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

Yeah, hand over whatever shred of dignity this show had left.
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…This is the exact shark jumping moment, for me.

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

Just when you thought his harem couldn’t get any bigger.
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.

Oh, that’ll win her heart. For sure.
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

9% of you voted for this.The Charge of the Dim Brigade.
This. Does. Not. Fit. This. Context!

Mistake #4: Makoto

One day, your lies will come back to haunt you.

‘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!

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

8 thoughts on “School Days 7-9 Jumps the Shark

  1. I think I may have a reason for all the crazy cafe stuff in episode 8. I think it was to bring the mood back up for a short time, if you look back 1-4ish were more or less light hearted, or at least more so as 3-7 and 9. So I kinda want to see it as “well this is the last laugh you’ll be seeing its all serious/dark stuff from here” because then episode 9 goes on and if you ask me has the most suggestive/worse content of the series so far.

    As for Setsuna, I can’t say I see the whole thing out of place. I just think it wasn’t like that before when Mako– idoit and Sekai were going out. As soon as Sekai said something that is when Setsuna jumped in. Though I have nothing to say about the kiss; that now that I think about it is a bit out there, and really the only thing that tried to lead it in was the flashback.

    As for with Otome, I can see that more. Earlier on there were hints with Otome liking the idoit and that kinda just came though in episode 9. Then really how it went though is that the idoit won’t say…NO. That I think more or less is in his character in the series, he doesn’t say no anybody could go up to him and ask him something and in the end he would be doing it.

    Though I want to agree with what you said about the writers having to push so much to the Bad End. Though I think its more or less there trying to push a mold of endings together. If all those things above were just taken on there own, they could each be an ending; but the fact that their all together shows that it could be a hybrid ending from the game and trying to fit as much in as possible.

    So thats what I think at least, some stuff may be off now or different; but I dunno I’m still enjoying the series as much. Though I could just be ignorant to the stuff like how it slowly turned into a harm.

  2. @Vinland, Ciel: thanks for the info; correction applied. I knew Higurashi was most certainly a game, and I guess I assumed it was an H because most anime adaptations of games tend to be. Now that I think about it there isn’t anywhere in Higurashi where H scenes would really fit…there’s too much plot to get through. 🙂 My point still stands, though, just because it comes from a game doesn’t mean it can’t be good.

    @Hinano: …and you can’t stop laughing at the ridiculousness of it all too!

    @Shadro: good insights. I remember feeling uneasy about Setsuna’s actions in episode 7, but it wasn’t enough to wreck the feel of the show completely by itself. I was even starting to warm to her just before the kiss scene. The kiss was when the H-game roots of this show got slammed in my face, and the Otome in the sex room bit was the final nail in the coffin. (Yes, I’m aware that Otome declared her love for Makoto at the end of episode 6, which actually was a catalyst for Kotonoha to begin her tragic descent into denial.) And if they are really trying to combine endings, I’m sorry, I just think that’s bad storytelling–unless they are much cleverer than I suspect. The whole thing has an air of contrivance, which was always there in the show but is now, to me, exaggeratedly so.

    To be fair, there were a number of scenes in the early episodes which were also rather unbelievable–Kotonoha putting up with Makoto on the first date, Sekai’s first kiss with Makoto and Makoto not getting it, a lot of the dialogue, etc. It was overcome by the relatively more believable love triangle tensions and awkward first conversations. Maybe I’m just a sucker for awkwardness and angst.

    Or maybe I’m just looking for totally the wrong sort of things in this show and I should just sit back and enjoy the bloodbath. 🙂

  3. I’m mostly watching this out of a kind of morbid curiosity by now, like almost everyone else.

    Ironically, I believe KGNE also tried mixing different pieces and drama points from a few of the game’s routes, but the overall result was still more focused than this…even if some parts also made me cringe. >_

  4. Btw, this is mostly speculative, but one could even argue SD is going for a “harem” ending. Even if might be a deadly one.

    The characters can either join together to kill or merely ostracize Makoto, or they’ll all kill each other and nobody’s left alive. Unless a “real” harem pops up, of course, but that’s a bit difficult. Though maybe not as difficult as a “good” ending for any of the two main girls, which would require pretty much a deus ex machina.

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