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High School of the Dead Episode 4 Review – Best In Show

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High School of the Dead Episode 4 Review – Quick Summary

In High School of the Dead Episode 4, “Running in the Dead,” Takashi Komuro and Rei Miyamoto rode a “borrowed” motorcycle through mostly empty streets. This part of the city had already fallen to the dead, and Takashi and Rei saw no survivors. Their hopes momentarily soared when they saw a police car. The two dead officers dashed those hopes. Rei surprised Takashi by harvesting the single operational pistol and ammunition. After what she’s seen, a little blood was no problem. However, they underestimated the danger at a gas station when Takashi entered the store to turn on the pumps. It seems the dead were the only threats waiting for them. Can Rei hold her own? Can Takashi make it back in time? And what about our other heroes trapped in the bus with a raving demagogue?

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

Favorite Quote from High School of the Dead Episode 4

High School of the Dead Episode 4: Rei did not like Takashi's clarity of vision clashing with her hopes

Rei didn’t want to hear the truth. She wanted a comforting lie. Capture from the Hulu stream.

When I wrote a post about why I didn’t think I could review  Vivy Fluorite Eye’s Song, Fred (Au Natural) from This is my place left a comment that included the best description of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. It was so good that even though I studied philosophy in college, that video helped me understand it a lot better. Plato’s allegory deals with the same realities that “the terror of knowing what the world is about” described in Queen’s Under Pressure.

The allegory goes one step beyond just knowing. It reflected bravery; it tries to warn people what will happen if they try to speak about those terrible truths to those still in the cave. It’s something I’ve lived with all my adult life. I’ve never found a successful way to help or make people understand something they don’t want to understand.

In this episode, Takashi found himself in the same situation. Looking around the city that had already fallen to the dead, he heard Rei ask him when they could expect rescue. He said they were on their on. When she pushed back, he said (05:39), “We’ll do whatever we can. That’s about it.”

“You’re always like that, Takashi,” she said (05:45), as if it were his fault.

That was one of the many moments that rang true in this series. She blamed him, because there was no one else to blame. That struck me as a very human moment.

Best in Show Moment for High School of the Dead Episode 4

Rei proved she’s no shrinking violet. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Setup: Rei Held On to Hope, But She Wasn’t Stupid

I’ve talked about how well I think this series captured civilizations’s fall. Also, I’ve mentioned how much I love these characters — their idiosyncrasies, their vanities, their fears, and their unconscious drive to work together. This episode’s ED, Cold Bullet Blues, reminded me that the soundtrack is another thing that endeared this show to me. That song’s quietly beautiful piano work at the beginning, followed by the driving, mournful electric guitars captured the show’s spirit in a way that made the on-screen drama even more real. The original soundtrack is jammed with music like that. I am so glad I bought this soundtrack before it went out of print.

I like strong female characters. The stronger, the better. When I just watched the series for enjoyment instead of to review, I had the most favorable impression of Saeko Busujima. She pegs the badass-o-meter. Her confidence seems impenetrable, and she understood the situation quickly. Those traits had me gravitate towards her.

High School of the Dead Episode 4: Saeko is more than a little bad-ass

Saeko has always been my favorite character. This re-viewing, though, helped me see the other characters more clearly. Capture from the Hulu stream.

As I’m watching to review the series, though, I’m seeing Rei in a different light. In my favorite quote, you can see that she hasn’t quite grasped the situation yet, at least at a macro level. You might think that I thought less of her by selecting that quote, but that’s not the case at all. All of our heroes have tried to come to terms with the situation to varying degrees of success. Rei might still hold out hope for rescue. But my favorite moment in this episode shows she’s under no illusions about how desparate things are for her and Takashi right then, in that moment.

To set the scene: Takashi drove a motorcycle through city streets devoid of living humans. All around them, they saw the signs of life interrupted, often with accents of splashed blood. All while they drive, a dirge-like a cappella song played. Siri tells me it’s called Δείμος και Φόβος by Evan Moran. I could only find it on Shazam and Apple Music. It’s a shame. I wish I could share the song with you. It fit the scene perfectly.

Delivery: Rei Literally Got Her Hands Dirty

Rei still seemed a little angry with Takashi for dashing her hopes for rescue. They came upon what looked like an intact police car, it’s lights whirling. The front end stuck into an intersection. Takashi hesitated, joking that he felt a little worried that he had no helmet or driver’s license. Rei, beginning to warm back up to him, reminded him how many zombies he’d re-killed, and now, he was afraid of a traffic ticket?

When they approached, they found their hopes dashed. A semi-tractor trailer had crashed into the back of the car, and the two police officers had died in the impact. Rei approached despite Takashi telling her it was too dangerous because gasoline leaked from the car.

Saying they might find something they could use, she added (11:53), “This is armageddon. Man up!” This is one of those shows where the dub and the sub are equally worthwhile. Whenever I try to decide which I like better, it’s always a toss-up.

High School of the Dead Episode 4: Rei told Takashi to man up! That was harsh!

Telling Takashi, after all they’d been through, to “man up?” She must still be pissed off at him! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Rei brings back a set of handcuffs (with keys!), a collapsable night-stick, and a sidearm. As Takashi examined the pistol, having only seen them on television before, Rei went back to the car again. When she came back, she handed him 5 more bloody bullets. He looked at her in shock as she wiped on her hands, saying that the other pistol’s grip had been broken. “But I think that the bullets are still good,” she said (12:57). She calmly folded her handkerchief and placed it skirt pocket.

She still hoped for rescue. But she knew their situation was so dire that she had to dig into the broken holster worn by a corpse to give them five more bullets. That’s the kind of courage I look for in characters. Far from showing off, she simply did something dreadful to give them a better chance to survive. This re-watch has raised my opinion of Rei’s character quite a bit!

What did you think of the encounter at the gas station? What was your favorite things in this episode? Let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “High School of the Dead Episode 4 Review – Best In Show

  1. Speaking of the ED’s, one of the poignant features is that they show snapshots of characters from each episode in happier times. So Ep 4 has a shot of the gas station guy and his little sister having fun washing his car (upper right, 21:58).

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