School Days 01 - Standing Corrected

What is eternity doing tonight? has become Mega Megane Moé. For the latest posts, please change your links accordingly.

Hate to say this but...suddenly, after watching the first episode of School Days I can't bring myself to the level of Burning Hatred for Makoto, or this series as a whole, that used to exist before.

Going into this series, I was hoping for something different. Given that this is based on the somewhat infamous eroge of the same nature, the 'something different' for me refers to the surprising and gruesome BAD ENDs to the main characters.

Because, honestly, I was a bit misinformed going into the show. All I knew of the eroge going into this was that it a basic love triangle (I suppose 'love V' is more accurate) between two girls and one guy. That was supposedly about all there was to it other than 1) bad ends and 2) sex.

Now strangely enough for a warm-blooded male I try to look for more than the latter when I play eroge or watch eroge anime, which is one reason why I was quite glad that Mirron Moon released Tsukihime, for example, with a non-ero patch. Because it does seem that there is a second category of visual novels becoming apparent, of those which have scoring with girls as a second thought, rather than the first.

There will of course always be a market for mindless sex but now there appears to be a market, at least among some of the bigger-name titles I've heard in the US, for making us cry like pansies. Most things from Key and or Type-Moon (at least in Tsukihime) are supposedly in the later.

And School Days, at first, fell into the former.

It may still be there, but it has hope of struggling out of it and becoming an interesting eroge adapatation after all. Without bad ends? Why? After the jump for details.

As much as most of us would like to see a Bad End in this anime, logistically it really doesn't make much sense. As much as you hate Makoto, as silly as you think Kotonoha and Sekai are for liking him, it really doesn't make sense to have a Bad Ending as...well...the ending. There's no real sense of conclusion to it. Some anime have had people dying before, of course, in the final episodes, but there was always a sense of bittersweetness to it, that the other characters could live on.

If you're familiar with the shock endings to School Days, none of those really offer that possibility.

Which really makes it hard for me to suggest that a Bad End is in the cards. I don't think that it would go over very well. But then again, I don't know how much the production studio hates you...

Makoto isn't as horrible as I expected...yet. Having seen and heard of his exploits in episode 2 (short version: ignoring the girl he has a crush on...while he's on a date with her) I was ready to go in and flame him to death...but in the first episode his personality is one that probably a lot of us have had during high school. He's the sort of reserved type who gets very (justifiably) nervous about a girl who he's fallen in love with yet he knows nothing about. It's innocent enough.

Granted, he's a bit cowardish and a bit dense, but I'm going to use the same defense I used in explaining Mina in the TokiMemo post yesterday and say that it's a very realistic, if not sort of silly, way to act.

In fact, realism seems like it could almost be one of the selling points of this anime - the characters are real, the hair colors are real (to the point where I can barely tell them apart), the uber drama of school is real...of course, I think we're about to take a turn for the less realistic and more ecchi genre, but at this point it's hard to tell.

The other redeeming aspect about School Days is that you really, REALLY don't know how it's going to end. There's no childhood friends here. No one character that sticks out more than the other. It's just a straight up dogfight between Kotonoha and Sekai. Each has their own advantages, both within and outside the fourth wall. For example, Kotonoha can easily pull First Girl Wins, but usually relationships that begin early end early as well. Equally, Sekai snagged the First Kiss, but usually when initiated by the girl it doesn't mean squat.

Makoto's flimsy enough (from what I've read ahead) that he'll probably end up swapping back and forth between the two at least once or twice, but there's really no sign as to which one he would in the end like more. Kotonoha was the one he obviously liked, and got with, but really, the train stalker relationship is screaming unfounded. Sekai's definitely got a shot, especially since she is Paying Attention To Him in blatant fashion, but really, nobody knows what Makoto's looking for, other than some action. So which girl offers more of that, eh? XD

Equally, it's hard to pick a fan favorite to root for as well. Sekai looks like she might be getting in line for some raw Nayuki appeal (except less sleepy), but Kotonoha seems like the shy, adorable type as well.

And what of the as-yet-nonexistant side characters? They could play a hand in this, especially since I'm completely unfamiliar with people outside the existing triangle.

In short, School Days has promise. Promise for what, we don't know? I just hope it doesn't devolve too hard into the fanservice that it shows danger of becoming - save some room for the plot...



Actually, there IS a childhood friend, but she is one of the side characters.

One of the few shows where neither siscon nor childhood friend wins.