Thursday, February 28, 2013
Day Fifty-nine - High School of the Dead: Episode 6, or "You wanted Fan Service? Well... YOU GOT IT!"
Upon finding a safehouse at the end of episode 5, Takashi and company take a moment of respite for the first time since the Zombie Apocalypse began, availing themselves both to the supplies and, perhaps more importantly, the very spacious bath that Nurse Marikawa's friend has in her apartment... said friend being the government sniper Rika Minami whom we occasionally see at the locked down airport providing fire support for the government beachhead there.
Really, this whole episode is about the tits.
All the girls disrobe and hop in the bathtub, showering Japanese style (which means they wash up first sitting on a stool outside the bath, then soak in the heat in the tub, itself, after they're already clean). It is a stereotype of anime to have a bathhouse episode where are the femmes get nekkid and kibitz while the guys get overheated outside... sometimes attempting to find peepholes and the like.
It's sort of a tension breaker after the struggle that they've all had to endure first with the outbreak at the high school, then separating from the bus and Shido's brainwashing. Mostly, though, it's just an excuse to see some titties.
This is one of the few times that I'm actually against portraying sex in media... mainly because the main bath scene is simply too gratuitous. It's not satire at that point, just sex for sex's sake.
The rest of the episode's lasciviousness had a point... whether it was Mari-chan or Rei's drunkenness lowering their inhibitions in contrast to the chaos outside or Saeko and her "Naked Apron" look which is both a manga trope and a commentary on her demonstrating domesticity versus her regular nature as the stoic warrior woman.
Those, I can get behind, as they're reflections on culture.
While the bath scene could have had a similar excuse, the lengths they go to when it comes to nudity and fan service here push the boundaries far more than necessary. Of course, that's not to say that I didn't react like a typical single male with a wagging wolf's tongue, but my critical mind was sighing the whole time.
I mean, c'mon!
I think the standout for me in episode six was Takashi and Rei's fight towards the end. I really dug how he finally got fed up with Rei moping over Hishashi, her dead boyfriend, whom she always chose over Takashi and has constantly brought up since he died at the end of episode one. It's a nice ultimatum moment for their relationship and ends in a rather similar fashion as the argument at the end of that first episode, with her realizing just how she's pushing him away.
Personally, I'd rather they didn't waffle and just finish it as friends so that the Takashi/Saeko shippage could run full course, but it's kind of a harem anime anyway as all the gals seem to love Takashi no matter what's going on.
Back to the mundane... or, rather, not so mundane, but back to the horror scenes... since, you know, this is actually a ZOMBIE series.
I love how things are playing out down at the bridge. Communication has broken down and all the weight and responsibility has fallen to the field commanders who are already overstressed and on their last good nerves... and, wouldn't you know it, "the people" are organizing a protest in spite of the danger and death all around that is stalking them, to blame the easiest target, the folks in authority they can access. Guess who? The police.
Powderkeg, meet Match.
I really enjoy the series... it's just that this episode is one of my favorite (for pervy reasons) and one of the worst (when my conscience kicks in). Next episode, though, we get the final members of the team to join up, the humanity redeeming Alice and Zeke/Zero.
Until tomorrow, Potatoes~