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School Days happens to be one of the better things I stumbled upon this summer.
An anime with so many suspenseful twists, it literally chokes you into watching the next premiering episode.
For starters, if you don't know what School Days is, wikipedia should be some help.
There's 3 sections. to this review. Before you go on to read section 1, Read section 3 about section 1 of this review.
School days, the one thing that just make this series brilliant is the constant "whoa" moments. First there's the cheating, then more cheating, some mis-leading openers and nail-bitting endings.
So, it's high school and Makoto has a crush on a girl that he sees everyday on his way to school.
He has never spoken to her, but he knows he loves her very much. Sekai, one of Makoto's class room friend soon discovers that Makoto is crushing on a girl. She sets up a meeting at lunch with Makoto, herself and the girls he's crushing on, Kotonoha. After a couple of meetings, Sekai encourages Makoto to make his move and ask her out. Everything is fine from there, she says yes, they go on a date or two. Just fine.
The troubles start once Sekai says that Makoto owes her for what he has done. Soon after, she sneaks a quick kiss. Makoto is left wondering. Etc, etc, etc... Let's skip to the good parts.
Days later, Kotonoha invites Makoto to the pool. A couple of friends tag along as well, as foes Sekai.
It's in this episode where Makoto reveals he loves Sekai but doesn't know about Kotonoha. He still digs her but doesn't want to break up. After a long talk with Makoto, Sekai tells him off saying "We're just friends." and all that mess. Makoto is stubborn and thinks he can win over Sekai.
After a somewhat depressing and long montage, Makoto finally texts Sekai telling her to meet her at the train station. She's in bed wondering what she should do. Go with Makoto and fool around behing Kotonoha's back or stay at home and ignore it. She decides and leaves her house to the station.
This is when the first jaw-dropping moment occurs. On previous episodes, Kotonoha made it clear that she really wants to be with Makoto. She's the one making viewers hope that their relationship will last.
So now after all of Kotonoha's determination; Makoto and Sekai are at the station, he starts to grope her, takes her back her apartment and nails her. BIGFUCKINGWHAT.
Episodes go by with Sekai feeling depressed and guiltful for doing such things behind Kotonoha's back. She makes it seem like she's about to explode, tell Kotonoha about what's been going on and end it. However, Makoto convinces her it's nothing wrong. She says they have to tell her soon or fear for the worst. Makoto, by now loosing more than half of viewers sympathy agrees but lies and says he did.
Makoto never told Kotonoha about the cheating. But that didn't matter, an episode later - She finds out on her own. She finds them quickly kissing in a subway car as it maneuvers away. She's in shock. It seems now that Sekai is at her worst times ever. It was a surprise when Kotonoha stopped by at Makoto's apartment to ask him if they wanted to spend time together. I never really got into it, but soon after Makoto started cheating, their time together was starting to get VERY, very low.
So the story carries on, it's now time for the School Festival. Before the festival is done,
there is a folk dance. In this folk dance it is said that whichever couple dances during this time, they will stay together forever.
Let me get into how Kotonoha tries to get Makoto to dance with her at the festival. (I will be going ahead in the story a bit.) First, during the visit to Makoto, she asks him. He implies a "yes" answer. This is the time when she found out he was cheating. Then, realizing that the his secret relationship won't die down anytime soon, she tries to woo him with what would be implied as sex. She gets on the train with him, and since she hasn't spent time with him in a LONG time, that is what she tries.
However, it is later revealed that he didn't accept her invite. Now, the last way she tries is just a straight face-to-face. But fails. This was also around the time where Kotonoha started hearing rumours about there split-up. A guy that has a huge physical attraction to her called Taisuke tries to ask HER to the dance because he also heard they had split-up. She tells him they haven't split up and not to believe it. During this time, Makoto is outside spying with a girl from her class called Nanami. (They were in a storage supply room getting tools 'n' such.) Kotonoha feels the need to run to Makoto to see what really is going on, but the girl Makoto was spying with tells her off. To her it seemed like she was trying to hook-up with Taisuke.
Which, at the time, Nanami's friend Hikari liked Taisuke and thought she was trying to make Makoto jealous... (Or something like that.)
A couple other girls ask him but it seems he really only says yes is to Sekai.
So it's the School Festival's festival eve. Classed are trying to out-sell each other/ Preparing. BLAH, BLAH. Let's skip on threw... Makoto is found sleeping in a classroom, hinting that he is very tired from all the activities. Setsuna finds this a perfect time to sneak a goodbye kiss.
Setsuna, I never told you about her 'till now. Let's go into a quick over-view of her.
She's short, confident and not afraid to keep others away to refrain from hurting her friends.
She's the one that keeps question Makoto if he has broken up with Kotonoha. (An episode or two before the Festival's eve, Sekai makes breakfest for Makoto. Once they arrive at school, he mentions it and people assumed they were now going out. [read my notes section for a bit info on some parts of this over-view.])
Setsuna wants to keep Kotonoha away from Makoto becuase to her - It seems like Kotonoha is trying to get back together with him but in reality, he never broke up with Kotonoha. Setsuna reveals that the reasons she keeps heckling Makoto about this is because she was moving away and that she doesn't want her close friend (Sekai) to get hurt.
Now, let's jump back into the story over-view. So, yeah. She sneaks a kiss but doesn't realize Kotonoha was standing outside of the classroom watching. She is stunned. Kotonoha pleads to her, "why?". Setsuna just wanted to do it as a way to say "goodbye" 'cause she was moving away.
Now, it's the School Eve and another girl is found cheating with Makoto.
Her name is Otome, a long time friend of Makoto. She is in a group involved with bullying Kotonoha.
Episodes before she revealed that she liked Makoto but Kotonoha stated that he was her boyfriend so she backed off for a bit. So now it's the school festival and she feels she needs to come out with it, she confront Makoto and asks if she can tag along with him during the festival's events. A montage of them having what appears to be a great is shown.
They head inside and gets split-up from Makoto because he still needed to help with the some of the activities. Right before she was about to come clean. They meet up again and she spills it. Makoto, being a guy that thinks with his cock, runs off with her to the student "lounge." (Some dark room couples pay to get some intimate time together.) It's not known if they had sex, to me it seemed like they did. But others might disagree. But, that's irrelevant.
So now it's the After School Festival party. This is where the dance takes place. I never said this before but Makoto said he'd attend the dance with all the girls he hooked up with. (Sekai, Kotonoha, and Otome [With Otome, it was later put-off because they didn't think it would be right being seen together yet].) In the scene following, it shows him dancing with Sekai, not with Kotonoha. Kotonoha is left in an empty classroom waiting for Sekai. He never arrives.
Instead Taisuke does. He tells her he went with Sekai. She's in disbelief. Taisuke feels it's the right moment to tell her that she loves Kotonoha. He grasps her and yells. "I love you". END OF EPISODE.
So in the following episode nothing really happens with Kotonoha and Taisuke, (not said yet, anyways.) She heads outside to see if what Taisuke was saying is true and it was. He spots them dancing infront of a fire. They kiss and she starts to cry.
During this episode, Setsuna is moving away and Makoto doesn't know what she did to him during the festival. Him and Setsuna are throwing away all the garbage from the night before. Kotonoha was also doing so with her class. They meet outside at a garbage fill and invites him to spend time. Setsuna, being defensive tells her they have something going on that day.
Now, before Kotonoha sees them at the garbage fill Setsuna has another talk with Makoto.
She wonders if he really has broken-up. He tells her that his actions will lead her to it, but never really broke-up. She demands he do so. So now, let's get back to what's happening. Kotonoha asks him if he's avialible next week, this is when he finally breaks the ice. He tells her he doesn't love her anymore. This is when viewers get a hint of a possible "bad end." As this episode concludes, she's seen glaring at kitchen knives at her home.
The same evening, Setsuna invites Makoto over. He tells her that she doesn't want any other girl to get involved. Makoto ask if she's doing this for her friend or because she loves him too. Then he pretty much starts kissing her. Setsuna tells him that she'll do anything with him, but needs to break-up with all the girls he's currently with.
The next afternoon, Sekai is desperatly trying to find Makoto after watching Otome get busy with him on a vouyer camera some girls had set-up in the lounge. She see Kotonoha heading towards her. Tells him he's not at his house. She's next scene with blank-eyes. The Episode ends.
(Going to finish the rest once the final 2 episodes are released.)
I love this series. It's the best thing I stumpled upon during my summer break.
The suspense, and drama and constant cliffhangers have got me hooked.
The characters - Makoto, the womanizer. The guy that cheated on every girl that he found attractive or the other way around. By the 9th episode, people were hoping for a bad end for him like in the h-game. (Read the wikipedia page about this.) A two-timing asshole is what you can pretty much say everybody thinks of him. The fact that Kotonoha still wants him even after being exposed.
Kotonoha is pretty much one of the main reasons I kept watching. The fact that she was really physically attractive and innocent at the same time had me asking myself. "Why would cheating even come to mind when someone like this is with you?" I feel sorry for her, though. I felt she needed to end it before she got the other end of the boot. I felt sudden liberation when it was hinted that she would probably later go off and kill Sekai and Makoto.
However, the series has yet to conclude and with only 2 episodes left - It's a must watch.
The funny things that caught my attention was the mis-leading opening in episode 10. Episode 9 ended with a Taisuke holding Kotonoha in his arms telling her that she loves her. So when the next episode started, you see her ribbon on the floor, a close-up of her thigh and Taisuke blushing in the moment all while hearing odd brushing sounds. It hasn't been revealed if they went off to have sex to spite Makoto or not but hopefully they'll give some clue as to what might've happened.
On the other hand, it would seem like nothing happened 'cause the next day, although Taisuke felt really happy, he was later put down because of Makoto telling him he's still with her. So nothing probably happened. :O
This series is great and I'm aching to see the final 2 episodes. You should catch it too. Once the series is done, I'll continue on my review and over-view.
Yes, I know that my over-view is really sloppy. I know I did not mention character's actions enough. I know some of the events didn't happen like I said, but were VERY similar. This was a review I just started writing. I haven't planned it, nor have I written a draft so it's bound to have mistakes. and I know it will once the series is done, but I'm not going to change it. Just read the wikipedia entry for a better over-view of the episodes.