In Highschool of the Dead 2 the surprise has worn off, and our heroes shake off their shock (for the most part) and become pragmatic survivors.
The attention switches between three couples: Takashi and Rei, still stuck on the roof, trying to get through on a cell phone, Saeko and Shizuka in the nurse’s office, and for my money the most entertaining of the lot, spoiled genius Saya and gun-nerd Kohta. And we have to ask why those two are together in the first place, at least at first. Saya seemingly has no use for this fatass, and Kohta seems utterly useless, until, in a satisfying moment, he gets an evil grin and MacGyvers a weapon out of a nailgun. Now we see why Saya might have wanted him along. For her part, she manages to analyze the zombies, seeing that they react to sound, not sight or touch. A resourceful, if dysfunctional combo.
Shizuka and Saeko are less interesting. The former is the school nurse, and seemingly a complete ditz (meaning she’ll probably be a excellent person to have around when someone gets hurt, but we don’t see that yet), whose only assets so far are comically bouncing boobs. Saeko is a kendo champion and so we know what she can bring. The trouble is, that’s all we get of her for now. Of course this trio of couples must get together eventually, and they do, rescuing Saya while she’s busy drilling a zombie’s head. Now the team is formed, they can make a plan.
Not only that, but they must also come to terms with what the hell’s going on. These moments of introspection and worry are scattered throughout. The most effective comes from Saya. After drilling the zombie she lashes out at everyone for no reason, fusses about her bloody clothes, then breaks down and sobs in Saeko’s arms. It’s a good moment because although she isn’t the most likable character, we can perfectly understand her state of mind and can sympathize with her. I suppose every character will go through this as we move on.
Asobi ni Iku Yo 1 is the oddest opening I have seen in a while. Throughout I kept wondering what kind of show this is supposed to be.
We start with a raid on a boat with tense battle music. A girl attacks the boat, but the captain blows it up. I was thinking “Wait, wasn’t this supposed to be a cute cat-girl show?” Well, we get the cute cat girl, and a lot more. Our young hero, Kio, meets Eris, the cat girl, while at a service of some kind. She freely admits to being an alien, and the Okinawans around her don’t seem to mind her tail and ears at all. Kio accidently drinks some alcohol, passes out, and when he wakes up finds Eris in his bed. Neighbor Manami comes by but rather than a “Hide, Eris, hide!” scene she knows everything already. Then Itokazo, a teacher shows up. It was refreshing that Kio doesn’t have to hide anything. The gun battle were fading from my memory.
Then the show throws us more curveballs. Manami works for some clandestine organization and is monitoring Kio and Eris. And Itokazu belongs to some weird cult who is also investigating Eris. They seem to have expected her to arrive, but why I don’t know. Then we meet a nice but dull girl named Futaba, who loves movies. After what I thought was a pointless scene about buying DVDs she gets into a car.
Is there ANYONE in Okinawa who isn’t working for some covert operation? Interest in an alien girl, sure, I can understand that, especially since she beamed the message “Let’s go play!” all around the globe before her arival, and the recovery of her craft makes the news. But these folks were in their groups for much longer. Beyond that it’s a nice contrast. Eris comes in peace and doesn’t seem to know about the intrigue around her, or she doesn’t care. I suspect she will soon. An interesting start to say the least, but they can’t keep whipping out these surprises forever. I can’t make a decision about it until the plot really gets going, but there’s no way I’m going to miss episode 2.