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High School of the Dead Episode 8 Review – Best In Show

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High School of the Dead Episode 8 Review – Quick Summary

In High School of the Dead Episode 8, “The Dead Way Home,” Shizuka Marikawa took advantage of the Humvee’s versatility to “drive” it across the river. When they got to the other side, they discovered that there was no one there, dead or alive. However, their good luck didn’t last, and they soon encountered an increasing number of zombies. Trying to drive through them, they discovered that someone had strung a powerful wire border across the road. Trapped against the barrier, the Humvee refusing to restart, they realized that Rei Miyamoto had been thrown clear of the vehicle. Takashi Komuro made it to her side, and Kouta Hirano tried to offer cover fire. But the zombies were endless, and their ammunition was not. Can they find a way out? Or will Alice Maresato’s worst nightmare of being left alone become real?

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

Favorite Quote from High School of the Dead Episode 8

High School of the Dead Episode 8: Kouta was about to take his life in his own hands

Fortunately for Kouta, Takashi was the voice of reason. Probably saved Kouta’s life! Or at least important bits of it. Capture from the HIDIVE steam.

After Shizuka drove the Humvee across the river, everyone disembarked. Kouta set out on the well-nigh impossible task of teaching Takashi how to shoot and reload a shotgun. I joke about it, but seriously: how often do you see the main character act awkward around weapons? How refreshing was it that he wasn’t already a crack-shot? I thought that was a nice touch.

Anyway, though he’s not skilled with firearms, Takashi does have an innate sense of self-preservation. Rei warned Takashi and Kouta not to try to watch as the women folk changed behind the Humvee. Kouta, apparently aware that the tropes expected him to try to peep, urged Takashi to go with him.

“I told you, I don’t want to die just yet!” he said (06:15).

As I’m typing this, it just occurred to me. Is Takashi actually protecting Kouta? Because I’m pretty sure the four older women changing back there might not have objected with any real conviction if Takashi had taken a brief stroll…

Best in Show Moment for High School of the Dead Episode 8

High School of the Dead Episode 8: Takashi had had enough

Sometimes, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. Capture from the HIDIVE steam.

Setup: Those Aren’t a Shooting Rest Bag!

Before I talk about my favorite moment, I think I’d better address the aspect of this episode that seemed to attract the most attention. Or criticism. Or invective. I’d say that the scene took camp to a new and hilarious level. In fact, I’m convinced the scene demonstrated an enlightened level of self-referencing parody. But let’s see what you think!

The scene I’m talking about, of course, features Takashi using Rei’s breasts as shooting rest bags. In Takashi’s defense, Rei had attached the rifle to her torso using something that looked like a Tactical Chest Rig. With zombies converging on them, Takashi didn’t have time to detach it. So, he pushed her down and shot across her chest.

High School of the Dead Episode 8: That's not how you treat Rei's breasts!

Rei did not look in the least bit convinced this was a good idea. Not surprisingly, Rei was right. Capture from the HIDIVE steam.

Rei’s breasts, however, do not make a good shooting rest bad. For one thing, they are far too soft. Put another way, they seemed to be too jiggly for Takashi to get a good bead on his targets. As if that were not bad enough, the recoil seemed to be uncomfortable for her. Okay, very uncomfortable.

And don’t even get me started on how Takashi forget to get consent. I mean, it’s only polite to ask Rei if he can use her chest that way. Kids these days…

I saw the moment as campy and funny. Even more campy and funny was how Saeko managed to let a high-speed, high-calibre bullet pass between her moving thighs. In the same movement, she also varied the swinging of her breasts to let another bullet pass between them.

Talk about amazing skill! Not really. It was profoundly unrealistic, and I think it was intentionally so.

Delivery: Last Stands are Cool

Endless Zombies

My favorite moment came slightly after that scene. Saya Takagi had leapt out of the relative safety of the Humvee and picked up Takashi’s shotgun. Screaming her defiance, the camera follows a shell casing that spun into the air. The scene sifted from broad daylight to twilight, indicating they’d been fighting for hours. 

The camera showed us that they were all exhausted. Kouta’s almost out of ammunition. Shizuka hid her face in her arms as zombies pawed at the windows. Saeko had swung her wooden sword so often even she looked spent. Saya, out of shotgun shells, had been reduced to swinging the shotgun as if it were a baseball bat. Takashi had finally run out of ammo, and Rei could only lay on the pavement, apparently in agony. Alice sat huddled, terrified, in the back seat.

High School of the Dead Episode 8: Shizuka was at the end of her rope

The situation had certainly gotten bleak. Capture from the HIDIVE steam.

The music really stressed the idea: This was it. They’d given their all, and the zombies were still coming.

I love moments like that! Moments like that bring out who the characters really are. What’s important to them? How do they face death?

Takashi Wades into the Ocean of Zombies

We found out how at least Takashi and Saya would face death when Zeke started barking. It seemed to snap Takashi out of his daze. He calmly stood up. Saya screamed and charged the zombies, ready to die with a fight. But Takashi grabbed the shotgun’s stock, which stopped her progress. She looked at him, surprised. 

“Let the men put on a show,” he said (17:53). 

There are some behaviors that are hard-wired into men. At least, into the men I know. Which includes me. Takashi thought he had a chance to choose how he would die, and he wanted to not only go out swinging. He wanted to go out swinging in front of Rei, and Saya, and Saeko. It might sound sexist, but at our most primitive, there it is. 

Besides. He didn’t want Zeke to show more spirit than he did!

High School of the Dead Episode 8: Saeko decided she would not let Takashi die alone

I think Sakeo just saved Takashi’s life. I might be wrong. But that’s how it looked to me. Capture from the HIDIVE steam.

Want to know the best part about it? Saeko decided there was no way she was going to let him die alone. She leapt into the fight beside him. In doing so, she saved his life. I’m convinced he intended to die there. Saeko joining him changed the equation, because it gave him time to think of trying to use noise to pull the zombies away from the rest.

What did you think of Yuriko Takagi rescuing her daughter? What were your favorite moments of the episode? Let me know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “High School of the Dead Episode 8 Review – Best In Show

  1. So, my understanding is that subs (generally?) are done in Japan and so are closer to the original intent, while dubs are done in the US, from scripts prepared in the US, and therefore represent attempts to localize (one might say Palinize) the dialogue.

  2. This was one of the more fun episodes, what with the Matrix-style slow-motion bullets, but it seems to me that they could all have simply jumped from the top of the HMMV over the fence. They keep forgetting that those weapons are to hold off the Them while they do something else. It’s not like they’re going to win against a zombie horde, and when you are in a firefight you use up ammunition _fast_. So shoot, but climb/jump/crawl to safety while you’re doing it.

    Going off on a sub vs dub tangent again, I have a complaint about the name of the dog. In the Japanese sub, they mention the Zero fighter, or rei sentouki =>rei-sen, but end up calling the dog Zeke (jiku), the US identifier (used because ‘zero’ could be confused with the number). In the English dub, they call him Zero, the English version of the Japanese name, which the Japanese are not using. Also, the little girl’s name is Alice. The Japanese pronounce it roughly Arisu, but the Americans pronounce it something close to ari-sue, instead of just, you know, Alice.

    1. “but it seems to me that they could all have simply jumped from the top of the HMMV over the fence.”

      Yeah, I thought that, too! Since I like this series so much, I invested in considerable mental gymnastics to come up with two interlinked explanations. First, when Rei flew off the Humvee, the focus was on rescuing her. Tactical thinking went out the window.

      Second, they were so focused on staying alive they just didn’t think of something so obvious!

      That’s not completely unrealistic. Seeing the big picture is a reason the military has a hierarchy. Someone has to keep an eye on the big picture while the soldiers are engaged in fighting.

      But I know it’s a weak defense.

      “Going off on a sub vs dub tangent again, I have a complaint about the name of the dog. ”

      Thanks for some details on that. I sensed something was off, but didn’t quantify it. I watched the dub first, then the sub, and now that I’m rewatching both for this review, I’m seeing some serious and material differences! I had preferred the dub, but now? I think I’m like the sub better.

      “The Japanese pronounce it roughly Arisu”

      I’ve never understood the tendency to American-isize names. Why note maintain fidelity?

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