Highschool 9, Asobi 8

If you’re wondering about what Saya’s mom was doing pulling off a big rescue last week you’ll just have to wait. Highschool of the Dead 9 follows Takashi and Saeko as they try to reunite with the rest after being cut off.

At first it’s simply their adventures. They find an amphibious buggy and manage to escape to a sandbank on the river. Zombies, apparently, can’t cross water. That doesn’t make much sense. More worrisome is that now they seem to be reacting to more than just noise, but the episode doesn’t expand on that. Anyway, the sandbank scene gets a little strange. Saeko is embarrassed because she’s dripping wet and her clothes are clinging (when earlier she was going around in no more than a thong and apron) and Takashi, out of the blue, asks her if there’s a guy she likes. If he is falling for Saeko it’s going to make future scenes with Rei very interesting.

Surprisingly, the episode takes off a little later, during a fight where Saeko freezes up at the sight of zombie children and nearly gets bitten. After they retreat to a nearby shrine it becomes confession time for Saeko, and we hear her story of being assaulted and injuring the man—and realizing to her disgust that she enjoyed doing so. What the sight of those zombie kids did to kick this feeling to the forefront of her head I don’t know. Takashi, meanwhile, takes on the role of confessor and hears her out. Of course, at the moment there’s nothing he can really do but comfort her. How far he goes in this is left to our imagination.

The power of persuasion, Takashi-style.

It’s in a battle the next day (again, how did the Zombies know they were there?) that Takashi snaps her out of it, practically giving a confession of his own, telling her she’s the coolest girl he’s ever seen and to please live and fight for his sake as well as her own. Naturally it works and we get a minute or two of furious Saeko action where she’s dealing death on all sides and enjoying every second of it. And they make it to Saya’s mansion. Takashi later muses that he said all that in order for them both to survive, nothing more, but he’s always thinking this way and I don’t really buy it. Everyone in this cast has shown that their instincts lean more to decency and support than to killing, Saeko’s blood-lust and Kohta’s wicked grin notwithstanding.

Next week it looks like we’ll be meeting more new people. As we’ve learned already, the living can be as troublesome as the dead for our heroes.

Asobi ni Iko Yo 8 meanders around for a while before getting down to business. As usual it has to do with the girls and Kio.

Let’s see, the cat cult plans to scale down their operation and become more of a fanboy group. We learn something about the technology behind the charms used last week. Clarke’s third law is invoked. Sadly, in fiction it’s too often used to justify such magical items because the creators didn’t want to have to think up a rational explanation. The Dog race plot their next move. Manami, Aoi and Kio go to the holodeck or whatever it is to train, and Manami sneaks off to give them time alone. Aoi takes umbrage at this and confronts her, armed with bullets that destroy inorganic matter, which, of course, is simply an excuse to …

They both have rationalizations for their duel. Aoi says Manami is slacking off. Manami think’s she’s good enough already. The real reason, which they would both vehemently deny, is that they’re fighting over Kio. So off they go to the woods, followed by Doggie agents. The tracking down by both girls is used more as an excuse for alternating interior monologues. Manami’s is more interesting. Aoi is simply a girl with a crush who’s so far too shy to do anything about it. Besides, right now she’s on a combat mission. Manami takes the time to ruminate over her lost chance with Kio, and the fact that she still holds affection for him while putting on a brave face makes her situation poignant.

A lot of gun pointing in this episode.

When they do get around to fighting it’s entertaining enough. Aoi loses (out of bullets) and is forced to call Kio Kio-kun. The doggie agents interrupt with their own attack and are easily brushed aside by more science that is indistinguishable from magic, but the episode’s story had effectively ended by then. I really wish they’d get this harem business out of the way for a while and let the aliens play a little more. Especially that alien dog that sounds like Muttley.

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