Highschool of the Dead was the very first manga I ever read. I went through the available chapters after a couple days. And was dissappointed when I found out it was on hiatus.
However this one just about tops the list as one of my favorite mangas of all time. I was completely taken back by the high level of blood, guts and action all over the place. When they found the gun/ammo locker and the Humvee and started blasting headshots on passing zombies.
I think the story is very good even though it isn't really origional. You of course have a mall with some other crazy survivors. A stuck-up rich companion who's father just happens to be the leader of a powerful Japanese liberation group with guns, ammo and resources at their disposal. The school nurse just happens to have a friend with an apartment with illegal guns and hundreds of rounds of ammo along with a U.S. Army issue Humvee, sadly without a .50 cal turret out of the roof.
Despite all that, I'm still interested in how the story progresses, like if they manage to make it in and out of the school and police station safely and where they're going to go after that. Back to the mall? Back to the highschool? Or will they leave the city and make it to the sparcely populated countryside? Personally I'm thinking they'll go for the airport.
The characters to me are pretty typical but at the same time pretty extraordianary. Here you have half a dozen highschool kids and one 8-year-old, who, despite having lost most of their friends and family are braving the worst by looking out for eachother and picking up weapons and running around killing the one thing they have to fear.
Saeko Busujima might just be my favorite character. A swordswoman who just recieved a minty fresh katana. She has to run around slashing heads and limbs off zombies (just like I love to do in Left4dead 2, I pick up a katana if I find one, drop the gun and run into the crowd, it's more fun that way). What makes her different is that normally a girl would hate doing something like that, like being hemophobic (fear of blood). But she loves causing pain, anguish and cutting off limbs spraying blood. That's what I like about her.
Kohta Hirano also tops the list as one of my favorite characters. It's unrealistic but how many Japanese 16-year-old guys have actually fired a real gun? He knows the ins and outs of just about any gun on earth. During the first couple of chapters he turned into some fatass who was bullied on a daily basis to a man of action. The spearhead of the group he's in.
Anyway, this really is my favorite *seinen* manga of all time. I just wish that new chapters would be released faster. Would be nice.