Reviews: School Days
Ended up praying for a School Days ending
While not technically a harem, this series embodies everything I hate about that particular style. An absolutely bland, unsympathetic and indecisive main character is for some reason or another adored by all the girls around him. And while he is attracted to one more then the others, false drama - which is later literally solved in a minute - prevents him and her from acting on the Unresolved Sexual Tension. Cue hours of meandering and Will They Or Wont They no one really buys ensue, lessons are learned and instantly forgotten. All this while both of them go out of their way in their indecisiveness, selfishness and - in her case - outright manipulation to hurt every single other more likable character around them. A depressing waste of time and unless your idea of good escapism is seeing the cardboard cutouts prevail while every other sympathetic character is left in the dust, go right ahead.
What the Hell, Man?
What the hell is wrong with this Anime? This one's notorious for violence. LOADS OF THEM. Trust me, most of the characters of this one are in the Pantheon/Disgraces! Trust me, I've rather destroy my iPad than to ever watch this again. You want to know my rating of this: 1 out of 9001. Yes, I'm serious. you're welcome... By the way, Jerk.
Well. Haters gonna hate.
School Days is not a 'Must-watch' series, but for those familiar with the harem genre it is a worthwhile de-construction. It is very easy to say that the characters are morons; I won't deny that they act like it. It is unlikely such a love triangle would turn out quite so badly in real life. But this is a de-construction. The somewhat shallow, somewhat cliched personalities of the characters are played completely straight until events reach their (il)logical, and messy conclusion. There's really no point ascribing 'blame' to any of the characters. The big three are affection-starved people at the mercy of strong feelings they don't fully understand, have little of the 'good'/'healthy' kind of confidence in themselves and have no real ability to communicate with each other or anyone else for that matter, and of course no-one else to confide in. Plus, yes, they lack self-restraint. And naturally, there are no therapists. Is it really anyone's fault in particular what happens? I wring my hands. Anyway, do give it a go. For the record, I'd like to say that I took the series rather hard. I do not like to see characters suffer 'needlessly'. One thing I can say in its favour is the way it really made me appreciate the deeper problems with the harem genre, beyond the gratuitous fan-service and excuse plots. If it wasn't for that, and a sort of morbid fascination with just how bad things could get, I wouldn't have been able to watch things get worse the way they did. In short, it's the best 'harem' anime I never want to see again.
School Days HQ - Play it, forget the Anime
Adaptation Displacement sure can do a number on the original work, which is why this Troper decided to grab himself a copy of the original VN to testify it himself. So far, the impressions have been generally positive. The story in the VN is driven by the player's decision-making. You are given choices at times, and you can simply decide not to choose at all. Doing either will advance the plot down a different route. Although it gets frustrating when you are only offered a limited range of choices, and you can still be dragged into situations that should never happen if you had full control over your actions. This feels less like you're controlling the PC's actions than just being his conscience, and I found myself having to wind back to re-pick decisions periodically. Nevertheless, Railroaded "dramatic" moments aside, the decisions you chose do make impact and as the plot goes on, will affect how the characters develop. Each character will start to show their flaws as story goes on, which you will have to resolve through decision-making, and it's heartening to see that unlike in the Anime, you as the player get to call the shots on how Makoto is going to turn out. Of course, if you choose to be the selfish bastard he is in the Anime, then Karma is going to come and bite you in the ass accordingly. But act sensibly, and you will see that although he might be weak-minded at times, give him a few jabs into the right direction and he can be a good-willed and honest guy. Personally, this is what I like the best about this VN, that you actually shape him into what he is, instead of just inexplicably turning out as the scumbag he is in the Anime. Overall there are no "wrong" choices apart from the obvious ones, The route they lead to can surprise you at times, and they often lead to some pretty heartwarming moments. Overall, School Days HQ managed to be entertaining and psychologically surging at the same time, the plot line can end up being romantic, bland, clichéd or even dark and horrifying, but it all depends on the player's action, and gives out its reason about that. For this Troper, he is glad that he did not pry into the Anime series further and played this VN instead, and would recommend others to do the same. However if you've already watched the Anime, then this Troper can only offer you his condolences.
School Days - Better Than It Sounds
It's only 12 episodes and is short and sweet. The characters start off kinda fitting the 'molds', but they -gasp- have flaws! And not only that, but the flaws are USED!! It's pretty realistic. A girl who has never dated will NOT be comfortable kissing a dude right away, and that happens in a lot of other romance/dramas. Not this time. She is nervous, and reasonably so. She's been picked on because of her breast size and is therefore uncomfortable with her body. It's only natural that she'd be nervous when a guy hugs her. It's also a love triangle. At first, you might feel anger toward the 'second' girl, but as the series progresses, you see that there are good reasons for why he should pair up with her instead of the other girl. You may start to feel just as torn as the protagonist (depending on which of the many pairings you're rooting for, and how strongly you feel for them). It's real in the way that there is not really a 'single' antagonist, but everyone plays a part in ruining the whole thing. Different people blame different characters. The fans are divided as to who is right/wrong. The art design is also really good IMO. Each character's face looks different in terms of face structure. I really like how this series is funny when it can be, but serious when it needs to be. There is no cop out comedy. No stupid comments in a dramatic moment. They don't flat out tell you that the three characters have a lot to lose and a lot to gain in the situation; they show it. Sekai = Sekai loves Makoto. They seem like a good couple since their personalities are compatible and they are comfortable and at ease around each other. Sekai's best friend Setsuna is leaving, and wants to be sure that Sekai will be happy while she's away. She tries to get Sekai and Makoto together in order to 'entrust' Sekai to Makoto. If Makoto and Sekai don't end up together, then Sekai and Setsuna both lose out. Kotonoha = Kotonoha also loves Makoto. They are the initial couple that gets the story going. We see Kotonoha is nervous and has low self esteem due to the bullying she receives from her classmates. However, she becomes more confident and trusting as she becomes closer to Makoto. She simply adores him, and is blossoming under his affections. We see that after she loses Makoto that she falls into deeper depression; her self worth is based on Makoto.
The true benefit of "No"
After taking a break from all the action anime out there I stumbled into School days. All was well at first. I even really related to the main characters early troubles, but over time our hero hits puberty a little too fast and things get real really quick. It was a good watch, but the only interesting part was the ending which differs from other slice of life animes. +1 to creativity on that. My favorite prank to play on people that have never seen this is to casually mention it from time to time. Someone will undoubtedly end up watching it and the reactions are priceless. I wouldn't recommend this anime to anyone unless I wanted to pull a prank on them. The theme is generic though done well, but there really isn't anything else to this series. Most people try to forget it and that's my policy as well.
A review that is actually somewhat positive.
Ah, School Days. Good times, Good times. This is one of the more memorable series that anyone will ever watch if only because of how it seems like heaven at first yet becomes hell halfway. At the end, when all is said and done, the viewer will naturally think, "HOW THE F***ING HELL DID THIS ALL HAPPEN!?! WHY IS EVERYONE SUCH A F***ING IDIOT?!?" This is how. They are all teenagers who fail to think rationally and do irrational things. Much of the series is a pure idiot plot. However, this is easily justified. They are all too immature with the dealings of love and lust to have rational thoughts and to communicate effectively whenever such feelings come into play. When I watched this when I was in late middle school, I could understand how badly their emotions screwed up their logic. In fact, I believe that even a bittersweet ending would have been an asspull because of how strong the emotions of envy, wrath, lust, and pride. It's hard to deny how inevitable a tragic ending would be if something close to this happened in reality. This review exists to show that this series is actually more realistic than it first seems. It is a quality anime that should be watched by all if only to learn the moral lesson: DO NOT LET YOR DICK OR VAGINA CONTROL YOU. IT WILL NOT BE PRETTY.
Yeah, It Is As Bad As Everyone Says It Is
If I were to describe the overall mood of this show, I'd say it would be like watching a group of mentally retarded teenagers fighting over a toy truck. And they're being IV'd black tar heroin. And the toy truck is filled with more heroin. It's stupid, it's pointless, you feel uncomfortable while you're watching it, and above all, it's draining. Should you decide to watch School Days, what you're basically looking forward to is this: one idiot tries to court another idiot with the help of a third idiot. Idiot #3 plays the part of matchmaker in order to get Idiot #1 into her panties. From this sordid and not particularly well-reasoned development, the series becomes a winding, ugly mess of cheating, rape, murder, and NICE BOAT, most of which happens without the slightest rhyme, reason, or plausibility. I can only guess that the sort of thing they were going for in making this was a Deconstruction of the harem genre, but it goes to same ludicrously nasty extreme that the Dark Age of comics did to comics; it tried to counteract the unrealistic positivity of its predecessors with a negative grimness too ridiculous for believability. That is not how proper deconstruction is done; you're supposed to depict the real world, not the seventh circle of Hell. You'd have to be the most bitter, pessimistic misanthrope on the planet in order to believe that this sort of train of events is the rule and not the exception. Maybe it's a Japanese thing, I dunno... So, if you dislike most harem anime and want to see something that isn't sugary and braindead, for God's sakes, don't watch this! Even if the sugar's replaced with cyanide, that doesn't alleviate the braindead part. Go watch Clannad or Kanon or something if you want harem anime that's a cut above the rest. Hell, I'd sooner reccomend Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica than School Days. P.S: On the technical side of things, the art style is generic and the animation is frequently Off Model, so you wouldn't be looking forward to that kind of quality, either.
School Days (Or How I Learned Even I Have Limits)
First off I like works of fiction that push children to extremes. Hell my favourite novels are Lord of the Flies and Ender's Game. My favourite comicbook series is Runaways. My favourite animes are Evangelion and Bokurano. I was told this was an anime that pushed a punch of teenagers through the hell of a realistically told soap opera and the go through immense psychological and emotional suffering. Well that description fits for the most part until the last few episodes. Those last few episodes are the sickest most twisted things I have ever seen. Slaughtering a pig and using it's severed head as a stand in deity and excuse to beat another boy you are stranded on an island with in Lord of the Flies, eh full fledged societies have done worse. Manipulating every second of a boy's life to turn him into the perfect general in a war that your opponents have stopped fighting generations ago (and you are fully aware of this) only to have him commit Xenocide upon said enemy and become hated by the very society that made him what he is in Ender's Game, yeah sure. A guy sleeping with his girlfriend's best friend (and every other girl he knows except interestngly enough his girlfriend) and seemingly getting her pregnant. Then blaming her for getting pregnant, making out with his now ex-girlfriend in front of the pregnant girl, and suggesting she get an abortion over a text message. Only for the pregnant girl to then come and stab him to death and then his ex-girlfriend murders her and cuts her open to reveal that she wasn't pregnant before sailing off on a "nice boat" talking to her boyfriend's severed head as though it were alive. Okay no. Having sat through that mess the guy deserved his brutal death and the series could have ended with that scene and I would slightly freaked out but cool with it. It wouldn't have become a favourite but it would have been tolerable but to push it just that far. Maybe it is because all those works that I do like have fantastic reasons for the horrible things happening to children like being stranded on a deserted island, piloting a lobotomized clone of an angel with your mother's soul in it to fight monsters that would give Lovecraft the shits, etc where School Days was more grounded in reality but it pushed me way too far. In other words. School Days is disgusting and bad and should not me watched.