「えんそく」 (Ensoku)

No one lives in a world like Gakkou Guarashi’s without experiencing some sort of hardship.

Mii-kun’s Past

Ever since the show started, I’ve been extremely curious about how the story was going to handle explaining Miki’s existence. Technically not joining the group until a handful of chapters in the manga, it looks like we’re finally getting some mostly canon back story for her. I say mostly canon because there’s one huge detail that’s a bit different from the manga, but does such a great job at what it’s replacing that even I’m surprised how well it works.

That One Detail

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Getting back on track, you have to really give some props to Miki and Kei for all the work they did getting their safe room setup. From gathering food and water to making sure they had working plumbing, it seems like a paradise when you’re talking about places to holdout in during an epidemic. That said, you have to wonder, when does leaving your established base of operation become the correct move when it comes to overall survival? Supplies will eventually run out and if it’s clear that help isn’t coming, when do you have to take the initiative to save yourself? Some of which are questions I don’t have an answer to, but would love to hear your opinions down in the comments. Because, as much as I didn’t like Kei leaving Miki, I can’t really fault her. And on a personal level, I don’t know if I’d have the strength to “leave” my safe place unless all hell breaks loose and the situation literally forces me out.

Taroumaru You Sly Dog!

Seeing how Taroumaru is completely different than how he was in the manga, all I can say is that I feel something really bad is going to happen with those special skills of his. While I can accept him somehow getting a heavy sliding door to open in a school, I’m going to draw the line at a window that opens INWARDS. C’mon Taroumaru!

Looking Ahead

With the story turning things down a little by jumping into beginning of Miki’s back story, I was actually pleasantly surprised with how things have turned out thus far. Even though I know what’s going to happen, there’s a completely different feel seeing things animated and I can’t wait to see next week’s events alive and colored. Sure, there’s a chance things might get changed up, but no matter how big the changes, expect your adrenaline to get pumping next week!

Thanks for reading the post and I hope to catch you around for the rest of the season! On a side note, please refrain from posting spoilers in the comments. Not only are you ruining someone’s experiences, but because this is an adaptation, it’s possible you could be spreading misinformation! So, please abuse that spoiler tag and if you want to talk about anything related to this anime or if you wanted to ask me something specific, shoot me a tweet @rctakaii!

See you next week!




  1. I was so so so worried that they were going to falter on miki’s back story but it was actually successful in a way that i liked!! Can’t wait for the part 2 next week!

  2. After watching this episode I can empathize with Kei’s decision on at least trying to leave. Sure the world is a wreck outside, but living in that small room slowly dying physically and mentally will just exacerbate their issue. The high risk-high reward of leaving, in my mind, is worth it. I work in an office without a window for 8hrs a day, I mirror her anxiousness to go outside to my own experiences (without the thrill and danger of zombies, though you can take the typical white collar 9-5 worker as an analogy). I feel so much better and alive outside. However, going out alone was foolish of her. Never travel alone, especially in a zombie apocalypse.

  3. With Miki and Kei, I find it more believable that they stumbled across something like a storeroom and held up there, rather than having gathered everything themselves. All we see them eat is cereal and water though, so I’m not sure what store that would be. The manga does make more sense here (as well as give some hard insight into human failing) but I can live with these changes just fine.

    On Kei leaving, I have to contribute a good chunk of it to how little space they have to live in. If you think of it, even with a mood-setter like Yuki, if her, Kurumi, and Rii were stuck in such a small space, they wouldn’t have managed nearly as well. Room to stretch can be an amazing thing all by itself, even without electricity and hot water.

    Kei also lost a fight with maybe one of the most dangerous emotions in this type of situation: frustration. She was frustrated with being locked up, with herself for not being able to do anything, and with Miki for being just as helpless. I think that frustration made it seem to her that Miki was basically giving up and was fine with waiting to die, which made her even more frustrated. She had nothing to give her clear assurance that anything would ever get better. Eventually all that frustration boils over until she had to do something, just to prove to herself that she was still capable of doing something. She couldn’t sit around anymore, even though she probably knew that would’ve been the smarter choice and she was ultimately being selfish in a very foolish way. In a situation like this, it’s never clear or unclear if help is coming. They might give up and get themselves killed just before help would’ve arrived, or waited forever and starved to death when help was still months away. They didn’t even have anything close to an escape plan. They had a radio, but would they ever hear any kind of news?

    For Taromaru, I both like and dislike the changes. I like them because he’s just a fun character and more of him feels like a good thing. I dislike because Show Spoiler ▼

    Damn, I love this series!

  4. This time I’m actually kind of ambivalent about the changes, because while the episode was decently self-contained it makes Kei’s cabin fever and decision to leave less convincing, and leaves Miki much less on edge than she was in the source material. Then again, that might have been the point, given the timeline changes… kind of hard to have Miki in episode 1 the way she initially was in the manga. Eh, I’m probably still a bit too stuck on source material… can’t help but feel this neuters Miki’s character slightly.

    Although the side effect is that Kei actually seems to have it a bit more together in the anime. Wonder if that’s on purpose.

    1. I kind of have to agree. While I liked what they did with Kei and Miki’s story, I thought that the reasons for Kei’s eventual mental degradation and eventual leaving, was much better done there.

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      However, I’m really liking how they are accentuating Yuki’s mental state in the anime. Her mind can provide a “normal” reason for everything they face, even driving full on into a zombie! 😛

  5. Happy that the severe psychological aspects of the manga are here and more awesome than ever. Easily my most anticipated anime of this (relatively dry) season.

    Now for my two cents.

    I’m a bit surprised that the anime slightly altered Miki and Kei’s backstory and significantly played up the shoujo-ai angle. While this means their relationship gets more profound and we feel more for the characters, it also makes Kei’s decision to leave the homebase much harder to accept. I expected much more resistance from Miki, and it would make much more sense for Kei to slip outside in secret while Miki’s still sleeping or something.

    As for Taroumaru’s changes, I love them. He’s now a much more prominent part of the story and serves to lighten up the mood for the poor suffering girls. It also means that Show Spoiler ▼

    Always thought his role in the manga was a missed opportunity, so cannot be happier to see these changes.

    Needless to say, things are only going to get more grim from here, but that’s why I’m hyped!

  6. I’m more or less fine with the changes, but I fear they might blunt the impact of the end of Miki’s character arc with the message on the blackboard thing. That one line was so powerful because of what happened with Kei in the storage in the manga.

  7. Random thought: I wonder why they bother returning to the school eventually if they have a car. Getting out of the city in a zombie apocalypse is a huge advantage – though actually getting out is the pickle

    Impel Down Hippo
    1. Well, none of them can really drive (even though Kurumi is willing to try!) and they probably don’t really know how to get anywhere. Also, there’s the problem of gas, and if they can reach a safe location when they get tired. Also, they don’t really know where to go or any kind of destination.

      At the school, they have water, power, food, and shelter and it’s relatively safe. For now, they are willing to stay there and continue to wait for help.

      1. I was thinking that too, and I’d have a hard time figuring out my way out of the city, but since I’ve seen plenty of zombie flicks and shows (the Holiday Inn Express equivalent), I’d still try and get the hell out since the city is a death trap (ie. 28 Days Later)!

        Impel Down Hippo
      2. Don’t really play any recent video games, just going by all the shows/movies I’ve seen. Though a road is always open (or closed) when it’s narratively convenient. 😉

        Impel Down Hippo
      3. Again, it was just a random thought, and not wanting it to actually go in that direction; it was just out of general curiosity why they may have chosen not to go in that direction is all. Y’all are too serious for me!

        Impel Down Hippo
      4. Sometimes people use emoticons (or internet slang) to take the sting or seriousness off an attack or insult, so I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Plus people on this site (but happens with plenty of others), for some shows, tend to immediately defend a show at any perceived slight or criticism (fanboy/girl-ism).

        In any event, my mistake and no worries. 🙂

        Impel Down Hippo
    2. @Impel: except that these aren’t fast zombies, so they aren’t ever really trapped at the school. And who knows what condition the roads are in, too. With crashed cars and downed poles, there might not even be a way out of the city anymore. At the school they’re almost self-sufficient, and if they think the zombies are still operating on habits from when they were alive they aren’t thinking about some massive hoard showing up. The school is more their castle than a prison.

      1. While all true, and I agree, that didn’t stop Kei from leaving (albeit from a small room). But being trapped in a school, while it might seem secure, definitely isn’t living (like Rick and the gang in the prison from TWD).

        I only brought up 28 Days Later since they eventually left the city after getting supplies, it wasn’t supposed to comparative the way you’re interpreting it. I just thought of it when I was thinking why don’t they leave the city if they have a car.

        And of course, there are many factors that could be preventing them from doing so, but let’s let the story flesh that out rather than do it for them. I imagine there’s lots of chaos, but I don’t want to fill in the blanks myself quite yet.

        Again just a random thought, thoroughly enjoying the show.

        Impel Down Hippo
  8. Poor Taroumaru! I didn’t expect we’d get such a heartbreaking reason as to why he always rejects Miki. Surely, every time he does that, Miki is reminded of what she lost in that mall. Such empathy, much wow.

    More of my thoughts here: https://unnecessaryexclamationmark.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/gakkou-gurashi-04/

    I should probably thank the whole internet for managing not to spoil anything for me so far. I’m only going to the manga once the show is over. Until then, this plot is too good to get any advance warning on, and I have every confidence that however the story goes, Lerche are going to do a fantastic job.

  9. It is a pretty nice episode. There are some actually scary scenes in this anime, despite censorship. The part where the zombie old lady turns around, I jumped from my seat.

    Some people might think what Kei does is stupid and irrational. That is the point. Human psychology is inconsistent as hell. People often act abnormally when under stress or pressure. For example, a loving father might yell at his children just because he has a bad day at work. Having lived in confinement for too long, it is not surprising that Kei wants to get out despite the danger.


    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Actually, I was of the opposite feeling in regards to Kei and Miki.

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    1. I don’t think so. I have a feeling I know where they are going to end it.

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  10. Don’t know if anyone notice in the scenes regarding Megu-nee, but Show Spoiler ▼

  11. To be honest to your question Takaii-san, that depends of a lot of factors: First how many many people are holding up on the base; if there is only two people spliting is worst possible move but if you three or more it would be nice to send a scout or small number party if you have chance; second, how much supplies do you have, if you have enough for a couple of months it would be nice to explore when you have around the 50% of supplies left; third is the terrain, you have to send out a person fammiliar with the area because if not then there is the risk of losing time or getting the scout(s) killed; finally fourth, trust, how much do you trust the people around you, if you send the wrong person he could escape, leaving you and possible others in the worst possible scenario.

    This is just my opinion but after reading The Stand and Under the Dome (master pieces of Stephen King and I think Mikki will agree with me on this one)) I think this is the basic of survival in this kind of situations.

      1. Wel Takaii-san wanted some opinions and I went through the logical route using Stephen King as my mentor, most characters in his novels have a chance if they stick to a guide like that. And it´s sir, the name is haseo there is no way I´m girl with that name. XD

      2. I was just joking around since whenever someone puts up logical opinions based on outside works, people sometimes shoot them down like you’re criticizing the show rather than you’re just bringing up topics for discussion. I totally get what you’re saying, as lots of books, tv, and movies have influenced the way we think about how a zombie/post apocalypse scenario may work. I suppose we’ve become more sophisticated (and nitpicky too) viewers as a result.

        Impel Down Hippo
      3. You have a point, in this day and age we all now the basics of zombies, getting trap in a mall on day one of an outbreak is very bad news, lots of suplies but many have the same idea and that´s where real hell breaks loose. As The Walking Dead (both tv series and the comics)has tough us recently humans are the real problem on a zombie outbreak.

        P.S.: I now you were joking Hipo-san, don´t worry.


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