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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?