|Survival and Loss Hits Team Takashi||1 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
Publisher: Yen Press
Author: Daisuke Sato
Artist: Shouji Sato
Genre: Action / Adventure
MSRP: $13.99 (USD)
Contents: 3 Chapters & 1 Omake / 160pg.
Just as the members of Team Takashi are making plans to make their move and finally leave the Taiei Shopping Town. All hell has broken loose and a horde of Them has broken in thanks to the actions of one of the refugees who's finally lost his mind. They can no longer take their time and have to fight to survive.
By now, the formulas used in zombie survival series is pretty predictable. It's had to really innovate in this genre. Not everyone has the creative freedom to pull off what Eiichiro Oda did in his Thriller Bark arc. It all comes down to your characters. You have to be attached to someone and actually want to see what happens with them. That's the problem I had with THE WALKING DEAD television series. I enjoyed the first season, but they took the characters in such weird directions and made most of them completely unsympathetic. The creators of HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD series I fell really make these characters likeable through a use of light humor and a bit of romantic drama mixed in with all the zombie killing.
Kohta Hirano really shines in this volume. He's often been one cool, gun-totting bad ass, but it warms my heart to see this guy get a little lovin', too. It was played up and teased enough back in Volume 5. Takashi's get enough attention as it is. Alice also proved that she can be more than a burden to the team. The kid and really move on a bike, and I like that they give her a purpose over being someone they need to constantly protect or rescue. The volume closes out with an especially heartbreaking finale as a member of the team makes the ultimate sacrifice.
If you're not big on fanservice, this really isn't a series for you, but it's rather toned down in this volume. You hardly notice it much at all. The focus is mostly on the action, and it's pretty strong. The drama it great, and there are touches of great humor in the chapters. Some of the best bits come from Alice's commentaries and Shizuka's self realization of feelings like background.
There are some subtle touches that I really love in this volume that some may not get if they don't know how Japanese honorifics are used. Saeko has finally stopped tip-toeing around Rei and makes her intentions clear that she now wants Takashi. The use of honorifics can really spell out some character relationships in clever ways. This volume also has an added omake chapter that's a flashback scene of Takashi talking with his old pal, Morita before the collapse of society. Seems the rock star wannabe created a list of all the girls in school that would make good groupies for his band. It's a funny short that has some knowing humor to events that would follow.
What I really wasn't expecting was the design work that was added to the back, and a three way discussion with Daisuke Sato, Shouji Sato, and Shouji Gato (creator of FULL METAL PANIC!) as they really get into the details of the HOTD series. It's amazing to see some of their early design work and read their commentaries on how some of these characters have had pretty drastic changes from their final incarnation.
The story goes a bit back and forth as part of the series is actually told as flashback. It's a bit awkward, but I can understand what they were going for. It gave a bit more purpose to some of the other characters that were staying in the mall.
While the ending of this volume is appropriately tragic, it seems like a cheat to introduce a character to the team then summarily kill them off. What doesn't help the scene is that I don't see why that person couldn't be saved by Team Takashi. Yeah, there were a lot of zombies around, but we've seen Saeko take out more by herself. It feels as if they wanted a named character to die, and that person was put up as a sacrifice for the drama.
While I really love that Yen Press has been using honorifics more in their publications, and it really suits this series. I still wish they would add something in the beginning of the book to educate people a bit on their use.
If you weren't too thrilled by the lack of action in Volume 5, this has plenty for you to handle. Shouji Sato really doesn't shy away form the gore of zombies being shot, hit, or sliced open. I always enjoy watching Saeko show her moves with that katana. It has a formula that most zombie series fans are well familiar with, but the characters make it all worth wild. All the cool extra content really make this a good purchase for HOTD fans.
There is only one more volume left till the Yen Press publication catches up to the Japanese edition. That's thanks to the series long hiatus.