School Days is a psychological anime, number one, so do not think it is about cute children playing in school and having happy days. School Days is an anime about how cheating on someone can really end up messing with their head and lives and how the human heart and mind are very fragile and how friendship is very precious and when destroyed in the worst way, it can have the worst consequences.
The main character is your seemingly typical anime guy in high school that listens to music and has a bunch of perverted thoughts about girls all the time, but who turns out to
be quite different than your usual main character guy and he has a crush on this girl that he sees on the train all the time and he ends up taking a picture of her and putting it in his phone. In class, another girl who he happens to sit next to, named Sekai, sees the picture in his phone and tells him her name and then, from there goes about getting him and the girl on the train to know each other so that they can try and start a relationship, all the while falling for him herself.
This anime is very much a psychological anime and deals with relationships and what happens when someone cheats on someone, but not only one person, many people. The main character is one of the most despicable characters I have ever seen, if not my MOST HATED character and cares nothing for the people around him, it seems, but to be able to hate him that much and to have so much passion for his pain and wishing something bad would happen to him was an exciting feeling because I really felt he would have to get what was coming to him. He hurts basically every single person he meets and cares nothing about how they feel when he is done with them, only to use them again in the future. He walks all over every girl in the anime, save one or two, and they all basically sit around begging for more mainly because they want to know what it's like and why the others are doing it, so they do it, too.
The majority of the anime the main character is, in my opinion, a sociopath, as well as a sex-addict, but there are moments here and there where you see that his actions actually do bother him and these are very important in this particular anime because if they did not have them, he would truly seem to be a monster. It is sometimes scary that the most evil people are not demons or supernatural at all.
The ending is something that is perfect, though, in my opinion and it is something I ABSOLUTELY saw coming, but the way that it was done was really something creepy and gave me chills - I really enjoyed it! It was an awesome turn, but something I saw coming the entire time and something I kept repeating throughout the entire thing, over and over again and when it finally happened, I was extremely happy and satisfied. It has a very twisted ending, as well, so do not be fooled by the innocence of the title because this anime is anything but innocent, but make sure you watch until the end because there is more than just one awesome, sick twist at the end that will leave you satisfied with the feeling you get watching the rest of the anime.
Everyone basically gets what they deserve because this anime shows that the human mind and heart is an extremely fragile thing and that you can't just push someone aside like they are trash the second you are done with them because they may not be done with you or ready to let you leave.
This anime is great, great for one thing which I truly believe is its sole purpose of existence - opening pickle jars. This anime will help you with the opening of jars and various other tasks requiring brute strength. You'll feel like the Hulk after you've watched half the series. And the very reason for all of this is this anime's amazing ability to piss the viewer off like no other series I have ever seen. If you want to be angered, please, please watch this series.
Jokes aside, this anime might be considered a decent series to other people, but I
seriously hated it. It started off fine, a few laughs, a somewhat interesting love triangle between Makoto, Katsura and Saionji, resulting in the typical 'idiot girl helps guy she loves to get another girl' thing. ... and hey, although the whole love triangle story wasn't very unique or anything, it entertained... It was fun at first to see this clueless pervert fail at getting a girl. The problem was when it became more of a love hexagon - And things went downhill from there. The story became predictable and difficult to watch due to the idiotic and retarded main character who must have been the luckiest sped to walk the earth. The only good thing I can say about this series was the theme it presented to its viewers: to cherish what you have. 1/10
Characters: The characters in this anime are seriously some of the dumbest people I have ever seen. Makoto especially - after watching about 5 episodes I wanted to smash his face in. His idiotic expressions, his whiny sped voice, everything about him. I hated it all. I hated the way he looked, the way he talked, and everything he did. My hatred for this character is unparalleled to any other characters I might have ever hated in my life. The only props I can give to the people who dream t up this character was that we got to see him go from a selfish idiot to a selfish asshole by the end of the series.
That rant out of the way, I don't have much to say bout the other characters which was mainly composed of idiotic girls that for some reason or another couldn't get enough of this whiny faced idiot. The characters in general, didn't have much of a background. We didn't learn much about them or their past, and they just kind of came and went. Again, my only props here is the character development. 1/10
Sound: The opening sounded great, but it didn't really suit the series considering how dark and idiotic it became. The opening was way too happy in contrast to the story. Otherwise, bgm was decent, even good at times. No big comments here: 8/10
Animation/Character Design: I thought the animation and character design was pretty good, one of the series stronger points. All of the character designs although not unique, were nice, and the colors brought out the mood fairly well. The only character design I grew to hate was Makoto's. His round clueless face pissed me off to no end. 8/10
Why this is even an anime series? I have no idea. Just turn this damn thing into a hentai or something. Honestly. The main character in this series has sex with pretty much every girl you'll see in this series, for no apparent reason. The girls are just lining up to be with him by the end. The characters are the most idiotic people I have ever seen, and the main character couldn't possibly be fathomed by a normal human being. 4/10
School Days Creator (SDC)- Hey man, I have a terrific idea for an anime series, based on this dirty animated game I've played!
Japanese Executive (JE)-Okay, I love hentai! Let's hear it.
SDC- Well, it's going to be about a guy who is a complete failure at life, an idiot loser who is intensely selfish. He gets uncontrollably nervous talking to girls, and does nothing with his life. However, the twist is that every girl who meets him falls madly in love. And he has sex with all of them.
JE-What's his driving motivation?
SDC-To fuck as many girls as possible,
regardless of how many lies and betrayals necessary to get there.
JE-Okay, but wouldn't the girls eventually catch on? Even if at first they love him, wouldn't they dump him at some point? I mean, realizing your girl or boyfriend sucks is and is a cheater is something MILLIONS of people in the real world go through.
SDC-Well, that's true. But I have just the plan to fix it; we'll make the girls equally odious and retarded. They'll have some degree of human compassion, but along with that, a large dose of crazy and whore to them, as they gladly cheat with the boyfriend of one of their female friends!
JE- Oh! You mean like my second ex-wife cheated on me with my former best friend?
SDC-Yes, exactly! One will be the reserved, kind-hearted girl named Katsura who, upon realizing her boyfriend is a cheater too cowardly to break up with her, becomes a catatonic, deranged puppet of a human being.
JE- Isn't that extreme? I mean, if Katsura were a guy whose girlfriend was a cheating piece of shit, wouldn't going insane make the viewer hate such a character for an unnecessary, psychotic reaction, not sympathize with them?
SDC- True, true. We need the viewer to side with her, as no one else will be the least bit worthy of compassion. That's why she'll be drawn very cute and sexy. That's why we'll have every other girl in the series utterly despise her, even if there's no actual reason for them doing so. That's why the other main character, Sekai, will betray and sleep with the main character Mokoto behind Katsura's back.
Sekai will at first seem sympathetic and even kind, helping Katsura and Mokoto to be together, but eventually, she'll turn selfish, soulless, and moronic, as she initiates make-out sessions with Mokoto while he's still dating Katsura.
Then, she'll be surprised that someone who cheated WITH her then starts cheating ON her. Haha.
JE- Uh, okay....but what kind of a series is this? You mention lots of moronic, pitiful girls sleeping with a moronic, pitiful guy, and betrayal and insanity. What's the hook here, exactly?
SDC-Ah, that's my master stroke! School Days will, for most of its 12 episodes, be a straightforward romance series, but then, in the last episode or two, will turn gruesome and bloody.
JE- But wait...isn't that just a cheap plot device to make up for how bankrupt the characters and the rest of the story are? Isn't that just a shock tool to distract the viewer from the fact that they just watched a brainless romance series based on a hentai game?
SDC- That's right! But what we'll do is try to make it SEEM as deep as possible! You know, like foreshadowing, great music random flashbacks, all that jazz. Then, if people still criticize it, we can just say that they don't get the deep "story" and moral of the series.
JE- You mean it will be like a Dostoevsky novel, except with none of the actual logic, depth, or basically anything else redeemable about it?
SDC-Exactly! And one last brilliant idea!
JE- Well, right now I'm still not convinced about the show, but go ahead.
SDC- The series will double as a cell phone advertisement! Everything will happen via cellphone, it will be a huge part of numerous plot devices and episodes, and we'll even have an ending theme prominently featuring one!
If we can't get any more blatant, let's have one of the girls excitedly want to buy the latest brand of cellphone for herself and Makoto, for no apparent fucking reason. Hell, let's also have Chibi versions of the characters hawking oversized cellphones during the parts reserved for commercial breaks!
JE- IT'S BRILLIANT!!!! UTTER GENIUS!!!! LET'S GET IT DONE!!!!
"I have touched the flower that everyone wants. The feelings for that flower, I have put into words. To hurt this world was not my intention. If there was no one there to question you, would that mean you could do anything?"
Well, today is Valentine's Day, so what better series to review than one of the most controversial love stories ever to be put in animated form? That's right, I'm talking School Days, one of the biggest cases of subverted expectations I've seen in recent days.
Our story begins with two star crossed lovers, Makoto and Kotonoha (Katsura). Young love is so fragile, and so
fleeting, and none know this better than our dear characters. Enter Sekai, third party, and friend to both.. What happens next is a rollercoaster of emotion (mostly fury), detachment, lies, betrayal, and sociopathy, right up to the very end, where the story of our Lovers comes full circle. When the truth comes out, Makoto, Kotonoha, and Sekai learn the full ramifications of the consequences they wrought.
Art: 3 (two points for eps 11, 12, one point for the rest of it)
The characters are animated poorly, barring the last two episodes. Inconsistently drawn, poor facial and body animation, TONS of stillframe, key frames are few and far between. While there's not a lot of action, even the mundane slice of life is animated roughly. Uneven drawn edges, lack of faces or animation of faces during speaking, and generally repetitive environments (including a shot of the front of the school that’s used about 352 times an episode). The attention to detail is decent, however. Some of the art is useful in the symbolism, (more on that below) such as the trains and certain details in houses, and the school.
One recurring, and annoying, tendency of the art is when there's a pan and the image is rotated about 80 degrees to one side- rather irritating to have to turn your head to look at it.
The last two episodes are animated extremely well by comparison. Faces show real emotion, character movement and framing are much more purpose driven and subtle (something it was heretofore lacking a lot of, subtlety).
OP and ED are fine, nothing to report. I started skipping the OP after about episode 4.
Voice acting is decent- not Trinity Seven, but also not absolute garbage. The main character’s voices aren’t particularly grating, but some of the supporting casts’ are.
Soft piano music sets the tone in some dramatic and playful moments, nothing distracting, and nothing really enhancing.
--- Spoilers from here on---
I wanted to give a point to this category for every character Makoto has meaningless, detached, sociopathic sex with, but decided against it.
Makoto is our MC- selfish, uncaring, and a borderline sociopath- he exists only to indulge his own narcissism, regardless of who he affects or hurts. He seems absolutely callous to the feelings of the girls he comes into contact with, and the effect on their psyche. Incorrigible pervert, pushy, and clueless, he's a self gratifying user, and pure slime of a guy. He has no qualms about cheating on his girlfriend, or the irreversible effects that has on one's relationships, or even those of the future.
Though there are some times where it appears his decisions have some measurable effect on his mental state, he always manages to follow up with something self serving and detestable, but, he's still human, and it shows in his times of weakness. He goes from being the object of many a lady's desire, to being an absolute pariah, and being hated by essentially everyone that he knows.
Kotonoha, the first girlfriend, is a repressed, timid girl who really gets mixed up in all of this. She's honestly the only character in the show I found sympathetic, because she didn't ask for any of what happens to her- to be lied to, betrayed, and repeatedly torn down, despite her headstrong (and later delusional) belief that Makoto is in love with her. She gets absolutely ragged on by every other female character in the show, even though she's the only one ever in the right by claiming to be Makoto's girlfriend. We see this poor girl experience an immense amount of emotional trauma- abuse from her 'friends', mistreatment at the hands of her so called lover, that it's no surprise that by the end of the show, her psychological state is significantly altered. What was once a kind, shy girl was rendered into a soulless husk, devoid of any life aside from her dissociative, misguided obsession over Makoto. The real love that she once felt became nothing but an empty shell. Symbolic, I think.
Sekai, our third 60 degree angle of this love triangle, sets herself up as a jealous and manipulative friend who only acts "in the interest of helping Makoto get what he wants". She uses his perverted nature to get close to him under the guise of helping him with "special practice" to understand girls so that he's able to finally hook up with the girl he's been crushing on. She is driven, and shrewd, and actually seems to genuinely care for Makoto, and ironically is the person who really sets things into motion with the infidelity, and is the origination of the problem though she never sees it that way herself. She, through her own machinations, sets Makoto up with herself, but at the same time plays him off on Kotonoha and triggers the boundary-less relationships that form the crux of the conflict within. The way that she turns on him later, with a classless and utterly selfish attempt to keep Makoto with her smacks of hypocrisy, juxtaposed to her earlier efforts, and reminded me of Makoto himself with the self seeking and ugly way it was presented.
Is she his girlfriend? Are they just friends with benefits? She has a clear answer, but Makoto seems to have different ideas about it.
There are some other girls who make appearances, but side chicks and booty calls weren't important to the character, so I'll ignore them too.
Story and Overall: 6, 6
Had I solely gone on word of mouth, reviews, and the score, I'd have never watched School Days, as I've heard nothing but terrible things about it, aside from the uniquely shocking conclusion, but I feel that "School Days" is a much more complex commentary on relationships and life than many other reviewers on this site, and elsewhere on the internet believe (OOO wow, dissenting opinions on the internet, who'da thunk?)
In my opinion, School Days is a deconstructivist take on the Harem genre. It shows a realist take on the idea of having multiple girlfriends and them all being okay with it, because no-one truly "possesses" the desired person. The idea that jealousy would never take over when someone has something that you long for is a novel one, but one that's ultimately flawed. School Days exhibits that we all possess jealousy and covetousness in some way, and that suspicion, deceit, and betrayal all play into it, RARELY with a favorable outcome.
While this show makes a STRONG case for monogamy and reinforces the ideas that fidelity and trust in relationships are necessary for them to be healthy and functional, I think it also examines the inner being of Makoto. Makoto is a character who doesn't know what he wants out of a relationship. It starts off innocent enough, the hugging and kissing, and quickly falls down a path to more and more pushiness, and an insatiable lust for what seems to just be dispassionate sex addiction. It delves into the psychological aspects of cheating in a relationship, and the every growing mountain of lies and deceit that one has to maintain to keep up the facade; and while Makoto is unable to do so, he sees his web of deception unravel before his eyes.
An ironic note: the name "Makoto" is explained in the beginning of the show to mean Faith.
Symbolism, Foreshadowing and Callbacks:
I thought that School Days did an excellent job with the foreshadowing and symbolism. Having known the ending going into the show (but not who actually commits the act, and the Boat Scene was also unknown to me), I was on the lookout for subtlety, and was pleasantly surprised to find it.
1. The movie theater and stage play scenes were particularly interesting. Within the first 3 episodes, we had the plot play out before our eyes in about 30 seconds, but in a meta way- the two girls in love with the guy, who then fight amongst each other, and decide that neither can have him.
a) Setsuna goes to a stage production, and the dialogue is referential to the conflict at hand. (see opening quote)
2. In episode 6, Kotonoha sees Makoto and Sekai together on a train passing by the station she's standing on. She believes it to be a mistake, and thinks nothing of it. Later, it's Sekai who's at the train station, who believes Makoto to be home, and sees Kotonoha with him on the train.
3. Also in 6, at the moment Kotonoha reaches the rooftop, she drops her roll of blood-red yarn thread, which unravels as it rolls down the stairs. Symbolic, and important.
4. Kotonoha is cooking in her kitchen, and her gaze lingers on the knives for a second.
5. At the end, Makoto is making tea, which, as it comes to a boil (symbolizing his choices and the impending, extreme consequences they bring upon him) burns him.
Enjoyment, and Conclusion: 6
High school is just brutal guys, and the outcome is not always pretty- this is the heart of School Days. What we think is right is sometimes wrong, and even when we know it's wrong, sometimes we don't want to be right. An absolutely shocking and brutal conclusion to an otherwise wretched slice of life/ harem show left me speechless. It was a struggle to get through the first 7 episodes, but from 8 to the conclusion were a dark, tragic, and ultimately deserving series of events. Even as I write this, I have no words for the ending of this show, other than that I will not forget it.
Now, for the question that's so hotly contested: is School Days the worst anime ever?
No, but it depends on the viewer. There's a lot to hate about School Days, but if you have a taste for the psychological, and can stomach the first half, which is pretty painful and rage inducing to watch, it sets up a second half that gets deep into interpersonal relationship conflicts, and what extremes people can go to when they're irrational, because love... is irrational. The conclusion to this show was one that was remarkable at the time, and will be discussed from now on. A pioneer in the genre (yandere) as well- so it has some value in that.
+ justice is served in a twisted way
+ gets better past the halfway mark
+ dark, surprising conclusion
- detestable characters
- side characters fall in love with main character for no reason
- garbage SOL plot *up through episode 7
- terrible dialogue at times
- bad animation
Nothing says love like a journey with a beautiful girl on a yacht, floating off into the sunset--
and then they were finally alone, "just the two of them".
A character that is not likable is not the same as a bad character. You wouldn't complain about the characters "doing stupid things" in Othello, would you? That's the point of a tragedy. Othello believed the lies about Desdemona because he was a flawed human being as Makoto cheated because he was a flawed human being. Things are not as simple as detractors make them seem and you can’t expect a cast of deeply flawed characters to make smart decisions, like the detractors of the series supposedly would.
Where did we get this idea that a character must be likable and flawless to be a
good character? Raskalnikov from Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest characters ever written and most people who read the book simply despise him. Any of you guys read the Flashman Papers? It was some of the best historical fiction ever written, but Flashman a worthless douche and was the epitome of an immoral picaresque protagonist. People don’t hate the School Days characters because they are bad characters; they hate them because they are bad people and that simply makes no sense to me. They are fictional characters, you don't evaluate the quality of a fictional character the same way you would evaluate the moral quality of a human being.
Makoto was guilty of lust, but he was not entirely guilty of ignorance. He knew he was being an awful person, but he simply could not help himself. He was weak and eventually he stopped trying to fight his urges. He may be an awful person, he may be the "worst," as he calls himself on several occasions, but his reactions to his situation were anything but unrealistic. When examining his character it should be kept in mind that all of the women who were awful manipulative people and were responsible for making him a female-impregnating manwhore, turned their collective back on him when he abandoned a pregnant girl. And hell, he's the father, is it that ridiculous for him to want her to have an abortion? Should a high schooler be expected to take that kind of news well? It is possible to have some amount of empathy for him as well, as it should be for any three dimensional and well-written character.
School Days is somewhat dependent on its ending, but most series (particularly tragedies) are. To say that it was just a cliché romance before the last episode, as I have oft heard claimed, is simply absurd. You should have realized that this anime wasn’t a typical rom-com in the first episode where Makoto almost gets violent with Sekai over nothing. The infamous ending was the culmination of the rest of the series that was meticulously built up to, and while it was surprising, it certainly did not come out of nowhere in an otherwise normal anime.
Rather than being drawn out and ending with the couple getting together, like most harems, the relationships are established in episode 1. Most harems have an assumed happy-ever-after ending, but in School Days, just like in real life, things aren't always sunshines and rainbows. School Days deconstructs this idea and other tropes such as the "matchmaker crush." There is also a fuckton of fanservice, like there is in most "innocent" romance anime. It's very impressive and entertaining how School Days gives you a set of things to expect (largely through more subtle means than typically thought) and then proves those expectations to be false, one by one.
School Days is not entirely realistic (which I’ll discuss in a bit), but Makoto’s character is actually relatively believable. If all the girls in school suddenly started coming on to a high school guy, he might just act the way Makoto did. Many other harem protagonists, such as Manaka from Ichigo 100%, are also selfish and generally bad people, but most harems attempt to paint the main character as the good guy. School days harbors no such delusions. Makoto is the protagonist, but we are certainly not rooting for him. In this sense it’s a clever and scathing attack on the (mostly atrocious) harem genre.
That said, it’s not true that Makoto was completely worthless or a blank character. It’s also not true that the girls fell in love with him out of nowhere. One girl fell in love with him because he was the first boy to ever stick up for her against bullies. One girl started sleeping with him because he accepted her when she felt unloved. One girl fell in love with him because he didn’t make her feel self conscious and he wasn’t just after her body like all other men. Three girls slept with him due to his impressive sexual reputation. These things all happen, they are explainable and believable. Every character has their own motives and is three-dimensional.
In most anime having/being a shy and pure girl is a good thing. In School Days, just like in real life, it is not that simple. Kotonoha’s shyness makes her difficult to interact with and her prudishness is largely the reason why Makoto cheats. It’s also the reason that she was too weak to just dump Makoto or confront him, which is why the whole debacle got as far as it did. School days makes it clear that her behavior is not normal or healthy and that it’s a result of bullying and isolation. The fact that Kotonoha is an extreme version of an overused character archetype would normally be a flaw, but in "School Days" it’s used to deconstruct said archetype and darkly explore what would make a character this way.
Another archetype that “School Days” deconstructs is the "bromantic foil." You know, the perverted best friend who’s just there for comic relief, has no development, and despite being a huge pervert, can never ever get laid. Well in school days the bromantic foil commits an unforgivable and undeniably realistic act against another character, in a fit of sexual frustration. “School Days” treats that archetype like a character that actually matters and has feelings, you know, like a real person. You might not like him, but he is a well written character who has a clear purpose and significance beyond comic relief. The alpha bitch bully is also deconstructed and is given clear motivations for her actions. She hooked up with the protagonist, which defeats the usual purpose of the trope, where the bully only exists to get fucked by karma. It's also interesting how she is overthrown as alpha bitch and her posse fucks Makoto behind her back; this could be considered karma for her bitchiness, but they ended up being even bitchier than her.
While “School Days” is intentionally exaggerated and satirical in some aspects, it’s actually darkly realistic in others. People do avoid ending relationships because it’s too painful for them. People do refuse to take responsibility for getting a girl pregnant. People do fake pregnancy. These are things that happen all the time and to label them as “melodramatic” or “unrealistic” is ridiculous. There are no incurable diseases in school days, no ridiculous coincidences, and no melodrama. Believability is stretched intentionally in several elements (a certain someone sleeping with Makoto to get him to stop cheating) of the story for satirical and deconstructive purposes, but the work remains realistic at its core. It balances satire and realism in the same way that great works like Candide do.
“School Days” is a mixture between a clever deconstruction, a stunning tragedy, a realistic harem, and a somewhat comedic work of satire. The change in tone, foreshadowing, and build up to the incredible resolution were simply masterful. Watching all of the characters relations entropically crumble was a spectacle to behold. The characters and plot may not evoke positive emotions, but they do evoke emotion, as was their purpose, all the same. School Days was ultimately a shocking and memorable multifaceted experience that I enjoyed immensely and appreciated on multiple levels. The mediocre audiovisuals keep me from giving this anime a 9, but 8 is still a very good score. If you go in with an open mind I think you’ll like it or, at the very least, appreciate it for what it is.
Watching School days... and enjoying it requires a special type of person. The sort that that can view the suffering of fictional characters like a curious (or evil) scientist who conducts social experiments on a bunch of unknowing test subjects (victims) with intense academic interest (while cackling madly).
The entire anime is essentially a social experiment taken to extremes. What happens if you take a horny teenage guy with little self-restraint, and give him the temptation of almost unlimited sex? What if you add into the mix a group of fangirls, who tend to always regard sleeping with the guy who sleeps with the
most girls as a sign of social prestige?
School days takes this scenero to its shocking conclusion... and in doing so, has created some of the most despised anime characters ever known. In this goal, School days succeeds brilliantly. The insert songs, ending themes are some of the best in any anime, the story's dark twists will eat at you, and the characters are capable of invoking the most primal emotions of hate and disgust.
That's not say that school days achieves that goal flawlessly. Animations were medicore, relying on more stills that it should. Meanwhile, the second to last episode that portrayed the protogonist final descent to oblivion was rushed. Had the director cut out the 5 wasted minutes devoted to blatant upskirt fanservice per episode and fleshed out the story development, I would have scored the story a 10. Nevertheless, despite the shortcomings, School days achieves what it aimed to do.
If you're the sort of person who wants to throw your notebook off the balcony whenever some guy on TV does something dumb or evil, this ain't the anime for you. However, if you're more the sort that want to watch the downfall of a community with morbid curiosity... then there's really no better anime for you.
Characters - The characters are ALL, ALL devoid of ANY logic. It is VERY clear that this anime started out as a visual novel. The characters are absolutely ridiculous. Almost nothing that they do makes sense. There is one character that you will feel empathy for, but only for a couple episodes. Very quickly this character turn into complete trash like the rest. Apparently every single girl in this show is insanely stupid. Girls in this show are portrayed to be walking sex dolls with JUST enough brain power to give consent to sex. The ONE THING that I will give to this show about
the characters is that the girl cliques seemed pretty accurate, barring the random "herp derp, you know our best friend who we've been helping to get that guy that we've never talked to or met before? Let's all 3 of us go have a foursome and bang him". Cheating is as common as breathing air in this story. Doesn't matter that you've went through half of the girls in your school, your only consequence will be hearing the phrase, "Are you cheating on me? Promise me you won't do it again!" x 100. Here's my favorite bits of "logic" from this show:
I want you to stop cheating on my best friend! If you promise me you will, I'll let you cheat on her with me!
I came here to talk you into talking to your girlfriend, but hey, let's bang.
Story - "Love triangle" is putting it lightly. It's a love pyramid, with one guy at the top and his harem of women at the bottom. If I was reviewing some hentai visual novel, it'd make sense, but it doesn't fit well at all in this format. The story is literally a joke, and the person laughing is the writer, thinking to himself, "I can't believe people actually liked this". The ending of this show is so obvious, you'll see it coming way before it happens. What happens to the characters at the end would give you slight satisfaction if watched immediately after the first few episodes. However, by the time you actually see the end, it's too late to derive any enjoyment and wash away the horrible taste that this show has left in your mouth.
Comedy - You'll get a couple chuckles during the series. Although not enough to warrant watching it all. Most of the episodes in the second half are almost completely devoid of it. Sadly, the few laughs I had convinced me to continue watching the series. Big mistake.
Music - Can't really complain about the music. Nothing great, but nothing bad either.
1/10. Of all the manga I've read, anime I've seen, and visual novels I've played, I've NEVER thought of one so bad as to rate it 1/10, so you can imagine how it must be for me to rate it that. Save your time. You've been in non-existence for nearly 14 billion years. This is your once chance to fucking LIVE. Don't waste 4 hours on this pile of nonsense.
This is one of those shows that sets the viewer up for the ending the entire time. If you drop this before watching the last episode, you'll be wasting your time watching this series.
Story : It doesn't seem like the story was very well thought out at first (horny teenager in high school trying to get as much girls as he can). The main character, Ito Makoto, is guaranteed to be the worst anime character you'll ever meet. He's popular among the girls at his school because he seems/they think he's a nice guy (I have no idea what basis they have
for thinking this), but he's pretty much the devil in disguise. He'll do everything to make the viewer hate him, from his perverted acts to his childish-like tendency to avoid responsibility. Most of the people that come in contact with him will get screwed up emotionally/psychologically/physically, and the episodes will end with the viewer thinking, "what's that guy going to do to screw up society now" or maybe even "I hope a lightning bolt comes down and strikes him".
Those that hate Makoto and are dropping the series because of him, don't. The desired effect is to have you hate him, because divine retribution will eventually come.
Art : Consistant animation and the artwork is exactly like that of the computer game.
Sound : The bgm's fit very well. This show uses a different ending song every episode, some good some bad. The opening song is mediocre at best.
Characters : Everyone has issues (won't go into it in detail because of the no spoilers rule). You wouldn't expect real high school students to act the way they do...though you wouldn't expect real high school students to be ensnared in a story this twisted.
Enjoyment : There are some scenes that are very hard to watch. Most of them consists of Makoto doing something that's just horribly horribly wrong with the other characters unaware of it. Also there are scenes where they show the effects of Makoto's actions on the female characters with Makoto, again, not taking any responsibility.
Overall : To be frank, you will probably hate this show because of Makoto, since he is the biggest tool I've ever seen. For those who like twisted dramas, this is the show for you. I personally chose to finish this series because I really liked how they set up the cliffhangers, and I felt it was challenging me to continue (again, yes, Makoto's actions do make the show very very hard to watch).
Now for the 95% of the people that watched this show that absolutely hates Makoto, you have to watch the last episode because it's incredibly well done (not for screamish people, parental discretion is advised, blah blah). Depending on the type of person you are, you will either enjoy it (I know I did) or say it's absolutely twisted.
School Days the game was released a few years ago and it drew quite a bit of attention because of the fact that it was completely animated eroge. In addition, a 30 minute non-interactive ‘demo’ (it was basically the same thing as the first episode of the anime) was also subtitled when it came out. Watching this ‘demo’ gave me the impression that School Days had a very typical romance narrative. Well a few weeks later I saw several gifs of the 3 infamous endings. Like many, I when WTF!? and became excited when the anime was announced so I could
see how such an ending would be possible. Although, I though that they would animate one of the more normal endings. Well thank goodness they didn’t because the ending was the only thing that made this train wreck worth watching.
At first School Days started off as a normal romance anime with your typical love triangle. However, a few episodes in the reason why I kept watching was not normal. I kept watching because I wanted to see what kind of messed up thing would happen next. It was pure morbid curiosity the kept me going. Sure there times I paused and started screaming at the idiocy but my morbid curiosity was too strong. School Days transformed into a stereotypical soap opera...wait scratch that. School Days transformed into a parody of a bad stereotypical soap opera. The actions of the characters were so over-the-top, sexually driven that one cannot help but laugh (or scream) at the idiocy. It was at this moment that I felt confident they would animate one of the bad endings. Interestingly enough they didn’t, instead the anime ending is on a level higher than the 3 bad endings combined in the game.
Once again the only reason why anyone should watch School Days is for the awesome train wreck that it is School Days as well as the ‘Nice Boat’ ending. The animation was almost identical to the game, but for anime standards it was quite poor. Art wise I guess it was ok, its saving grace was the fact that the school uniform mandates zettai ryouki. This is something that all school uniforms should have!...ahem anyway... Characters as mentioned above are complete idiots and the most mature/sensible ones are Kokoro (Kotonoha’s little sister) and her friend. They did do a good job with Makoto’s character, by this I mean he was designed to be hated and you will be hard pressed to find anyone that likes Makoto. In addition, this hatred is important in setting up the most important thing in School Days, the ending.
So why should anyone watch this? Well there are a few reasons. First, just to see first hand what ‘Nice Boat’ is all about. If you watch 2 episodes and drop it, that’s ok but if you watch more than 3 you must watch it all, else you will have wasted your time. I believe that the primary purpose to animating this was to show/set up an ending far worst than that of the game. In a way School Days can be considered one of the biggest fanservice anime titles out there. Second, out of pure morbid curiosity, admittedly this was the reason why I started/kept watching. That is until I was confident about a bad/bloody ending.
We are used to tragedies happening on the grand scale. Famous Shakespeare plays like Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, the accounts of Joan of Arc , and Oedipus Rex display this very well. Many times great tragedies are set in the past or fantasy worlds. But what would a tragedy that happens in our modern world be like? One that isn't on a grand scale. A tragedy grounded in reality, set in motion by everyday events, in which the worst crime that sparks it all involves cheating on others and not paying attention to people's feelings. This is what School Days attempts to show
us. What we get in School Days is not sword play, epic battles, political intrigue, or anything of that sort. But we do have a sequence of events that ends up ruining the lives of all who are involved. We have love, romance, betrayal, and battles over the heart. This isn't much of a spoiler however, as only a few episodes into the series you can easily tell your heading down a dark and terrible path that cannot end happily for all. School Days is most definitely a contemporary school life tragedy if there ever was one.
School Days starts innocently enough, with Makoto Ito interesting in a girl who takes the same train to school every mourning that he does, Kotonoha Katsura. Makoto is a regular high school freshman, to shy to approach the girl he likes, and content enough just secretly admiring her. But when he hears the urban legend that if you take a picture of the girl you like, use it as the wallpaper of your cell phone, and no one notices for three weeks you will be able to go out with that person. He figures he has nothing to lose, so sneaks a picture of the girl and uses it as his wallpaper. But when a female classmate, Sekai Saionji who sits next to him, notices his phone's wallpaper, she realizes he has a crush on Kotonoha, so she plans to become their "matchmaker" and get the two together. Surpringly enough Kotonoha had also has noticed Makoto and developed a bit of a crush on him. So Sekai succeeds in getting the two lovebirds together. But later, when Makoto asks Sekai what he can do to thank her, she steals a kiss from him and says that's payment enough. It seems Sekai may have developed a bit of a crush on Makoto as well. It makes sense since the two were hanging out a lot lately. The real problem here, is perhaps Makoto also has feelings for her. The three become friends, and in due time a love triangle develops. The series involves lots of kissing, making out, and eventually lots of people having lots of sex. In fact I can't remember the last show that displayed this much sex, especially considering the age of these characters (what are they all 15?). Although none of the sex is graphically displayed, this does help give the show a bit of an edge. Top that off with themes of betrayal, revenge, loss of innocence, using others, ignoring others feelings, the meaning of friendship, and love vs lust, and you can see this isn't exactly a show for the kiddies. Actually it's quite a mature show that's much deeper then you would think. Besides brining up the issues of teenage sexuality (and everything that goes along with it), the show shows us exactly what happens when you ignore others feelings, play with people, and use people. It shows us what effects our actions have on others, and what that causes others to eventually do. And it does all this without once letting us hear the inner thoughts of any of these characters.
This series is a depiction of what would really happen if the type of romance often shown in harem anime series were to be brought to the real world. This is the real life verson of a harem, because you can sure bet if a harem were real it would not be all sunshines and rainbows, probally something more like this. In real life the girls would not be happy about their man being interested in another women. And the guy could not be shown in good light, if he's basically cheating on his girlfriend back and forth. He could not be a good person, if he's in a relationship like this. And the series is not afraid to show that. As the story goes on many other girls get involved, and many are practiclly throwing themselves at Makoto. This leaves me wondering where these girls were when I was in high school. And as contrived as it is, it does work. And you will have to be a little forgiving, as this series is attempting to dissect the harem genre. The anime is also a deconstruction piece, attempting to brake down the romance/slice of life/h-game adaptation genres. This is quite a goal, and on the large it does succeed. There are some small contrivances of course that will have to be over looked (a "rest room/lounge" for couples to mess around in during the school festival is pushing it a little), but over all it does not come off as too unrealistic and it is successful on turning the harem genre on it's head, inside out, and corrupting it to hell. This is quite a feat.
As for the characters of this anime, I can imagine there will be many out there who won't be able to stomach them. And for good reason, most of the cast is either annoying, terrible people, or a combination of the two. So why watch it? Well for one the story is really good. It's well written and decently paced, and has more then enough twists for most viewers. It's a really addictive show from start to finish. It's something new that you probably haven't seen before, and fans of the genre of drama will eat this up. It offers a great twist on stories we've all seen, and it's cynical nature is more then fascinating. But this series is truly for those who can appreciate realistic characters. And I for one loved the way this series handled it's characters. None of them are heroes, or unrealistic teenagers always happy go lucky, or something. Instead they are life like characters, many who may hit far to close to home to some. They are all very flawed, and have real life problems, goals, anxieties, feelings, self-doubts, and fears. And a lot of them make some really terrible mistakes. If you don't like watching people make a lot of mistakes the show might not be for you. And over the course of the show a few of the characters will do what seem like truly despicable and stupid things. However we must not judge them too harshly. For they do not have the birds eye view of events that we do. They are caught up in the moment, and unable to see what those around them are thinking and feeling. And the most important reason we should not be to tough on them, is because their mistakes are our mistakes. Sure it's easy to point out when these characters are being jerks, or selfish or stupid when your watching the show. But will you be able to tell when your doing similar things? While many will become aggravated by many of the characters, and truly learn to despise them, by the end of all this I mostly feel sorry for all of them. I'm sure the part of the intent of the series was to make you dislike some characters, and get bothered by them, and it does seem to succede. But when all is said and done, I can't help but feel sorry for everyone involved, even the characters many seem to really hate. Sure I am bothered by them, but in the end they were all truly human. They all have some redeeming qualities, and none are truly monsters. However the same goes for the other side of the equation. Very few if any of the characters are truly innocent, or entirely good people. And that's very interesting. This series is brilliant in it's abilities to evoke such emotions as hate, anger, and disgust. And it will really surprise you at times. Rather then being apathetic about these characters, we care. At least we care one way, or the other. We may not love them, but we have a feeling about them. And that is very important for me while watching a series. If I have no feeling toward any of the characters then I ask what is the point in the end?
The anime is very well written, and uses drama and suspense perfectly. The story starts off like any other light hearted romance, but by the end your left just staring at the screen, freaked out by what you have just witnessed. By the end you will be asking the same question Sekai poses in one of the last scenes, "Why?! How did this happen?". How indeed. Because looking back at the first few episodes, it's impossible to see this type of conclusion. Even with the noise about the ending, even with the signs it's taking a dark turn, one could not foresee this ending. And what an ending it is. Perfect in every way. The last few episodes are thrilling, and involve a few twists you will not see coming. And while the ending is very sad, and very screwed up on all levels, it is more then satisfying, and that's good enough for me. This series will have you hooked from the more lighthearted and more innocent beginnings, to the bone chilling conclusion. The series also has some of the best use of comedy relief I've seen in an anime in a long time. Many anime series seem to get this wrong, at least for my tastes anyway. But School Days knows when to have the class president hit a character in the head while sliding down a water slide, or have a funny "class fight" during the school festival that will have you cracking up. While largely a dark drama, the slight use of comedy relief at the right times really helps prevent the series from becoming too bleak.
On the technical side of things we have a mixed bag. On one hand the animation is not up to par with current anime TV series. While not outright terrible, it is mediocre at best. The series uses a lot of stills, pannings, and shortcuts in order to tell it's story. While not exactly distracting, it won't be winning any awards either. Some scenes do not at all flow well, and others have characters all moving at the same time in the same way, giving off a very robot like feeling. This easiest to see when a character enters a room, and all the others turn and face them. They all turn at the same time, and it's all very stiff. There are times when the animation is good, especially in the beginning and the episodes toward the ending. But seeing how this series is mostly talking, walking, making out, and having sex (lots of sex), I think they could have done much better. As far as the art goes however, I thought it was great. The character designs are what drew me to the series in the first place. they have this "rounded" feeling to them, that really makes them look a little different then your regular characters, but not too different as to take away from the main point of dissecting common anime genres. One small problem was how a few of the characters looked a little too much like each other, and in the begining it was a little hard to tell who was who. But after an episode or two I quickly got used to it. The color palette used is another strong point of the series. Lots of blues, pales, greys, and blacks are used, and it all looks quite nice. The series has this distinct look about it that I just love. The backgrounds are all good, but nothing to write home about. Although I did really enjoyed the many of the characters' rooms, the location right outside Makoto's house, and of course the "nice boat" scenery. The music however is in a word, perfect. I wouldn't change a damn thing about it. The opening theme may be a little too happy for some, but just like the opening theme to Shadow Star Narutaru , another deconstruction piece, it works to it's advantage. The multiple ending themes are all really great songs, although if I must pick a favorite it would be the endings of episodes three and eleven which use the song "Waltz", by Kanako Ito. This series also has a handful of excellent insert songs, all which add the mood perfectly. The right song is used to enhance this scene or that one, and some of them really help to add to the drama, or the suspense (towards the end of the series). Perhaps the best insert song is "To the Other Side of Sadness" by Kanako Ito, which I just can't stop listening to. It's used during one of the most important scenes in the series, and it really makes that scene. I have not heard any other series were Kaoru Okubo was in charge of the music, but I sure hope to in the future. Okubo really impressed me with the soundtrack in this, from great background themes, to amazing insert songs, and great openings and endings, nothing is off. I must have more!
There will be many out there who hate this series. And that is perfectly all right. This is not a show for everyone. They will find it's soup-opera-ish plot ridiculous and it's characters despicable, and will be bothered greatly by this show. But for those who can enjoy a good drama, one were the characters are realistic and flawed, this is the show for them. If you can deal with characters that you may dislike or even grow to hate, this is the show for you. Because the plot is so well written, and the show is so good, I think most will enjoy this. I normally would not review a series not licensed, since I usually only watch DVD's anyway. But once in awhile I check out a legal streaming show or two, and this was one of them. I watched the shows entire 12 episodes in two sittings, something I've never done before. I usually take weeks to watch even the shortest of series, so that speaks volumes for how much I enjoyed this series. I am not big on watching a show subtitled, but this show managed to entertain me the entire time. It impressed me so much I just had to review it. So if you think it may make such an impression on you, be sure to check it out. It's currently streaming on Crunchyroll, legally and for free. Now let's hope this great show gets licensed so I can watch it on my big screen TV with a great dub.
- Review copyed from my personal blog
- Original review posted at: http://predeanimereview.blogspot.com/2009/11/school-days.html
A pitfall for many shows that attempt to be dark and mature is that they often mistaken edginess for depth. They present dark world views, display acts of immorality and cruelty, all under the misconception that they are laying bare some dark truth of the world. For an example, look no further than this infamous 12 episode anime series. School Days is the perfect picture of a show that confuses sadism for pessimistic insight. This is a show that is thoroughly patience testing in its sheer unpleasantness; saved from the bottom of the barrel only by the karmic bite of its conclusion. While its ambition
(to put a dark twist on teenage romance) is quite an interesting one, the show sacrifices human dignity and decency in its attempt to shock us, and becomes too mean-spirited to stand with any sort of validity.
School Days starts simply enough, like all high school romance shows, with a crush. High school student Makoto Itou has a crush on Kotonoha Katsura, a pretty but quite girl from another class. He's had his eye on her for some time, but is unsure of how to approach her. That is until the girl that sits next to him in class, Sekai Saonji, finds out about his crush and decides to help him. After some effort, they succeed, and Makoto and Kotonoha start a timid relationship; while Sekai hides the feelings she has developed for Makoto. Problems begin to emerge when Makoto wants to take the next big step in their relationship, namely having sex, but Kotonoha is less comfortable with rushing things. Makoto looks to Sekai for help, and after some convincing by Makoto the two begin to participate in "practice sessions". Thus, School Days simple romance turns into a profoundly screwed up tale of infidelity, which might have been compelling if it was handled with the maturity and delicacy such a story requires. Alas, this isn't the case.
The biggest and most apparent problem is the characters. The thoroughly unlikeable, usually flat-out despicable characters. Makoto is simply a terrible protagonist. At first he seems like a completely generic rom-com male lead, then as the story continues, he turns into an irredeemable sex-crazed sleaze. His development is essentially like watching plain yogurt become moldy spoiled yogurt. As the series progresses, Makoto spouts lie after lie while completely disregarding the feelings of everyone around him, especially his supposed love interests. When he gets tired of Kotonoha, he avoids and ignores her while starting a sexual relation with Sekai. When he gets tired of Sekai, he moves on to having sex with every girl he comes into contact with, including Sekai's BFF, Setsuna. Any momentary kindness he displays feels like a forced attempt to make him sympathetic, which fails because he is a loathsome little worm. Makoto is such a profound scuzzbad, and his actions so despicable and far removed from what a feeling human being would do; it becomes impossible to empathize with him. It becomes impossible to feel anything other than boiling rage toward him. This might have been the show's intent, but it hardly excuses the mean-spirited lengths the show goes to, and it certainly isn't good characterization. Makoto is one-dimensional scum, and for the show to try to pass him off as an average teenage boy who is misguided because of sexual desires is outright insulting.
Sekai, for her part, is just as despicable in her own two-faced way. She's often shown feeling guilty about having sex with Makoto while he is in a relationship, yet she continues to do so because she's in "love" with him. She even lets people incorrectly think that she's his girlfriend at one point, and lets Setsuna harass Kotonoha about being around Makoto. This is a character that the show expects us to sympathize for. Kotonoha is easily the most sympathetic of the three leads, but doesn't make her likeable, nor does it make her a well written character. She's just the nice, timid girl... until she loses her mind. The stress and paranoia from her strained relationship drives Kotonoha insane in almost comedic fashion; by mid-series she's walking around dead-eyed and delusional, having imaginary phone conversations. Both girls are very unflattering depictions of their gender, each in their own way. However, both share the most undignified of characteristics: their obsessive and unhealthy love for Makoto.
Of course, this might have not happened if every other girl in the show wasn't a bitch to Kotonoha. Majority of the supporting cast, which mainly consists of girls, are there to be horrible to Kotonoha or have sex with Makoto... or (most likely ) both. Even the only guy in the show besides Makoto is a horn-dog who only makes things worse. Herein lies the reason School Days twisted drama doesn't work, none of these characters feel like people, let alone high school students. They are nothing more than mean-spirited caricatures; driven only by an obsession with sex and shallow feelings they take for love, and devoid of any of the other passions or anxieties that people would have at that age. This robs the show of any potential poignancy; since all these characters are lacking humanity, there isn't anything to relate with or sympathize for. All that is left is a mess of unpleasantness.
Still, that isn't to say there is no reward for those who have the patience to sit through this unpleasantness. School Days concludes with a violent flash of karma. I'll restrain myself from giving away any details (though I'm sure most already know what happens), but suffice to say that it is satisfying to watch characters get some well deserved comeuppance. It isn't really enough to forgive all the anger inducing smut that came before, but does enough to qualify it as a guilty pleasure for those who enjoy watching miserable excuses for people learn that karma is a bitch... the hard way. (i.e. me)
Visually, School Days looks like most visual novel adaptations. Character designs with big eyes and cute faces, wearing neat school uniforms. Backgrounds that comprise of the usual class rooms, apartments, rooftops and cityscapes. This isn't of any surprise as the show is adapted from a visual novel, and attempts to be a deconstruction of sorts for the genre. The music is also reminiscent of most visual novel adaptations, though some tracks are a bit more focused on evoking shock or dread. Unfortunately, it isn't all that effective nor well composed; it almost feels just tacked on to some scenes. Sometimes it is unnoticeable, other times distracting. The inset song that plays at the climactic scene in the final episode is oddly fitting and certainly memorable, though the latter might just be because the scene it is featured in.
School Days is a failed attempt at a dark subversion of school romance dramas. Sure, it took dark shocking twists that turn some tropes of the genre on their heads, but ultimately it was all for naught. In all its effort to shock and offend us, the show throws out any notions of human decency and consequently gives us almost nothing to connect to. As a result, it comes across as extremely juvenile; something a disgruntled teenager who has no idea what he is talking about would write and claim as a deconstruction of the romance genre. It is a vile, horribly convinced, poorly written monstrosity. It must be said, however, that School Days isn't something easily forgotten. It's the kind of bad that will linger in your head long after you finish it. At the very least, the ending will most certainly be burned into your mind.
Welcome to the world where you have a nice little harem with you in it, what would you do? Would you preserve the status quo to maintain it? Or rather choose one girl out of the rest? Or screw it up completely? Unfortunately for little Itou here, he chose the latter one, and hell did he screw up, big time.
Now, notice the lack of the "Comedy" genre that you should be expecting in a school harem.
Let me tell you a few things too, the description here is way too optimistic for this anime. The genre bar is also lacking too. If you're here expecting a
Happy-Land ending, I am happy to tell you that you're in for a surprise.
Don't mess with emotions, kids.
I stumbled upon in this anime after a friend recommended this to me. He told me it is one of those animes that will end in a pleasing boat ride. I took it in as a metaphor and I could not have been more wrong. The boat ride part was right, but I'm not so sure about the "pleasing" part.
Looking at the description and the genres, I thought it was your average run-in-the-mill harem anime where the Happy-Happy land forms and where the skies of rainbows and sunshine hit the ground.
But as I continued to watch this anime, there was something a bit off. Usually there is the problem-resolve stuff in regular harems where a problem would pop up and the Protagonist will fix it and so forth, but problems here seemed like it wasn't solved—to be exact, it became a much bigger problem instead.
Basically, this guy was pouring gasoline to a stack of wood on which he already threw a lit matchstick to.
I don't even know if you should call this guy a Protagonist, an Anarchist seems to be a better definition of this guy.
The Protagonist is a brute, I found that word very fitting for his character. If you expected clean relationships in this anime like in any other harems, you are not going to like where this one goes. This guy is a polygynic freak and very unsympathetic. Beside him are girls that would do everything after some pathetic smooth-talking from him. This really pissed me off.
The only reason I continued watching this anime is because I had the intuition that this guy was going to meet his demise. I was not disappointed.
This is an anime that truly displays what happens if you bring the human emotions to a very unstable variable.
If you stopped watching this anime mid-way, you don't know what you're missing on.
The last 10 minutes of the last episode had to be the only thing I found amusing so far in the series. A cold-blooded murder from a person he once knew. As a person that likes watching Crime Investigation and such, I felt kind of awkwardly content to what happened. Murder may be illegal and such, but this guy should be an exemption because he the personification of insanity at its essence.
To wrap it up. This is an anime horror disguised as a seemingly innocent show. For those sick of Good Endings. I don't know where else you could find a jewel as shiny as this. If you like animes where things take an unexpected (in this case, VERY unexpected) turn. I would presume that you will like this one.
This was absolutely one of the most astonishing animes I have ever watched. I encourage you to watch this not because of the hyped ending, but to show how emotions and bad decisions can have a disastrous effect not only in the 2D world, but also in real life.
Story: What can I say about the storyline? It has its up's and downs as well as its "WTF" and "...". I can already see the creator of School Days trying to portray an image to the viewers that this is typically a normal life of a teenager would lead, but forgetting that not every teenager leads this type of life. Getting deeper into this, I would say the moral of this story goes beyond your ordinary imagination of ecchi and romance. All I can say is, prepare yourself for a story like no other, a story that even sometimes exist in reality and that
things like this can happen. From emotions to physical pain, happiness, WTF moments and moments where not even a word can express what this anime is about. It's all for the.. you know what? I'm just going too 'cheat' my way through this review. Haha.
Art: I'm not one to judge on the art, but sometimes I have a hard time picking out who's who. That is if you are looking specifically at the eyes! The art is on a level that isn't medium, neither low. It's something good enough to get you through the dreading 12 episodes. Aside from the ecchi, the art is well drawn for a kid who's taking anime art class!
Sound: Not much to say about sound, but there is a few songs that were thrown into the anime that caught my attention. I believe because of that, I actually didn't move my hand to the mouse to skip some of the parts that made me angry.
Character: Okay! Aside from all the whores, sluts and the main character. I gave this score a two for ONE good reason. If you are reading this review before you start watching it, I suggest you keep your focus on Kotonoha Katsura. She is sweet, innocent, shy, new to relationships and very what's that word. Hm, figure it out yourself when you watch it. Katsura, deserve a +1 in my case, else wise I would of gave each and every character a 1 (too bad they don't have 0's). The characters each played a special role and possibly at one point, I felt the same way one of them felt. Trying to relate was something I did with each and every one of the character, sadly. It did not work out. They are all emotional and selfish! Like really now. From what I believe the creator of School Days, took love and just tossed it around like it was a volleyball thus creating a crazy atmosphere of insanely robotic girls wanting to kill and sex the next guy. Haha, do you believe me?
Enjoyment: PATHETIC. IF YOU WANT TO BE ANGRY THEN THIS IS THE ANIME YOU WANT TO WATCH! Don't miss out on a chance to call each and every character, BAKA!!!!!
Overall: I want my 12 x 30 = ?? time back. Thank you, no extra charge.
You ever cut your eyes out with a butter knife? Well, you will know the experience once you watch School Days. I was on the verge of just staying in my room for a couple days and not even feeding myself. Yes, this anime was THAT bad. Now by bad, I mean something other than the traditional "shitty" or "garbage" most people are familiar with. I mean, it's just so god awful that it left a sour taste in my mouth. I will expand more on this feeling and provide you with a somewhat accurate portaryal of this steaming piece of doodoo.
The story is very
simple to begin with, but then become very "unwatchable". It follows the school life of some guy (I don't give a flying ass about his name) and his relationship with two girls. There is a loudmouthed overspoken girl, Sekai, and the shy, quiet girl, Kotonoha. The guy originally liked Kotonoha but then like most guys, he becomes sex deprived from this shy girl and decides to screw the other girl for "practice". Blah blah blah, a few boring sex scenes later, a problem arises. This loser guy is now a horndog with no consideration for women's feelings. I'm not gonna ruin this marvelous (bullshit) ending for you, but it is very, um, intriguing. (You ever hear of the famous boat scene? Yeah, there's a reason why it's so popular.)
The art was ok to look at. It wasn't outstanding or new, it had the art most animes follow nowadays. There wasn't much physical action or movement in this anime, save the ending, so it was near impossible for the animation to fail. The art was probably the only thing I didn't puke at in this anime.
The BGM felt very monotonous and I skipped the ending and opening so I don't have a deep opinion here. However, I must say the music during the final scenes were quite nice. It really let the series climax. (haha climax. Get it? I used a sexual joke for a sexual anime!)
Fuck you. No, not you. Fuck the characters. If I could meet the characters in real life, I would murder each one for the sake of my own sanity. Well, the guy's friend was kind of funny. He was horny too, but he didn't go overboard and he provided some comic relief. Anyway, back to my thoughts for the main characters. I would chop off the main guy's weiner for his overhorniness and complete disregard for women's emotions. I would stab Sekai with a trench knife for her overall attitude and lies. Then for Kotonoha, I would give her a cookie filled with cyanide and my dog's diarhhea dump. I will NOT describe these characters any further. Let me warn you. You will hate these characters so much, that you will end up hating yourself. Oooh philosophical. School Days suck sweaty asshole, Confucius say.
Contrary to my review, go ahead and watch this series. Cmon, you know you want to. I ended up watching this anime through peer pressure, and even though I wanted to cut myself, it did teach me some valuable lessons about womanizers and pimps. It's worth a watch, even though you will hate me and yourself for it. I don't think you can really say you watched "everything" until you watched an amazing frustrating anime like School Days. Go watch it please.
When I first got into School Days, I didn' know what I was getting myself into. I had heard about it, by people who either loved it or hated it. So I didn't know what to expect from it.
2 years later, I still don't know exactly what I watched.
The premise of School Days is simple; boy falls in love with girl but he doesn't exactly know how to approache her, so he gets help from another girl to get them together. Pretty innocent, right? Sure, I thought the same thing, a cute couple with a change of love blooming. Thing
is, this is where things start to get out of control. He soon starts fooling around with other women, sleeping around with any girl who seems interested enough, basically saying "f*ck you" to everyone and the viewer. So I'm supposed to support this guy...? It's this out of the blue BS that gets thrown to your face, attepting to surprise to viewer.
I know it's regarded as "psychological", and that "it's not supposed to be perfect because love's not perfect" blah, blah. I didn't see it. I only saw sh*tty decisions made by sh*tty characters.
The only reedeming thing about it, if I'd had to say, it's probably it's infamous endind that, if you haven't seen or even heard about, I won't spoil it for you. It's almost majestic. Just gonna say "nice boat." Yup.
It's a hit or miss. It's neither good or bad. I've seen worse. Some scenes look nice and others look dreadful. Okay-ish animation.
Again, hit or miss. Some of the voice actors sound horrible, i.e Sekai. Soundtrack is eh.
Seriously, the characters are the main reason I have such hatred towards this anime. Makoto f*cking Ito is probably the most pathetic, disgusting character I've ever had the misfortune of laying my eyes in. He has absolutely no godamn respect towards ANY of the characters he interacts (aka f*cks around with), is a selfish individual, and plays the victim when blamed for something. He has absolutely no personality whatsoever, he's basically a cardboardbox. Except not, because even cardboardboxes are more useful than him.
"Oh, no, yeah he's a unlikeable character, but that doesn't make him a bad character!" Yes, it does. He's a disgusting character, he's not "deeply messed up, such emo, much need for the v" no, he's simply disgusting. Get over it.
Any other characters (which is 99% females, seriously, there's only two guys counting Makoto is this school, what the flying f*ck happened to the male population) are bland, maybe with the exception of Kotonoha, because seriously, I felt bad most of the time for her. The others were either sluts he slept with or unimportant characters.
No. No, no, no. Most of the time I was facepalming at the stupidity of the whole situation and how low life Makoto was. I was enraged, just hoping for the episodes to end so I could just get it over with. The only thing that brought me joy was the ending. I burst out laughing. It was beautiful.
I hear that the visual novels are better. Can't confirm, since I never played them nor do I plan to. But this is by far the worst thing I ever had to sit through, and I would not recommend to anyone. Really. It's a waste of time.
Length: 12 Episodes
Original Airdates: 07/07 - 09/07
Genres: Drama, Romance, Psychological, (and eventually) Horror
WARNING: Contains scenes of sexuality, and a "Nice Boat" ending
One-sentence summary: "What the f***!?"
Makoto Ito rides the train to and from school every day. However, at the beginning of his second term, he falls in love with a beautiful girl that also rides the train. Unfortunately, she barely knows of his existence. Her name is Kotonoha Katsura, and though they attend the same school, they are not in the same class. In an attempt to catch her eye, Makoto enlists the aid of a close female friend of his: Sekai Saionji.
She helps him, despite the fact that she--unbeknownst to Makoto--is in love with him. Thus the three are bound in a love triangle of life changing proportions.
When everything was done after the 12th episode.... I stared at my computer screen for a good minute. COMPLETLY speechless.
When they said that the ending was messed up.. they weren't joking... This is as messed up as you can get. So what'd I think on the whole?
Watching episode 1 through 6, is much like trying to swallow a box of nails. It's filled with fan-service shots that made me want to puke, characters whom i wanted throw bricks at, and a story that seemed to be written by a middle school girl. But if you can stomach those episodes... you're home free.
Episodes 7 to 11 are a lot more engaging. While not a whole lot better, there was definitely enough in there in which I could keep watching because I felt like it. The character interactions are what shines in this part of the series and some of the previous characters that you learn to hate... come back w/ sympathetic qualities.
But if we're talking about School Days here... It's ALL about the ending. INCREDIBLY controversial... and something more suited for Higurashi. That being said... I loved it. The music created incredible tension and when hell broke lose... my heart was racing. Did it fit this anime? I don't know... but it sure as hell was memorable. That was a NICE BOAT...
School Days is a Slice of Life, Romantic, Drama about a sordid love triangle between friends Makoto (guy), Kotonoha (girl) and Sekai (girl). This is anime is an adaptation of a visual novel, notorious for its tragic endings and this anime retains that reputation.
As the story begins it seems very average, with the typical storyline that this type of anime tends to follow however both of the girl's questionable behaviour and feelings do make this romance drama very interesting. Even though it is very short, the story flows well at a satisfying pace, with some major unexpected developments that will keep most unable to stop.
this interesting anime was hugely let down by its characters, the male protagonist in particular. It's a common thing to have a unlucky and average guy as a protagonist however School Days goes overboard by making Makoto a useless, worthless, perverted, the list goes on… To have someone like him act like he's the "top man" gets so annoying that anyone can easily just drop this anime and look for a better one. The supporting characters don't add much to the story either it's really just the two main girls that bring this anime's story to life, which makes it worth watching to the end and also makes you feel sorry for the girls affected by Makoto.
The animation quality of this anime is decent with great character designs, where the girl's body shapes are paid close attention to for fanservice. The animation could have been the great point to this anime but the animators are so lazy that issues with the background characters and static characters become so noticeable that it degrades the quality of the show. At least the music helps at points to bring a certain tone to any situation, nonetheless this anime overall is full of too many silent moments.
On a final note, School Days turned out to be an interesting and somewhat different anime romance drama (based on a visual novel) to watch. Even with the most hated and irritating male protagonist, the girls managed to bring something to the story, including a lot of heartfelt and ecchi moments ($ex). As it began to reach its climax the story became really disturbing and then came the shockingly unexpected ending.
I recommend this anime to those who enjoy watching romance anime however the male protagonist is the biggest issue in this series, so this isn't one to watch if you're easily irritated. ^_^
AUTHORS NOTE (23/1/14): Near the end of the review, there is a spoiler regarding the final episode. I urge you to watch the series before reading the review or -- if you aren't interested in the series/have dropped it -- read it if you so desire.
Don’t be fooled this anime’s poster: it’s not all happy girls and good times. School Days is the adaption of a visual novel with the same name, infamous for its brutal bad endings. A notably absent genre this should be categorised is psychological – it shows the worst of human desire in a twelve episode, slow-paced fashion which is either
a make or break depending on taste and overall dedication to observe when the plot actually moves forward. School Days is a satirical take on the harem genre as a whole, taking on the realistic approach when it comes to the genre deciding that the main character will inevitably get every woman he’s ever interacted with. In reality, this is not the case and School Days explicitly shows the consequences of wanting too much and giving next to nothing in return.
And that’s why everyone should watch it.
I’m serious – no other anime can replicate the emotions that School Days is capable of, one of which is mainly pure anger. It’s possible to feel emotionally attached to a number of the characters, though in the end it’s realised that their actions have been brought upon due to lust, a factor that would’ve cementing School Days into pornographic territory if not of the actual plot and character development. It starts off cheerfully and as it goes on, the temper of the audience will rise to the point of smashing their television or computer in disgust due to the characters’ actions. They say school is one of the most beneficially periods in a person’s life: School Days shows the exact opposite.
The plot follows token male harem protagonist Itou Makoto who develops a crush on a girl – Kotonoha – whom he observes on the bus every day with lustful eyes or at least, eyes of affection. It’s Makato’s first year at High School and he’s seated next to Sekai, another girl in which e feels no affection for yet is as outgoing as a celebrity. Sekai finds out that our token protagonist is in love with Kotonoha and decides to become her friend in order to obtain information about her so Makato will actually know something about her and not stare at her body endlessly. Sekai and Kotonoha do legitimately become friends, with Makato later confessing to Kotonoha ending the first episode with them being a couple. Makoto tries to thank Sekai for her effort and there’s only one thing Sekai will take for a reward: a kiss.
That’s all in the first episode – a fast pace never seen again.
Perhaps ‘protagonist’ isn’t a word well-suited for Makoto as his main objective is to bang anything that shows the slightest sense of movement. The main factor that attributes to the anger School Days supplies is the main character. Itou Makoto is not a role model. He’s not someone to aspire to and he’s not someone you’d like to know unless you’d want to have a fleeting orgasm with. He’s a relentless hormonal machine similar to the Terminator – he’d bang everyone until he has a nice glass of brandy before banging the actual target. Itou Makoto is perhaps the perfect definition of “the worse”, a complete knob of a ridiculously high caliber and yet is the basis for any viewer of the male gender who would like nothing else to be the Terminator of sex.
And the side-characters aren’t much better. Sekai is everything that Makoto desires that Kotonoha isn’t or in better terms, won’t perform. Being as horny as a rabbit, Makoto’s quest for seemingly endless sex doesn’t start at Kotonoha, but at Sekai after a couple of episodes in that cement Makoto’s douchebaggery. By the end of the third episode, he finally decides that he’s sick of her due to not being entitled to sex after a period of time. Not taking it steady is Makoto’s bread and butter, as in he just wants to spread his butter all over his seemingly endless bread – wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Perhaps it’s because every other side character has a vagina and the only other character that has a knob doesn’t supply any moral support and would be just horny as our main character. We don’t really get to know the other side characters that the Sexinator bangs very well, which is a shame because they’re all part of an indecisive wanker’s sexual quest of glory. They actually have motives, unlike our lovable cyborg sex maniac so that’s a big plus in their court.
Perhaps something else that brings School Days down is the rather unappealing art style. The characters don’t seem very attractive, especially the female characters. This is an oddity considering the harem genre that School Days deconstructs over the course of the series, however this has lead me to believe that it was entirely on purpose – what does Makoto see in all of the girls over the course of the series? He decides to pound every woman he comes in contact with and even falls in love several times, yet there is seemingly nothing that contributes to his sudden attraction or at least his hormones being set a full throttle. Being based off a visual novel, it’s not really unexpected for School Days’ lacklustre art as it’s practically ripped from the game itself.
Another gripe to be had with the anime is its slow pace. The finale felt like an eternity to reach, as nothing much happens – or at least, that’s what it seems to be with Makoto going back and forth as he’s just as indecisive as any other harem protagonist. It emulates what it’s actually like to be in school: nothing happens for a while and any drama that occurs may pace itself out to the point of wanting to reach the end as fast as possible. However, when it gets to the finale, everyone will scream for joy and it remains as one of the greatest endings in the history of anime.
And it deserves a paragraph of its own. So, spoilers ahead!
In the final episode of School Days, everything goes down – Makoto and Kotonoha reconcile after he’s realised that being a robot only made for having sex with everything in a one centimetre radius isn’t has glorified as it should be, after Sekai reveals that she’s pregnant with his child and every girl he has had sex with in his school – which is nearly all of them – begins to fear him due to this sudden revelation. However, seeing them reconcile in front of her, Sekai murders Makoto when he suggests that she should get an abortion. Kotonoha visits Makoto’s… corpse, in his room and takes matters into her own hand: by killing Sekai on the school rooftop in an admittedly badass fashion. Beforehand, she cut off Makoto’s head and put it in a duffel bag. After she killed Sekai, Kotonoha invalidates her previous claims of pregnancy, which means all of this tragedy has been caused by a lie and most likely cementing everyone’s hate for her as a character and a work of fiction. The final scene depicts Kotonoha and Makoto’s head stranded on a nice boat, thus ending the series.
So, after all of the negative things about it, why did I give it a high score?
School Days – for this viewer – had something that is nearly indescribable that kept me hooked the entire time. I hated the characters, I didn’t particularly like the art style or the music; yet I wanted to see how it ends, I wanted to see how exactly the tragedy plays out. I had heard about people discuss this absolutely hating and even liking it, I can see why it’s hated amongst many people. It absolutely ensnared me the whole time and even if you hate everything about it, you still want to see how it ends. If a series can keep a viewer hooked the whole time even if it’s being despicable and absolutely loathsome, it has achieved something great. That’s why I believe that anyone and everyone should watch School Days.
If you don’t want to, however, my spoiler saved you some time. You’re welcome.
School days is a terrible show that is completely dependent on its ending. Otherwise, it wouldn't even be relevant to us.
Think about it, remove that "moment" from this show and what do we get? A poorly animated, poorly written story that needs a big kick at the end to leave somewhat of an impression.
None of the characters in this show are likable, and all of them are simply nonsensical. There's nothing special about the male MC, and yet all the girls are flaunting their bodies to him. Sekai is a braindead character. Just watching her made me lose some brain cells. Why did she introduce
a girl to the guy that she likes? Is love a game to her? (clearly it's not) Also, associating the word "love" to this show is blasphemy. If you think that this show is about love, you are misguided. This show sucks so bad that even the author realized it.
So instead of ending it normally, he decided to make an unforgettable ending to make up for the disgrace of a story he came up with. And it was still terrible.
School Days seems to offer something that is different from the typical romance, harem, and high school anime; at the very least, it has an unusual protagonist in that he is selfish, takes any opportunity for sex, and doesn't have any concern for the feelings of others or take any responsibility for his own actions. However, the originality mostly stops there. The girls are mostly archetypes of this genre: the energetic friend, the sweet and quiet girl, the seemingly emotionless, distant observer (who also happens to look half her age), and the childhood friend. Where they differ from these clichés
is that none of them are particularly admirable or innocent, and all of them will for the most part do whatever they can to get what they want, albeit sometimes in self-deception. This also goes for the protagonist’s best friend, who would, in most other anime of this genre, remain innocuously comical in any childishly underhanded ploys he might attempt.
The settings are also the same as those in most anime of this genre: a train, the classroom, a swimming pool, a school festival. However, the backdrop of this story is arguably more boring than any other high school anime in that there are practically no events in the series other than the tedious romantic interactions that are almost solely comprised of moments in which a girl character hesitates to kiss or have sex and moments when she doesn’t. There is no occasion or character goal to provide any kind of diverting relief from these scenes, and only just enough information about what is going on at school is given to set the stage for each “romantic” moment.
While keeping the ending in mind is beneficial in practically any series, usually providing more focus and purpose for each event and leading to a more satisfying conclusion, School Days seems to have been created solely for the ending and each episode leading up to it is an agony of compulsory delays until the final event. No life or passion seems to have been breathed into any of the happenings leading up to it and so it is difficult for the viewer to find any passion for them either.
Not only this, but such despicable characters were incredibly frustrating to watch. While there is some satisfaction to be had in some parts near and at the end, the loathsome choices of the protagonist and even some of the other characters were a torment to witness. Even what gratification might come from seeing the conclusion is tinged with nausea because of the way in which in comes about.
If the show lacks almost anything that might provide enjoyment and entertainment, one might wonder if it holds any value in themes or meaning. However, whatever moral or “deeper meaning” this story might have seems to be in the admonishment not to cheat, a piece of advice that even the most rampant cheaters have surely heard and understood before seeing this anime. I find it hard to believe that watching this show would play any part in whether or not someone decided to cheat on their significant other. The dire consequences of cheating are surely already blatantly obvious to anyone without seeing a grossly exaggerated demonstration of it.
For not only is this demonstration pointless, but it is done in a way that is far removed from almost any resemblance to reality. That this many girls would not only be interested in Itou, but also be willing to do whatever it takes for him and to each other in order to be the woman in his life is insulting to the viewer’s intelligence. Almost every girl character is willing to hop in the sack with hardly a moment's notice, some with the hope of thus securing his affections, others simply for the momentary satisfaction of it regardless of what they know about him or of their relationship to his other partners.
Not only this, but the perhaps pivotal reaction of one of these girls to what the protagonist has done is also incredibly far-fetched. That a girl with her kinds of innocent dreams and family ties would go into shock at the end of an, at best, rocky relationship with a crush she was never fully attached to seems unlikely.
Itou is for the most part the only saving grace for the show’s lack of realism, which isn’t saying much. Despicable though he is, it is not implausible to believe that a person this shallow exists or that he would react the way he does to the unrealistic number of girls that throw themselves at him. Infuriating though it is, his apathy toward the way they feel when they ask something of him in return and his boredom over time with each one is also plausible in the case of a person with such contemptible character and no desire or incentive to take responsibility for what he has done.
Anyone can relate to the moment when, if only because he is faced for the first time with actual consequences to his actions, he wakes up and realizes that he has made the biggest mistake of his life. Whether or not this sudden horrible realization would have a lasting affect on his character or simply drive a brief guilt-ridden gap in-between transgressions is difficult to say, though either path is plausible.
Similarly, there is some measure of relatability in the flawed character of Saionji in that she really manages to deceive herself about her own goals and motivations throughout the show. Regardless of her sometimes reprehensible decisions, her desperate effort to justify herself in her weakness is somehow heart wrenching and reminiscent of times when many of us have made mistakes while deceiving ourselves in the attempt to retain the mental image of the kind of person we believe and hope ourselves to be.
The three main female leads are all designed in such a way that they have a bit of a creepy look, with sharp contrast in coloring between complexion and hair and eye color, eyes too large and expressionless, and hair that juts out angularly before falling around their faces. This works well in foreshadowing the ultimately dark nature of the series, but each one is practically indistinguishable from the other except for their hair length. Along with this laziness in character design, the scenery is also given the bare minimum of detail. There is just enough for the viewer to comprehend the setting, and nothing else. What is there is also not particularly pleasing to look at.
On top of this, the lighting looks as though it all comes from a weak bulb in bad need of replacement and filtered through a filthy shade. It doesn’t clarify the picture, but rather dulls the lines, especially near the top of the image, reflecting off skin in such a way that it makes everything seem a bit difficult to make out and dulls the colors. Overall, School Days is painful to watch in more ways than one.
The actors’ voices do not sound professionally recorded at all. When one of them raises their voice, it has a sort of empty sound as though they are yelling in a vacant garage, and there is a bit of distortion as though they are using a bad microphone. So the sound of their voices is in general rendered unpleasant, on top of which their acting itself is a bit unnatural and far-fetched in tone.
The soundtrack is completely unremarkable, so much so that it’s almost impossible to find anything to say about it otherwise. The opening sequence has a nice rhythm and mood, though the ecchi makes its entrance a bit too suddenly and awkwardly in the second half, much as the fanservice does throughout the series itself. The ending song for each episode is different and every one of them has a suitable atmosphere for the episode that just ended and lyrics that convey some of the characters’ unspoken feelings, which manages to make an otherwise mind-numbingly dull show slightly more interesting.
I went into this anime with a very open and hopeful mind. After all, there is a great amount of vocal hatred for the anime Elfen Lied, Rumbling Hearts, and Mirai Nikki, but I managed to enjoy them all. So I thought that maybe there was some value that I would find in School Days that many did not and I didn’t want to judge it by someone else’s standards. However, even going into it with an open mind, I came to the conclusion that I should have stayed far away.
If you want to try School Days in the hopes that it will be completely different from the norm, be mindful that this comes at the expense of quality in every other area. There are no lessons to be learned, no pretty pictures to look at, no plot to hold your attention, and no characters to get attached to. The only recommendation I can give it is a suggestion to watch it simply because it is so bad. There is something morbidly fascinating in seeing something this abhorrent, and it can only help strengthen your appreciation for the good shows in this medium.