There are many times I watch a show, realize how bad it is part way through and either stop right there or decide to just bull through until the end. There are also times where I watch a show and the sheer horror of it all not only appalls me but actually makes me angry. Highschool of the Dead falls firmly into the latter category. It's not just bad, it's insultingly bad.
The sad part is that the bar isn't exactly set very high for zombie apocalypse fiction. Especially given that the show is about a bunch of highschool students, mostly featuring girls with gigantic gag boobs and panty shots. You'd think that you could just chalk it up to mindless entertainment, sit back, and enjoy. The problem is that the show isn't just vapid, it actually seems to go out of its way to flip people the bird with its moronic main characters and pointless plot twists.
Right off the bat, I'm going to admit to a conceit that I think most watchers of any zombie apocalypse show will admit too. It's the arrogant belief that in the same situation, you could do better than the people actually caught in the situation. Whether you would have known to go to the local gun shop or have conserved bullets or have simply not had loud sex in the middle of zombie central, we're all sure that we could do it better. This is part of what makes Highschool of the Dead so frustratingly insulting. I have seen quite a few zombie attacks depicted on tv or in films or in books and these have got to be the mildest, most harmless flesh-eating legion of the damned I've ever run across. You can't help but get the impression that a third grader with a bit of common sense and some emotional maturity could survive and yet these idiots you're watching with their giant bouncing boobs constantly manage to screw it up.
For one thing, the zombies in HSotD are completely blind, and the only sense they have which functions is their ability to hear. You could walk quietly up to one of these zombies and flick it in the forehead and it would never even know you were there. Hell, you could actually sleep outside amongst a hoard of the flesh eating masses and as long as you don't snore or talk in your sleep, you should make it through the night just fine. This is an unbelievable boon, especially given the fact that the zombie's sense of hearing doesn't seem to be enhanced in any way beyond human norms. It's not going to hear your heart beating inside your chest and use it as a way to locate you and you can even walk around them with no problems as long as you aren't whistling as you go.
HSotD also comes down firmly on the side of oldschool zombies meaning these guys are slower than molasses. They will not pursue you at anything more than a slow shuffle and there's not even much evidence that they have a speedier final lunge at the end. These guys are basically Droopy dog from start to finish. Add this to the inability to see and these zombies are about as threatening as heat rash. Well, okay, we're told that they're strong and there are a few instances where they do seem to be able to overwhelm a highschool schoolgirl in tests of strength, but that's hardly setting the bar very high. All in all, I think I can confidently say that out of all the possible permutations of zombie apocalypse you might get stuck in, this would surely be one of the best. Hell, in how many zombie movies could you say that simply staying in your house with the doors locked and not making much noise could actually be a long term survival strategy that works? Sure, eventually you'll have to trek out for food and other supplies but just knowing that a handful of fireworks or other ranged noisemakers would be more than enough to keep you safe should be pretty comforting.
Of course, our heroes somehow manage to avoid taking the easy path, consistently managing to get themselves into levels of danger almost unimaginable given the pathetically low level of the threat. Almost all of the problems they run into are ones of their own making, including things as simple as: when faced with incredibly slow shuffling zombies, there's no need to race around at top speed in a car getting into accidents. Even the star athlete zombie in this world shuffles at a pace of no more than 5 miles per hour. Just going 30 mph will likely seem like mach 1. Add in other bits of insanity like why the world governments can't even seem to protect themselves given the puny zombie threat and the nonsensical reasoning behind deciding to launch nukes and EMP attacks and HSotD will drive anyone with a lick of sense crazy.
In the end, you're likely not watching HSotD for the plot. Chances are good you've come for the boobs and the panties and my God have you come to the right place. I've never in my life seen boobs like these. These are the kind of boobs that could come over to your place, make you a sandwich and do your taxes all at the same time. Don't believe me? Take a look at this clip from HSotD.
Are those boobs or are those boobs? We're talking skillz, people. What's funny is that neither of those are the gag boobs and you have to see the ones on the school nurse to believe it. Maybe it's just not my thing or it's simply a case of overkill but there's not even much of a titillation factor IMO. You get used to it pretty quickly and just wish the girls would stop being such morons already.
So all in all, I'd recommend giving HSotD a pass. Well, unless you want to see giant boobs in which case I can't think of a better anime off the top of my head. It's truly booberiffic, though an awful zombie show.