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High School of the Dead Episode 12 Review – Best In Show

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High School of the Dead Episode 12 Review – Quick Summary

In High School of the Dead Episode 12, “All Dead’s Attack,” our hero’s situation took a turn for the worse when a nuclear missile detonated high in the atmosphere, blanketing Japan with an electromagnetic pulse. All electronic devices immediately became inoperative. With the estate’s outer barrier stuck open and the dead streaming towards the iron gate to the mansion, what can Takashi Komuro, Souichiro Takagi, and the rest do to keep their hopes — and themselves — alive?

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

Favorite Quote from High School of the Dead Episode 12

High School of the Dead Episode 12: I can't blame Kouta Hirano for being impressed by the Takagi women

Kouta Hirano has a profound respect and admiration for the women of the Takagi household. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

The dead hammered at the iron gate. It was close to collapse. Yuriko Takagi knew what was coming, and one of her retainers brought her a briefcase. From it, she pulled her sidearm and strapped it on. She also tore her dress up the side so she would have better mobility. An elegant gown isn’t the best choice for combat, after all.

But Yuriko hadn’t only given thought to her own safety. She handed a well-maintained Ruger pistol to her daughter, Saya Takagi. Kouta Hirano instantly geeked out at the pistol’s quality and make. After Saya protested that she didn’t know how to shoot and after a quick story that explained why Yuriko was even more proficient with a firearm than her husband, Yuriko said to Kouta (09:58), “You’ll show her how to shoot, right, Hirano?”

“Yes, mama!” he said enthusiastically. Immediately realizing that was inappropriate, in the sub he regrouped and said, “Yes, ma’am!”

In the dub, it sounded like he was so flustered, he said mama again. I can’t say I can blame the poor guy. Yuriko has quite the presence!

Best in Show Moment for High School of the Dead Episode 12

High School of the Dead Episode 12: Saya couldn't believe Yuriko had slapped her

Saya had been ahead of the curve for the entire series. It took her confusion over her relationship to her parents to make her intellectually stumble. Fortunately, they were there to put her back on her feet. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: Saya’s Complicated Relationship with Her Parents

Back in episode 10, we saw that Saya had a contentious relationship with her mom. Both Saya and her mom were both very intelligent, and both were high achievers. So it’s not surprising they’d butt heads. In the sub from the same episode, of her relationship with her father, Saya spoke in partly proud, partly resigned tones. It sounded as if she couldn’t figure out how to feel about him. Again, that made sense: Her father was an even higher achiever than her mom, and given his authority and stern demeanor, I can’t believe he had been a cuddly dad. 

In episode 11, we even got to see Saya openly declare her independence to her father, and by extension, her mother, too. I really liked that scene, which you can tell because I picked it as my favorite in that episode. But there was something else that struck me about it.

High School of the Dead Episode 12: Souichiro's praise meant the world to Saya

You could tell how much her father’s opinion mattered to her by her reaction to his honest praise. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

It was not as contentious as some teenage relationships I’ve seen. Regardless of how much confidence Saya felt in her conclusions, she still recognized that her parents were great people. They were people she could look up to. What’s even more important, despite how often they disagreed, she still loved them. 

I think, based on Saya’s emotional melt-down in episode 10, that she wasn’t sure how they really felt about her. In this episode, she found out.

Delivery: High Achievers Have it Hard

From the very beginning of the series, Saya seemed to always think two or three steps ahead of the others. That includes people who understood the implications of the zombie outbreak quickly like Takashi and Saeko Busujima. With a few exceptions where she momentarily — and realistically! — freaked out, Saya used her intellect to plow through the insanity all around her.

That was, until both her parents threw her for a loop. After the EMP, Saya calmly explained what had happened to her friends. Her father approached and overhead. He even asked her, the daughter she didn’t know how he really felt about, what they should do. Then he dropped an emotional bomb on her.

“I’m impressed with how you’ve stayed calm and rational in this commotion. You deserve my praise,” he said (08:25), sounding more like an ancient Shogun than the head of a modern household. That floored Saya. You could just see he had upended how she thought he had felt about her. In fact, it threw her off so much that as everyone prepared for battle, for the first time since we met her, Saya seemed indecisive. 

It came to a head when Souichiro told Kouta to take care of his daughter. Saya couldn’t understand what was going on. She protested and moved towards him when her mom grabbed her and slapped her across the face.

High School of the Dead Episode 12: Yuriko had to restore Saya's balance -- fast

I’m not sure about Yuriko’s tactics, but she had to do something to restore Saya’s equilibrium — and fast. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

At first, Yuriko said that she and Saya’s dad had work to do. Then, in an almost pleading tone that seemed heart-breaking coming from one so strong, she said that she knew she and Saya’s dad were being selfish by asking Saya’s friends to look after her.

Finally, Yuriko said (14:40), “Please don’t make it even harder than it already is!”

Despite watching this series at least a dozen times, I had never noticed the pain and longing in Yuriko’s voice. She and her husband clearly loved Saya, and now finally, I think Saya got it. 

What did you think of the battle for the manor? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “High School of the Dead Episode 12 Review – Best In Show

  1. I really liked the way the manga ended this arc. In a HT to the Original Zomibe movie, Our Gang ends up _arriving_ at a mall.

    Otherwise and overall, and disregarding some egregious fanservice, this was a classic. It hit all the right zombie movie tropes, and handled them well. It told a really tight story. It’s too bad it didn’t have twice the budget.

    It’s also too bad that the creator, Daisuke Satou, died before finishing it, and that those who picked up his various works decided to concentrate on the others and abandon this one.

  2. Well, other than Saeko riding on top of the Humvee as if she was sailing in the Americas Cup as it raced ahead on two wheels, I can’t argue with you.

    I did love the moment the horde broke through the gate. That was a classic zombies en mass overpowering everything moment.

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