School Days (TV)

Title:School Days (TV)
スクールデイズ (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: HIRAKAWA Daisuke
Itou Makoto, a shy and unconfident teenager, has become very accepting at only stealing glances at a cute girl as they ride the same trolley each morning on their way to their high school - at least until Saionji Sekai, sitting next to him in the classroom, surprises him and chances to get a peek at a photo-snap of the beautiful Katsura Kotonoha on his cell-phone. To Makoto's surprise, Sekai offers to support him in his romance - and due to her commitment the three soon become close friends. Close enough that Makoto braves asking Katsura out on date. And she agrees. Later that day, Makoto finds a quiet moment to express his thanks for all support that Sekai has offered him, and makes clear his intent on finding away to reply her kindness. But he is totally unprepared and very surprised at the reward that Sekai has chosen: Sekai steals a long kiss from his lips, ended only by her breaking away to run for a commuter-tolley. Before Sekai boards the train, she turns and wishes Makoto well on his date.

Based on the fully animated game by 0verflow infamous for its violent scenes. (The Japanese title "スクールデイズ" is the Kana sound pattern "sukuru deizu" for "school days".)

12 TV Episodes
Animation by Marvelous Entertainment.
DVD set released with a bonus (18min) OVA episode.

Note: School Days Episode 12 was cancelled by 4 of the 5 networks due to real life events in Japan that are too similar to the episode. It was played in a theater and on PPV only. The episode was later released on DVD uncut in the final volume release of the series.

1:31min Series Opening - YouTube Video

[edit] The ↗School_Days franchise:
Episode Details 
99A, 99B
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 7 7 7 4 10 10 Xenoknight [series:1494#2967]

Review coming once I reorganize my notes...

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Thursday, October 09 2008. Created Thursday, August 28 2008.
Watch 8 8 8 6 7 7 Dreamer [series:1494#2279]
Hmmmmm..... I don't think I liked this series. First, everyone seems to be picking and bullying Katsura and nothing was revealed as to why. Second, Makoto is a punk b**tch who has no balls to break up with Katsura. In fact, no balls to be even two-timing, but simply "avoiding" katsura, his girl. Third, Makoto is a serious perv, and not in the sense of "slapstick" perv, or "humorous" perv, or even being silly, but almost a forceful type of perv. I would imagine this type of perv would grow up to be a womanizer or worse. His interest is not with the girl, the person herself, but rather her "assets", which in my opinion is the type of guy that I have no respect for. Now, being a guy myself, I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with liking a woman's "assets", however, to the extend that Makoto portrays, "I" almost begin feeling guilty "being" a guy.

Besides the cotent of the story, the animation and art was good. The music was simply average and nothing catchy.

Nearing the end of the series, there some more twists and revealings, which brought it up from a series story of 6 to a 7. By then, I really want to knock out Makoto if he were real. By the end of the last episode, if there's an old saying that can be said, it would be this, "You wreap what you sow"... abit too much maybe. However, the final minutes surprised me. A tragic ending. And poor Katsura, well.... she went off the deep end.

Last updated Wednesday, July 02 2008. Created Wednesday, July 02 2008.
Avoid 7 6 8 9 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:1494#1552]
School Days is probably one of the weakest titles I seen out of 2007 with its train wreck build up and shallow characters. Outside of the diverse musical tracks used in the ending of each episode and the decent looking character designs, everything about it just screamed 'meh' in my head as School Days seemed more interested in shocking its audience with Makoto's pimping spree and the outcome of it than developing its plot and characters.

The beginning of the series starts off as a run-of-the-mill romance title with Makoto being your normal, shy protagonist with interest in shy and reserved girl Kotonoha with Sekai taking the role of supportive best friend in hooking up the two. As expected of the genre, it turns into a love triangle with Sekai's interest in Makoto shown towards the end of the show's first episode. With this, I assumed the series was going to be focused on Makoto caught in the middle of a love triangle choosing between Sekai and Kotonoha. It was cliched yes, but I didn't care too much as anime has had a decent handling of love triangles with titles like Kimagure Orange Road, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and Love Hina. Such titles offered decent explorations of the build-up and tensions within the love triangles, squares, etc... within such titles, even if they weren't always perfect in execution.

Unfortunately, School Days proceeds going downhill after the third episode when Makoto's perversion starts to go into full gear when he wants to go freaky with Kotonoha and gets "lessons" from Sekai on how to set up a good mood. This aspect of his character was opposite of the type of personality seen of the guy in the show's first two episodes and there was no development that led up to this sudden change in Makoto's character. And that's just the tip of the iceberg with the fall in his character. Makoto goes from pervert to sexual deviant as the show progresses where he gets bored with one female character and goes on to the next one in his pimping spree on the majority of School Days's female cast, much to the obliviousness of Kotonoha and the disgust of Sekai. Not surprisingly, each of these girls has some type of romantic interest in Makoto, which are typical of dating sim and harem titles, that the fool exploits for his personal pleasure. Outside of Sekai and Kotonoha, there's no greater depth put on most of the other female characters as their only roles in the series were to serve as stock stereotypes of high school anime characters and becoming willing gals for Makoto to have his way with.

Considering the H-Game origins of School Days and the notorious rep of its bloody bad endings, those who have had a chance to play the game or see video clips of the game online shouldn't be too surprised seeing the rampant fan service and the shocking finale to the series. While I don't mind violence and fan service in anime, it can only go so far if those are the only core aspects that stand out with a title, especially if it's trying to carry on as a romance and/or drama. I'm surprised enough folks are thinking of School Days as some refreshing premise for a dating sim spinoff despite it being more shock value than substance in my eyes. For those seeking a good romance comedy and/ or drama, definitely avoid School Days as you'll be more dumbfounded and disgusted than admiring and giddy over the shallow characters. There are better romance anime titles to look into than the train wreck that is School Days.

Last updated Monday, September 20 2010. Created Friday, January 11 2008.
Buy 10 10 10 8 10 10 Saikano [series:1494#2780]
It was Funny! Sad! Weird! And SEXUAL!

Last updated Saturday, November 24 2007. Created Saturday, November 17 2007.
Unevaluated chibi [series:1494#2380]
One element that I think keeps me coming back to anime is that Japanese cartoons always seem to have heart. Whatever the premise of the show, there is the human attachment of the characters to each others that give the shows a charm that seems to be lacking from domestic cartoons. School Days is the exception that proves the rule: It has no heart. Instead it features high-school kids with aparently no morals or adult supervision playing out some kind of urban version of "Lord of the Flies", copulating like rabbits and inflicting emotional pain on each other seemingly for no reason other than its entertainment value. When the male lead, Makoto, starts getting a small portion of well-deserved payback for his cadish behavior, he keeps asking "Why me?", but never even attempts to answer the question or considers changing his actions. If your tastes run towards shows where the characters are all motivated purely by emotional selfishness, behave in destructive ways, and the plot runs like a slow-motion train wreck, then this is your show. If not, then stay away.

Last updated Thursday, September 27 2007. Created Friday, August 17 2007.
Rent 10 9 5 8 7 10 Devil Doll [series:1494#752]
[Score: 74% = "Rent-"]

Favorite phrase: "You sure do sleep around a lot." (Otoha, episode 10 - sums up the whole series in one simple line.)

Actually this series is way too exciting to be a mere "Watch" but both Characters and Story are so abysmal for most of this show (except for that stunning twist at the end) that it can't possibly be a "Buy", which would automatically set it to a "Rant", eh - "Rent", I mean. ;-) And the final episode made me upgrade "Series Story" so much that the overall rating actually turns out to be like that. Just be aware that the final episode definitely isn't for the faint of heart - even one of the lead characters is vomiting in one of the key scenes...
First of all: This junk is heavily addictive, which can only be expressed by the highest Episode Story rating possible. I haven't discussed a show as much as this one since Suzuka was on air. I would actually recommend every anime fan to watch this show as to see how a great scenario can be ruined by forcefully writing too many characters into Makoto's bed. Wasn't that what the game was for? Do we need the exact same thing as anime?

Originally, I loved the School Days (ONA) release as it provided a promise for an interesting triangle story. What I didn't expect is a H game being implemented in full detail into an anime (just without any details of the explicit scenes, so it's technically not hentai despite excessive pantsu shots provide the titillating elements for the shounen crowd). As such this is a first for me. Just imagine a softcore variant of Ichigo 100% TV, with the following mapping: Kotonoha = Toujou, Sekai = Nishino, Setsuna = Yui, Otome = Satsuki. (All of them with heavily deformed characters of course.)
A harem scenario where the lecherous male lead actually traverses each and every arc of the original dating sim game can only work when all girls involved are either doormats, or sluts, or crazy, or a combination of all three - so you now know the staff of this show (because this story does work, if only by forcefully glueing the arcs together). Almost every character does absolutely implausible things at crucial points of this Story; at some point you just give up predicting what will happen next. But the more ridiculous the Series Story gets, the more thrilling this show becomes, as the audience has enough hope for a just reward in the end...

Makoto is definitely the most hateful lead Character in anime I've seen for years (whoever is tired of the usual "nice guy" leads, this one's for you!) - what he does can't possibly be explained by mere stupidity alone. But the main problem of this show is his chameleon character: Unlike Manaka in Ichigo 100% TV he at first appears to know very well whom he wants - but this changes easily when more willing sex targets get into the reach of his dirty fingers:
  • In episode 1 he is a shy kid, accepting to only watch his dream girl from afar.
  • In episode 2 he is still afraid of even making smalltalk with his dream girl but suddenly confessed to her only one day later.
  • In episode 3 he turns into a macho, focusing merely only touching his dream girl and bored by the slow development.
  • In episode 4 he "practices" hentai behavior with another girl and practically calls his girlfriend "frigid" in front of all people in the train.
  • When she miraculously makes a complete turnaround in episode 5, practically throwing her boobs at him in the pool (and thus exactly doing what he wanted her to) he's completely ignorant to this strange behavior and instead "falls in love" with the other girl, meaning he's going all the way on that very day.
  • But on the same day when he finally agreed to officially date this other girl, what's the first thing he does? Have sex with another girl he hardly ever talked to before! And she's not the last one to be deflowered by our "hero"... that's what J. Random Otaku wants to be like, I guess... :-(
  • And when we're all convinced he's the biggest ass in anime history, what does happen in the final episode? Well... watch it yourself.
Kotonoha's change of behavior is not exactly called-for either (blaming herself for Makoto being an ass?). Having been an ultra-shy princess at first, she's reducing herself to a doormat, then offers sex to get her boy back while desperately refusing to accept her defeat in time. She has to suffer a lot during this series but after her two big mistakes half-way through the show (her blank check in the train and the scene right before the Folk Dance - no, that wasn't a rape as we see her apologize for this scene later) she completely lost my sympathy and now only has to skillfully execute the ending of this show. :-O
Sekai was the shining star of this show at first but after she opened Pandora's box in a momentary weakness she went downhill like all the other characters when drama is replaced by the lead having random more or less explicit "experiences" with various girls, while permanently groping Sekai in public. In the end, Sekai is exactly the character as Setsuna sees her (which isn't exactly a plaudit for her). And visiting that video show of the basketball senpais was the just reward for her doing.
The other two girls of the wind-rose are standard otaku material, the imouto Setsuna (with a surprisingly heartless character despite her hidden agenda, and fooling not even herself when she asked Makoto to break up with any other girl but Sekai) and the childhood friend Otome (would you date this girl? At least it might be cheaper than having to pay her every time...). Whatever happens during episode 11 (including baka Hikari) isn't the dating game any more - Otome's buddies tell us quite explicitly: Makoto has got the fame of a challenge cup, so he's no longer the subject but the object now. (And I like that role reversal!) Consequently, when Sekai rings the bell out in public everyone reboots their brains.

The technical stuff: Animation is fine, Art is excellent (All girls are cute in their own way, and the background CGs and the tons of details for the stuff in each character's room are just... wow), and I like the Music for both new ED songs of episodes 3 and 4 (yes, different ED songs for almost every episode!) while the OP is just standard J-Pop material.

A side note about the violence: Unlike Elfen Lied or Gantz (both of which the final episode puts to shame) it isn't the replacement for content in this show, it's the (more or less) logical result of a long process shown in detail during the series. We wanted a showdown, and we got a showdown. Thus I accept it even in this excessive form. (I would even have preferred the final episode to not replace red by black due to certain real-life events in Japan...)
Recommended anime if you could stand this one: Narutaru ~Mukuro naru hoshi Tama taru ko~ (similar characters, just replacing "real life/harem" by "fantasy/greed for power").

Last updated Monday, October 24 2011. Created Thursday, July 12 2007.
Rent Stretch [series:1494#628]
(All episodes watched):

I was quite impressed by School Days (ONA), but I got the distinct impression from the first episode of this TV version that it would not be of the same caliber. It seemed to be trying too hard to be goofy at the expense of the realistic drama of the ONA. The silly music and sound effects fell flat for me; I got the impression that the story has been "dumbed down" to appeal to a wider range of viewers. Maybe the idea was to have the series transform over time from a lighthearted romantic comedy into something scary and heartrending, sort of like Kanon (2006). But judging from this opening episode, it was hard to believe this one would ever become very intense; it seemed about as intense as Ichigo 100% TV. Perhaps I'd have been better off if I hadn't already seen the ONA, which raised my expectations very high. Either way, it was good enough that I decided that of course I'd watch it--even though I must already be watching some 20-30 anime series concurrently.

Once I knew what to expect, I enjoyed episode two a lot more. School Days isn't entirely at the Ichigo level, it just bounces back and forth between there and the quality of the ONA. Since there never were any ONA episodes after the first one made, I figured I'm not missing anything and this is definitely better than nothing. Episode three was less goofy and nonsensical. Episode four continues the "get serious" trend, with little or no absurd comedy and instead an intriguing look at how quickly Makoto and Katsura's relationship should progress. She feels he's going too fast while he's frustrated that things aren't going faster--and Sekai is clearly hoping to replace Katsura as his girlfriend. Episode five got kind of Ichigo-istic again with a fanservice heavy visit to a swimming pool (not that I wasn't enjoying it), but got serious again before things got too out of hand. So, perhaps I'd misjudged this show; I just hoped the goofiness which School Days displayed early on was an anomaly and it has gotten into it's stride now. Whatever the case may be, I was eager for the next episode!

This show is addictive! Even though clearly nothing good will come from Makoto's inability to admit to Katsura that he's no longer interested in her, I couldn't help wanting to see how things would work out. He seems to have no interest in anything but his girlfriends' bodies, which makes this all too realistic. It's painful to see Katsura being played for a fool on the one hand, and manipulated by the bitchy girls in her class on the other; no good deed goes unpunished, I guess. Maybe this show is addictive precisely because you seldom see such intense hatred, jealousy and callousness in school romance anime. School Days was one of a handful of shows which I watched pretty much as soon as new episodes became available, instead of expecting the episodes to take their place in line behind countless other episodes of countless different series.

Normally while watching a school romance anime you can "suspend disbelief" and take what's happening seriously--that is, you believe that these are real people, even though it's not even live-action. On the other hand, during the final two episodes of School Days I couldn't help thinking that yes, this is a dating sim, and it was played by somebody who didn't even give a damn whether he won or not, he just wanted to see how much mayhem he could stir up. It reminded me of the way I played the Love Hina internet game, when I became frustrated because I couldn't figure out the secret to making progress towards "winning". The School Days characters were behaving more like elements of a computer program than real people, and a serious gamer would have "restarted" long ago. In other words, a beyond salvage play of a dating sim. I'd heard so many nasty rumors about the violence in the final episode that I saved it for the last show I watched late at night, for fear that I might come away so shocked that I'd be unable to enjoy any more anime for some time to come. It certainly wasn't pretty, but it wasn't nearly as traumatic as I'd feared, either; the violence wasn't horrifyingly realistic, and the drama wasn't heartbreakingly tragic--more of a you-got-what-you-were-asking-for ending. Kotonoha has clearly lost her mind, yet she pulls off a devilishly clever scheme to get revenge? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It just made me want to shake my head. So, what to make of this show, which ranges from goofy and silly to bloody violence? I feel kind of embarassed to have loyally watched this series, as if shows like this getting high ratings might contribute to a general lessening of quality within anime. After all, I like to think that one major reason why I prefer anime over American TV is that it doesn't contain the disturbing bits of news which are all too common over here. Perhaps the lesson here is how not to handle your girlfriends!

Last updated Sunday, September 30 2007. Created Thursday, July 12 2007.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:1494#1573]
Analysis : All Fansubs Watched
  • Drama : Med/High
  • Action : None
  • Comedy : Low/Med
  • SciFi : None
  • Ecchi : Med
FIRST AND FOREMOST. The last episode of this anime is extremely violent and sick. If you do not like sick violence DO NOT WATCH. You have been warned.

School Days, I asked for Violence, and I got VIOLENCE. I asked for nutjob Kotonoha and I got NUTJOB Kotonoha. I asked for Makoto to get lucky and Makoto got LUCKY. I got everything I asked for in this anime and I got it back 10 fold.

  • I wanted Makoto to get lucky. He gets it from so many sources I just think he is a little s**t. It was a hentai with real life applications.
  • I wanted Kotonoha to go bonkers. She goes bonkers in a completely different way than the game that I retched.
  • I wanted to see Sekai do a little bonkers. Well she lived up to my expectations.
  • I wanted to see Setsuna get some. Well she does but her single act changed my support of Makoto immediately.
  • I wanted it to be funny. It was, in the first few episodes.
  • I wanted to see it after watching the ONA. Now I don't want to watch this ever again.
This is not KGNE. KGNE was sweet. This is KGNE when the 14 year olds decide that they will let their emotions rule.

Last updated Thursday, September 27 2007. Created Wednesday, July 11 2007.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1494#967]
UNNNNG … What a gory and twisted ending!!!

An ambivalent and indecisive Makoto finds himself surrounded by a number of cute girls and 'flirts' (and more) with too many of them. But some of them have a seriously obsessive fixation on him which culminates in a bloody encounter in the last episode.

While not being excessively graphic in the sex or violence, it is still a clearly disturbing and upsetting story about troubled teenagers.

Troubled by not one, but two real-life incidences in which a teenager attacked their parents with knives, many of the (commercial) broadcast stations decided not the air the last episode – with its message that emotional problems can make you go crazy and attack other people.

The ending very much reminds me of the Japanese movie Realm of the Senses, which is intent on trying to shock the viewer with its obsessive behavior.

I don't think that I will be watching series again.

Last updated Wednesday, January 23 2008. Created Friday, May 25 2007.

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