Highschool 3, Yakuindomo 3

Another good episode of Highschool of the dead. Our heroes plan their escape from the school and try to figure out what to do next.

First they pick up some stagglers, then test Saya’s deaf-zombie theory. After that it should be amazingly clear to them: shut the fuck up. Well, they try, but when one of the stragglers gets too loud and all bets are off. Even after that they continue to talk, scream and shout as if they WANT to get bitten. But that was the only moment that made me incredulous. Okay, the zombie motorcyclist is hard to explain too, but it was a good moment so who cares?

It’s here that we see some of the group dynamics at work. They manage to get to the bus, even load up on more stragglers, by working as a team. But that won’t last long.

More people means a more diffuse group, more opinions, and some of the stragglers try to take control, namely Shido, a teacher. It’s here that another issue comes up, that of morality. Takashi took some risks to rescue Shido and the kids with him, because it was the right thing to do. But Shido has no problem sacrificing a weak link (a kid who sprains his ankle) because, as he says, it’s survival of the fittest out there (As a side note, nurse Shizuka, with her deep respect for human life, has to force herself to run over zombies in order to escape). In other words, Shido is a nasty piece of work, and his attempted takeover of the group does not bode well for this troupe of survivors who have stayed alive through cooperation.

It’s Sei who realizes this first. She blames Takashi for rescuing him, but what was he going to do? Act like Shido and abandon someone helpless? She leaves the minibus, Takashi follows, and thanks to a crashing zombie bus (zombies on fire!) they find them separated from the rest of the group. I, for one, would be relieved to be free of Shido. I wonder how the others are going to cope. As for the other parts of the show, the direction is fast and fluid again. I’m enjoying the soundtrack, especially the quiet, menacing heartbeat employed when Takashi stands quietly, surrounded by zombies, trying not to make a sound. And I loved the bit of dark humor when a dazed convenience store clerk stares out blankly, we see a zombie approach through the window, and then the minibus arrives …

Seitokai Yakuindomo 3 feels like a time-killer episode. But this series is full of time-killer episodes, so what makes this one stand out? Maybe because it seemed extra pointless, or at least many of the jokes were.

Shino and Aria are off to Kyoto for the seniors school trip. Somewhat to my surprise, their dialogue sometimes veers away from sexual matters. In fact, Shino shows a refreshing interest in the historical landmarks they visit, going into a violent rage when she discovers the Honnouji is closed for renovation. Much of the dirty stuff is left for a student who sneaks into the class in order to take pictures, oh, and a horny deer.

The episode still relies on its traditional gag format. Innocent conversation, innuendo added, comment from Takatoshi, placard. But since the group is split up the dynamic changes—for the better when it comes to Takatoshi and Suzu. Well, at first, not so much. We get annoying scenes where he tries to do the student council work at home only to be interrupted by chores. But it gets better when the two work together. We see again their bond of being the normal people in a group of nutcases. However, it does mess with the rhythm a bit.

Another problem is a personal one. I don’t understand many of the cultural references they make here, so when Shino goes beserk and shouts something about killing the cuckoo, all I can think is “I suppose it’s funny in their context.” That pulls me farther away from the story, such as it is. So it was a mostly pointless episode with one or two good spots. I suppose I could say that for the first two episodes, too.

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