atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#573: School Days--dang!

I mean, dayum.

I ended up watching a lot of anime last night. That includes School Days (SD) eps 4-11, when all was said and done.

Spoiler warning--I can't help myself this time. SD made a big impression on me.

The way ep 10 ended, I was sure there was about to be a murder-suicide or something; Kotonoha's spine disappeared and she de-evolved into some kind of jellyfish; she went utterly psycho, to the point of having "conversations" with Makoto via a cell phone which had run out of juice.

Meanwhile, Makoto was busy putting notches into his belt: while bedding Sekai--Kotonoha's best friend, who had initially gotten Makoto and Kotonoha together, despite the fact that she loved Makoto too--he cheated on Sekai with his childhood friend, Otome; cheated on Sekai again with her childhood friend, Setsuna; and yet again with Sekai's other friend, whose name I missed, who was supposed to be in love with Makoto's best friend Taisuke...and then with the three girls who bully Kotonoha all the time, all at once.

Every time I think about that list I am certain I've forgotten someone. My count makes seven girls, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm forgetting one. Even so, that's pretty impressive, bagging six different chicks while in confirmed relationships with two other girls.

As I said, Makoto is a jerk.

But some of the other characters are also needing a serious attitude adjustment. The three girls who bully Kotonoha--they set up a "lounge" as part of their class' culture festival attraction. Nominally the place is a haunted house, but they've set aside a little bedroom where couples can pay a fee to have some privacy--kind of a one-room love hotel--claming that it's a school tradition.

I don't know if it's actually a school tradition or not, but if it is, I would assume that the girl hiding in the ceiling with a camcorder was not originally part of it. And a few days after the festival is over, they host a little "party" for many of the victims of this little prank.

These three girls are friends with Otome, Makoto's childhood friend, and she didn't seem to be in on the secret, either; they gleefully showed her video to the assembled victims along with all the others. (Of course, Sekai was there, too. She hadn't been videotaped but everyone knew she and Makoto were an item.)

I honestly don't know why Sekai was so surprised to see Makoto cheating on her. After all, when she slept with him, he was cheating on his girlfriend, Kotonoha; and as far as episode 10 he hadn't ever broken up with Kotonoha--he hadn't said, "Look, this relationship is over" or anything of the sort. It was something of a relief when he finally did break up with Kotonoha, but it falls into the "too little, too late" category.

And speaking of "too little, too late", birth control--Makoto knocked Sekai up, and at the end of ep 11 she is looking like she intends to keep the baby despite the fact that Makoto is as reliable as a $50 car. But there is some justice in that world.

The news that he got Sekai pregnant ruins Makoto's reputation. None of the girls he's slept with will give him so much as the time of day, not even Otome--and originally she said she'd be perfectly happy to be the "other woman" as long as he'd have her.

At the end of episode 11 he's happened upon Kotonoha--wandering around on Christmas Eve, talking to a dead cell phone--and broken down crying. I don't know how much I believe of what he said to her; he's spent too much time in this series being a skunk for me to accept that he's learned the error of his ways. To me, it seems more like he's upset that none of the members of his harem will answer his phone calls and that he's not going to get laid on Christmas Eve. But at least he seems to understand what his philandering has done to Kotonoha.

The way the writers have set things up, I have no idea what happens next. Although Kotonoha seems to have come to her senses, more or less, I half-expect her to stab him in the face or something.

Still, I don't think that's what's going to happen. I don't think anyone's going to die--although I I could be wrong about that--and I don't think the series will have an unhappy ending. But there is a long way to go to get from where ep 11 ended and any kind of happy ending, IMHO, in the one episode which remains. Several issues remain to be resolved.

First, Sekai is 16; what happens to her and her baby? For damn sure Makoto's not going to take any responsibility for it, is he? I'd be surprised if he did, anyway.

Second, Kotonoha spent at least a week wandering around in a psychotic daze. She needs hospitalizing, doesn't she? The writers have not used any cheesy cop-outs in the series so far, and the "she magically gets better because of his love for her!" schtick is so far beyond cheesy it would have to be labeled "pasteurized process cheese food" if it were meant for use as food. Besides, Makoto doesn't love her--at least, not by any standard I'd be prepared to accept. At most, he has a kind of affection for her, one which he easily ignored when he discovered that while she wouldn't put out, Sekai would.

Third, whatever else happens, Makoto will--or ought to, anyway--find things rough at school from now on, socially speaking. He's "that guy who got that girl pregnant" in a society which is very concerned with appearances; regardless of the fact that they all apparently attend "Free Love Private High School" (I made up that name, but it would make a good in-joke if translated into Japanese) these kids don't want to look like a bunch of hos and man-sluts, and the girls certainly don't want to get pregnant.

But a lot happened in episode 11 and it all fit, without feeling crowded; so I'm going to be eagerly awaiting the 12th and final episode of the series to find out how all this BS is resolved.

School Days is a heck of a story. If it were a novel, it'd be a page-turner; it easily overcame my usual reluctance to watch more than one episode at a sitting. It's not a "fun" story but it's interesting, and several times I was left at the end of an episode laughing to myself in a kind of nervous awe, saying, "Oh, shit!" and wondering what happened next. Considering that the only things which happen are interpersonal relationships, without magic, weaponry, or alien supertechnology, that's saying a lot.

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