Saya Takagi is one of the Fujima High survivors. A high school second-year student, she's the daughter of an influential politician. Her knowledge has allowed the survivors to escape from the threats facing them.
Saya is second-year student of Fujimi High School in Japan. She is daughter of a powerful right-winged ultra-nationalist, Soichiro Takagi; and childhood friend of Takashi Komuro and Rei Miyamoto. With her keen intellect, she is vital to the survival of her friends to escape this zombie outbreak.
The character of Saya Takagi is a main character of the manga/anime series Highschool of the Dead that was written by Daisuke Sato and illustrated by Shouji Sato. The series first began serialization in Fujimi Shobo's Monthly Dragon Age magazine in July 2006. The creators of the series classified characters using role-playing game terminology, and Saya is the mage due to her intellect. She has long pink hair that she always wears in pigtails, and wears a short-skirt style school uniform. She is an intelligent young woman who approaches most problems with an analytical viewpoint. Her personality is considered the tsundere of the cast due to her kind treatment of Takashi and aggressively critical demeanor to the others.
Her first appearance was in Hightschool of the Dead Volume 1 CH. 1 "Spring of the Dead", and her first anime appearance was in Highschool of the Dead - Episode 1 "Spring of the Dead". Her character in the Japanese series is voiced by Eri Kitamura, and the U.S. dub produced by Section 23 is done by Maggie Flecknoe.
Before the outbreak, Saya was considered the sexiest girl of the second-year class. Of her fellow classmates, Saya has the largest breasts at 92cm F-Cup. In a popularity ranking held by Dragon Age magazine, four characters from Highschool of the Dead were in the top 10, and Saya tied for tenth place with Kohta Hirano and Gosick character, Victorique de Blois.
"Fear gives rise to chaos. Chaos gives rise to the collapse of social order. And when social order collapses...how do you propose we retaliate against the walking dead."
Saya Takagi - "Highschool of the Dead" Vol. 1 Ch. 2
Her first appearance in Highschool of the Dead had her wearing a basic school uniform of Fujima High School with a short skirt, but no glasses. She first paired with fellow survivor Kohta Hirano, and teamed up with fellow second-year Takashi Komuro's group. She follows his lead, but Saya's insight has guided the survivors through many trails. She switched to her glasses at the school to avoid the complications of her contacts. Her personality can be overbearing, realistic, and critical. She's often insulting others. She had serious resentment for her parents when she thought they had given up on her, but eventually was made to realize how lucky she was to know they survived.
As a self proclaimed genius, it was Saya that used her deductive reasoning that avoided the stamped that killed numerous students during the initial attack, and figured out that the zombies (dubbed "Them") don't react to sight but sound. She used her knowledge of movies in helping to create some of the weapons they needed to escape the school. Unlike the rest of the girls from her school, Saya doesn't return to her school uniform in any way after leaving the apartment of Rika Minami. After her group adopted Alice Maresato, a 7 year-old girl they rescued; Saya has played the role of a protective older sister. While they were staying at a local mega-mall for shelter, Alice and Saya selected new more practical outfits for their journey.
In the spring and the cherry blossoms were falling around Tokonosu Prefecture, Saya went to school as she does on any average day. She had no idea that in a few short hours that the world would face utter devastation and chaos. She was in her class when her childhood friend, Takashi Komuro, came bursting in the middle of lessons to drag Rei Miyamoto away and Hisashi Igou followed. A few moments later, a strange announcement came across the PA system warning about an incident at the front gate. The person giving the announcement suddenly burst into screaming as if he was being murdered. The class went into panic and filled the halls in a mad escape. Saya kept her cool and had the school otaku, Kohta Hirano, join her. The school was being attacked by the undead. Those who are bitten soon die and change. Saya led Kohta into the school's wood shop to gain some weapons. After he made a makeshift rifle using a nail gun, drafting tools, and tape, his personality had a drastic change. He had her pack extra ail packs and a power drill. From a safe distance, Saya tested out some of her theories about these infected people. She tossed a wet rag into the head on one and it was unfazed. When she threw one into the lockers, the sound attracted it. She explained to Kohta that they seem to be numb and blind but react to sound.
They were soon swarmed and Kohta ran out of ammo for the nail gun. She took exception when he wanted her to stop screaming and fight, but he was trying to explain that they were now right behind her. Her screams drew the attention of other survivors who moved in to help. In a panic to survive, Saya grabbed the drill from the back and shoved it into the skull of one of Them, spraying her with blood. Among the friends that arrived was Rei and Takashi, as well as second-year student Saeko Busujima and the school doctor Shizuka Marikawa. After a fit, Saya and her friends moved to the faculty office. With her contacts giving her trouble, she switched to glasses.
While they planned their escape to use the school's mini bus, their attention was drawn to the news on TV. The reports were treating the events as riots. This wasn't isolated to just the school, city, or nation. This has spread over the world. They knew they had to team up. The first mission was to escape then search for their families. They found a few more survivors that joined the evacuation, but the main entrance was swarmed. She told Takashi that she thought they were blind, but wasn't keen on testing that theory herself when challenged. To everyone's surprise, Takashi went in to the crowd to test her hypothesis. After proving it to be true, he cleared their exit by making a distraction. The quiet escape was ruined when one of the survivors with them banged a metal pole over the railings. It was now a mad dash. She tried to stop a fellow student Naomi from running back to her boyfriend Takuzou. He had been caught and without him he had given up.
Once everyone got on the bus, their escape was interrupted when another group called out to wait. It was a teacher, Koichi Shidou; and several of his students. She tried to warn Takashi that they couldn't wait, but they did. Sidou and his group got on the bus, and they escaped by breaking through the gate.
The boy, Tsunoda, caused a scene on the bus when he lashed out against Takashi for some reason. Shidou took that events as a reason why a leader was needed, and she knew that he thought he thought it should be himself. He gave a grand speech that easily seduced the ideals of the scared and half crazed students. Only Saya's group didn't back the idea, but they had the majority. Rei sudenly jumped from the bus and Takashi followed. Before they could get back on, a rouge bus crashed between them and cut them off. He called out through the crash that he would meet up with them tomorrow at the eastern police station. Traffic prevented them from crossing the river and she was stuck in traffic at the Onbetsu Bridge. Shidou was giving more speeches to his followers. While talking with the others, she said they were witnessing the birth of a new religion, the Order of Shidou. The bridge was going nowhere and the bus was no longer safe. Saya declined Shidou's offer to join him. She left with Shizuka, Saeko, and Kohta.
Without transportation, there was little hope to make the meeting with Takashi across the river. That proved to be unnecessary since he came riding by on a motorbike with Rei. Night was falling and they needed a place to stay. Shizuka suggested they could stay at a friends place was that nearby. After Shizuka and Takashi scouted the area, then they moved in for the night. After a a bath with the girls. Saya curled up on the couch for a long nap. While she was asleep, Kohta and Takshi found weapons and were using them to stage a rescue of a child. After being woken up, she knew they stage to get ready to escape using the humvee that belonged to Shizuka's friend. They loaded up all they thought they needed and rode out to rescue Takashi from the undead as he saved the little girl and a puppy along the way. After picking them up, they were off to go cross the river. Since she already slept, she stood watch during the drive. The girl that had been saved by Takashi was named Alice Maresato, and Kohta named the puppy Zeke.
Once on the other bank of the river, the girls took the opportunity to change into some clothes that Shizuka borrowed from her friend, Rika Minami. The drive into the city was oddly quiet. No sign of the living or Them. That changed drastically as the numbers increased in the road. There was a wire fences blocking the road and the humvee crashed into it and stalled. Rei Fell off and was injured. Takashi went to save her, and Saeko did her best to hold back the swarm. Even Saya went into action by taking Takashi's shotgun. Her own home was so close and she wasn't going to give up. When is all looked hopeless, a mysterious group of humans appeared with high pressure water cannons. On the other side of the fence, she discovered that the leader of this group was her very own mother, Yuriko Takagi.
Saya and the rest of her friends had already stayed at her home for a day. After the joy of her reunion with her mother faded, her resentment grew after she saw how quickly her mother and father moved to turn their house into a fortress and organized. She felt that they had callously abandoned her as dead nad made no effort to even attempt to save her. She stormed out on a conversation with her mother and ran into Takashi. After snapping at him, she walked away. She found Kohta in the garage working on his guns and told him that he shouldn't be too comfortable. This point was made apparent when Matsudo, who worked for her parents, appeared and tried to take Kohta's gun until he noticed Saya. The adults there looked at them as little children.
Later that same day, Saya gathered all of her friends together to discuss the options of either merging with her parents group or leaving on their own. When Takashi brought up her parents, she snapped and vented all her frustration about her parents. Takashi had enough and grabbed her by the shirt. He shouted at her by being so callous. Tell her that she's lucky because she's the only one of their team who at least knows her family is safe. Once she realized the truth of the matter, she asked him to let her down. Before the conversation could continue, cars began driving up into the compound. This was her father's convoy. From the mansion's balcony, the team watched as Soichiro Takagi chopped off the head of one of Them that had once been a dear friend of his. This was to show the survivors that they would need to fight to survive.
Kohta suddenly shouted at how inefficient katanas were in this fight and he began arguing with Saeko. Takashi tried to calm him, but Kohta only mocked him for not even being able to shoot. Saya shouted at him and he ran off. Much the the team spread out to find Kohta, but she found Saeko admiring the rare koi in the pond of the estate. While she had the opportunity, she wanted to talk to Saeko about a special matter invoking their team. This conversation was interrupted by the sound of her father from the other side of the house. She and Saeko arrived to defend Kohta from her father's men who were trying to take his guns away. She defiantly told her father that it was Kohta that protected her from the undead and not him. Soichiro backed down to his daughter's will and Kohta was allowed to keep all his weapons.
Soichiro asked Saya if he would meet with some of the human survivors that had an encampment on the estate. He had been hearing of their complaints and felt that he and his men wouldn't be trusted. He had faith that she could reason with them, and she was escorted by Takashi and Kohta. Her meeting with them was both unproductive and confusing. They seemed to believe that there much be a logical explanation for the dead rising. They thought that this was all because of some virus and could reason with these infected. While Saya agreed on the concept of a reason, she pointed out that they neither had the time nor the resources to do such studies. To find a truth they needed need to survived and be ready to kill. Their leaders suddenly turned the arguments against them, calling them violence addicted teens.
After giving up on reasoning with them, Saya returned to the house. She was frustrated but Kohta could understand how hard it can be to accept a problem you don't want to admit exists. It was there that Saya and Kohta finally talked with Takashi about formally declaring him the leader of their team. Later in that same day, Saya and the rest of the team heard about Takashi planning to leave with Rei to find their parents. They had no intention of letting him leave alone. It was Rei who suddenly ran off when she noticed that Koichi Shido and his cult had been let in by her father's men. She had her rifle and was threatening to kill him. Saya's father and mother showed up, but Rei refused to kill the former teacher turned cult leader. Siochiro then cast Shido and his students out of the house.
Soon after, Shizuka had remembered the phone number of her friend Rika but the call was cut short. The sky was filled with a sudden and bright light. Saya was the first to realize that this was a nuclear bomb that had been detonated in the atmosphere to cast an EMP across much of Japan. She asked Rei to check the electronic dot sight on her rifle. She then had to explain to the rest what an EMP wave is and how it's lethal to anything with electronics. Soichiro and her mother arrived, and he was asking her if there was a way to repair the damage. She offered possible solutions to repairing damaged cars, and he praised her for keeping her cool when most were panicking. This joy was short lived when shouts from the gates revealed that the swarm of Them were coming upon the estate on mass. The gate was closed but the number was too great to hold them back. Soichiro called for all women and children to be moved to the houses next door to escape and for the men to be ready to fight. Saya wanted her family to hold up into the mansion, but he told her that since they could break down an iron gate that the house couldn't be secured. He wanted her to leave with her friends. Saya objected, and Yuriko slapped her daughter. She told her daughter that this was hard enough to let her leave them. She gave Saya a Lugar with an optional stock and a drum-style ammo clip. Saya shouted out her love for her parents as she ran to the amphibious vehicle that they were give.
Once all were aboard, they drove off and she had to leave her family behind to fight. They drove on to the highway but that was overrun with Them. It was too many to fight. They came up with a plan to split up. Takashi and Saeko would take the loud vehicle for a lure, and Saya with the rest would move on to the Taiei Shopping Town. It too a day for Takashi and Saeko to arrive but they were both safe and seemed closer.
Team Takashi had found that the mall was already being inhabited by other humans that were currently being led by a rookie-traffic officer named Asami Nakaoka. They had been waiting of her superior who had left in search for help at the nearby precinct office. To avoid unneeded conflict, they hid their weapons in the mega-mall. Saya went on to explain that without electricity that this isolation of the mall survivors wont last since they will eventually run out of food. She was interrupted by Alice who was doing her best impression of Saya and talking about the need for fresh water. Frustrated by Saya calling her "Saya-chan". she pinched Alice and told her to call her "Saya-oneesama". Saya had now begun calling Alice "Munchkin". She then sent Kohta and Takashi to gather supplies that they would be needing. She and Alice were going to find new clothes to wear.
Things weren't completely safe here for them when one of the survivors attempted to rape Shizuka, but he was stopped by officer Asami and Kohta. The team had a meeting about leaving. Rei wanted to leave immediately, but Takashi wanted to stay a while longer so they could prepare better. Saya sided with Takashi and told Rei not to be so hard on him. Kohta tried asking if all electronics could really be useless. They talked about cars, but she told them that they would need a car that didn't require electronics for the engine. Even then that wouldn't mean the spark plug was ruined. Saeko did suggest looking at banks that could of been protected. Saya challenged Takashi by asking him if the humans at the mall wanted the things they were finding. To her pleasure, he said he was fine with sharing but only if there were enough for both. He called on them to search the banks and then to select some bicycles.
Word reached them that one of the survivors, an elderly lady, was near death due to a chronic disorder that required frequent blood transfusion. Shizuka and Takashi were quick to offer their help, but Saya pointed out that this lady's problem would require regular help. The only place to get the blood and tools they needed would mean a risky mission to a clinic outside the mall. It was Alice on convinced them to help the lady. Takashi, Kohta, Asami, and Hiro Tamura, another mall survivor, left but they returned one short. Hiro had been bitten in the process.
Saya, Rei, and Saeko tentatively watched as Alice selected a bike for her to ride. Though all three thought that she would be better riding on the back of Kohta's bike. Alice showed off some remarkable skill to the point where Saya suggested she should ride on the back of Alice's bike. The three of them later gathered outside the cafeteria where Takashi, Kohta, and Asami were having a heated discussion over what went wrong during their mission. Saya explained how they were still adjusting to killing and said how naming the undead as "Them" was a good idea for them. It was a way to seperate these things from humanity and keep their sanity. What she worried about was this stressed causing Takashi and Kohta to one day snap.
Alice tried to warn Saya as she watched Asami flirting with Kohta and asking him to stay. Saya just tried laughing it off. She told her that she likes being the best and things but understands she can't be the best at everything. Alice then drew everyone's attention to the police officer she saw outside. It was Asami's superior, Matsushima; but she had been bitten and changed. They all could only watch and the rookie broke down how no rescue would be coming. They went to get their hidden weapons that Takashi and Kohta had hidden in a bin for L-sized bras of a lingerie store.
Word spread quickly among the other people, and Takashi suggested they all try to leave as soon as possible. While talking about their next step, Saya suggested that they search of Takashi and Rei's families first at the closest possible location. The first being the Eastern Police Station that Rei's father works their family's homes. It was here that they settled on their team's ROE (Rules of Engagement). They were to avoid Them at all cost, to run away when possible, and to avoid screaming or shooting. Takashi tried to offer them all an out on this journey to help him and Rei, they all refused, and he thanked them. Takashi was confused when he sent Kohta off to clear the air with Asami and Saya thought that having a police officer in the group could be to their advantage. She told him to stop worrying about other people's romantic problems and concentrate on his own.
The shouting nearby drew the team's attention. One of them had gone crazy at the news of no rescue, he attacked one of them, and ran out of the mall. This left a way in for Them to enter. Saya suggested they escape through the fire escapes. The swarm was breaking in and Asami agreed to join them. Kohta had to stop Saya from shooting her Lugar since her targets were too far away and she had no training with the gun and she hadn't been given the order to fire by Takashi. She apologized and Takashi gave out his orders. She was teamed with Rei to guard Alice and Shizuka for the evacuation. When Asami had the idea to use fireworks as distractions, she was ashamed and angered she hadn't thought of that before.
They made their way out to the fire escape and separated from much of the other survivors, who went to the roof of the mall. It was in the parking lot that they spotted the young man who caused all the current trouble. He was on a car, surrounded by Them, and begging for help. Asami and the man who had earlier attacked Shizuka rushed in to help the person. Both men were bitten and Asami was surrounded with no hope for a rescue due to the numbers. She sacrificed herself by shouting to draw their attention away from Saya and the others, but called out to Kohta to kill her before she could be bitten. Reluctantly, he fired on her and killed her as she confessed her love for him.
Saya and the others were becoming increasingly worried as after killing Asami that Kohta was being reckless and self destructive. She tried slapping some sense to him when he shot through the group to kill one of Them, but he only broke down crying. When Takashi finally noticed how the swarm was drawing near, attracted by the gunfire. He ordered them all to put off checking the homes. They then made their way to the Eastern Police Station for both Rei's father and resupply on ammo.
Kohta fell behind on the trip in the road. He had given up to die. Shizuka was the one who snapped him out of his depression by smacking him and shouting at him like a soldier. When they finally reached the police station, they found it was deserted and in ruin. She realized from the fresh tire marks that they had recently evacuated to somewhere. On the inside they searched for the armory for weapons but found it emptied. She was frustrated again that she didn't realize that the police would of left with all their weapons. They then searched confiscated weapons in the evidence room. A variety of weapons were found and Alice surprised everyone when she found a working flashlight. Saya then realized that while at the mall they should of looked for electronics that only required drycell batteries, and Takashi tries reassuring her that no one expects her to know everything all the time.
In the communication's room they found working computers that must of been shielded from the EMP. She found that the J-Alert System, the nation-wide alert system, was still active. She couldn't find the search function, but Alice discovered it by hitting a random button on the keyboard. She learned that the JSDF was staging a full scale evacuations of Tokonosu, but it was only taking place for several hours the day after tomorrow. The location was the Shintoko Third Elementary School, where Takashi's mother works. Before leaving, they went to the office of Rei's father but he was gone. A message in his handwriting was found about the evacuation. Saya asked Kohta to teach her how to use her Lugar. She didn't like the feeling of being useless. She wanted to fight. He gave her a MP5 machine gun that was equipped with a suppressor, and she gave him her Lugar with the promise he wouldn't lose it.
Now they they knew Rei's father and Takashi's mother were most likely safe. Takashi now gave the order to search for Rei's mother at her home. They went to a convenience store to rest and get some food, and got ponchos from the store next door since it had begun to rain. Saya snapped at Kohta when he asked Shizuka for condoms, but he explained they were for protecting the guns from water. Saya tried putting one on her gun, but Shizuka had to help her. Now supplied, they moved into Rei's neighborhood.
The trip through the residential area was overrun by Them and they had to cut through houses. Alice rushed ahead without permission to scout but she slipped on her bike and fell. She was surrounded, and Saya rushed in to her rescue. She tried using her gun but missed and shot the zombie woman through her breasts. She laid down in the wet grass to try and stabilize her shooting but kept missing. She shouted at Kohta to stay out of this since she was going to be the one to save Alice. With her next shot she got it in the head. Saeko finished off the rest with her sword.
Now safe, she struck Alice on her head and scolded her for putting herself in danger. She tried to explain she wanted to be like Saya and help everyone. She embraced Alice and told her to be more careful from then on. Soon after this drama, the team heard shouting that turned out to be from Rei's mother, Kiriko Miyamoto. She is a former traffic officer who was staying with neighbors but they kicked her out after they had recently let a new member in. When they told her about the evacuation at the school, she joined them and they left for the evacuation.
As a human fighter with no real combat training, Saya is dependent on the power of others survive against the zombies. Kohta has been her primary guard but she has used some weapons. Her mother gave her Kiku Crest Lugar P08, a rotary extended ammo clip, and optional stock when they left the estate, but she never got the chance to fire it. While at the Eastern Police Station, Kohta handed her a MP5 machine gun that was equipped with a suppressor.
A minor alteration was made to Saya's role in the anime adaptation of the HOTD story that was produced by Madhouse. In the first episode, as Takashi is sulking for having been dumped by Rei. Saya meets with Takashi on the schools staircase to mock him for being so down over the issue. Later after the outbreak hit, a scene of Saya and Kohta was added where she points out to him that he needs to follow her if he wants to live. Neither of these scenes were present in the manga.
Saya appears in the Highschool of the Dead OAD titled Drifters of the Dead. It was originally released as a Blu-ray and packaged with a special edition of Highschool of the Dead Vol. 7 on April 26th 2011. She and the rest of Team Takashi find themselves on a small, isolated island off the shore of Tokonosu City. After finding a small beach house filled with a variety of bikinis, they take this opportunity for a break from running. The boys search the island for food while the girls enjoyed the water and sun. Kohta got plenty of seafood and a fire was started. Only later did they realize the leaves they had put into the fire were hydrangea. This caused a hallucination in everyone who breathed in the fumes.
Much of what happens after this is hallucination. Saya firstly began coming on to Takashi, but soon began to hallucinate that she was seeing her mother. The two enjoyed a bathe at a hot spring together. When Saya woke up the next morning and was finally sober, she found that she was completely naked and clinging to Shizuka. Looking around she saw Kohta humping a broom, and saw Saeko and Rei naked as they were making out. Both were mistaking the other for Takashi.
Highschool of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead
Highschool of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead is an OAD that was included in the special edition of the seventh volume of Daisuke Satō ...