For those not in the know, High School of the Dead began as a Japanese manga back in 2006, but has since built-up quite a cult following and even a 12 episode anime series produced by Madhouse, one of Japan's largest animation studios.
The series tells the story of a group of high school students caught in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. While nothing groundbreaking in terms of originality, there's (surprisingly) not many zombie-themed manga or anime out there - at least not of this caliber. High School of the Dead is fast-paced, the characters are likable, and the zombies are never played down as anything less than a horrific threat. In fact, considering the outpouring of zombie B-movies to swarm the DVD market in the last decade, it's nice to see a series that reverts the zombie horde to it's true place in horror. Plus, these zombies are more of the Romero variety...slow lumbering corpses that overpower their victims through sheer numbers. Even those who aren't fans of anime or manga, but are staunch zombie enthusiasts, should at least give High School of the Dead a look.
The manga is currently up to its 7th volume in Japan, and finally made it's way to English readers in 2011 thanks to Yen Press, which has translated the first four volumes (the fifth is due out January 24th, 2012).
In Japan and North America, the manga has been well received, ranking high on best-selling manga lists in both countries.
On top of this, the anime series has garnered quite a following as well. Unfortunately, the series is only 12 episodes long (a short one-shot original video animation was also released with the manga in Japan, but has yet to be released in the USA.)
So, will fans of H.O.T.D. anime be seeing a Season 2 anytime soon? Oddly, Sentai Filmworks, the company behind the North American DVD/Blu-Ray release, had marked the release with a 'complete collection' moniker - thereby leading some to assume that there will only be 12 episodes released - end of story.
Of course, at this time, there is only 12 episodes (plus the previously mentioned OVA), with Madhouse yet to officially announce a second season. However, rumor is spreading faster than a zombie plague that production of a Season 2 is imminent, after all, the manga is still going strong. Also, seeing how the OVA was produced close six months after the end of the series, it seems likely that we'll be seeing more High School of the Dead anime in the future. Reportedly, North American sales for the anime have been high and, now that H.O.T.D. is available for streaming on Netflix, the series is getting more attention by the day. Having attended a local anime convention recently, it was discovered that a manga seller in the dealers room had sold out of all his High School of the Dead manga within the first hour of arriving at the convention!
It seems that High School of the Dead is anything but dead on arrival!