Episode 6

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 6 of
School-Live! ?

Ever since episode 2, suppositions have been flying about the true status of the teacher Megumi. With one short scene, episode 6 definitively puts those to rest. The Megumi we see in scenes set past the initial zombie attack is, indeed a figment of Yuki's imagination – her imaginary friend, if you will. Megumi really is dead, but she did stay true to her nature to the bitter end by protecting her students both from a horde of zombies and from her (presumably) zombie-injured self. The scene where it happens is simple, poignant, and harrowing without being needlessly graphic; in other words, just another example of how flawless the execution in this series has been since episode 1.

But that is just a small part of the episode. The rest of it is a continuation of the flashback from episodes 4 and 5. With Miki (and Taroumaru!) now rescued and united with the School Life Club, she gets jarringly introduced to Yuki's delusions until a sit-down with Yuri and Kurumi clarifies their situation a bit better. Rather than explain the value of letting Yuki play out her delusions, though, Yuri and Kurumi demonstrate it through an impromptu “sports festival” proposed by Yuki. Between allowing Miki to experience that and Kurumi elaborating a bit more afterwards, Miki comes to understand the importance of playing along with Yuki's delusions: it not only protects Yuki's fragile mind but her insanity is also, effectively, keeping the rest of them sane. And, Miki realizes, is what Miki had been lacking when previously holed up with her friend Kei.

That also brings up an interesting observation: as discordant as the girls' playing around might seem when set against the horror of the zombie apocalypse, that's their survival mechanism. The importance of keeping morale up in an ongoing crisis is often highly underrated, as it can mean the difference between staying healthy and wallowing in despair. That is an element not commonly seen in zombie apocalypse scenarios, so it sets this one apart as much as the emphasis on cute girls do.

The other two things that episode 6 does are to provide the first serious fan service (a shower scene involving Miki gets racier than it strictly needs to) and imply that Yuki's delusions were triggered by Megumi's death rather than starting before it. Some of Yuri's comments about Megumi indicate that she was the one who kept their spirits up in the wake of the calamity, which would suggest that Yuki's current role as a morale-booster was something that she took over from Megumi. How pitch-perfect the music continues to be in execution is also one of the series' unsung strengths. Additionally, those watching carefully may have noticed that the opener updated in a subtle but meaningful way on episode 5, while episode 6 gets a new and more melancholy closer which emphasizes Megumi's passing.

Really, this episode stumbles not in the slightest and does what it is trying to do precisely and very well, so I see no reason to do anything other than continue to give it a high grade.

Rating: A

School-Live! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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