Hello people! Today I will be making a blog post on why I like School Days. I guess it's more; the things I like about school days. (Also, this is going to be primarily about the anime, not the VN, as the anime has a single ending, and that ending is one of the things I like about the show, believe it or not!)
School days is a dramatic romance anime that has become a very contriversial topic due to it's ending. (If you have not watched the show; spoilers. Duh. Also, partial spoilers to the VN as they obviously share a lot of stuff.) In the show we are introdouced to the not so very lovable main character Makoto. He is in love with a girl he spotted on a train, (not creepy!) He then goes on to take a picture of her, (ok, it's getting a little creepy), and his plan is to keep the picture on his phone for a few weeks. (Now it's very creepy.) Apperantly it's like a love charm; if no one finds out about it, then the person you took a picture of will fall in love with you.
Anyways. Sekai, Makoto's classmate, finds out about the charm on day one, (RIP), and so Makoto is kind of dedjected. But, lucky for him, Sekai actually started to befriend the girl he is in love with and agrees to introdouce him to the girl as a kind of apology for ruining his charm.
The girl, Kotonoha is very shy, but sure enough, due to Sekai's meddling, Kotonoha and Makoto starts dating.
How can someone like this atrocity?!
Well hello there stereotypical school days hater! Let me explain!
First of all, the beggining of the show introdouces the relationship between Kotonoha and Makoto in a very authentic way. Both of them are young and inexperienced, and they don't really know how to behave on dates, in public, and when they are alone with each other. Makoto really wants to move their relationship to a physical level, (at the beggining we are talking hugging and kissing, NOT SEX), but Kotonoha is not really ready for that right off the bat. The way the two of them act very awkwardly around each other, and the way Sekai works as a kind of relationship fix-it-all handyman feels really auhtentic when it comes to a relationhsip between two inexperienced teenagers. I actually recogniced myself a lot in the two of them when I started dating a girl for the first time when I was 14. I was very awkward on our first date, I didn't know how much I could ... Touch her, (don't take that the wrong way,) and I needed my female friend to kind of guide me into making the right choices in order to not screw up big time. (I literally wanted to make her pay for her own ticket at the movies... I ... I have no idea what I was thinking. But enough about my horrible, horrible dating history.)
The first three episodes feels like a very real relationship, and the ending line to the third episode just seals up the deal; "Being in a relationship with Kotonoha is a lot of work, isn't it?"
And this brings us to the second thing that I really like about the show; flaws we humans makes based on our "lusts" or wants. Basically, we have all felt that one moment of weakness when we just threw away our logical way of thinking and did something stupid. The point is kind of similar to the first one; authenticity. The truth is, I completely understand the first "cheating" acts that Makoto makes, (NOT saying I like him or that its ok to cheat!!! ... I'll explain what I mean now, so please, lower your muskets!)
Ok, so at this point in the anime Sekai has started to kind of unintentionally make a move on Makoto, saying they are going to "practice"... I don't even know. But whatever, the point is, they end up straight up cheating on Kotonoha and have sex, despite the fact that Makoto is in a relationship with Kotonoha. Now, I DO NOT THINK CHEATING IS OK! But, objectively speaking, it's obvious; Makoto is better suited for Sekai. He does not fit well with Kotonoha, and the only reason he liked her was that his penis told him: Ah! Girl pretty, me like! And so, I understand that Sekai and Makoto ends up getting together and I agree that is the way it should have been. Of course, this is the point where you admit you did somethinig disgusting and try to break it off with Kotonoha in the nicest way possible, groveling for forgiveness.
BUT! Makoto is very inexperienced, and I seriously think that parts of the reason he did not break up with Kotonoha is that he seriously, honestly did not understand what a commited relationship meant. He seriously does not comprehend that he is commited to Kotonoha. Still, the things he does after that is just straight up being an ass, and at that point he DOES understand and still goes through with it, so Makoto, fu** you. But yeah, as for the earlier episodes I actually think the things he did was a completely normal flaw in judgement that can happen to everyone.
Evil twist ending, build up and ruthlesness
It is time to move onto the main event. So, Makoto has started to act like a dick and he no longer gets any sympathy points from anyone. Seriously, dude, we all hate you now. Then, what is it that remains of the show and the characters that I can say is good? Well generic School Days hater, I will now continue my explenation! (Totally needed to call you out a second time. Yup.)
Evil twist ending; it is something usually found in horror movies and very rarely exists in the world of "normal" entertaininent. (Think common romance, action etc.) It's a type of ending that uses the entire show/ movie to build up, leading the viewer to belive the evil will be defeated! Then the evil is defeated, and then! Then comes the evil twist that makes you realize that there was never a chance and the world is a grousome and unforgiving place. The fact that the writers has the audacity and balls to use an ending like this, something that almost never steps outside the horror genre, in a romance anime, really just... Yeah it's ... It's a unique choice. But! It works! It works so, so, so well! Because:
Kotonoha is a character that everyone wants to protect. She is shy, fragile and cute. She would never hurt a fly, and the only thing she did wrong was want to take her first romantic relationship slow. (Such a monster!) Throughout the show she is exposed to bullying, cheating and all sorts of evil that just wont let up! This is hard for most viewers; our poor innocent heroine is being broken, and sure enough, she straight up loses her mind. Watching this is seriously pshycologically scarring. You have to give them a tip of the hat for this brilliant display of just absolute cruelty that makes the viewers extremly emotionally invested in the characters.
Here is a few brilliant things the writers do throughout this grouesome journey: They spin us completely in the wrong direction! In several scenes, we see Kotonoha seemingly plotting to take her own life. For example, in one scene she stands in the kitchen completely out of it, touching the kitchen knives. She is interrupted by her little sister. We think; what would have happened if she was left alone here? Of course, we have absolutely no idea just what waits for us once that courtain closes...
And as she goes insane and literally just talks into a phone with no battery, she is finally, FINALLY found by the main character, the knight in shining armor! (We still hate him of course, but at least he can man up and save Kotonoha now.) And he does. He decides, I have been an ass, I will make up for it and get back together with Kotonoha.
Ok, so now we get our "happy ending." A lot of stuff has happened, people were hurt and everyone is left with a bitter taste. But the silver lining is, the main characters are back together and we are now somewhat happy. It's a nice conclusion to this fairly average drama right?
Wrong. Now comes the evil twist that made me incredibly fascinated with this show. The twist that made me create a powerpoint presentation on evil twist endings that I presented for a small lecture hall in my school which was very well recieved.
Makoto is killed. The knight in shining armor that was literally the only remaining light in Kotonoha's life is gone. She goes insane again, violently murders the pregnant sekai, opens up her stomach, cuts of Makoto's head and drives her fathers yatch out into the open ocean; most likely found soon after and probably gets incarcerated.
This is of course evil and pshycological, but seriously! Something like this, something so suprising, something so well done cannot be called bad! You cannot call something that turns the viewers entire view on romance animes completely on its head bad! Yes, it has its flaws, but the show itself isn't in any way BAD. It's just very, very unique and VERY heavy. It's not a show meant for 14 year old girls who wants to see the main character kiss the girl gently and have them live happily ever after.
So my rant is now over. I realize some of it might have been a tad bit difficult to understand. Ok, there is a twist, but why is that good? The hot girl died so I hate it! Ok, well, of course it comes down to taste, but what I try to make a point of here is; taste is one thing, but completely objectively speaking, something cannot be called bad just because you don't like it! You can't say this is bad because it doesn't fit my taste! You can say you don't like it, but you can't say it's bad! And the truth is, School Days is NOT bad! It's in fact, a very well pulled of evil twist ending in a romance anime, something that has basically never been done before. It's so unique and so well done, it's ... It's fantastic! The show itself as a romance is ... Well, its what, like a 4/10? But it's value as a evil twist ending in general that suprises it's viewers it's a really solid 8/10.
So now my blog post is over, please put the batons, pitchforks and katanas away. This is MY opinion and if you don't agree then that is absolutely fine. But please... Don't kill me