Gakkou Gurashi – On Life and Zombies

[DameDesuYo] Gakkou Gurashi! - 12 (1280x720 10bit AAC) [8A6F6BD2].mkv_snapshot_20.29_[2015.12.08_14.30.18]

GG is an apocalypse viewed in another light, survival struggles are not the highlight of this zombie story. The show is an exploration into life following a breakdown of social order, painting a contrast from the normal state of society. /-~Spoilers ahead~-/

To highlight an underlying theme of this work, I’ll look particularly at two characters. First off being…

Takeya Yuki

[DameDesuYo] Gakkou Gurashi! - 01 (1280x720 10bit AAC) [8999702C].mkv_snapshot_18.47_[2015.12.08_02.01.41]

We know her to be a glimmer of hope in the group in the upside down world of GG. Yuki’s far from your typical hero but she always musters enough courage to throw herself into the midst of danger when the push comes to shove. Her positive outlook keeps the group going in these tough times.

Now let’s take a look at our shining, enthusiastic protagonist as she was before all of this happened.

Just a small glimpse of the uneventful everyday life of our protagonist. She is a social misfit who wears a silly hat with a childishly idealistic outlook on life. A person who will naturally be isolated by everyone else.

The greatest irony here is that Yuki’s life actually seems more miserable before the tragedy than after.

Sakura Megumi

[DameDesuYo] Gakkou Gurashi! - 03 (1280x720 10bit AAC) [78ECEA6F].mkv_snapshot_04.32_[2015.12.08_01.18.46]

Note that while a teacher like Megu-nee would be commonplace in anime, that is not the reality. She’s an oddball in contrast to her colleagues whom sport an appropriate formal attire and have a much more pragmatic approach to teaching. Compared to them, she’s unprofessional and far from rigid, not exactly an ideal teacher.

Probably Yuki’s only friend in the world prior, she goes the extra mile to spend time with her after classes. In this bleak setting, she is a beacon of hope for the group, someone they can rely on. She is patient and compassionate with a positive outlook.

On Zombies

What if mindless Zombie hordes weren’t actually mindless? As if they had remnant memories, the eternalized children roam Megurigaoka High in the day and return home at night.

A habit which makes them just a little more ‘human’. It got me thinking about the difference between a zombie and a person.

We aren’t so different from them, are we? Since young, we are molded into the shape society expects us to be and we start to spread these beliefs as if they were our own. People who don’t fit the mold(e.g. Yuki) are condemned and isolated. Inevitably, we end up ‘zombifying’ others as well.

My thoughts on GG

To me, GG was best in it’s portrayal of the character’s thoughts and emotions, be it when showing the jarring difference between Yuki’s reality from the rest or the sense of sentiment and melancholy as they continue to live a separate world from that going on outside the windows.

Perhaps even more so because it did a good job setting up a sentimental mood, the plot progression moments seemed lackluster, out of place even. It’s particularly obvious in the finale, where they spend about five minutes discussing future plans, by which point the BGM had went silent.

The epilogue made no attempt to match the tone of the work either, instead opting to be generic sequel bait which makes it seem more like an average zombie survival drama.

It was a really good show, but I felt it was conflicted in direction. As if they tried to bite off more than it could chew by trying to balance between being a SOL and a Zombie Survival Fic.


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