Note: I’m watching School-Live! blind. Please do not post spoilers in the comments.
Here we are: the beginning of the “end”. It’s been long time coming for me. And yes, I say “end” since the anime only covers a fraction of the manga. Even if the finale is pretty conclusive, it’s not really the finale Although I must say: this is looking to be quite the stopping point. With this series of episode reviews (well, the second go around I mean), I’ve been watching School-Live! weekly. But to be honest, I may have to watch Episode 11 right after this post has been published because this episode leaves off with one hell of a cliffhanger.
The School Living Club really jinx themselves here. The past few episodes, someone mentions that more and more zombies are visiting the school. Here, the horde reaches its peak population. Yuuri explains to Miki how the School Living club set up the barriers one night and for the first time, characters discuss if they’ll still keep them safe. The zombies finally break through them at the end of this episode. Kurumi has a flashback of Megu-nee. Guess who she finally runs into? She also asks Megu-nee to watch over Taromaru. Yeah, she took real good care of him, all right. Throughout the whole episode, I found myself saying, “You just had to say something, didn’t you?” but to be fair, this was all bound to happen.
School-Live! did bring up the possibility of dogs getting infected in Episode 5 but it’s still pretty unnerving to find out that Taromaru has suffered that same exact fate. A small part of my mind was simply hoping he’d just be dead but that was a vain thought as this show has proven to be just as cruel as it is moe. He does make a fine addition to the final challenge. Megu-nee alone suffices but now we have two characters where the girls will be hesitant to kill. That being said, I am surprised that Taromaru actually dared to fend off Megu-nee. It just seems like a horribly dumb move on his part and a contrived means for him to become part of the threat. Plus, it’s his damn fault that Best Girl got injured.
Joking aside, I do really enjoy the scene where Kurumi finally sees what has become of her club advisor. Perhaps the impact is lessened by all the foreshadowing we’ve been privy to but it’s still emotional and intense seeing Kurumi horrified at her discovery and what she needs to do. What makes the scene work is that you’re not entirely sure if she can bring herself to kill Megu-nee. Sure, she killed her crush but that was a moment driven by pure instinct and she looked broken when she realized she struck him and needed to finish the job. She also killed that guy’s girlfriend and felt extremely distraught during and after the scuffle. Knowing that those precedents were hard enough, I had to wonder how facing Megu-nee would fare. Kurumi actually manages to steel herself for the kill but in the end, the familiar face is too much for her and she leaves herself open to her opponent’s attack.
While Kurumi does make it back to the club room for treatment, things aren’t looking terribly right for her as the infection begins to take hold. Yuuri stays put to treat her and later handcuffs her to the floor as a precaution (smart move but also a discomforting image). Miki does discover the existence of medicine that could possibly treat the infection. That does raise some questions for me. Like, if medicine does exist, why wasn’t it widely distributed? For now, the important thing is that the gang actually has a shot at saving Kurumi and must hurry before it’s too late.
At one point, Kurumi dreams of herself trapped in a room. Zombies crowd around its windows, Taromaru is present but still hostile, and Megu-nee can be heard at the door asking to be let inside. This could just be a dream sequence but it’s also possible that we’re being clued in on the exact nature of the zombies. Maybe Kurumi is mentally liking with the horde. Taromaru growls at her and Megu-nee wants her to open the door because those are based on their final thoughts, the former fending for his life and the latter wanting to reunite with her students. It’s entirely possible given that we know zombies retain some recollection of their memories. That said, I doubt the last two episodes will follow up on this. Maybe I should pick up the manga.
So what about the other characters? Yuuri is at a loss on what to do with Kurumi. In Episode 5, she promised Kurumi that she’d kill her if need be. Here, she’s realizing that she may have to do it and even brings out a knife from her bag as she weighs her options (I KNEW IT. I KNEW THAT ED WAS HINTING AT SOMETHING). Yuuri of course hesitates and to be honest, I’m having a hard time buying that she’ll fulfill her promise to the letter. She’s not used to killing the same way Kurumi is. Meanwhile, Miki volunteers to retrieve the medicine. She even equips herself with Kurumi’s shovel (Shovel-kun, you cheater!). Miki argues she’s most fit for the job as she’s unacquainted with Megu-nee and will therefore be less hesitant to fight her. That’s a sound argument except for the fact that there’s also Taromaru to consider and judging by the final scene, Miki isn’t taking the news surrounding him terribly well. The dozens of zombies entering the building doesn’t help either.
Honestly, and weird though this may sound, I’m actually expecting Yuki to be the MVP in the next episode or two. I can’t imagine facing Megu-nee going swimmingly, let alone Taromaru and the dozens of zombie extras but if there’s one thing School-Live! has established, it’s that Yuki can surprisingly come through when the situation demands it. Plus, encountering Megu-nee might actually be what she needs. A completely irreconcilable image that not only forces her to see the world as it truly is but also accept and let go of the one memory she’s repressed for so long.
I absolutely love the last scene with Yuki. At the end of Episode 1, she notices how windy it is outside and closes the window, unaware of the fact that the glass is actually broken and her body still feels the wind. In contrast, Episode 10 ends with her looking out again while it rains. This time, she notices the the rain and wind hitting her face and realizes that the window is indeed broken. She’s starting to see things as they are again. The catalyst? Yuki vaguely recalls how it rained the day Megu-nee die…
Thanks for reading!