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High School of the Dead Episode 11 Review – Best In Show

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High School of the Dead Episode 11 Review – Quick Summary

In High School of the Dead Episode 11, “Dead Storm Rising,” our heroes all sense that their time of peace is coming to an end. Saya Takagi led a quick trip to one of the refugee camps that her father setup for retainers and their families. With Takashi Komuro and Kouta Hirano by her side, she tried to explain her father’s actions. However, the adults in the camp derided her and accused her of being high on an inflated sense of self-importance. Is there anything Saya can do to convince them that the threat the zombies represent is real? Meanwhile, an old enemy of Rei Miyamoto, with his bus full of cult adherents, tricks their way into the Takagi compound. What will Rei do when she discovers that Koichi Shidou is within her grasp — especially now that her rifle has a bayonet?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from High School of the Dead Episode 11

High School of the Dead Episode 11: Rei was in a forgiving mood -- sort of

Rei listened to the better angels of her nature — though I’m not sure what she showed could really be called mercy! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

What would you do if civilization had ended, you had a high-powered rifle, and Shidou, the man who had tried to destroy your father for political reasons, just showed up in front of you?

And the Lord of the household, the closest thing you’ll find to law and order, said, “Hey, you want to kill him, that’s your business?”

As civilized humans, it’s easy to dismiss the question by saying, “Of course, I’d let him go.” 

But what if you’re convinced with every fiber of your being that the dude is evil? Like, “perverting everything he touches evil?” I think it’s likely I’d still not blow him away in cold blood. But when the moment of decision came, I had no idea what Rei would do. Saeko Busujima even stopped Takashi from interfering, saying it was Rei’s decision. Shizuka Marikawa was certainly prepared for violence, because she had pulled Alice close to her and had covered the little girl’s eyes.

Even as Shidou taunted her, trying to make her shoot (maybe to make himself into a martyr?), she lowered her rifle, turned on her heel, and strode past her friends.

“He’s not even worth killing,” she said in a growl (18:55). 

She was right. And now Shidou had to live with the knowledge that he’s only alive because Rei’s a better human than he is.

Best in Show Moment for High School of the Dead Episode 11

High School of the Dead Episode 11: Kouta and Saya thought it was funny Takashi didn't realize he was their leader

Saya and Kouta knew well before Takashi did. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: I Thought It Was Melodrama

The potential and limits of the intellect amaze me. On one hand, I can consider subatomic particles in one instant and galactic superclusters in the next. I can even get to know individuals well enough to predict their actions with 80-90 percent accuracy. On the other hand, I can analyze how people will react to a pandemic literally for decades and still miss the mark. By a very, very wide margin.

In retrospect, I think my naiveté got the best of me. It’s like how when I studied World War II in high school, I thought we as humans had gotten past the point where we would embrace the ideals of Nazism or fascism again. Then I watched as US citizens carried the Nazi flag on US soil.

Whoops. I didn’t see that one coming!

High School of the Dead Episode 11: Saya couldn't believe the adults didn't believe zombies were real

Wow. I can so sympathize with Saya’s expression in this shot! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

In the same way, as the pandemic raged across the United States, I thought that in the year 2020, after generations of vaccines saving lives, the citizens of the US would embrace vaccines to decrease the risk of dying from COVID. I mean, we all care about our neighbors, right? Surely we’d embrace the idea that by getting vaccinated, we protect not only ourselves, but our neighbors, too! Not to mention our close friends and family.

But no. Even now, after official FDA approval of at least one of the vaccines, some folks prefer to pop horse de-worming pills

Welp! Didn’t see that coming, either. I guess I just suck at reading people in extreme circumstances.

Delivery: Kouta and Saya Pledge Allegiance

In this episode, Saya, Takashi, and Kouta tried to educate some adults in the Ways of the Zombie. But those adults refused to listen. Instead, they embraced conspiracy theories about attempts to control the population through violence. Those adults even rejected the very idea that the dead walked the Earth — after seeing the dead walk the Earth.

Our three heroes retreated back to the house and took stock of the situation. One thing I really, really liked about this scene is how Kouta tried to empathize with those adults. “You know, humans try not to see what they don’t want to see,” he said (05:00). In other words, those adults were scared, and they wanted another answer. So they embraced one — even if it were fictional. 

That’s quite a bit better than what I did in the previous section. I have my reasons for finding it difficult to extend empathy, but I can’t deny that it lessens me when I don’t maintain my own standards of conduct in the face of adversity. Kinda speaks poorly of my moral fiber, if you ask me.

High School of the Dead Episode 11: Takashi didn't know what Saya and Kouta were talking about

Takashi had no idea what Saya and Kouta were talking about. In some situations, that’s a sign of a good leader. That kind of good leader does what needs done simply because it needs done — not to massage their own ego. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

My favorite moment of the episode is the stark contrast between Takashi’s style of leadership and that of the teacher turned cult leader Koichi Shidou. As Takashi considered Kouta’s words, Saya and Kouta exchanged a look and chuckled. Takashi had just listened carefully to both of them. Without realizing it, he had demonstrated one of the most important strengths of a true leader: the ability to listen.

“That’s why you’re fit to be our leader,” Saya told him in the sub (06:25). 

Leadership is more than taking charge. It’s more than just having the skills to lead. A leader has to have the right people around him or her. How this played out reminded me of the times in my life where I got to play the role of a leader, in the context of an exceptional team. That only came once in my professional career, and during the decade and a half I got to experience it, I had no idea how lucky I was. That time is gone now, and that’s okay, because I got to experience it. Assuming our heroes survive, Takashi has just embarked on an amazing journey, and seeing that made me feel nostalgic.

What did you think of Rei’s attempt to seduce Takashi? What were your favorite moments from the episode? Feel free share your idea in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “High School of the Dead Episode 11 Review – Best In Show

  1. I had forgotten how appropriate the scenes and discussion after 5:00 were, they really could have been describing the current pandemic.

    On another note, in the bedroom scene between Rei and Takagi (at around the 11:30 mark) there’s an amazing difference between the sub and the dub. The dub has her saying that she knows she hurt him, and she never wants to hurt him again. In the sub, she’s saying that she wants to be with him, even if he’s in love with someone else. That changes the whole dynamic, because we’ve already seen the budding relationship between Takagi and Busujima.

    1. That scene after 5:00 really hit me as I rewatched it this time around.

      Disappointingly so!

      I missed that difference between the dub and sub. Years ago, when I first watched it, I really liked the dub. I still do, but I almost exclusively watch the sub. I did some comparisons for the moments I celebrated. Looks like I should have compared more broadly! Thanks for pointing that out.

  2. I will never ever consider it unbelievable when people in a zombie movie refuse to believe that it’s happening. Even the most ridiculous decision that is bound to doom everyone seems kind of plausible. Sato was ahead of his time! People really are crazy.

    1. You’re right — Sato nailed it.

      I feel like this is my most common phrase for the last two years, but as cynical as I think I am, I still thought people would respond to bed-rock, punch-in-the-nose facts.

      Sigh.

        1. You know, I hadn’t considered the Law of Unintended Consequences. From that perspective, putting Shidou out of their misery makes perfect sense!

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