Actors: Ari Ozawa, Inori Minase, M.A.O
Directors: Masaomi Ando
Format: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Language: Japanese, English
Number of discs: 5
Classification: 15 (BBFC)
Release Date: 24th July 2017
Licensed By: Animatsu, Manga UK Entertainment
The School Live Club continue their afterschool activities, even during a zombie apocalypse! Trapped within their school, four teenage girls and their teacher battle their undead classmates every day in order to just stay alive. After one such traumatic experience, the eldest and bubbliest member of the club, Yuki Takeya, sees their dire situation in a completely different light. Will the school day ever end for these students?
School Live! begins as a normal, run of the mill, slice-of-life anime. Unsurprisingly, this includes teenage girls messing with their friends and having normal group activities. It isn’t until the last few minutes of the first episode does this show start to really get interesting. Soon we see the world through the eyes of Yuki’s fellow club members, and the truth is revealed; a heavily damaged high school, hallways and staircases barricaded with desks and chairs. The first episode follows Yuki as she interacts with others through her usual school day (whilst remaining completely oblivious to the danger around her).
Yuki is the main character, who looks (and acts) like the junior of the group, but is in fact a senior in high school. After a horrific incident, Yuki went through a breakdown, resulting in her current broken state of mind. She is now ignorant to what is happening around her, which includes her believing she is just sleeping in school with her fellow club members as a club activity. Her actions are encouraged by the rest of the survivors, who only wish to keep her smiling as it raises their morale. This would be a difficult situation to face in normal circumstances, but the girls themselves do seem to be coping as best as they can. All face the reality of lost family and friends, and the realisation that they will never be able to go back to their old lives. The inclusion of a dog in the cast is heart-breaking in any zombie-based show/film. For context, just recall I Am Legend.
For a small group of girls, they certainly are resourceful when backed into a corner. They use whatever is lying around, and arm themselves for protection. It does help when your school comes equipped with its own renewable power source, vegetable garden and water supply, not to mention showers and a well-stocked store room! There is definitely more than meets the eye with this school, and the mystery adds to the story. The end of the first episode certainly grabs your attention, despite its slow start.
School Live! is a 12-episode anime, produced by Lerche, a Japanese animation studio, founded back in 2011. This studio is responsible for producing Humanity Has Declined, Assassination Classroom and Monster Musume. School Live! is directed by Masaomi Andó, who has worked on Fairy Tail, Gintama and Vampire Knight. The anime is based on the manga of the same name, which was first released back in 2012, with 9 volumes currently available. These are available in English, from Yen Press. Interestingly, the anime is written by the creator of the manga – Norimitsu Kaihó.
Bonus Features Include:
Clean Opening & Closing
2 x Blu-ray Discs, 3 x DVD discs
Packed inside 14mm Blu-ray Case, Plastic O-card and Rigid Collector’s Box.
Overall, the animation is actually really good, although the girls are your typical run of the mill anime school girl stereotypes. It’s their personalities and experiences that make them likable. There are some hard to watch scenes, especially as you really do get attached to the characters. I would highly recommend watching this show, especially those who loved High School Of The Dead, but want less fan service.