Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WTF Wednesday! High School of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead OVA

Sentai Filmwork's release of the High School of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead OVA truly exemplifies what WTF Wednesdays are all about. For Wednesday's posts I'd hoped to focus on some of the more weird, bizarre things in anime that defy explanation, and this hits that nail right on the head.

First off, I really enjoyed the High School of the Dead series. It embodied that exploitive-style of those '70s/ '80s era zombie films that so very few movies today can recapture, though not for lack of trying and failing, often miserably. So, it's a shame that HOTD is only 12 episodes and, considering the anime came out in 2011, it's very unlikely to get a second season. Even the manga, which I read thanks to Yen Press' excellent release, has been put on indefinite hiatus.

Being the HOTD fan that I am, I was thrilled when Sentai announced that they were releasing the OVA, titled Drifters of the Dead, in North America. Not only was the OVA going to be paired with the upcoming Blu-ray box set re-release, but it was going to come out separately on DVD and Blu-ray. Needless to say, I ordered it...but once it arrived I was met with what has to be one of the absolute strangest OVA releases of all time.

I've seen my share of OVAs in the past, with ones ranging from the length of a standard episode to some edging out around forty-or-so minutes. I don't think it was brash of me to assume we'd be hitting a running time somewhere between the two. But, get ready for this, Drifters of the Dead is a staggering, mind-vexing fifteen minutes. Now, that's fine as a bonus feature, but for Sentai to release this as an independent release? WTF!

On one hand, I'm certainly glad Sentai chose to go through the effort, translate and dub the episode, and ultimately release it. Plus most retailers had the DVD and Blu-ray for under $10 but, even so, it's just weird buying a DVD that's a meager 15 minutes, with no real special features to boot.

Realistically, Drifters of the Dead should have been included on Sentai's original HOTD box set, but it's likely the OVA hadn't been released yet in Japan. Adding credence to this theory is the fact that a Blu-ray copy of this OVA had been included with the seventh volume of the HOTD manga in Japan back in April 2011 (the original US DVD/Blu-ray release of the series, sans OVA, hit shelves a few short months later, in June 2011).

Anway, it's a cool oddity to own but, at the same time, has to be one of Sentai's most bizarre releases. Oh, and the OVA itself is entirely missable with regards to the show. It's a fifteen minute fan service fest of the characters having what amounts to be an acid trip on an island while wearing very little clothing. When it comes to HOTD, you take what you can get.

No comments:

Post a Comment