Why does everyone say Taisuke raped Kotonoha in the anime?
Maybe this is clear somewhere in the game, but it's not clear at all in the anime (which is an Alternative Continuity). Okay, Taisuke was aggressive when Kotonoha was especially vulnerable, and that's bad. But no one acts remotely like it was rape. Kotonoha is calm with him the next day, not angry, though admittedly she's such a mess by this point in the series that it's hard to be sure how she really feels about anything but Makoto. As for Taisuke, rape would be completely out of character for him, as he's the typical "nice guy" at all other times (and a veritable saint compared to Makoto). In particular, he isn't ashamed afterwards, which he would be — he may be a borderline Stalker with a Crush, but he clearly does love Kotonoha. And he's not expecting her to be angry the next day; hell, he thinks they're together now. So why does everyone call it rape, on this wiki and off? That's a much too serious charge to just throw around.
Hmmm... The key part is that Kotonoha, in her Heroic BSOD state, did NOT clearly tell Taisuke whether she wanted him to sex her up or not. She was pretty despondent when he confessed and then undressed her, and as she sees Makoto and Sekai dancing in the bonfire, she's not much different. Therefore, since she didn't exactly give Taisuke anything similar to a thumbs-up, it's easy to think/believe/assume/deduce/etc. that it was full-on rape, since she wasn't in a mental/emotional state that would guarantee consent. Not openly refusing someone's advances and sex does NOT equal to automatically saying yes, after all.
Maybe "rape" is too strong a word, but he certainly took advantage of her fragile mental state. When you confess love to a girl and she doesn't respond, a normal person's immediate reaction would not be to undress her and have sex with her on the spot then leave. That's why fans were so offended by Taisuke's actions.
Then again, given how the Japanese tend to treat rape victims, it really is not that surprising that she acted calm. She would have had no support at all, and families have been known to abandon their children when it happens.
The fact that Taisuke really raped Kotonoha in the game helps too.
Any links and/or further info?
It is indeed true that Taisuke really rapes Kotonoha in the game. Not to mention Makoto and Hikari both see what's going on, do nothing to stop it, and end up fooling around outside the door. For obvious reasons, posting a download link would not be appropriate, but it exists.
This troper finally got that scene in the recently-released English version of School Days HQ. It turns out the reason that Makoto and Hikari didn't stop the rape was because since they could see Taisuke feeling Kotonoha's breasts up, they thought Kotonoha was moaning because she was embarrassed by pleasure. They didn't realize that it was rape; they thought Kotonoha was just shy. Unfortunately Kotonoha's quiet and submissive personality backfired horribly; her protests were so soft that Makoto and Hikari mistook her protests at being raped as protests at it feeling too good.
Well, that and they were too busy fooling around outside the door.
There's another factor to consider... In the game itself, you get to this specific situation if Otome tells Taisuke that "girls like to play pretend during sex". A very common kink in hentai involves the girl saying "no, don't..." to the guy as he sexes her up, but not because she doesn't want sex - she's trying to make herself look more appealing to the guy via feigning modesty and embarrassment. Via raping Kotonoha as she weakly protests, the story tells us that Taisuke is apparently so Genre Blind that he couldn't distinguish Kotonoha's genuine "no, don't..." from those coming from fictional girls "paying pretend" in porn. This invokes quite a bit of Fridge Horror, in that Otome might have counted on Taisuke raping Kotonoha via making him believe that Kotonoha wanted sex from him but was too embarrassed to tell him so. (Let's hope she did not, or it would push Otome through the Moral Event Horizon as well via arranging the rape of the irl she bullies... out of butt pain over not getting Makoto for herself.)
I doubt he actually loved her; his actions are hardly indicative of a selfless, caring love.
Whether or not you want to call it "love," he certainly seemed to have every intention of treating Kotonoha as a proper girlfriend, and cared about her enough to be visibly crushed by her rejection the day after.
The thing with rape though is people take it as simply physically taking advantage of someone. By definition, rape is when one party did not give consent. Taisuke took advantage of Kotonoha when she was emotionally vulnerable, enough to be totally despondent when he stripped and sexed her ip. Logically it was rape because she never consented.
Truth in Television This type of behavior is all too common in real life with rapists who know their victim.
The vast majority of real-life rapes do not involve one person screaming and kicking with all their might while someone else holds them down: fear, shame, confusion, drugs, or other methods of incapacitation are often involved in keeping someone still. It may not have been violent, and Taisuke may not feel that it was rape at all, but yes, if she did not consent it was still a crime.
Taisuke didn't feel it was rape, actually. The first time, when you see him pinning Kotonoha to the bed with her struggling and the camera fades to black, it was because the bullies lied to him and told him that girls love forceful men. Which is still no excuse for the second time in the storage room where he has sex with her from behind over a table. Not that there was any excuse for the first time, either, since the vast, vast, vast majority of high school males can think for themselves at least enough not to rape women because their peers told them it was a good idea.
Where were their parents?
I understand Parental Abandonment is apparently common in all these high school dramas (since it seems to be a stereotypical staple associated with Japanese teenagers? ... I don't know, it's just so common in these types of things), but in a case like this, I find it hard for these students getting away having sex with the whole school and Anything That Moves and no adult figure ever catches on. I understand it's adapted from a pornographic game, and that there are mind-numbingly other situations and titles where this question could apply, but several episodes blatantly bring up the existence of parents, several being off-screen (more concerning if their existence was acknowledged in the game too). But then again, Idiot Plot.
I'll take a guess at Makoto's parents being away for the entire anime due to how he cooks for himself and has porn blatantly around in his room. Sekai's mother is divorced (her father is never mentioned) and works late. Sekai's room seemed rather small, so I'd guess that they're poor (or at least low middle-class). As such, her mother must work all day and not have much time for her BSODing daughter. The sexing doesn't seem to occur in classrooms and it's more out of the way, as demonstrated by most of it happening on the roof or in gym closets. Students seem to be given a fair bit of control over the festival, which allowed the rest area incidents to take place. Kotonoha's mother appears to be very reserved, much like her daughter, as shown by her old-fashion tea making ideals. The mother probably didn't notice Kotonoha's breakdown, because Kotonoha just bottles it up and keeps on working. I'll assume that Hikari didn't stay the night at Makoto's place and only visited in the morning, and when Sekai stayed at Makoto's, her mother didn't notice that she wasn't in her room due to exhaustion from work. Any holes in my explanation?
Also, Makoto's parents are divorced. He lives with his mom, and his sister Itaru lives with their father. His mom may be away working to support them or something, since their apartment isn't particularly large either. According to The Other Wiki, Sekai's mom apparently owns or manages Radish, so she's probably busy with that.
Makoto's father is never around because he's the head of a billionaire empire, is centuries old thanks to a magic amulet, and is too busy screwing everything with a vagina (age be damned!) to really care about his son. No really, that is the actual reason.
Why does Kotonoha love Makoto so much?
It's never really shown why Kotonoha has such an obsession with Makoto. While it's true she had a crush on him, their first few dates were disasters due to Makoto's cluelessness and being far too sexually aggressive. Yet despite all this, Kotonoha continues to chase after him to the point that she blatantly denies any evidence that Makoto is cheating on her, and immediately calls other people liars if they even slightly suggest that Makoto might be unfaithful. It makes me wonder what Kotonoha sees in him considering that Makoto doesn't seem to share any of her interests, and Kotonoha has never really given a reason for liking Makoto other than "he's my boyfriend." Even during their interactions, it either consisted of Makoto being too aggressive with her or ignoring her entirely. Does Kotonoha just have no standards or what?
Perhaps she was never entirely sane even before dating Makoto or just so lonely and insecure that she latched onto him, and ignored his Jerkassness in the hopes he would become a nicer person? If I recall, she was in Heroic BSOD mode until Makoto actually apologized and hugged her, at which point she lost her Dull Eyes of Unhappiness and briefly regained her sanity but looses it permanently when she finds Makoto dead. Maybe in her mind she made herself believe her relationship with Makoto was an ideal one and was in love with the nicer version of Makoto that she had imagined him to be who clearly wasn't. It might've also been a way to deal with her harsh reality of constantly being bullied by the bitchy girls at school. In a weird way her relationship with Makoto was the only link she had to reality left and when he was gone her connection to reality severed. She then tries to rectify her loss of sanity (Makoto) by collecting the only thing that remains of it. Makoto's body. But since his body is too big for her to carry, she cuts off his head and cherishes that instead. There's also a possibility of her being so lonely and insecure that she craves even the tiniest bit of kindness that Makoto shows her and ignores any hint of Makoto ignoring her, not being in love with her, having sex with other girls, or being mean to her, because her mental health can't take such a blow.
Don't forget that the series was 1) adapted from and h-game and 2) is deconstructing most harem-fantasy anime. In h-games and harem wish fulfillment series, there isn't usually a reason given for why a ton of girls are suddenly all chasing an Ordinary High School Student. That's part of the fantasy, and the reason why all the girls in Makoto's class would be willing to have sex with him even though he barely has a personalty.
Speaking in series as well, Kotonoha is a Fragile Flower who's emotionally repressed due to all the bullying she suffers. Considering her sister is relatively normal, it can be assumed that Kotonoha suffers some form of mental disorder Makoto is arguably the first character in the series who shows her a form of love, so in a way he unwittingly becomes her Living Emotional Crutch. Considering she's such a Shrinking Violet / Fragile Flower, she probably never developed this type of bond with anyone before, so as a result she's determined not to lose said bond with Makoto, even though he's such a Bastard Boyfriend. It fully explains why she's willing to take him back despite knowing full and well that he had been cheating on her.
The game makes it pretty much confirmed. Kotonoha is a bit shocked that Makoto would actually ask "just" her out to begin with, a combination of that and the fact that a gentle boy like Makoto took so much interest in her on the train is why she accepted his affections. Kotonoha has the misfortune of both thinking she's undesirable due to lack of self-esteem and being afraid of men who took too much interest in her breast size; Makoto is the first boy who didn't scare her away by openly drooling over her figure but made her feel attractive enough to ask out on a date.
Am I the only one who thinks this series misses another sort of ending?
Yuri maybe? Or both Sekai and Kotonoha killing Makato? Maybe them just walking off, and his reputation being ruined? Makato killing someone?
Why would Makoto kill someone? I think there is a threesome ending, so there is yuri...kinda, but I agree, both Kotonoha and Sekai killing Makoto would be AWESOME. And if they walked off...maybe it would be a normal ending, considering the other endings...
How is it considered an Idiot Plot?
From what I understand, if Makoto did break up with Kotonoha to date Sekai, she still might have gone Yandere on his ass.
Throughout the series Makoto repeatedly disregards everyone else's feelings even as it becomes more obvious that people around him are suffering emotional trauma from his actions. Right up to the end, he only cares about what's pleasurable and convenient for him. As for Kotonoha, while she probably wouldn't have taken being dumped very well, one single emotional upset early on would not likely have pushed into a full murderous rampage. She goes progressively nuts, not all in one bound.
One of the game endings has Makoto dump Kotonoha for Sekai, and her response is to jump off a building in front of them...
This troper's played up to that ending in the recently released School Days HQ English version. In context, you get the "Forever" suicide ending by Makoto falling in love with Sekai, but making his choice just unclear enough to Kotonoha through some sexual encounters with Kotonoha that Kotonoha thinks it's her fault Makoto strays by not being brave enough, so Kotonoha starts repeatedly offering Makoto sex to make him stay with her. Since Makoto has firmly picked Sekai on this route, if you don't refuse Kotonoha's last blowjob on this route, Kotonoha becomes even more convinced that Makoto wants her, so she was already off the deep end; Sekai and Makoto explaining the truth to her made her snap. To avoid suicide, Makoto has to refuse Kotonoha's last blowjob by shoving her away, which will snap some sense back into Kotonoha so Makoto can meet Sekai at the train station in the "I Love You" ending without incident. So the original point still stands, Kotonoha did not suddenly go nuts when she jumped off the building. She was already nuts by that point, Makoto and Sekai's visit was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
Okay, but how about the ending where Sekai pushes Kotohana in front of a train? While you can argue that she's depressed and all about Setsuna leaving, unlike Kotohana, Sekai has other friends who are more than willing to be there for her. There's no reason for her to murder Kotohana. I never got that ending.
Why does Kotonoha try to hide that she has a different first name? (other than Katsura)
She doesn't; Katsura is her family name. In Japanese society, one typically addresses others by their family name (which comes before one's personal name - she's "Katsura Kotonoha"). It's very rude to use someone's personal name unless there's a strong relationship involved (family members / lovers / best friends). So in the anime, when Kokoro asks why Makoto refers to Kotonoha as "Katsura", what she's really saying is "If you're dating, why aren't you on a first-name basis?"
Exactly how unethical is Makoto in the game?
Obviously some of it depends on the choices you make, but his worst decision, and the one that leads to his downfall seems to be deciding to abandon the pregnant Sekai, which happens in the latter part of the anime. Is it possible to play Makoto in such a way that you can pursue one girl without being unfaithful at all (or in the case of the "best" ending, treat Kotonoha and Sekai equitably), or does Makoto always end up womanizing, and the only question is whether he gets away with it?
There are actual quite a few normal endings. Amongst twenty one different endings, there are only three to five bad endings, and even within a couple of these aforementioned bad endings, Makoto is completely innocent.
You can play Makoto as a perfectly nice (though admittedly very shy) guy in the game. Just know that whichever girl you pick, you're going to make Sekai cry at some point.
Why did they tape the "Rest Area"?
Although there are a many, many, many reasons for the anime to keep one awake at night, either with nightmares, angst, severe depression, shock or just paranoia, I am kept awake by the whole taping incident. I mean, WHY? Why did they do it? It can't have been blackmail, because they didn't ask for money, right? Revenge? But as far as we could see, none of the victims had done anything to them? Sheer malice? Really? As far as the viewers knew, the perpetrators hadn't even shown up in the series until that point! I don't know, I don't even...
Sheer malice and voyeurism. Since when have teenagers ever needed a reason to be cruel to each other?
The game makes it a bit more clear; apparently it was just one first-year girl's idea, believe it or not (we don't actually see this girl on-screen). That girl apparently is just a malicious person, but she persuaded the rest of the A/V club to go along with it since the tapes would be fun to watch.
In Cross Days, we get to see the girl. She's Chie Ashikaga, Yuki's sister. She did it as a strike against Nanami, actually; Chie was deathly jealous of her, and when she caught her "rival" in a very compromising position, she immediately used the video to smear her rep. The deal with Makoto and Otome being caught on tape as well was a side-effect.
Does Kotonoha ever get caught?
She murdered Sekai and took Makoto's head. There must be a ton of evidence
In her last scene she's floating away on her family's yacht treating her boyfriend's severed head like a teddy bear, with no visible food on board. That to me indicates that she'll likely die at sea. But she won't care either way, since she's finally alone with Makoto.
Thing is, it's the family yatch, so it's unlikely that the Katsuras won't notice their Nice Boat is gone. Therefore it's not unlikely that they'll alert the police and tip them off so they can find and rescue Kotonoha. The question is, will they find her in time, before she dies at the sea? That's something very different.
Why is there even a "Rest Area"??? And isn't school days in a high school?
In this Troper's experience, sometimes in events that can get really crowded, there are areas set aside for people to take a break in so it doesn't get claustrophobic. But they tend not to be "official" areas like the "Rest Area" was.
It's mentioned by some of the girls of Otome's Girl Posse that they had to be careful while constructing it to make sure the teacher's didn't find it. It seems like it's a school tradition for couples to hook up in the "Rest Area" during the festival unbeknownst to whatever chaperons obviously are not doing their damn jobs.
So I read there was supposed to be an ending where both Kotonoha and Sekai get killed
Something about them both getting hit by a train. I figured, what the hell, I've seen every other ending so I might as well catch this one as well, but I can't find it at all. Does it even exist?
It exists, I remember seeing it. In fact, I found it. There are other endings based on the same train theme, however, so it's easy to get confused.
Small note: Only one train ending made it into the HQ version that was translated into English. The rest are exclusive to the Playstation 2 release.
Is it really that unrealistic?
Maybe Iím a cynic but, except for the ending, I donít think itís as ridiculous and unrealistic as people make it out to be. Hell, something similar to what happened to Nanami happened to a girl at my school. Also, I watch a lot of true crime shows and I remember one story with a woman who gave Makoto a runfor hismoney and still had two guy crazy over her to the point where one killed the other. And you have to remember the girls all started to like him before he was a total douche (Lampshaded by Otome) and eventually washed their hands of him except for Kotonoha, whose in the middle of a breakdown, and Sekai, who just suddenly lost her Living Emotional Crutch and is possibly trying to keep their relationship together for the sake of her baby.
An anime is never completely realistic to me. However, that's true that this anime is apart from all harem-shows that we're accustomed to see. This show shows in a quite realistic way the unfortunate love relationships between teenagers. Jerks like Makoto still exist, as they are able to be in a relationship with a girl to get the chance to sleep with her. Bullies like Katou exist too. But I think that's a bit exaggerated in this anime. Indeed, where were the parents during all this anime? Furthermore, I don't think that people (even like Kotonoha who came cross the despair like she did in the anime) could just behead the head of its boyfriend after having found this latter dead, killed like that by a jealous girlfriend. Moreover, why did Sekai just come back home while she just killed her ex-boyfriend like this, and why did she follow the message sent by "Makoto" while she just killed him, and would know that Kotonoha would find him one day or another? Some reactions in this anime still stay a bit unrealistic. But everyone has his point of view about it.
But that's probably what made such success to this show. People loved it or hated it.
Why does everyone hate Kotonoha
It looks like in the first episodes of the anime at least, when Makoto and Kotonoha begin to go out, the others characters (like Hikari, Nanami) seem to have a better relationship with Kotonoha than in the following episodes. In one scene, it's clear that Nanami don't like her as she is friend with Katou and they together bullied Kotonoha in one route of the game. I could guess that Hikari may resent Kotonoha for having slept with Taisuke but in this route, she has no particular reason for dislking Kotonoha like that. So, why all this hatred toward her?
The game makes it a bit more clear; it's because Kotonoha is beautiful and has big breasts. Specifically, Kotonoha's breasts grew ahead of the rest of the girls in her class, so the boys started giving her more attention. This embarrassed and frightened Kotonoha, but her female classmates couldn't see past their own jealousy to realize that. So they spread nasty rumors about Kotonoha supposedly being a huge slut, which motivated the rest of the bullying that followed after that. This is a case where we can say, with perfect seriousness, that sometimes being beautiful really is a curse.