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Origin

Saeko Busujima is a student of Fujimi High School in the Tokonosu City and president of the Kendo Club. Years before the zombie outbreak and when 14 years-old, Saeko was molested on the streets on her way home from school, but Saeko proved to be too much against this pervert and easily got the upper hand. Using her wooden bokken, she beat the man nearly to death and was only stopped by the police who soon arrived. She didn't lash out of fear. It excited her. It was this night she became aware of her sadistic pleasure for violence. Her elegant and calm nature hides her violent desires. It was the shame of her desire for violence that has prevented her from ever confessing her feelings for a boy she liked. She may be the survivors greatest fighter, but she could also be their greatest threat.

Creation

Highschool of the Dead Vol. 1 JPN (Mar 2007)

Saeko Busujima (毒島冴子, Busujima Saeko) is a main character of the Highschool of the Dead series that was written by Daisuke Sato and illustrated by Shouji Sato. The series first began serialization in Fujimi Shobo's Monthly Dragon Age magazine in July 2006. The creators of the series classified characters using role-playing game terminology, and Saeko is one of the three Fighters due to her combat skill.

Her first appearance was in Hightschool of the Dead Volume 1 CH. 1 "Spring of the Dead",

Though she is the second oldest of the initial survivors, she has the smallest bust at 83cm D-cup. In a popularity ranking held by Dragon Age magazine, four characters from Highschool of the Dead were in the top 10, and Saeko took the number one spot.

Character Evolution

"Earlier... I recall saying that... That I thought I could help. And the women of the Busujima Family...never break their word."

Saeko Busujima - "Highschool of the Dead" Vol. 7 - Ch. 28

Saeko Busujima's school uniform

Her first appearance in Highschool of the Dead had her wearing a basic school uniform of Fujima High School, and is one of the most respected students of the school. She teamed up with second-year Takashi Komuro's group at the school and has remained loyal to his lead. She prefers loose clothing that wont interfere with her movement in battle. She has long purple hair and originally wears a long-skirt style school uniform. She has a reliable and strong personality with a great sense of honor, morality, and comrodery. Though, her calm demeanor hides a violent and sadistic desire.

  • Age: 18
  • Hair: Purple
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Height: 174cm (5' 8.5")
  • Weight: 56kg (123lbs)
  • Measurements: 83D-56-86cm (33D-22-34in.)
Saeko Busujima's second outfit

Saeko eventually discloses to Takashi that in the past she was nearly assaulted, and beat the perpetrator nearly to death, breaking his bones with her bokken. Enjoying the power she had over her prey. The joy she gains from this violence has been a source of worry. This is because she believes this dark side to be her true nature and could be growing worse. Takashi would be the one who would give her hope by telling her that no matter how far she thinks she's tainted by darkness that he admires her and would give her a reason to live on. Saeko soon after becomes a rival for the affections of Takashi Komuro with Rei Miyamoto, often blushing when he would compliment her on her appearance.

As the series progresses, she's given a superbly crafted katana as her new weapon. Her outfit is also changed to a small skirt, thigh-high stockings with garters, her school uniform top, pads for her elbows and shins, and platformed boots. The power with which she wields her blade is said to be even more deadly than a bullet. That didn't stop her from taking a thigh holstered side arm when they reached the police station.

Major Story Arcs

Spring of the Dead

Saeko was in the kendo room of the school when it was overrun by the horde of "Them". She saved Shizuka Marikawa, the school nurse, and she offered to kill Kazu Ishii, a student that had been bitten. As Saeko and Shizuka were on the way to the school's office so they could get Shizuka's car keys then ran to the rescue of the Saya Takagi. They were then joined by Takashi Komuro, Rei Miyamoto, and Kohta Hirano. As they rested in the office the newly formed team agreed to go for the bus, rescue who they could along the way, and escape the school to find their families. However, Saeko's father was overseas at the time.

They rescued several students on the path to the bus, and this included one more of the teachers, Koichi Shidou. While on the bus, Shidou seemed to be trying to take over and forming his own cult around him. Saeko and her allies didn't trust him, but Rei and Takashi got separated off the bus as he tried to stop Rei from leaving on her own. Saeko called out that they would agree to meet at the eastern police station, but the traffic jam at the bridge prevented then from passing. Saeko, Saya, Kohta, and Shizuka left the bus and escaped Shidou's growing cult, but were fortunate enough to run into Takashi and Rei. Shizuka then suggested they go to her friend's house as it was getting dark.

In the Dead of the Night

At Rika Minami's home, Team Takashi was able to rest, clean up, and prepare for their coming trip. Though, as their clothes were being washed, Saeko couldn't find anything to wear, and she opted for just an apron while she cooked. Takashi became distracted when he saw her, and she asked him to start using her given name. Later, she had to prevent Takashi from trying to save the people he saw on the outside, becasue they would become overrun. Takashi was disappointed in her, but she reminded him that this wasn't something she was proud of. Saeko was proud when he rushed out to save the life of a young girl.

The rest of the team had to gather up everything they needed quickly into Rika Minami's Humvee to try and pick up Takashi and the young girl, Alice Maresato. Saeko fell asleep in the back seat, and she woke up with her head in Takashi's lap. Once on the other side of the river, the girls all changed into some new clothes, and they drove further into town. They were blocked at a wired gate and became surrounded by Them, and Rei fell off the car and was injured. Saeko was fighting with only her bokken despite the odds. It seemed they were all going to die here until they were rescued at an organized group using pressured water-cannons, and led by Saya's mother, Yuriko Takagi.

Dead House Rules

They were taken to the Takagi Estate and the large home was secured like a fortress. They were able to rest there for a few days, and eventually Souichiro Takagi, Saya's father and head of the prefecture's nationalist right-wing group, returned. They all watched as Soichiro gave a speech to the refugees about the need to fight, then cut off the head of his own loyal subordinate, who had been bitten and changed. When Kohta ran off after an argument, the group went out in search of him but reunited to defend Kohta as several of Soichiro's men were trying to take his guns away.

Later that day. Soichiro asked to meet with Saeko. He presented her with a magnificent sword that she identified as the famous Murata Katana, and Soichiro was giving it to her. She was hesitant to accept such a gift without a valid reason. Soichiro had been instructed in sword fighting by Saeko's father, but she replied it should be given to her father. Saeko suggested giving it to their leader Takashi. but Soichiro told her that he was too hesitant and she couldn't disagree. She eventually accepted the sword and went to see Takashi. She waited outside his room since she heard voices inside, then Rei soon exited. She didn't seem happy to see Saeko. As Rei and Takashi were leaving to search for their parents, Saeko had changed and asked to take her along to help. Kohta and the rest of Team Takashi arrived and wanted to join them, as well.

They then discovered Koichi Shidou and his group had arrived at the Takagi Estate, Rei was ready to kill the former teacher, but Saeko prevented Takashi from stopping her, since this had to be her choice. Rei walked away, and Soichiro expelled Shidou's corrupted group. Things only got worse when the sky was later filled with a flashing light that Saya realizes had been am EMP that had been caused by a nuclear bomb detonated in the atmosphere. The Takagi Estate's electronic gates were stuck open and they were quickly being overrun. Soichiro, Yuriko, and their allies stayed to fight and make a way for Team Takashi to escape using an amphibious vehicle they were given,

The Girl Next Dead

The team were blocked on the highway becasue of all of the car and Them. They decided to separate and meet up at the Taiei Shopping Town. Takashi and Saeko rode on the loud amphibious vehicle to draw Them away and allow the others to move on foot. They had gathered a large horde of Them and Takshi drove the vehicle into the river, splashing water all over Saeko's clothes. She had to scold Takashi for staring at her now transparent shirt. They parked in the middle of the river in the sandbar, and Takashi gave her a shirt to wear as her clothes dried. He then suddenly asked her if there was someone she liked, but she only answered that there was someone in the past.

The pair ran went to a local park to ditch the vehicle in a fountain to use the noise as bait. Takashi was shocked as Saeko sliced through Them, but suddenly hesitated as she came to a group of undead children. Takashi saved her, then pulled her along to take shelter in a nearby shrine, as night was falling. Saeko was despondent till Takashi finally made her laugh. It was there that she admitted to Takshi how she nearly killed a man who tried to attack her and enjoyed it. She never confessed her felings for a boy she liked becasue she didn't feel she deserved to be happy. Takashi tried to tell her that he understood. She shot back that Takashi changed after Them, but she was this way long before.

The next morning, the shrine was surrounded by Them, and Saeko didn't have the will to fight. Takashi suddenly grabbed her from behind, He yelled as she told her that he'd give her a reason to live. As long as she was alive that he'd always admire her no matter how tainted she thought she was. Takashi's belief in her rose her morale. She thanked Takashi then wiped out the undead with her sword. It was the first time she she ever fought to her fullest extent without holding back. The thrill of the battle excited her to the point of ecstasy. While they ran to meet up, Saeko asked Takashi if he would take responsibility for what he said, and he happily agreed. They then met up at the mall with the others.

Legend of the Dead

Team Takashi weren't alone at the mall since there were several other humans who were being led by a rookie traffic-officer, Asami Nakaoka. They hid their guns, but Saeko kept her sword. Saeko was now interested in Takashi, but she was cautious to show too much affection in front of Rei. Separate from the other survivors, the group planned on their next move, but they were distracted as an elderly woman of the others fell ill. Takashi, Kohta, and Asami returned from their search from supplies to save the woman, but one of the men that joined them was lost. Saeko went to try and comfort Takshi on their loss.

One of the other group went crazy and was attacking the others before he burst out of the mall. It then broke down the security of the mall and was quickly being overrun. Asami had agreed to join them, but as they were making their escape they heard a call for help. It was the boy who ran off on top of a car. Asami ran to rescue the boy with a man who had earlier tried to attack Shizuka. Tragically, the pair became surrounded. They could only watch as Asami pleaded with Kohta to not let her become one of Them, and he shot her with his rifle.

Assault on Dead Precinct

The group was struggling as Kohta was in shock from having to kill the woman he had fallen for. They put off heading for Rei's home and head for the Eastern Police Station that was closer. It was mostly abandoned, and Saeko quickly cut down the pair of Them that was in the lobby. She was shocked when Takshi pointed out that they had been lovers while alive. They then found the armory of the station was empty, but found weapons in the evidence room. On there, Kohta gave Saeko a Beretta M92 Vertec with the promise to teacher how to use it later.

While they looked for information in the police station, they found that there was going to be an evacuation made at the Niidoko Third Elementary School, where Takashi's mother worked. Saeko still reassured Rei that she would always live up to her promise to aide in finding her mother. Searching the office of Rei's father they also found a message written by him for everyone to gather at Niidoko Elementary School. With reason t believe that Rei's father was safe, they prepared to rescue her mother.

Dead in the Rain

Team Takashi took some shelter in a convenience store from the coming rain to gather food, and some parkas at a nearby store before heading to Rei and Takashi's neighborhood. Saeko wanted Takashi to let her take the lead, becasue there it was more likely they could run into someone they knew that had been changed. This proved to be true when Alice went ahead on her bike to scout an escape route but fell and was set upon by a woman they once knew. Saya saved Alice, Saeko finished off the rest, and she was pleased when Takashi admitted she was right about him and Rei.

Soon after, the team found Rei's mother, Kiriko Miyamoto; but she wasn't a meek and timid woman. She was carrying a spear and was shouting at some neighbors who had locked her out after she went to get supplies. Saeko could tell that Rei's mother. With Kiriko now secured, Team Takashi moved to Niidoko Elementary School for the evacuation.

(After Ch. 29 "Dead in the Rain", Highschool of the Dead went on an indefinite hiatus for unknown reasons and it's unknown if the series will ever be continued.)

Powers & Abilities

Swordsmanship

Saeko is a sword fighter that was trained by her own father, who was a famous instructor of their family-owned dojo. She grew up learning the sword, and this even extended to the history of katanas. She was even able to identify the Murata Katana from examining it. She's one of the strongest sword fighters in the world despite her youth. However, she would often hold back out of fear of her own dark desires for violence. After Takashi accepted all the sins of her past and chose to believe in her, Saeko was finally able to reach her full potential and fight without holding back at all.

Weapons & Equipment

Bokken

A bokken is a wooden practice sword used in the practice of Kendo. Saeko was the captain of the Kendo club of Fujimi High School, and she often had it with her. Being made of wood was excellent for blunt attacks and crushing the skulls of Them. She left the bokken behind after she was given a proper sword.

Murata Katana

Saeko Busujima's Murata Katana

Her original weapon was a bokken. Later she is given a weapon from Saya's father, Souichiro Takagi. A katana called the Murata Katana (村田刀, Murata-tou) from the Meiji-era of Japan. With this blade she now dismembers and maims the undead.

Beretta M92 Vertec

While searching Tokonosu's Eastern Police Station, Kohta Hirano took a Beretta M92 Vertec off the corpse of a zombie police officer that Saeko had killed. She has no experience with guns, but Kohta promised to teacher ler later. She opted to hold the gun using a thigh holster.

Other Media

Anime

Highschool of the Dead (2010)

It was in July 5, 2010 that Madhouse Studios began airing the anime adaptation of the Highschool of the Dead manga. Saeko's first anime appearance was in Highschool of the Dead - Episode 1 "Spring of the Dead". Her character in the Japanese series is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro, and the U.S. dub produced by Section 23 is done by Taylor Hannah.

This version took some liberty with the continuity of events from the original manga story. The story of Episode 9 "Sword of the Dead" was moved drastically. The manga version happened after they left the Takasgi Estate, but the anime version had this scene placed directly before. The amphibious vehicle in the anime was something Saeko and Takashi found in a store. In the moment after Saeko reveals her past to Takashi, he surprises her by grabbing her hand and moving in for what appears to be a kiss. This implied kiss was not seen in the manga.

The English dub changed the very meaning of some key scenes and character personalities. Saeko's personality is normally very reserved and lady-like. The English dub often had her making sexual innuendos, and the dialog between Saeko and Takashi at the shrine was changed entirely.

OVA: HOTD Drifters of the Dead (2011)

Highschool of the Dead Vol. 7 DVD Ed. JPN (Apr 2011)

Saeko appears in the Highschool of the Dead OVA titled Drifters of the Dead (ドリフターズ・オブ・ザ・デッド, Dorifutaazu obu za Deddo). It was originally released as a Blu-ray and packaged with a special edition of Highschool of the Dead Vol. 7 on April 26th 2011. She's illustrated on the cover of this special edition in the very bikini she wears in the OVA. She and the rest of Team Takashi find themselves on a small, isolated island off the shore of Tokonosu City. After finding a small beach house filled with a variety of bikinis, they take this opportunity for a break from running. The boys search the island for food while the girls enjoyed the water and sun. Kohta got plenty of seafood and a fire was started. Only later did they realize the leaves they had put into the fire were hydrangea. This caused a hallucination in everyone who breathed in the fumes.

Much of what happens after this is hallucination. Saeko is seen alone with Takashi. She presses herself up to him and kisses him. After telling him that she's always wanted to be his, he pulls her to the ground and kisses her while pulling up her bikini top. Whether this was the hallucination of Saeko or Takashi is never explained. After everyone had sobered up, Saeko found herself heatedly making out with Rei and both were completely naked. Each had been imagining this whole time the other was Takashi. Takashi was later found dreaming and barely holding off four bikini clan Them, thinking he was holding off the advances of all the girls.

Manga

Highschool of the Head (2011)

Highschool of the Head JPN (May 2011)

Highschool of the Head is a comedy manga series that is a parody of the original Highschool of the Dead manga that was written by Daisuke Sato and illustrated by Shouji Sato. The Highschool of the Head series is illustrated by Sankakuhead and published by Fujimi Shobo's Dragon Comic Age. Daisuke Sato is credited as the original author and Shouji Sato is credited as character designer. It was released May 6th, 2011 and priced at ¥609.

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