School-Live airs Thursdays at 10:00 AM EST on Crunchyroll. Yen Press is releasing the manga in English starting November 17th on Kindle and Paperback Book.
The first episode will fool you. You see a cute, funny girl named Yuki, racing through her beloved high school. Although she looks like a tween, she's actually in her last summer of high school with adulthood just settling off in the distance, and is a member of the School Living Club. Every day, the bubbly, happy-go-lucky, pink-haired girl shows up for her favorite classes in a soft, blue uniform. She knows she's ditzy, klutzy and not the smartest girl in school, but she doesn't care, as long as she has her faithful pooch by her side. Even her bullies want to be friends with her, and every day is full of awesome. One day, she starts opening up to the token Goth girl in her class, and decides to start a conversation about her dog Tarōmaru, a plucky Shiba Inu who keeps getting lost.
Suddenly, her friend Miki (Mii-kun) enters the room, and the grim reality slams into you harder than a Mack truck. This happy world full of school and chores... is all a figment of Yuki's imagination. And the Goth girl Yuki is talking to is long, long dead.
Such is the world of School-Live. The show centers around four teenage girls who are trying to survive a zombie outbreak. With no ability to contact the outside world and no knowledge of how far the outbreak has gone, Yuki and her friends Miki, Yuri (Ri-chan) and Kurumi are trapped at their school, fighting off former classmates while trying to make sense of it all.
Yuki's happier segments all stem from her mental breakdown after seeing the zombie apocalypse occur. Kurumi and Yuri help Yuki maintain her happy fantasy, only to prevent her from completely shutting down. They try to work her delusions into their strategies, for example, a deadly trip downstairs for food rations for the other three, is turned into a test of courage or scavenger hunt for Yuki.
Miki initially comes across as cold, but eventually warms up to Yuki and becomes a loyal friend. Yuri is very motherly, setting up meals and looking after the girls while trying not to break down the way Yuki has. Kurumi Is a strong willed twin-tail with a shovel, who is the teams' best hope against the zombies. Currently acting as supporting characters are Tarōmaru, Yuki's faithful and mischievous puppy, and Megumi (Megu-ne), Yuki's most favorite teacher, who keeps Yuki distracted with lessons. But like all zombie stories, it's wise never to get attached to the characters, even though they have much to offer and have full, lush backgrounds.
Visually, the director leaves so much in the background, you end up watching the same episode more than once, just to catch all of the hidden messages. A good example is hidden in plain sight, as some fans have discovered that Yuki's blue uniform has more meaning than meets the eye.
School-Live is scary, funny, dark, depressing and very cerebral. The concept offers a fresh spin on the zombie genre, and is one to watch.
Codename Sailor earth
Codename Sailor Earth is a lifelong anime and wrestling fan. IRL she is cartoonist Koriander Bullard, formerly Koriander Ake, a happily married Chicagoan. Her favorite anime is Sailor Moon. A baby in the late 80's, the first anime titles she ever saw were Speed Racer, Voltron and Robotech.