school days review

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stats

# eps: 12 eps, jul 2007 – sep 2007
anidb rating (at time of writing): 6.54 (911 votes)
my rating: 8.00

thoughts

it’s interesting to note that viewer opinion on this anime is pretty divided, ranging from those outright hating it (like this review) to those that liked it (check this out, in my opinion a very well-written review). first of all i have to shamefully admit that i wouldn’t have watched this show initially, as it didn’t have the score of more than 7.00 on anidb – i use anidb as a preliminary filter of what i should spend my time watching and what i shouldn’t – if not for the controversy generated on the blogosphere by the anime. my interests were particularly piqued when i knew it was a harem-type anime that had a bloody ending to top it off. how often do you hear these two things occuring in the same show?

the anime started off pretty innocuously – guy notices girl taking the same train as he does everyday, guy puts said girl as handphone wallpaper, girl that sits besides guy in class notices the wallpaper and offers him her help in getting said girl. by the end of the first episode, the love traingle between makoto, kotonoha and sekai was well established, which i thought was pretty well done – story-wise and art-wise.

the next few episodes of the anime portrayed sekai’s struggle with her feelings for makoto, but her “practice sessions” with makoto ended up with both of them *cough* exploring uncharted territories. makoto realised that he felt more comfortable being with sekai than kotonoha, which culminated in an email that declared his feelings for makoto.

that’s when things started to get weird in my opinion. i do recognise the fact that this anime is an adaptation from an eroge, and as most eroges go the main protagonists literally gets swamped with girls. however i can’t comprehend the fact that makoto manages to delude kotonoha about his trysts with sekai for quite some time, and when kotonoha finds out about it, she is still adamant that she’s makoto’s girlfriend but does nothing about it! well, some might argue that love is blind, and applaud kotonoha for being so forgiving with makoto – but as this anime tries to reflect events in real life, i can’t stomach the fact that some girl can be so forgiving when her boyfriend sleeps with nearly half of the school population. i shudder with the thought that if makoto was bisexual, the other half of the school will be involved in his voracious appetite as well…

besides the three main characters, i didn’t think that the cast of side characters were developed well. the way some girls of the anime was introduced make it seem that the introductions serves as a justification on why they wanted to sleep with makoto. i did feel sad when setsuna, a girl i thought was above this whole mess, slept with makoto to make him promise to not be unfaithful to sekai, who was her best friend. that’s really not helping it, even if you’re going to disappear to france and have nothing to do with both of them in the future!

there were a few plot points that made absolutely no sense to the storyline as well. how the hell did taisuke manage to catch kotonoha when she was emotionally vulnerable, and why did she let herself being exploited by him!? why was she so nonchalant the next day when she told him she had no feelings whatsoever for him, and told him to forget what happened the previous day? however i’m not denying the possibility that this part of the story resonates well with dirty fantasies of seinens =P

the side characters seemed to vanish into thin air once they knew sekai was pregnant. it might be that there wasn’t enough airtime in those 12 episodes for a proper conclusion for everyone, but that doesn’t mean loose ends need not be tied well..

the bloody climax of the anime wasn’t as gory as i thought – maybe that’s because i’m baptized by higurashi? it was only until one of the very last scenes that sent a chill down my spine.

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i know kotonoha’s devoted to makoto, but cradling his decapitated head.. doesn’t really fit the image of a kawaii and yasashi kotonoha. arghhhhh.

despite its faults, i liked the fact that the art was crisp (maybe the encodes were just very well done), the way different songs were interpolated into the anime – too often the OP/ED of the anime is overused for scenes in the anime itself, and – i hate to admit this – the fanservice was quite well done, and let me reiterate (for the sake of my conscience as well =P) it doesn’t ever cross the hentai boundary.

very watchable indeed, but don’t expect a masterfully-narrated story. however this anime drives home the point that if one wants to cheat, at least be discreet about it, and don’t involve more people than one’s fingers can count. beyond that, one’s days are numbered – really, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned =D

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~ by 異人 on 9/2/08.

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