When you’ve watched anime for some time and after going through the enormous catalogue of shows you find where your tastes lie and with the more you watch the more you can define your taste right down to the sub genre.Wether is be Isekai the sub genre of fantasy or Yuri, Yaoi or harem all sub genres of romance, or possibly your tastes lie in sports, music, games and idol anime all hanging underneath the sub genre of drama. For me personally my choice of sub genre is cute girls doing cute things the shot off from slice of life. The people’s lives feel so light and joyful, although there are moments of melancholy but that makes it feel all the more human, it was truly a pleasant experience watching them go about their lives. Whether it be eating together, creating manga together or surviving in the zombie apocalypse and yes there is an anime about that and just to be clear I meant the zombie apocalypse not the creating manga together type.
What made School Live a particular favourite of mine was the way the narrative pushed a happy yet unexplainable school life where the girls all lived at the school but with anime logic you can dismiss that right away, then the day plays out like any slice of life show would go. Shenanigans the way of Yuki losing her dog and the inability to capture it till the scary older sister types manages to stop it, the usual club antics and the references to schooling with someone just being terrible at it i.e Yuki. The usual beats that these shows usually go by, around this time I was wondering when the zombies would attack messing up this perfect life for our happy trope then at the end of the episode where it is revealed that this life the people we were watching weren’t who we thought they were. That this world we were introduced to at the start of the episode it was all in the head of a mentally disturbed individual. For me this scene hit hard. This girl was so traumatized by her teachers death she began hallucinating that everything was as it was, crisp, clean with hundreds of smiling faces accompanying her in her life as they learn maths and all sorts of things, but in reality this world didn’t exist anymore it was eaten away by monsters and she became a burden to those around her because of it, but it’s strange to see when her disease effects those around her how they deal with it.
Now I’ve seen the walking dead and a substantial of zombie movies, tv shows and cartoons/anime. A majority of those shows are awfully depressing as no one looks like they are having any fun and there’s usually a tone of in fighting about stupid things but the majority of the run of School live, it’s a marginally happy romp between these girls and whatever in-fighting that does happen is resolved rather quickly, as they realise they need each other survive this. Normally with the world gone mad lines a lot of the characters are down right depressing with critiques that if something of a full blown pandemic would happen we would revert back to feral beasts, which is country to historical research. In a crisis people fight and die together that’s just a fact as outliers usually die rather quickly. It’s possible with a zombie apoclypse we would revert us back to beasts, we don’t know as this has never happened but it would be understandable, the world they have known is gone and they are living in it’s rotting corpse trying to have so semblance of life in it before they suffer the same fate. For the first 11 episodes of the anime the girls in School Live they can maintain some semblance of a happy façade is through Yuki herself. As the scene between with Mikki and Yuuri in episode 6 she’s talking about how Miki should just play along. She turns back and say’s by doing this Yuki will not get better, all she say’s to this is that, “It isn’t about whether or not she recovers. This is different. I’m sure you don’t understand just yet.” Mikki accepts this after a bit of prodding then she see’s these effects further in the episode. The way that Yuki acts makes them feel as though as if the world is normal. When Mikki first gets to the school and spends some time around Yuki with her upbeat attitude and overall happiness she starts to believe that people rising from the dead was just a dream till reality hits her in the face when she see’s the music room. Yuki for a time can rewrite a person perception and make there lives a little more bearable.
The way they have chosen to survive the zombie apocalypse is by living through Yuki’s delusions, I don’t have to tell you that’s not a entirely healthy coping mechanisms. They even say in episode 7 that’s it’s wrong to keep her this way just for themselves and realize that this can’t last but they don’t try to change this and instead just let her be. Though I am thinking from this side as a person who hasn’t been put in this situation. From there perspective they are doing what they can just to survive not physically but emotionally. Keeping morale in this situation is just as important as food and shelter. As in positions like there’s if they do not keep there sprits high well there is a good chance grief and despair will overtake them and they will all fall into hole leading them into the hangman knece. Yuki’s split from reality not only saved herself but also those around, she is the light, the optimism and the ever lasting brightness in a dark world.
School Live is on of the better zombie story’s that I have seen. With narratives that circle on the collapses of known civilisation there is very rarely any joy between the characters and there entire time they are looking for either shelter, food and just trying to survive struggling to live in a dead world but never quiet able to as they can’t accept what they have lost and trying to continuously reach back for it which always ends up biting them back. The school in which the girls live, have provided the basic necessary tools for the girls to survive for a time. Though with Yuki’s perspective they can live with what’s happened, what is happening and push them to survive which is why at the end of the series Yuki keeps up the delusion for everyone else. In this story they are just trying to figure out how to live in this changed world as best as they can trying to maintain a bright outlook despite everything them telling them otherwise, in other words the cute girls doing cute things in this world is not for the viewer to enjoy but for them, even if it isn’t real.