Note: I’m watching School-Live! blind. Please do not post spoilers in the comments.
So this is the first new post in this overlong journey of watching School-Live! and fulfilling the old poll. This isn’t actually my first time watching Episode 5 however. I previously saw it shortly after I published the Episode 4 review in September. To my chagrin, I couldn’t find the time to write a draft. And darn it, it still took me longer than intended to finally get here in this second go around. Oh well, better late than never. To anyone who voted for this show and is still reading these, I thank you.
This is, as expected, the episode where Miki meets and joins the School Living Club though it does take a while to get to the desired conclusion. The poor girl takes her sweet time mustering the courage to leave that fancy storage closet. I actually thought for sure she was going to go look for Taromaru since the dog leaves her in the last episode but evidently, she chooses to stay put. Oddly enough, it’s Taromaru who makes Miki come back to him. He meets the School Living Club by chance, stays with them, and when they near the storage closet, he barks to catch the Miki’s attention. It takes some more noise to convince Miki to risk heading out but the thought still counts. Good to know he cares enough to help Miki stay alive (just not enough to look at her). As inevitable it was for Miki to leave, it’s still satisfying watching her come to that decision. You can tell that Kei’s departure has taking a toll on Miki emotionally. Getting out of that mall is for the better.
A good chunk of time is dedicated to the School Living Club’s trip to the mall which, zombie apocalypse aside, feels very CGDCT and slice of life. You do have Yuuri and Kurumi scavenging for food and anything else useful but that doesn’t stop them from also trying out some new clothes, complete with swimsuit eyecandy (watch them go to the beach next episode). It’s certainly odd given the context, Kurumi even acknowledges it as such. Yuuri does bring a good point though: the gang are still teenage girls at the end of the day and they may not return to the mall ever again. For just one moment, they get the chance to act like teenagers again. Them indulging is completely understandable. Maybe that’s why Yuuri and Kurumi went along with Yuki’s field trip idea. In their minds, the benefit of procuring more supplies and having a moment of normalcy outweighs the danger.
And there is certainly danger in this episode. A particular highlight is when Kurumi stumbles upon zombies trapped in a movie theater. Just the idea that those people got infected and some guy trapped them in the selfish and ultimately vain effort to contain the threat is unsettling. The climax where Miki finally meets everyone but gets swarmed by the horde is also pretty intense. You know the result but the odds are so against the gang that you temporarily wonder how they’ll even get out of the situation.
While you get some more shovel whacking by Kurumi (I’ll never get tired of that), I think this episode actually highlights what Yuuri can bring to table. She shows some serious resourcefulness here. To escape the movie going zombies, she throws glow sticks to draw the zombies’ attention so that the gang can better make a beeline to safety. To save Miki, she uses keychain alarms and the noise created by them agitates and confuses the horde. Talk about creative. No wonder this girl is the leader.
Perhaps the thing that raises my eyebrows the most is some of the light shed upon Yuki’s condition. It’s becoming more apparent that when she sees a zombie, her mind is forced to register it for what it is. This causes a lot of stress on Yuki however, to the point that her body gets fatigued and her temperature dangerously rises up (that she rests in a daycare is extremely fitting by the way). Also, it appears that Yuki does have some recollection of what’s actually going on. When the club finds Miki, it’s surprisingly Yuki who rushes over to her first as seeing the girl surrounded by zombies triggers Yuki’s suppressed memory…that she has of Megu-nee…
The flashback is deliberately blurry but it seems that sometime between the outbreak and this field trip, Megu-nee got injured by zombies. That only further fuels my guess that Megu-nee is actually dead. Perhaps the one I’ve watching for most of the show really is a hallucination of Yuki’s. If that is the case, that’s quite an emotional blow to the story. I’m really liking Yuki’s relationship with her teacher, perhaps too informal for the latter’s liking but the former clearly looks up to her for support. And that whole scene with the teddy bear is great. Yuki offers it as a gift and while Megu-nee politely declines, she wants Yuki to keep it as a memento of their bond. It’s really heartwarming…and if Megu-nee really is dead, it’s incredibly saddening.
Once again, I ask that no one spoil anything in the comments. Besides, I’m getting the impression I’ll learn soon enough what’s going on with this character. I thought about Miki being the late addition to the club and I can’t help but think that since she’s new, she wouldn’t know about Yuki’s condition. She’s bound to have some questions. Either that or Yuuri and Kurumi will need fill her in on something…
The one who’s definitely a mystery now is Kei. I was actually afraid that this episode would reveal she got infected and Miki would run into her reanimated body. For now, Kei is nowhere to be found. Maybe she did get out of the mall, maybe she didn’t. Again, I wouldn’t mind if her fate is left unknown forever or at the very least, a really long while.
Thanks for reading!