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School Days 7-9 Jumps the Shark

Sigh. I’d hoped too much, I guess. I can’t take this show seriously anymore. For me, it’s taken several wrong turns as a story, and here’s why.

Mistake #1: Setsuna the Meddler

From the moment Setsuna forcefully began meddling with Kotonoha’s continuing efforts to get Makoto back, I felt something was off. Actually reprogramming his cell phone to block her calls? (And thinking that this is some sort of deterrent–which it certainly would not be in real life?) Not even allowing Makoto to talk to Kotonoha without pulling him away? And then…at the end of it all…

Something just rings false about this character, this plot twist. It breaks the bond of believability even for this show and this genre. I’m not quite sure how to describe it–I don’t buy her forcefulness about the matter, and her explanation about Sekai’s emotional problems later on doesn’t really make up for it. Shouldn’t it be obvious to her by now that Makoto is a two timer and is nothing but bad news for her ostensibly best friend Sekai? You know, the best friend she doesn’t even tell about her move to France? And don’t best friends usually see long beforehand the kind of damage that’s going on?

Setsuna comes off like a plot interloper, a contrived mechanism used to clumsily create complications. When things like that are done badly, it’s really obvious.

Mistake #2: The Harem and the Bordello

My fear that this might be a show designed to get the otaku to both condemn and envy Makoto-da-playa has come true.

Actually, scratch that. Makoto’s no playa. He’s got no genuine seduction skills of his own whatsoever. Sekai has to actually teach him how to touch her! He’s not the Ladies’ Man–he’s the guy who would be writing to The Ladies’ Man because his “life is sad and lonely: please show me how to be a better lover.” And yet, the girls keep coming at him. In a school that actually has a sex room at the festival.

You see, in my optimism and in-retrospect-all-too-lax-standards, I thought the emotional negotiations were rather well handled when this story was still just a love triangle. Adding more girls completely messes up the emotional dynamic and tenor of the show, which reached its height with the insert song at the end of episode 6.

Mistake #3: Inappropriate Slapstick and Otaku Pandering

This. Does. Not. Fit. This. Context!

Mistake #4: Makoto

‘Nuff said. I suspect he will be taken care of soon, though.

Yes, yes, I know. I should have known something like this was going to happen. This is based on an H-game, for crying out loud. It’s not supposed to be taken that seriously. But so was Kimi Ga Nozumo Eien. Higurashi was a game, too. (Edit 9/5 10:13 AM: non-H. Thanks commenters.) And their anime adaptations were well told and had real emotional depth to them, and the first six episodes of this show just managed to make me start believing in the characters and the real hurt in this situation. But now this has passed the point of ridiculousness for me; I just can’t believe in the struggles of these characters anymore. Perhaps it’s because the writers felt they needed to push several events along to force the BAD END? That’s the only explanation I can think of. Or maybe a different set of writers took over after episode 6, which was clearly some sort of production turning point; the tone is markedly differently.

I don’t know. I’m not sure I even care anymore. The histrionic Kimi Ga is more coherent and believable than this. I’ll just be watching to see how bloodily this ends now!

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