SCHOOL-LIVE! (the all-caps title comes from Crunchyroll), or Gakkou Gurashi, is a twelve-episode anime series adapted from the manga written by Norimitsu Kaihō. The studio responsible for the adaptation was Lerche, and the director was Masaomi Ando.
SCHOOL-LIVE! is available on Crunchyroll.
SCHOOL-LIVE! is good. Go watch it, particularly as going in with no prior knowledge of the series is probably the best way to experience it. There’s a twist at the end of the first episode that sets up the remainder of the series, so it’s pretty much impossible to talk about this show without spoiling that. Of course, for those who have read the manga or already seen the show, they know what to expect.
Anyway, SCHOOL-LIVE! is a slice-of-life series about the members of Megurigaoka Private High School’s “School-Living Club”. There are four of them: Yuki Takeya, Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Yūri Wakasa and Miki Naoki. As one might expect from, the School-Living Club lives in the school.
Of course, there’s a reason for this and that ties in with the revelation at the end of the first episode. At first, it seems that this is your bog-standard girls’ club anime.
However, there are lots of small details that are not quite right, if you’re paying enough attention. In this respect, SCHOOL-LIVE! share some similarities with Shaun of the Dead. Actually, that’s not the only thing it shares – SCHOOL-LIVE! is set during a zombie apocalypse. Of course, this is the twist at the end of the first episode.
Now, the zombie apocalypse has been done to death – no pun intended. However, SCHOOL-LIVE!‘s slice-of-life antics mix together surprisingly well with this genre. Most of the time the girls of the School Living Club are safe inside their school, which is suspiciously well-equipped…
However, there are occasions when they have to confront “them”. One instance of this is a trip to a shopping mall, of course. This is when Miki, and the dog Taroumaru, meet the School Living Club and join them.
For people surrounded by the walking dead, the members of the School Living Club are certainly an upbeat lot. None more so than Yuki, who is clearly in denial about the whole event. It seems that some may find her constant delusion about the situation somewhat annoying, but it’s clear that her optimism is what is keeping her fellow club members going. Fortunately, she gets better as the series progresses.
Kurumi is very much the action-girl of the group. She is the one who will confront the undead, shovel in hand.
Yūri is the president of the School Living Club, and fills the role of big sister. However, it’s clear that the whole incident is getting to her.
Miki is a quiet girl, who is rescued from a shopping mall by the School Living Club. It takes her a little while to open up to the others.
There are also two other members of the School Living Club – the dog Taroumaru, who is rescued alongside Miki, and Megumi Sakura, the advisor of the School Living Club.
Megumi is an interesting character, who seemingly has no presence…
Despite the hordes of shuffling undead, SCHOOL-LIVE! manages to engage in many of the usual slice-of-life tropes. There’s humour to be found here, and even fanservice. It’s impressive that there’s a swimsuit episode, particularly considering the whole situation.
SCHOOL-LIVE! doesn’t shy away from emotional scenes, either. It’s extremely effective at what it does.
SCHOOL-LIVE! is a remarkably good series, which manages to mix life and death. This is definitely one of the best shows of the Summer 2015 season.