Note: I’m watching School-Live! blind. Please do not post spoilers in the comments.
First of all, I speculated in the last review that Megu-nee died in the faculty office. Evidently, I am 100% wrong there. In Episode 8, Yuuri is searching the room for whatever the key Miki found might unlock. The opener does shed light on which room Megu-nee locked herself in. We see the same room shown at the end of Episode 3 and a highly obscured but recognizable Megu-nee walking around…like a zombie. I did suspect she got bitten and infected but darn it, it still stings to see that is most likely the case.
Will School-Live! actually show a zombified Megu-nee clear as day? That’s a question I find myself asking and it’s a possibility. I’m afraid of imagining it but I can see it working. So far, the zombies have their faces obscured by a shadow effect. To suddenly see a face without that effect and a face we recognize at that, it’d be very chilling.
The most disturbing detail of the scene is Megu-nee’s journal, which the ending of Episode 3 briefly shows. Megu-nee wrote down her hope of seeing Yuki, Yuuri, and Kurumi again. As the writing progresses however, it gets messier until they eventually become a bunch of scribbles. At first, I thought this implied Megu-nee turned into a zombie as she was writing but then I remember the detail that zombies still perform certain actions such as going to school because they’re ingrained in their memories. Perhaps the scribbles are actually the writings of zombie Megu-nee, written down because she still remembers writing a diary as well as the School Living Club. As if this show couldn’t get any crueler. I’m starting to wish Megu-nee’s grave was a real one and not some memorial.
Regardless, the timing of this reveal is very interesting. It comes after we had the fake Megu-nee tell Yuki the importance of performing certain actions such as keeping a dairy so that the memories remain vivid. I wonder if that was a conversation those two had before.
Opener aside, the A-part of the episode is actually pretty lighthearted. Yuki washes Taromaru and later enlists Kurumi’s help (but not Shovel-kun’s). The two girls also strip down to their underwear since they’re also going to wash up anyway. The context is fine, I’m just realizing how much fan service this show surprisingly have. After that, the whole club chills out and ponder about their future after “graduation”. Yuuri, Kurumi, and Miki naturally don’t know what they’ll do what with the zombie apocalypse and all while Yuki hilariously doesn’t have a clue either because she’s Yuki. The best joke comes when Yuki thinks Kurumi will seek a job that involves shoveling or she’ll just straight up marry her shovel. I swear, if the latter scenario is not the ending of School-Live!, anime or manga, I will be forever disappointed.
You then have a flashback depicting the creation of the School Living Club. I don’t think the scene provides a whole lot of new info but seeing Yuuri actually interacting with Megu-nee does make me realize that those two are pretty alike in personality. They even came up with the club’s name at the same time. The scene also takes a very melancholic tone. The club takes pictures with Megu-nee’s Polaroid camera and that should be a happy beginning but with hindsight, it doesn’t feel that way at all. It gets even sadder when Yuuri later reveals that the pictures were taken right before Megu-nee died. There’s also the detail that Megu-nee appointed Yuuri to be club leader
It really should’ve been those two leading the club but it turns out that the weight of the club’s survival was ultimately on Yuuri only.
Night falls and Miki talks to Yuuri about something that’s been nagging her: their school is awfully well equipped for this zombie apocalypse. Solar panels, rainwater tanks, a water purifier, emergency food supplies, the garden. As Miki puts it, it’s like the school was designed in case the people there have to be there indefinitely. I did notice all that while watching the show but to be honest, I never thought much about them because I honestly thought that was just part of the show’s conceit. Like, it is awfully convenient how the club has all these resources but they’re there so that we’d actually have a story happening. I’m actually really surprised this is a legitimate plot detail that the characters discuss.
Yuuri and Miki then team up to search the faculty office. Yuki later joins under the pretense that it’s a treasure hunt set up by Megu-nee. Once again, this girl lightens the mood. She finds a teddy bear and a teddy-themed sleeping bag. I’m guessing those belong to Megu-nee but I’m puzzled over how the second item is the building. Did she bring that in the midst of the outbreak or was that always in the office?
The scene takes a more dramatic turn when the club finds Megu-nee’s camera and the photo of her. Yuuri uses the photo to jog Yuki’s memory and Miki ends up being the one playing it off before disaster could strike. I’m really surprised by Yuuri’s action. She’s generally been the most conservative when it comes to Yuki’s condition. Perhaps she’s starting to have second thoughts after last episode or she just figured she should try this one time since she now has an actual reminder of the past. As for Miki, I half-expected her to help Yuuri but I don’t think it’s out of character for her to play it off. She leans more heavily towards Yuki recovering but she must want it done in the best way possible and Yuuri is gambling here.
Yuki ends up finding the box the key is for, once again proving that she can come through when the moment calls for it. I sure as hell did not anticipate the box to be hidden in a secret compartment though more surprising is what it contains: a DVD, a list, and…a manual detailing a contingency plan in the event of a possible outbreak caused by a biological weapon.
There are so many implications to make out of this scene. Someone saw the zombie outbreak coming and the school has all its fancy resources in case it did happen. How far in advance did they know though? I mean, schools don’t get built overnight. There’s no mention about escaping or calling for rescue. Does that mean anyone sheltering in the school really is supposed to stay there indefinitely as Miki suggested earlier? As Yuuri reads the manual to Kurumi and Miki, her voice is juxtaposed with Megu-nee’s. That could be a stylistic choice but given that Megu-nee had a key for the box, she must’ve found and read the manual. But when did she read it? And if she read it, she kept its contents a secret from her students? …Why did she keep them a secret?
Of course, the real question to ask is does the School-Live! anime adaptation resolve this mystery? I have four episodes left to watch so maybe I’ll get an answer. But honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if this thread is left unanswered. It really screams “read the manga”. One thing is for sure: the anime isn’t going to follow up immediately. The preview for the next episode hints at a trip to the pool. Got to bank on those swimsuits from Episode 5 again.
Thanks for reading!