Highschool of the Dead 7 may be its best yet. Not just for the action (terrific again) but for why they decide to go into action in the first place.
To start with they’re temporarily safe, resting, keeping watch, being nearly naked, and talk turns to how they can survive. Saeko says that in this hellish new world you cannot risk being brave and rescuing other people. Even the remaining living cannot be trusted. And to demonstrate we flash over to a nearby residence where a father is desperately trying to find a place for his little daughter to hide. He threatens to smash a door down, the terrified residents open it, skewer him and close the door on the girl. Here come the zombies. Highschool likes to put in at least one moral dilemma per episode. What gives this episode its extra energy is that Takashi and Kohta witness this from their balcony.
Kohta is the first to snap. The music kicks in, and soon everyone in the apartment (save sleeping Shizuka) is smiling. “We realized that we’re still human!” Exactly. The group is not simply surviving, they’re working to help others.
But rescuing the girl isn’t going to be easy. Takashi saves the girl from the immediate threat but soon they’re trapped inside the gated front yard while dozens of zombies try to get in. The stuff that comes next is almost as satisfying because of what it demonstates about the characters. Takashi shows his quick-thinking by walking ON the stone fence, very quietly, inches away from the zombies, not helped by a yappy, face-licking dog the girl has picked up. And now the rest of the team is energized and come to his aid.
Action-wise this tops the first fight, and it again demonstrates people acting like human beings. Takashi had gone off to rescue the girl. The rest come to rescue Takashi … and the girl. Again, I love to watch these characters when they team up. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and trust each other implicitly. It may be unreal for a team to bond like this so quickly, but consider how much they’ve gone through together. I could be cynical and point out they now have to protect a little girl and a yappy dog but instead I’ll look forward to what complications this brings them as they try to maintain their humanity.
Asobi ni Iku Yo 6 is a filler episode where characters split up and do different things.
Kio’s film club wants to film a SF story, so Eris is invited along. Again, I love how the people on Okinawa just happily accept the presence of aliens on their land, that high schoolers can get them involved in little projects. Unfortunately the scene doesn’t work too well. Eris doesn’t look like a space alien, the assistaroids are too cute, and the spaceship they fly in for FX looks like it’s dangling from a string. The film fails, and so does the scene. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before.
Meanwhile the Cathians invite Manami and Aoi to use their holodeck. Aoi wants to learn to cook for Kio, and Aoi wants to fire weapons. Aoi sticks to her plan, so we pretty much ignore her. Manami, however, can’t help herself and conjures up a virtual Kio, giving in and finally just asking him how he feels about Eris, Aoi, and herself. In spite of the “truth revealed” cliché aspect of this, last seen in Occult Academy, Manami is not pleased with his answers. Virtual Kio tells her that he lost his fear of talking to her when he thought she had a boyfriend, i.e., they’re just friends. They’ve been working this aspect of Manami for a while now, where she pines for Kio while supporting Aoi in her attempts to nab him. This episode they ramp it up, even adding a sad flashback. Even pointing out later that she was talking to a virtual Kio and not the real one doesn’t really help. Since nobody’s going to do anything about it for the time being it’s just an anchor on this series.
A couple little things. The Cathians are aware that the Doggies are on Earth (but the Doggies do nothing this episode but talk evilly). Eris is given drugs to suppress her breeding season urges, so maybe she’ll settle down for a change. Oh, the cat-cult have established relations with the Cathians. Next week I think everyone goes to the beach. Oh, joy.