With the overwhelming success of AMC’s The Walking Dead, its talk show The Talking Dead, the companion series Fear The Walking Dead, the trading cards based on that series, the action figures based on those trading cards, and the pogs adapted from those action figures, AMC is extending their reach into the critically acclaimed High School of the Dead series. The new live action adaptation of the award winning manga will be titled High School of the Walking Dead, and will heavily tie in with the rest of what marketers are calling “The Walking Dead Television Universe Project”.
The plot is reported to feature many changes to the story in order to keep reader of the manga from spoiling the show. Among the changes is an expanded love triangle plot between the characters of Takashi Komuro, Rei Miyamoto, and Hisashi Igo. Although Igo originally died in the first chapter of the manga, he will be set up as the second season’s antagonist, only to be unceremoniously killed off again by Alice.
In order to attract new fans of the series, new characters have been created specifically for High School of the Walking Dead. One such character is Brandle Izumi, a roughneck survivalist who’s totally badass and not a self insert for the audience. He’ll be the love interest of the school nurse, Shizuka, who will die in the fifth season after she sings a Japanese country song.
Some have argued that making arbitrary changes to a pre-established works will hurt the overall story and alienate long-term fans of the manga. AMC executives have assured the public that they care very little of what the fans think.
The manga’s artist Shoji Sato has praised the decision of a western adaptation saying, “America is much better suited to my character designs. The women here are too flat. But in America, everything is bigger! It’s the only way to truly capture my art.”
Likewise Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, has been enthusiastic about this new series.
High School of the Walking Dead will have its two-hour pilot episode this Halloween at the scariest time of all, 7 PM. It will be followed by the three-hour-long premiere of High School of the Talking Dead starring bandwagon otaku Chris Hardwick. Afterwards a brand new episode of Comic Book Men will air, and still no one will care.