Fives: Highschool, Yakuindomo

Highschool of the dead 5, along with the usual bloody violence, zombies, panty shots and jiggling boobs, adds another element: improbable coincidence (Edit: okay, not so much as I thought), and it couldn’t be more fun.

Oh, they add another character, too. I didn’t get her name from the episode but Wikipedia says it’s Rika, and she’s an excellent sniper, currently holed up shooting zombies from an island airstrip. And (put this in the coincidence cubbyhole) she’s friends with Shizuka. A nice friend to have under the circumstances. But we leave her for now and follow the two groups, both trying to find a way across the bridge. Any bridge. Takashi and Rei zip around on the motorbike and encounter humans running amok, just like the guy last episode, allowing them to philosophize about insanity and the state of the world. Takashi says the both of them are going insane, just like the others, but I don’t buy that. What he and Rei are doing is surviving without cruel pleasure, unless they’re whacking zombies, which indeed looks fun to do.

Interesting enough, but the more compelling story happens on the bus. Shido is still lecturing and “comforting” his frightened charges. Seako compares it to forming a cult. The regular characters get sick of it and decide to leave. The bus is stuck in traffic, anyhow. To escape from the Cult of Shido and survive they have to use unorthodox means. Shido tries a little guilt trip on Shizuka. As a nurse, she shouldn’t desert the people on the bus, should she? Another little moral dilemma for our heroes. Where does her duty lie? We can see how clever Shido actually is. This time it’s Kohta who clears the air, reminding Shido of how badly he treated him in a nicely threatening manner. And they’re off the bus. It’s another good moment, but I really would have liked to see Shido eaten alive. As it stands we may never see him again.

Off the bus, but in greater danger from the zombies. Indeed, soon they’re surrounded and bashing away. It’s here where the improbable coincidence occurs. To get on the bridge Takashi and Rei ride up a car transport ramp and fly to right where his buddies happen to be! They didn’t even know they were there! (Wrong! Takashi heard Kohta’s nailgun … from some distance … heh, so I’m keeping my wild improbability stance) Before the bike stops (they have to knock over a few zombies first), Rei has lept off the bike and is smashing zombies. Takashi flings his gun to unathletic Kohta, who catches the piece of spinning metal with one hand and starts shooting. It’s utterly ridiculous, and fun as hell to watch. I sat there, grinning-mumbling “No way! No way!” What makes it succeed is that the group had already learned to work as a unit, each one contributing in his or her unique way. So when Takashi throws the gun to Kohta it’s because he knows that Kohta is the one best able to handle the weapon. Later, in another battle, Saeko issues a few orders, and because they trust her (as she trusts them) no one objects. One of the best things in this show is watching how the team works together. It overwhelms any qualms you might have about improbabilities that would feel contrived in most other shows. In Highschool it adds to the fun. Another good episode.

I don’t really expect a good episode out of Seitokai Yakuindomo, so it came as a surprise when I found myself laughing during episode five, twice!

I laughed at this scene.

I normally don’t laugh out loud at this show. If the inevitably predictable joke is timed well, or theres a good aside, I might smile. But laugh? Almost never. But the scene above made me do it. Takatoshi is sick with a fever and, he says, he has weird dreams in this state. We get to see one. It’s funny but not LOL funny when he hallucinates your average magical girl suddenly appearing in his bed; what got me going is Takatoshi’s blasé reaction. He knows what a cliché it is as well as we do. Also, it took me by surprise. Its delivery is different than what this show usually gives us. It’s not the only riff on anime clichés the episode delivers; there’s also the girl running to school with a piece of toast in her mouth, but I saw that one coming a mile away.

Takatoshi is responsible for the other laugh as well, but in that case (a comment about not thinking too much about the punchline) it was more a matter of delivery. In fact, at least for this episode, the VA who does Takoshi’s voice seems to have found a good rhythm to his comments. Or maybe the character is more resigned to his situation and doesn’t have to react negatively as much as he used to.

Back to the usual routine.

Otherwise it’s more of the same. Predictable dirty jokes growing out of normal conversations. The pool opens. Shino learns to work a computer. Suzu is very smart. Aria has someone she likes. Suzu is very short and underdeveloped. The teacher corners Takatoshi in a dark room. None of it really bad, but none of it really funny. Not LOL funny. I’m grateful for the two laughs I got.

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