Before reading this review, I would highly recommend watching the first episode of School-Live! if you have not watched it yet.
Seriously, you do not want to be spoiled about what this anime’s plot before you see if for yourself.
I had no idea of what was going to happen going in so it made the surprise all the better.
If you have made it this far into the review, I will assume you have either watched it or do not care about spoilers.
Based off the manga written by Norimitsu Kaiho, and directed by Masaomi Ando, School-Live! follows four girls and their dog, Taromaru, who have started the School Living Club, where they strangely stay at the bright and colourful school twenty-four hours a day.
These girls consist of the bright and bubbly Yuki Takeya (Inori Minase), the shovel wielding Kurumi Ebisuzawa (Ari Oazawa), the president of the club Yuuri Wakasa (M.A.O), and new member Miki Naoki (Rie Takahashi).
There is also their teacher and advisor to the club, Megumi Sakura (Ai Kayano), who is especially helpful to the dim witted Yuki.
However, this is where the twist comes in.
The “bright and colourful school” I mentioned?
Yeah, turns out it’s not so bright and colourful because a zombie apocalypse has taken place, leaving the members of the School Living Club as the only survivors, and all the happy stuff is entirely in Yuki’s mind since she has basically created a fantasy world to cope.
So, we are really seeing this story through two lenses, the first being Yuki’s fantasy world and the second being the harsh reality of the zombie apocalypse.
This made for a fantastic cliffhanger in the first episode, which brought the show from looking like a by the numbers slice of life, to a slice of death with plenty of zombies.
From here, the story continues detailing how the girls survive their terrible situation, while constantly trying to keep the fragile Yuki’s fantasy world intact for her betterment.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t really result in anything as interesting as that first initial twist.
This is not to say that School-Live! is bad but I did find it a bit hard to get engaged with the characters and events at times, which was not helped by how convenient and obvious some further twists turned out to be.
It wasn’t until the final few episodes, which racked up the tension, that I became truly invested in the plot and characters again.
Although, this was also wrapped up kind of conveniently again by the end.
Despite these issues, I would still say that School-Live! is worth a watch.
It may not exactly live up to how fantastic its initial twist is, yet the interest generated by the twist and the intensity seen in the last few episodes do make it enjoyable.
Just don’t expect anything worthwhile and a bit of a slow pace and you will have fun.