Top 5 Reasons the Zombies Will Win In Highschool of the Dead

By rights, the zombies should not have had the ability to cause the level of chaos we saw in Highschool of the Dead (HOTD). They lacked the chops needed to get the Zombie Apocalypse going without some serious help (maybe the manga explains this better) but once it got going, the zombies really increased the momentum of their undead revolution very quickly. I give humanity less than a 50/50 chance at pulling it out, which is the reason for this top 5 list – Why the zombies will win in the end.

Number 5

People should apply what they learn from zombie fiction

There are two ways for a piece of fiction set in current times to address the popular culture we know; it can pretend the popular culture doesn’t exist or assume the fictional characters know the same movies, music, and TV that we do. In HOTD, the characters reference several well-known zombie movies which establishes that they are living in a world that has access to the same popular culture that we do. Therefore, they should have known what to do when zombies actually show up one day instead of acting like they’ve never seen what a Zombie Apocalypse look like.

Number 4

Catastrophes too often reveal the dark side of humanity

To effectively fight the zombie problem, people need to be at their best but troubling times will often bring out the worst in people as we saw at numerous times throughout the series. The rapid fall into tribalism shown in HOTD with it’s disregard of those people outside of the tribe have cost and will cost many human lives (for example, the father that tried to get a family to take in his daughter). The power-hungry people like the creepy teacher in the bus and whoever was in charge of the USA that launched the nukes care more about their power and keeping it then actually helping people. Then there’s the looters and those that have gone insane because of the catastrophe occurring around them. All these types of people give the zombies additional ways to attack and win.

Number 3

The lack of long-range planning by everyone

I can understand that the characters are a little unnerved with the coming of the zombies but the characters time-and-again show that not a single one in HOTD ever really gives living more than a couple of days any thought. They leave behind weapons and vehicles that could be useful in the future like it’ll always be easy to find either at a moment’s notice. Stockpiling food, water, and medicine should be a no-brainer and one of the first things they do. Or how about letting a trained mechanic die when one’s survival might come down to if a group of people can keep their vehicle running or not. Zombies don’t need much to continue living but humans need many different things to have a shot against the zombies.

Number 2

People only have to make a mistake once

This is more of a philosophical point. If a zombie fails to kill someone then there’s thousands or millions of other zombies that still have the chance to kill that person. If a human makes a mistake – a gun misfiring, overlooking a possible entry point for zombies, a slip at the wrong moment, being caught without a weapon, etc. – there’s a very good chance that that person will get killed by zombies.

Number 1

No one knows how to fortify a position

Seriously. If only someone in that whole group of people hanging out in the compound had watched Lord of the Rings or some other movie that involved defending a fortified location from an invasion or served in the military or just had some common sense. The only way zombies where getting in that compound was through the gate and something should have been done about that possibility in the couple of days they had. Even their use of dynamite sucked. They could have strapped the dynamite to a barrel of gas and launched it over the gate (or positioned the barrels a short distance away from the gate beforehand and set up a means to light them from the inside) and gotten a lot more zombies than they did. I also find it incomprehensible that the USA is going through leaders so quickly, can’t anyone figure out how to fortify an area and keep the zombies out?


5 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons the Zombies Will Win In Highschool of the Dead”

  1. There’s always an issue when someone from Japan seeks to predict US policy. Americans themselves have problems in this avenue, let alone people that cannot directly observe how the American hierarchy works.

    The same would apply for a Westerner attempting to predict Japanese policies in reaction to an event. They don’t even know what’s going on at the local level. How will they figure out the national scene.

    The only accurate portrayal is going back into history and seeing how Japanese governments handled issues before. But the issue with that is that the Japanese underwent several changes in government philosophy over the decades. So that’s not really dependable as a modern answer. Nor is the same for the US given the changes between WWII, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.


  2. I watched the season one of this, episodes 1-12. The character development was pretty good, especially since the asocial circumstances fit with the things I’ve become aware of.

    What got me was not the irrational decisions by the leaders over the nukes, but rather how the zombies kept getting and overcoming local populations of humans. In a submarine or Navy ship, infections don’t just exponentially go from 1 to 99% in a few hours. You’d either need complicit humans helping things along or people would have to be ignoring the problem and waiting until the zombies had gotten enough people infected that they could bust through local resistances through numbers alone. How is this supposed to happen on a ship? Immediately anyone bleeding or dead would be either thrown overboard or burned or locked up in quarantine. And American Navy ships are armed quite well to repel boarders. All they have to do is to get into the secure armories. Or just lure the zombies on deck so they can be gunned down on an open field using larger weapons.

    In submarines, the nuclear ballistic subs go on six month cruises and they don’t have ANY contact with the outside world while on a tour. It’s good that they didn’t have one of the submarines getting taken over, course it’d be impossible. Regardless of whether the zombies passed the infection along through fluids or through the air.

    The zombies are also too slow. There’s no way any armed group of individuals, that are together, can be simply overcome by this slow wave of zombies walking around. Unless they run out of ammo and that’s just not going to happen. Inside the United States, there are national guard armories spread all over the place, not to mention gun shops and other places. People would have went there for ammo and munitions right off, assuming they had transportation and food a plenty to get them there. Then there are the fortified small towns or farm houses that have their own stock piles of supplies and weapons. These places are already in low density population centers so it’s not like a zombie can go through their defenses by sheer numbers nor will their ammo be depleted any time soon.

    In big cities like DC or LA which outlaw guns or make it impossible for you to legally acquire one, you’d probably see the overloading of public and security services as depicted in the anime for Japan. But that’s actually not true for the rest of the United States of America. In fact, if any nukes are to be used, it wouldn’t be strategic, but tactical nukes designed to simply obliterate the huge zombie populations in the disarmed urban centers of America. Simply having guns isn’t enough either, as you need a headshot. And the number of people who can get headshots are at respectable range are vanishingly small, even amongst gun owners. Because their primary training is to shoot at center mass, as it is a more certain target access to the CNS. That means even if urban citizens get access to guns, they won’t be able to use them effectively. Hence the nuke usage. Nor are the police training every day with guns for high accuracy.

    The military, however, specifically the US Army and Marines, Special Forces included, would be the highest guarantors of safety. But they can’t be everywhere in the US. Hence the use of nukes again, to clear up some land. In time the zombies will spread across the land, thus if an entire city falls and evacuation has already been mostly finished (since humans move faster than zombies), that city is going up in smoke and ashes. They won’t have the luxury of attempting to quarantine things. Besides, most of the food isn’t even grown in the cities. They don’t even need the cities for survival. It’s just a zombie trap and manufacturing plant (of zombies that is).

    This is where bombs and tanks and FAEs will come in handy. They can selectively destroy zombie hoardes once you gather them up. But a nuke would irradiate the surroundings somewhat, and also destroy food and water in the vicinity that could be salvaged. But if they run out of bombs and Fuel Air Explosives, nukes are right there to be used.

    That, In fact, is what I think the countries with nuclear weapons would be doing. Not trying to nuke other nations, but using it to purify their own. In nations with very inefficient military power and transportation, like Russia, they might be going a little wild with nukes. Because they lack more efficient and accurate options. Assuming theirs even work any more given the horrible maintenance done (or not done) on them.

    The graphics for School of the Dead is the best I’ve seen in anime to date. It’s really surreal. I love it. It’s the best yet. The dramatic shots and angle work is superb. I read that there is a novel of it in English. 160 pages for the first package, out of 3. That sounds like there’s a bunch of plot stuff left out or that has yet to be shown. With the manga being an adaptation of the novel.

    As one criticism, at the end, it’s like they forgot that you needed to attack the head or crush the brain. Because I saw them sticking blades into the body and the zombies would look like they got annihilated. But that was precisely something they showed was ineffective in the first episode. Logic inconsistency due to inconsistent adaptation of the universe of the novel, probably.

    I didn’t see them leave behind too many weapons. As for vehicles, it just looked like they were facing some land obstacles. The primary issue I have is that given the zombie’s speed, it’s relatively easy to get out of the way in an open space, you have light, and there’s room to maneuver. They really needed a better transmission effect for the disease to make sense of the actual situation.

    Given the fact that most people are dead, I’d probably think I could pick up vehicles anywhere as well. They’re just sort of laying around, you know. So long as you have gas and the key, it’s good. Weapons are only as good as the ammo supply. So if there is no ammo, might as well drop the weapons since Japan doesn’t have armories except at police stations or SDF bases. And Okinawa, the Ryukyu islands, are WAYYYY far away from the Japanese mainland. No way to get there.

    The rules for the social organization of humans in a zombie apocalypse basically devolves to “if you don’t work, you don’t eat”. And “those that are able to provide security, fight, or have other resources, are valued as higher class citizens”.

    For example, when Democracy works in a zombie apocalypse, you can have a majority vote to place the leader as the cult leader. But… all the people that know how to fight and have the resources to provide actual security, are the ones that didn’t vote for him. There’s no way that leader would actually have any power. No way. Impossible. Might as well give it up.

    The whole way social organizations work is that they have the power to monopolize resources, so you have to join them and obey their rules if you want to take advantage of their exclusive access to resources. But if most people end up dead and you’re the one with the gun, you’re basically your own billionaire. Status quo structures are broken down entirely in favor of those who have the primary resource for survival, security. then it goes down to things like food, water, shelter, and things like that.

    This is interesting since they mentioned the mutiny incident on the Bounty and Tahiti. That was a very interesting discourse to me.


  3. @yuu: Except there are tons of anime out there with sad or crappy endings in fact the Japanese seem to delight in the no one wins scenario. Take Grave of the FireFlies…. or Eva….

    As for the Zombies taking over so fast and completely no one seemed to want to believe that a zombie apocalypse could be happening. And the darn thing started at night…. By the time anyone realized what happened it was really almost to late… it also seems that this zombie invasion happened simultaneously all over the world.

    The High School though that is an interesting thing… First the first zombie got there from a seemingly long way from the rest of the city. Then the teachers were stupid enough to not realize something was wrong with a man who kept banging up against the gate with no seeming intelligence. Once that first teacher was bit the infection spread like wildfire. So it seems that though the zombies are slow when there is no one around when there is living humans around they seem to move fast. And in a body rich area like the school….

    As for the protagonists not having a play … they are kids. So far their plan consists of finding out what happened to their families. A decent short range plan… but even the government has no idea how to stop this so really what are a group of kids to do?


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