School Days 11 - Rien ne va plus

What is eternity doing tonight? has become Mega Megane Moé. For the latest posts, please change your links accordingly.
"No more bets."

Alternative, all bets are off.

Just like the girls, I can't seem to stay away from Makoto and his story and so it's time to fire up the prediction machine one last time to see where this story is headed.

You'd think that with the original content and with the expectations of the fanbase one would expect the conclusion to be obvious. You'd also be wrong, with the curveball that the penultimate episode served up.

Strangely enough the last episode effectively neutralized, for now, the Kotonoha threat. I kept looking at her hands all throughout the last scene. Where's the knife? Where's the knife? Nowhere! Her eyes are back to normal and everything!

It certainly seems strange for all that buildup to be shot down in the second-to-last episode, even if there still are twists possible. It's just not flowing right - I suppose, in a sense, that Kotonoha's very existence is clinging on Makoto now and so it makes sense for her to swing to wildly - but if she ends up snapping anyway next episode this episode will seem a lot like a bad attempt to make a "calm before the storm."

Speaking of calm, this is true also because the rest of a cast on a whim decided to back off Makoto almost as quickly as they came onto him. Perhaps it's because they found out Sekai's actually pregnant (omg, panic, etc) or perhaps it's because they realized Makoto's a stupid pimp or perhaps it's because Nobody Cares About The Side Characters, but it certainly seemed almost deux-ex-ish.

I can understand Otome backing off. She was one of my clutch characters from last episode that could hopefully swing this series around, if anyone was going to be a salvageable character from School Days. It certainly seems that way now, as she is joining the ever-popular-club of "Promise sex (but maybe not deliver) to Makoto so we can turn him onto the path of righteousness."

Hikari confuses me. She did it at least twice with Makoto, which isn't making an entire lot of sense considering that she was the one with a thing for Taisuke. For her to abandon that for Makoto, even if she does manage to knock some sense into him regarding Sekai - seems very strange. As does the complete and total dissapearance of Taisuke. Perhaps he's smart and is fleeing to Canada.

Nanami's a question mark as she sure seemed troubled a lot during this episode, but Hikari claimed that Nanami was feeling better a few days later. I sincerely hope so, since Nanami seems to be (almost) one of the "sane" characters of School Days, a definition that is quickly being synonymous with "did not sleep with Makoto ever."

Sekai's change of heart was pretty quick as well; perhaps. As much as she hates him for cheating on her (and 4 other girls) and for getting her pregnant as a presumably high school student, well, she knows she's "won" because she's carrying Makoto's child.

Or has she?

Makoto has gone full circle and turned back to Kotonoha after 10 episodes. He certainly sounded like he "realized the error of his ways" when he was "talking" with Kotonoha, but something about his character screams "Pity pity etc blah blah sex me now kay Koto?"

Perhaps I'm being harsh on him, since he was crying and such, but this late in the game, as I've previously stated, is just too late for Makoto to make a full turn around. It's not going to happen dot period end of story lest a storm of fanboys angrier than I am burn the animation studios to the ground. A "good" good ending at this point just simply is not an option.

Why? Kotonoha's normal again, right?

For now.

Certainly there's a lot of focus on Kotonoha and with all this effort made to break Kotonoha we're not going to fix her in one scene. Another stick on her back just might snap it, which is plausible; despite what I said about that being ridiculous, it certainly feels like it'd be a more sensible bad end than the other option.

The other option being the third bad end from the game, the one involving Sekai as the criminal. Long story short: Sekai pregnant, check. Makoto sleeping with Kotonoha, no doubt. Slashy slashy? Let's see it.

It doesn't make a lot of logistic sense doing all the work to make Kotonoha the tortured character only to turn the spotlight on Sekai and let her loose, but running off of game events it certainly seems like the most plausible situation.

From what it seems though, the anime has blended many different game storylines (to the chagrin of many AnimeSuki forumites); Setsuna's Summer Days crush, the Everybody's Makoto harem piece, Sekai's dance at the bonfire, and so on, so certainly a new ending or a mix is possible.

And with a hint of ambulance sirens in the next episode preview, you know something's going down. It just seems strange that they put so much effort to "fix" everything this episode, since we know it's the equivalent of pasting a house together with a glue stick.

It might have been better if they shifted the Kotonoha insanity climax to next episode, since right now all it's seeming to be is a red herring. Sekai, be the criminal? It's possible. Kind of silly at this point, but she's a very troubled girl as well.

So, School Days 12, what to expect? It's hard to call, but suffice to say, bet on red.

I don't think any of the main three are going to get away unscathed; Makoto's going to need his last rites, and either Kotonoha or Sekai better start getting intimate with a prison cell. I'd say Kotonoha will be the one that comes off the "best", if only because she's the pitiable character of this show.

Hopefully there will be some conclusion to the side characters in this last episode. If Taisuke gets his just desserts, Setsuna makes a final comeback (although not I'm the Wife) and Nanami makes it through "clean", it'll personally be a moral victory.