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Gakkou Gurashi! – 07 »« Gakkou Gurashi! – 05

Gakkou Gurashi! – 06

「ようこそ」 (Youkoso)
“Welcome”

Even though I already knew exactly what was going to happen, it didn’t stop the tears from flowing as the episode came to a close. If anything, I think I was crying a lot more than I should have specifically because I knew what was coming.

Yuki’s PTSD

After a getting a bunch of hints throughout the past few episodes about what was to come, let me put that to the side for a second and start this post off by taking a slightly closer look at Yuki and her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Technically I guess you could call this PPTSD since the cause of it all was the loss of Megu-nee, but semantics aside I think we have to give some credit to Yuki for managing to keep her cool for as long as she did. Because when the world’s falling apart and everyone outside a small building is probably dead or worse (worse than death, what a concept haha), it doesn’t seem all that hard for someone to breakdown once the cold truth of reality starts falling down upon them. But judging from what we saw, it looks like Yuki was able to keep up with things for at least a little while!

When it comes to the story though, I think the anime adaptation did a fantastic job at giving us some true insight at what’s going on in Yuki’s head. Using the other three characters to help explain the situation and highlight the different views about how to handle the situation, it was clear that there was a distinct divide between just how the group should proceed. What the anime viewers probably don’t know though, is just how quickly Miki changed her opinion about Yuki’s condition in the anime compared to the manga. If you caught the post last week, you should remember how I alluded to this episode covering Miki and her counter-stance to Rii-san and how she’s been handling Yuki. What I was really concerned about was how the show would convincingly give us the feeling that Miki truly understood just how important Yuki is to the group. Not someone who’s delusional, but instead someone who can see things as they were and continue to keep everyone around them going. And luckily, I was happily surprised how well they managed to do it with less than half an episode. While the critics may have complaints that it might have happened “too” quickly compared to the manga, I truly think it was done well in the time they had.

Megu-nee

We caught a glimpse of it last week and it’s finally been revealed that Megu-nee actually isn’t there anymore. Long gone before the events of the anime, her sacrifice to protect her girls against a wave of zombies unleashed such a big wave of emotions that I had tears falling down my cheek before I even realized it. Thinking about how much courage it must have taken to act so selflessly makes me head hurt! And as if that wasn’t emotional enough, the ending sequence and preview for next week’s episode was just too much for me to handle. Watching Megu-nee fade away during the ending sequence hurt, but seeing her silently appear in the preview and just slowly disappear was the final nail that actually had the tears flying off of my face.

Looking Forward

After an episode like this, I feel pretty exhausted. Everything about it was so good, but if I had to pick only one thing it’d have to be the amazing use of music throughout the episode. With perfect timing and just the right amount of intensity in each scene, it was truly the final piece in the puzzle that brought everything together. Besides that, it looks like the preview is suggesting something big might be happening next week. And as unsure as I am about whether or not my body can handle another hit like this week’s, I’ll never refuse more feels.

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!

 

ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「アフターグロウ」 (Afutaa Gurou) by 黒崎真音 (Kurosaki Maon)

Preview

August 15, 2015 at 1:34 am
31 comments »
  • August 15, 2015 at 1:54 amMacro

    That Megu-nee fade out… It got me
    Good job presenting that, now I’m sitting in a corner peeling onions….

    I felt sad for Yuki as Miki watched her….

  • August 15, 2015 at 2:16 amcryum

    Wait, you cried? I wasn’t feeling it.

    On one hand, I’ve already read the manga.

    On the other hand, it was basically confirmation of what we already suspected. We all knew that it was true. The fadeout to me represented less of her loss but more of the revelation that she was gone a long time ago, a more melancholic sadness than outright waterworks. I think the real emotional impact will come when we relive the scene beyond a short flashback.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Props to Miki, though. As much as it riled Rii up, things could have gone a LOT worse than it already was with just a few extra wrong words to Yuki.

  • August 15, 2015 at 2:18 amTeikun

    My heart broke into tiny little pieces, even though I kinda expected what was gonna happen. Not since Death Parade can a show manage to make me this emotional.

    RIP Megu-nee. Your heroic sacrifice will never be forgotten.

  • August 15, 2015 at 2:29 amRandomHuman

    I’m not the smartest boy but I knew Megu-nee wasn’t there since ep 1. I didn’t read the manga either. Every chapter after 1 there a lot of things pointing Megu-nee was already dead. For that I still don’t feel too much for her death, well at least not until they show us how she died.

  • August 15, 2015 at 2:41 amewok40k

    I knw what was coming but still damn it did rend my heart…

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/15/15927932-lives-saved-by-teachers-custodian-and-even-children-in-connecticut-school-shooting?lite

    unfortunately even in our world there is somnetimes need for a teacher to literally give life to protect students – there is no need of zombie apocalypse…

  • August 15, 2015 at 2:59 amBibotot

    That scene with the stereo is especially well-done. I give kudos to whoever directing and writing this one. Machines breaking down halfway in a horror movie is not a new concept. But here is the catch: when Yuki Takeya picks up the stereo, it is intact, so we don’t expect anything strange would happen, even though the entire room is shown in ruin. But then, the music starts to get eerie and when Yuki drops it, the stereo is already shattered and now it is broken. Because it was like that from the start, but they fool us into thinking it is not, which makes for a nice twist.

    • August 15, 2015 at 5:59 amWorldwideDepp

      combined with her Vision to accept reality, it was marvelous

  • August 15, 2015 at 6:00 amDvalinn

    Man, this episode hits you right in the feels. And it wasn’t even the Megu-nee reveal that did it (because I’ve seen that coming for a while now). No, there’s something heartbreaking about the simple existence of the club itself: while it seemed to be a simple coping mechanism for Yuki at first, something to control her delusions, we find out Kurumi and Yuuri aren’t playing along with it just for her sake. No, it’s important for them as well. They [i]have[/i] to do this. To do silly stuff like clotheshopping in a zombie mall, a sports day in a safe zone, camping in zombie-infested hallways. Last week wasn’t a one time thing – they’re dedicated to doing this. Logically speaking (as Miki points out), there are better things you should do for long-term survival. But mere survival and nothing else leads to despair – you need to enjoy yourself, have some fun, lighten the mood. Have something that makes it worth it to keep living. Thát is the real purpose of the School Living Club. It’s no wonder then that Yuuri gets so angry when Miki tries to disrupt that status quo. And personally, I don’t feel Miki’s realisation to be that rushed at all – she’s been stewing about what her friend told her for a while, after all.

    In all that, I also find that the show pulls off its darker setting far better than most of its ilk. One thing that always bugs me about certain grimdark works is that sometimes everyone’s so serious and depressed, with no room for fun. It’s rather unnatural, I have to say, because if you look at real life, even people in the most war-torn of hellholes still crack jokes, find ways to amuse themselves or practice some hobby. It’s a universal coping mechanism as well as something that keeps us human. That’s one of the reasons this show works so well, really, and it does so without jarring tone shifts.

    And once again, I have to give props to the way everything is framed in Gakkou Gurashi. From the deliberate way the scenes play out, to the use of its sound (both the music and the soundwork – I love little touches like the fact that you can hear the water bottle dropping on the floor when Yuki ‘gives’ it to Megu-nee) to its animation (dem eyes, man, so expressive). At this point this show’s pretty much my favourite of the season, really. And we’re already halfway now, nooo~

    • August 15, 2015 at 1:17 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Heck, one just has to look at something like The Walking Dead. A majority of the time, that’s exactly what the group is doing – “just surviving”.

      It’s why, earlier on in season two, Rick was trying so hard to get Hershel to allow the group to stay on the farm, even if it meant participating in some…unconventional activities from time to time; he wanted to get a sense of normalcy for the group, and we, the viewers, can easily see just how fragmented things have been becoming with the group (and already were when we first meet them), and as Dale was worrying, that they were losing their humanity.

      As such horrible events can bring out the best in humanity, it can also just as easily bring out the worst…

  • August 15, 2015 at 6:03 amTaiakun

    The montage of the scenes where Megu-nee wasn’t actually in during the credits was definitely heartbreaking! I wonder if anyone who did not pick up the clues and managed to not get spoiled up to this point might be tempted to have a second viewing.

    The fade-out during the preview scene hit the hardest for two main reasons:
    i) Everything apart from Megu-nee fading was normal. The music was happy. Bright colours abound. Yuki seemingly enjoying herself.
    ii) Megu fades silently but with a smile

    Heading off now to find the guy chopping onions…

    • October 6, 2015 at 4:41 pmKioku from Laptop

      The only thing about this show I knew going into it was “the art style does not match the tone of the show in the slightest.” So yeah, no real info about it. Damn, whoever said that was spot-on. I did not see this coming at all until the radio started messin up. Literally turned up the volume to make sure it wasn’t just me, and it clicked at about that time.

      Answer to your question: yes. This show will be watched again at least up to the halfway point.

  • August 15, 2015 at 6:08 amChar

    the bottled water scene was also a nice touch. You can hear the bottle dropping off-screen when Yuki was giving it to megu-nee.

    Out of the group, I think Rii-san is the closest to snapping. There were a lot of dark undertones with her behavior where she could just murder someone in a flash so let’s thank Yuki for being the emotional foundation of the group.

    • August 15, 2015 at 6:14 amAex

      Yeah, Rii is really close. She’s pretty much the clearest example that without Yuki, she and Kurumi probably would’ve died for one reason or another. She’s also got another reason to need Yuki, but I don’t think we’ll get there this season.

      Never underestimate the need for a mood-setter!

    • August 16, 2015 at 11:34 amhaseo0408

      To be honest all the girls are really close to snapping and the only thing keeping them sane is Yuki. Solitude and remorse were eating Miki from the inside out, Kurumi felt tremendou over the death of the senpai she loved and Rii-san is de facto leader of the group and pressure that entails is obviouly crushing her under that smiling face; combine all this with the fact nobody is coming to the rescue of the girls and you have one serious problem to the minds of those girls uuki is their savior in some sense and until they can find somewhere safer than the shool to settle down let´s hope Yuki´s illusion doesn´t because I don´t think the group will last a week without her cheerfulness.

  • August 15, 2015 at 6:10 amAex

    Wow, Rii has some bite to her! You don’t really see that in the manga, but I liked it. It showed how much she treasures Yuki and despite Yuki already accepting her, Miki was still an outsider to Rii, especially if she wasn’t going to get on the same page and cause harm. The bathroom scene was touching with how she immediately snapped into defense, then softened as Miki kept talking. Those eyes were scary in a very maternal way.

    PTSD in its most basic, water-down explanation is the inability to accept what has happened. The anime didn’t show it as clearly so I’m not sure, but the manga hinted that Yuki was already imagining the school still in tact at Megu-nee’s advice just to get through the day, and then Megu-nee’s death made her forget that what she was imagining wasn’t real. She couldn’t cope, so she chose the easiest root on her mind, and literally expelled the memories of everything that had happened by turning them into Megu-nee. She’s Yuki’s danger-instinct, and in the way that Kurumi pointed out, almost a sixth-sense. I said it before in spoilers, but Yuki has gone the way of Russell Crowe’s character in “A Beautiful Mind.” They’re all her thoughts, she just doesn’t realize that she’s the one having them. It’s a really interesting character choice that works just a little differently from other hallucinations that I really can’t explain properly.

    Put it all together, and the whole thing works beautifully!

  • August 15, 2015 at 7:03 amTadashi

    My heart broke, but I did not cry!

  • August 15, 2015 at 7:09 amanothercat

    I thought it’d be a turning point when Yuki started seeing the world as it really is, but instead everyone just hurried and continued to indulge her. I have to say, I was hoping that this manga would bring a fresh take on the zombie genre, but the characters’ actions and reasoning are just knocking down all credibility and good sense to me. I have a hard time imagining a decent set up where:
    - Someone in Yuki’s condition would managed to survive (even with others’ help) while the rest of the world -who tried to- didn’t.
    - People who didn’t even know her to begin with would accept to carry her when she’d be useless to any group. Yes I don’t buy the “Her ptsd is what’s keeping our group altogether” thing. If anything it’d be more like “She’s eventually gonna get every last of us killed”.

    As for Megu-nee’s death, most of the audience more or less knew at this point that she was just in Yuki’s head so it didn’t come as a surprise anymore. Besides, the way she died was also classic (for the genre) and soft (no gore deatils) so… I can’t say that I found her death (which happened prior to the beginning of the narrative) to be either more shocking or more heartbreaking really.

    • August 15, 2015 at 7:50 amAex

      It all depends on how you look at Yuki. Miki was a good other perspective since, like you said, it’s easy to imagine she would just drag the group down and they should just hurry and wake her up, although mental disorders are never that cut-and-dried. Waking her up could’ve rendered her catatonic and even if she did recover, the shock might’ve made her useless much more literally. On the other hand, as she is now she gives them a reason to fight harder to survive. In a way she’s like the child that holds a marriage together, because both parents see the need to be responsible and keep trying.

      There’s also the fact that she isn’t useless. She comes up with ideas that the others would’ve gotten to eventually, but have an easier time accepting that they need to go outside their comfort-zone because Yuki is spurring them on. She doesn’t let them get complacent or careless. Kurumi explains it in the episode.

      The question of how she survived is simply circumstance, like we saw. She was with Megu-nee and the four of them were on the roof. After that we don’t see it, but Megu-nee probably brought the girls together, and Yuki’s disposition endeared her to them. A lot of this is playing on the thought that girls have strong maternal instincts and wouldn’t abandon someone that was a bit troubled, and we don’t know how long it was before Megu-nee died. It could’ve been months, at which point they’ve already cemented a strong relationship where they wouldn’t just abandon Yuki.

      So it’s understandable where you’re coming from, but I can’t say I agree.

    • August 15, 2015 at 10:29 pmTakala

      Im too one of the ppl who dont buy the “her PTSD is what holding the group together” thing also

  • August 15, 2015 at 7:17 amNamaewoinai

    めぐねえええええええええええええええええええええええ!!

    Ah…Oops Actually this is what the Japanese are comment about…Well…

    RIP Megumi Sakura…She got REKT in DIOroni Spaghetti with MUDA MUDA sauce! XDD

  • August 15, 2015 at 12:23 pmMormegil

    ell, that was sad. Not surprising, but sad. Poor Yuki. Poor Megu-nee. :(

    It’s interesting how Kurumi and Yuuri(and now Miki) see Yuki’s current state as a bastion of joy and sanity in an otherwise terrible world. She’s the anchor, and is honestly probably what keeps them going. Even if Miki was averse to it at first, in the end she also understood the effect Yuki had on the girls, and herself. All that being said, I do wonder if Miki will ever try to snap Yuki out of it. Yuuri got really upset(and almost looked like she was going to snap) when Miki brought it up. It’s clearly not very healthy for all of them, Yuki especially; but this is a zombie outbreak, and they need to keep their sanity somehow. It’s a really interesting dynamic.

    Anyway, great show. As usual.

  • August 15, 2015 at 4:39 pmLuki

    Yuki’s “PTSD” is an incredibly gross representation of the condition. I know first hand my husband suffers a severe case after serving in the army and despises this show for it’s portrayal of the illness (and I dislike it as well but it’s used for plot development in this show and isn’t not meant to be an accurate representation).

    I didn’t find this episode has heartbreaking as previous ones, if anything it was a little boring for me. I’m looking forward to seeing if they do show Show Spoiler ▼

    since it was a really powerful arc in the manga!

    • August 15, 2015 at 5:47 pmAex

      To be fair (and a little cold, sorry) the show never actually calls it PTSD. Rii and Kurumi admit that they don’t know what to call it, but since they aren’t experts they don’t touch it. It’s kinda a bad hand-wave, and with the changes this episode I doubt we’ll get the part with Miki really looking into it and deciding it doesn’t fit PTSD at all like the manga. I think people call it that because it “fits” to them, but the “stress” was just a trigger. I admit I call it that in passing too, but personally I find it closer to true schizophrenia and other delusional disorders(tho I’m far from an expert). Yuki’s aware on some very small level that she’s delusional since she can recognize the danger of the zombies, but they never really get into it because they just don’t have the appropriate character to use as an instrument. High-schoolers giving a deep diagnosis would just be strange since none of them have been set up as geniuses.

      • August 16, 2015 at 11:44 amhaseo0408

        Well there a theory that I read in a forum that says that Yuki is well aware of everything arounds her but she´s lying to herself with such a conviction in order to smile for her friends that she actually belives it, if this is the case I don´t think it would be hallucination and PTSD does not manifest in such a convinient way. As Takaii-san said in the season preview the human mind is so complex that is no telling what it could do to protect itself and doctors can´t put a label on everything it creates out of desperation.

    • August 15, 2015 at 7:10 pmcookiethief

      Yuki has more of an active psychosis or hallucinatory condition than PTSD. I would venture to say that PTSD used to be grossly ignored in the military until about the 1980s, but now people tend to label anything that hints of trauma and a re-experiencing of trauma as PTSD.

  • August 16, 2015 at 1:28 amImpel Down Hippo

    I wasn’t surprised, and only mildly sad, though that’s sort of because a lot of commenters are posting spoilers, so that really lessened the impact for me. It doesn’t matter if you don’t look at them or not, the simple fact is they allude to whatever it is in reference to. I guess the lesson here is just to avoid these comment threads.

  • August 16, 2015 at 1:49 amChromeNova

    I really liked this episode, but i wasn’t sad about it at all. I mean, everything that transpired were things that were already obvious, they just stated it clearly this ep. It was touching how miki grew to understand how important Yuki is to everyone’s happiness, but it kind of lacked the emotional impact I was expecting. I think when Yuki snaps out of her illusion world, that will be pretty emotional, so I’m looking forward to it.

    • August 18, 2015 at 3:28 amJekoJeko

      Yeah, I feel like we were in Miki’s head the whole time, coming to terms with the reality of Yuki’s delusion without reacting too strongly to it. Gives the feeling that both her understanding and unease towards Yuki are feelings that she’ll have sustained for a long time after, as our non-flashback episodes have shown.

  • August 18, 2015 at 2:03 amLoliHat

    This is the type of show where, after all is said and done, you go back to try to hunt down all the clues.

    I haven’t read the manga, but with first the ending of the first episode, and now the confirmation of Megu-nee’s ending, it makes one wonder what else is just a delusion?

  • August 18, 2015 at 1:45 pmJekoJeko

    I’m happy they held back on the intensity of the Megu-nee reveal; we’ve already let it slowly sink in, like Rii-san and Kurumi have, so it’s fitting that the greatest impact of her death should be reserved for when Yuki finally wakes up and smell the zombies.

    More of my thoughts here: https://unnecessaryexclamationmark.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/gakkou-gurashi-06/

    Not enough Shovel Knight this week though. If that death flag meant anything last week, we should be seeing more of her, not less!

  • August 23, 2015 at 8:39 pmXXXmakeitrainXXX

    I don’t know about Yuuri’s decision to let Yuki have her own delusion even more. I mean wouldn’t it a better choice to immediately make Yuki realize the real situation here? Its better to hurt now than later.

    Cause seriously, what if all of the sudden Yuki had a mental breakdown in a middle of scavenging some supplies out of the school? She’s gonna get everyone kill.