School Days 10: A Return to Form?

You are right. And you're still a whiny bastard for saying it.

Well, not exactly. There was more seriousness and slightly better emotional development in this episode, but it all rests on the ridiculous turns that the show has taken lately, so it doesn’t ultimately redeem it for me. But I think I figured it out. The writers have two goals they want to accomplish with this story:

  1. Get Makoto to bed every major female character, and possibly the minor ones too;
  2. Push Kotonoha, the nicest and most passive person ever, over the edge somehow so that she will commit murder.

It would be if it wasn’t so darned ridiculous.

I have to admit, this story took some pretty mean turns. Like the hidden camera in the sex room (though, honestly, you could have expected it given where and when something like that was). Then again, some of the girls in this school are pretty mean, especially to Kotonoha. She really is being set up as a nearly-pure victim here, whose main fault is passivity and denial–but the denial, of course, is mostly due to Makoto not being man enough to properly break up with her. The guy really has no concept of faithfulness and monogamy, and what’s interesting is that neither does Kato, who, in one of the least believable moments to date, is perfectly calm and content at the prospect of being “second” (really, third or even fourth) best.

Said with a smile.

The other unbelievable moment is the totally underplayed consequences of Sawanaga having sex with Kotonoha (rape? it’s not clear). For someone so devoted to Makoto she sure doesn’t seem to have much guilt if it wasn’t rape–and if it was, very little trauma. It’s as if it never happened. It’s only when Makoto finally breaks up with her, in the worst possible way, that the trauma begins and…at long last…the knives come out.

I could only imagine what might happen if, in some bizarro world, a psychologist forced Makoto, Sekai, Kotonoha, Setsuna, Kato, and Sawanaga in a room and they all had to tell each other exactly what had happened. It’d be awfully clear where the blame would lie; you could even assign hierarchies of blame, but Makoto would certainly be at the top with Sekai coming in second. When the truth is known as a whole, it’s all too clear what is going on. (Edit, 10:57 PM: Shadro has made a lovely chart to help us in that endeavor.)

Yes, there will certainly be more.

But that will never happen. And so as misunderstanding piles upon misunderstanding, Kotonoha takes her kitchen knives and her glassy eyed stare–the stare of a dead soul–and, probably believing that Sekai is the root of the conspiracy to take her boyfriend away from her….

Vengeance is Kotonoha’s; she shall repay.

STABBITtY STAB STAB!

And then the next time she sees Makoto…

LOREENA BOBBITY BOBBITY BOB!

Or so one can only hope. We’ll see in the penultimate and final episodes coming soon.

There are other kinds of flames just waiting for you one day, Makoto.

9 thoughts on “School Days 10: A Return to Form?”

  1. I doubt Kotonoha will even harm a single strand of his hair on his body. She’s been worshipping him as god. On the other hand, I can feel anger burning in Sekai against Makoto. So, let’s hope that Kotonoha will spare Sekai with enough time so that she can execute her fine stabbing at Makoto first.

  2. Sekai might leave Makoto in anger, if he doesn’t show up with a magic wand that makes everything right, but I’m not sure if she’s homicidal just yet. Might need some additional incentive to go that far.

    On the other hand, I can’t see Kotonoha *not* wounding anyone, fatally or otherwise, be it Setsuna, Sekai or even herself. Makoto doesn’t seem too likely a target for her at the moment, even if he’s the most deserving one. XD

    As for the rape (no willing or informed consent equals rape), it was definitely underplayed, but one could argue that the previous shock had left Kotonoha internally traumatized enough already (though she didn’t really break until this episode’s events). Even if it’s still rather unrealistic for a rape to slide so quickly into the background.

  3. @rayyhum777: that’s the only reason to watch this show now!

    @bakaneko: good point. Everything that we’ve seen so far indicates that Kotonoha believes Sekai has orchestrated everything and that Makoto is a relative innocent. In a show full of unlikely behavior, this is, alas, rather believable. Far too many women stay in abusive relationships and/or blame “the other woman” in a desperate attempt to believe that their partner is not, in fact, a bad person.

    @XXX: I think you’re right about Sekai. Despite her own manifold weaknesses, she is actually emotionally healthier than either Makoto or Kotonoha in a way. She is more honest about her emotions and at least has the right intentions. Setsuna actually shouldn’t worry about her so much. Sekai would be probably able to cry a little and then get over it. Makoto wouldn’t need to because he has no heart. And we know how Kotonoha is going to deal with it!

    As per the rape–yeah, that’s the argument I’ve seen from others, that she was too traumatized for the act to sink in until Makoto tells her “I don’t love you.” Admittedly, having that many bad things happen to you in space of 24 hours is, to put it mildly, unusual in comfortable countries like Japan–there wouldn’t be a lot of people who wouldn’t be like the walking dead for a while. But I still think it was cast aside, at least for now, as somewhat unimportant–though I wouldn’t be surprised if it comes up as yet one more reason for her to go STABBY STAB STAB on everyone who’s hurt her.

  4. they should’ve used condoms…with flavors like orange, banana, mint, etc.

    goodness…

    as for kotonoha, she did say to taisuke to forget what happened to her when the puerile idiot make’d out into her.

    ahhhhhh! playing the game itself and getting the good endings with kotonoha is enough to suffice what ive seen in the tv anime.

    oh yeah, is this site related to THAT animeblog? =D

    I should make this site as my favorite bookmark.

    thanks!

  5. @Zhong: oh hell yeah. You better believe it.

    @rollchan: this site isn’t affiliated, but we’ve had a couple of articles linked by them, including one just very recently. And, well, I’d be awful glad if you could bookmark us and make us your favorite. :)

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