner and Sion doesn’t really work, as every time the focus switches to Sion and his srsbns plot, it kills all the tension and fun that Ryner & Ferris have been building! The Slayers vibes I got from the preview are staying though, and Ryner and Ferris have got some good banter going – they’re both decidedly un-heroic, as they’d rather turn tail and run from any problems than attempt any selfless heroics; it’s quite refreshing.
On the production side of things, well its all very solid – the colours are bright, the animation is smooth and the character designs are easy on the eye. Music is good, liking the ED more than the OP. Theres a great cast on board (which is one of the things that attracted me to the show to start with) so the acting’s good too.
Overall Legend of the Legendary Heroes is very competent but nothing overly exciting. There’s potential here, seems like it could be worth a watch at least; so I’ll keep it on for a while yet to get a feel for where the plot is going. I’m hoping it doesnt get all angsty like the ED suggests though – I just want something fun and easy on the eyes to watch!