It's the second day of Spring. Love is in the air, and you want to sit down and watch some lite romance to ease you into a chipper spirit. Well if so, you've come to the wrong place. In a sentence, School Days is a harem love story where shit.gets.real.
Pardon my urban phrasing, but that is a simple fact with this anime. It is bold, it is risque, it is filthy, it is outright upsetting. And it is this author's humble opinion that a very select few anime watchers are cut-out to watch this anime.
The show starts rather unremarkably. Our male lead starts off like any typical harem anime male lead. Awkward, oblivious, inexperienced, innocent, humble, and all the same possessing that annoying cliche ability to make any girl he comes in contact with obsess over him.
Details, details, details... (I'm not going to watch the show for you).
After learning a thing or two about girls, and gaining (via contemptible means) some experience with them, we have a new male lead. The same person, over, let's say several weeks is now a womanizing, apathetic, insensitive, deceiving, raw incarnation of Id. Yet still possess that harem charm. This young man (who everyone ultimately hates) offers the watcher a new take on what could happen (and if I'm being quite honest, probably would happen most of the time if anime-like harems were real) when given free reign over the pick of the litter. He dabbles, samples, uses, and discards. He shamelessly builds and breaks these girls, some worse so than others.
Were there others like this show I might have been less inclined to rate it so graciously. But the fact is, the creators here sought to take a genre that is ludicrously overdone, and twist it and turn it in ways that has scarcely ever been done. And the results are in: The general anime-watching public did not have the fortitude to handle a lovestory-turned-tragedy. I, however, have a lot of respect for the twists they made, and found this anime love story to be far more enteraining than any of the other scarce few I've dragged myself through.
I've said enough -- In fact, I've said too much. I would recommend this anime to anyone, but that's only because I truly had a lot of respect for what the writers did. The writers wanted to show you what can happen when the love polygon goes wrong. And they did so without any mercy. Sorry, this isn't Clannad, and we're not going to see any Deus ex Machina fixing our little tragedy when things take a turn for the worse. Do you have a strong stomach? Do you enjoy tragedy? Maybe you need a good cry? Or perhaps you're an outright sadist. If so, have a seat, and let the last two-thirds of this anime shock the system, rend your emotions, pour vinegar on them, and then rend them some more.
Here's my excused scorings (thanks to Roriconfan for the template)
ART SECTION: 7/10
General Artwork 2/2 (fine)
Character Figures 1/2 (they all sort of look alike)
Backgrounds 2/2 (fine for this type of show)
Animation 1/2 (sometimes a little wonky)
Visual Effects 1/2 (black blood?)
SOUND SECTION: 8/10
Voice Acting 3/3 (fitting for this show)
Music Themes 2/4 (BGM was great, OT was meh)
Sound Effects 3/3 (fine)
STORY SECTION: 8/10
Premise 2/2 (unprecedented)
Pacing 1/2 (starts a little slow, but picks up)
Complexity 1/2 (a lesson or three in fidelity)
Plausibility 2/2 (off the wall, but all possible)
Conclusion 2/2 (bizarre, hard hitting)
CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10
Presence 2/2 (strong)
Personality 1/2 (inexplicably bizarre)
Backdrop 0/2 (none)
Development 2/2 (quite present)
Catharsis 2/2 (the ending is catharsis)
VALUE SECTION: 8/10
Historical Value 2/3 (notoriously hated for breaking the mold)
Rewatchability 2/3 (it's eerily gripping even on a second go)
Memorability 4/4 (bizarre, tragic, and notorious to the point of forever remembering it).
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 8/10
Art 1/1 (gets the job done)
Sound 1/2 (so-so)
Story 2/3 (simple, but unique)
Characters 3/4 (inexplicable, but gripping)