Gakkou Gurashi!

You probably heard about Gakkou Gurashi and how it is one of the shows that look like a normal moe show with cute girls doing cute things at first and ends up being a dark show after a while.

The anime is about four girls trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. They are trapped in a school building and are surrounded by zombies. One of the girls wanted to call themselves the ‘School Living Club’  to try and pretend like they were still living a normal high school life and living in the school was just part of their club activities. While I was impressed with Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies) for doing the same thing,  I couldn’t help but think that the girls acting like everything was okay looked really fake. It was more like they were ignoring reality.

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Yuki- She is sort of the protagonist of the show

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The School Living Club

Gakkou Gurashi is an okay show. It does have many unrealistic parts and unnecessary fan service. It can be pretty boring at times but it does have some interesting parts. It is like the show cannot decide whether it wants to be dark or nice and funny. So what makes this anime different from everything else I’ve watched so far? It is Yuki. The zombie apocalypse was too much for her to handle. Her head got messed up when she lost someone important to her. She retreated into a tiny place inside her head where the zombie apocalypse never happened, a place where none of her friends died. She only saw things she wanted to see. If she saw something bad, she immediately forgot about it and pretended like it never happened. She continued attending classes even though there were no more teachers around and she continued talking to people who were no longer alive. She walked through blood covered hallways but she never saw the blood. She stood in front of broken windows but didn’t know that they were broken. In her head, the hallways were sparkling clean and the windows were never broken. She thought that the zombies walking around in the school playground were normal students.

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This is what her world looked like

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The reality

Spoilers start from here. I’ll be writing the rest of the post assuming that you have already watched Gakkou Gurashi. If you haven’t watched it, it is better not to continue reading since I will be spoiling pretty much everything about the show.

From the beginning I didn’t really trust anything the anime showed us since we are looking at the world through Yuki’s eyes, a girl who would rather live in a fake fantasy instead of a harsh reality. I believed that in the worst case scenario, the anime will tell us that everyone was dead from the start and Yuki had been living all alone in the school, fighting zombies by herself while pretending like it was actually Kurumi who did the fighting. So I wasn’t very surprised when it was revealed that Sakura was only alive inside Yuki’s head.

My feelings about Yuki are a bit mixed up. I don’t exactly dislike her but I don’t like her either. I admit that coming to terms with reality when you are forced into an absurd world is difficult but by running away and pretending not to see what was right in front of her, Yuki was only putting the rest of the girls in a difficult position. She expected them to play along with her and protect her when something bad happened. Remember what Sakura told her when they ran into a zombie in the library? ‘Your friends really care about you. They are trying to save you.’ Sakura was no longer alive at that point. Whatever words she spoke were words that Yuki put in her mouth. Maybe Yuki wanted to believe that it was okay for her to pretend to be normal and her friends would be happy to protect her. The rest of the girls are also normal high school students. Not only do they have to fight the zombies, they also have to make sure that Yuki’s world remains pretty. Asking them to go that far for her when they are already working so hard seems pretty unreasonable. Pretending to talk to a person who is not actually there is pretty difficult.

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They have to deal with things like this- Anomalies that arise from pretending that Sakura is still with them

There are some other parts I didn’t like. When Kurumi killed her crush and kept on hitting him with the shovel even after he died and Yuki stopped her, she asked Yuki why she was the one crying and said that Yuki’s hat is weird. I felt like Kurumi should have gotten more attention there instead of Yuki. It was more like the mangaka wanted the viewers to know what kind of person Yuki is and he didn’t really care that Kurumi wouldn’t have actually been in a position to make a remark about a strangers hat, right after she murdered a person for the first time in her life. It didn’t feel real. Also remember when Kurumi was attacked my Sakura and walked in with an injured shoulder? Yuuri was asking Kurumi if she was okay while Miki was worried about Yuki. It was like all the other girls pay attention to Yuki so much that they don’t have enough time to worry about the rest of the members.

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Shouldn’t Miki have been more worried about Kurumi instead wondering if Yuki’s fantasy has been damaged?

None of the girls actually tried fighting a zombie before Kurumi got hurt. They were okay with leaving all the dirty work to her. Also the blood smeared classrooms didn’t bother them. They have plenty of time on their hands. So why not try and clean it up? If they wanted to live a normal life, shouldn’t cleaning the blood come first? You can’t exactly pretend that everything is alright when you are sitting in a classroom covered with blood. The walls being damaged looked pretty fake too. Do you know how much force it takes to damage a wall? Not to mention that there were cracks in the roof too. Just how did the roof get damaged?

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Do you think something like this can happen to a room in a single day?

The girls never tried to contact their families. Who do you think you will be more worried about if a zombie apocalypse actually happened? Your family or some random girls you just met that day? You will be more interested in knowing if your family members are staggering down the street feasting on random people than ensuring some stranger’s safety. The only time their families were mentioned was when Yuuri asked Kurumi if she didn’t want to visit her house when they were coming back from that shopping mall. Kurumi just stayed silent. So we are supposed to assume that they were all dead. Now how did she know that? They never contacted their families. Even assuming that she knew they were all dead, it still makes her behavior unnatural. Do you think a normal person will be able to pretend like nothing has happened even after losing all their family members and being targeted by zombies?

I did like Gakkou Gurashi but I also feel like they should have done a better job with the story. What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Gakkou Gurashi!

  1. So that’s what this anime is all about =) It sounds more interesting than I thought. I like the idea of a person living in an illusion; it is not exactly new, but I haven’t seen it in an anime yet I don’t think. I guess they exploited it to create a situation when all those girls are forced to take care of Yuki, which would make you appreciate them more.

    I looked at some screenshots of Gakkou Gurashi yesterday and I kinda made some guesses. Like I guessed that Kurumi would be an energetic self confident type, who will eventually get into trouble because of that. I saw that picture of her with a wounded shoulder too. I was wondering if she would get infected and turn into a zombie herself, forcing other girls to kill her. There were a few screenshots suggesting there was something wrong with her. Was that guess right?

    Also Kurumi’s design is almost identical to Rize from Gochuumon wa usagi desu ka?, the show about a cafe run by little girls where the protagonist girl always has a cat sitting on her head… you have probably seen pictures from it, it is like all over the internet :P There probably ten more characters who look exactly like those two and I just haven’t seen them :D Same with Miki, only I am too lazy to search for the name of the character she resembles >.>

    Do you think those details about them not calling their parents and such are just flaws, like poorly written script, or could it be that they wanted it be this way for some reason? Maybe they wanted to avoid turning this show into a tragedy by explicitly saying that their families have died. Or maybe they wanted to show that those girls, same as Yuki, just can’t accept reality, so they would rather not know what happened with their family members?..

    Also great job with the cover pic, looks nice ^^b

    • I have seen many movies about people living in illusions too. I think the first one I watched was when I was 12 years old or something. It was about a guy who lost his wife and unborn son. He continued believing that her wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy and he was happily living with them. Some psychiatrists saw this and wanted to help him get over this. So one of the guy asked his wife to hold a glass for him and handed it to her. Of course the glass fell down and shattered to pieces. This guy looked at his wife and she told him that her hand slipped. So the doctor continued giving glasses for her to hold and each one kept breaking. With each shattered glass it became a bit more clear to the guy that there wasn’t anyone there to hold the glass. I thought it was a really cruel way to make the guy face reality. They just roughly shoved it in his face. In the end the guy decided that he would rather live in an illusion and ran away. I was really disturbed by that movie. I had mixed up feelings that someone would choose to live in an illusion, at the same time I also wondered if the guy was better off living in an illusion, since he couldn’t deal with reality and was happier that way.
      I kinda felt the same with Yuki. The rest of the girls could try to make it clear to her that she was avoiding reality but will it actually be for the better? After all, even if she was living in an illusion, this girl is able to be happy. Being able to smile and enjoy life in conditions like that is pretty much impossible for normal people. So should you make her face the reality and make her sad or should you let her live a fake life and be happy. She decided to live that way because she couldn’t handle the brutality of the situation in the first place. Will curing her really be good for her?

      No. They didn’t really exploit the situation as they should have. Like I said, the show doesn’t try to take itself seriously. They showed us that the rest of the girls liked having a normal person who could still smile among them and were happy to take care of Yuki -_-

      Your guess is half correct. Kurumi did get injured but she was saved >.<
      I haven't really seen any pictures from Gochuumon wa usagi desu ka ._. I know. Almost all the girls look identical to someone from another anime. But after watching so many anime, I kinda realize that almost all the characters look similar to characters from some other shows. After all, it must be really difficult for mangakas to come up with completely new designs for every character. I mean in how many different ways can they draw a person's face and hair?

      I think it is just a flaw, just like tons of anime out there. Can you imagine how many shows say that some character's parents are rarely home and these kids will have to pretty much live by themselves? I am just thinking that the writers don't want to deal with complex family issues and try not to talk about families if they can.

      I always have trouble picking the featured image T.T We have little to no control over the featured image and it always ends up being too big or too small and I have to change it 2-3 times before I decide on something.

      • Wow, that sounds intense o.O I wonder how it works in the heads of those hallucinating people. The guy probably had to cook for his family and then through away the untouched food; thing like that needed explanations too, but apparently he found ways to explain these.

        They would probably have felt a lot worse if they shattered her illusions. As it was at least she was cheerful and happy and they could find comfort in that, I guess. And you are right, maybe if they made her see the actual reality she would have lost it and become even more of a burden to them all.

        I saw these two pictures: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/015/597/ce5.jpg and http://img.gifmagazine.net/gifmagazine/images/664079/original.gif?1446828545 and I thought Kurumi would die like this, killed by one of her friends. Would have been a strong scene o.o I guess this one is good enough too, she can live ^^ https://funnyanimepics.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/gakkou-ep8-married-shovel.jpg

        Here is a picture with three similar looking girls http://41.media.tumblr.com/3d570772091049066c305afc3bb2dc73/tumblr_nurzfz6h8R1s9e6ffo1_1280.jpg The last one is, I believe, from a moe girls anime with a British transfer student (very descriptive, I know ^^’ ).
        Right =) But then, this is what art is all about >:P Those girls do look different enough though, it is all good.

        I see, that is too bad.

        :D What do you mean too big? :P Just below this post there is featured image that doesn’t even fit in one screen on my laptop xD I love seeing huge images on the front page (^. ^)’

        • I always wonder about that too. Though the way these shows portray them, they quickly forget about whatever anomalies that arise so that their illusion doesn’t get shattered. I wonder if that is actually accurate or if they try to find some other explanations for that.

          Letting Yuki live in illusions is also pretty dangerous. If she encountered a zombie when she was alone, she would stand there in a daze and let it kill her. She also said that once she forgot about the club and almost went home. If they let her pretend and she ends up getting killed because of it, they would regret it all their lives. See what I mean? She was putting them in a really difficult position. The girls were happy to protect her though. If it was me, I would have felt pissed off.
          Well, Kurumi is always carrying that shovel around XD I don’t think it is a joke to her though. You see, she killed her crush with it and she has been using it as a weapon to protect herself and the rest of the girls since then. She probably feels a twisted attachment to it.

          Okay :P

          • Well here is something kinda related. Apparently there are people who have a condition that manifests in, aside from other things, in them drawing only one side of the pictures they intend to draw. Like a person would only draw the left side of a face, leaving disconnected lines and empty space on the right. A doctor was doing series of experiments with woman who had such condition. When he would ask the woman if she draw a complete picture she would say yes, even though the picture was clearly only half finished. If he made her pay attention to the missing parts then she would recognize that there are things missing. I guess she has to perceive those pictures as complete somehow, right? It is hard to imagine how this works ._.

            Now that sounds interesting ^^ Would be cool if those girls had to think of this possibility when deciding to keep sheltering Yuki =)

            Poor Kurumi ^^’ By the way, imagine if she did die and Yuki copied her into her imaginary world. That would have become a nightmare for the remaining girls ._. I doubt they could have kept the act any longer then.

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