“Strange friend, past, present, and to be;
Love deeplier, darklier understood;
Behold, I dream a dream of good,
And mingle all the world with thee.”
– In Memoriam A.H.H., Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Little is revealed of Yuki Takeya in the immediate aftermath.
While School-Live! is never shown from her viewpoint, Yuki’s attendance is incredibly important to the series’ direction. When Yuki is present, everything is different from the flow of conversation between girls to the visual look and style. In it’s premiere, School-Live! spent almost the entirety of the episode in blissful ignorance alongside Yuki, with small hints leaving a breadcrumb trail leading up to the last-minute reveal. From this point on, we know that Yuki’s mind has broken, and any narration or point of view from her perspective is compromised.
However, as School-Live! eschews telling the story through any one character – even when episodes focus on a specific individual – the importance of just how much is compromised can often be forgotten as a viewer attempts to put together the pieces. Yuki’s mind is shattered, but the extent of her psychological damage is unknown. The girls themselves admit this in a conversation about Yuki, when Miki asks if they should do something about her delusions.
Following the series fourth episode, the figurative curtain is pulled back a bit more, revealing the depth of Yuki’s broken psyche. Their cheerful teacher Megu-nee allows Kurumi to drive her car for no logical reason, and the keys are never touched by Megu-nee herself. Additionally Megu-nee’s timely appearance in the vehicle’s backseat in spite of her absence in Kurumi’s mad dash to reach the car give the viewer a key piece of the puzzle.
Yuki is the only person who can “see” Megu-nee, because Megu-nee is already dead.
This in and of itself is another “soft reveal” of sorts. Combined with an introduction to Miki Naoki’s story in Episode 4, an astute viewer can begin to piece together a timeline. Yuki is purposefully shown as distraught upon seeing the extent of the zombie infestation, as well as Kurumi killing their classmate; however, the viewer has no way of knowing if that is the moment that her mind breaks, or if something worse was the cause. All the viewer does know, is that at some point between writing her letter in the teacher’s lounge and magically appearing in the backseat of her own car, Megumi Sakura died.
School-Live! never breaks its own rules. Examining previous episodes after watching the fourth will only reveal that the clues were already there – additionally, smaller things fall into place, like why Taroumaru is afraid of Miki. Yuki always talks to Megu-nee first, before the others do, with the exception of choice flashbacks shown in Episode Three. Often Yuki will restate what Megu-nee says, effectively translating it to the others. Additionally, Miki is the most uncomfortable when “Megu-nee” is present due to her joining the group later in the timeline, when Megu-nee had already died.
“It’s okay. Everyone cares about you. They’re all trying to save you. As long as you have them, you don’t need to worry about any ghost.”
– Megumi Sakura (Megu-nee) to Yuki Takeya, School-Live!, Episode 2
While Yuki is indubitably delusional, it’s always Megu-nee who stops her from doing something completely rash, or reminding her how valuable her friends are. Megu-nee is the part of Yuki’s brain that recognizes that there is still something awful happening, even if the rest of her mind refuses to realize it.