Had Gakkou Gurashi simply been about its one “plot twist” – shown in the final moments of its premiere episode – it likely wouldn’t have held my attention. However, its third episode delivers a poignant and well-directed look at a young teacher who steps up in the fact of overwhelming adversity.
“There are days when nothing goes right. There are days when you stumble and fall. There are days when you just want to cry. To cry a lot. To sleep a lot. Or even to eat a lot. It’s alright as long as you pick yourself up again. Until the day you no longer draw breath.”
-Gakkou Gurashi, Vol. 5, Ch. 28
Mild manga spoilers to follow.
“I am Sakura Megumi, I was the Japanese teacher at Megurigaoka Private High School . . . no, I am still the Japanese teacher. Even if this building no longer functions as a school.”
-from Megumi Sakura’s journal, School-Live!, Episode 3
“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
In another series, Kurumi Ebisuzawa may have had her wish fulfilled. Joining the track team to pursue a relationship with her senior – as much as one can pursue a romantic relationship by staring from a distance – Kurumi scores a chance to make her romantic dreams come true when that same senior meets up with her on the school rooftop.
The scene is perfectly crafted. As the two look over the railing at the sun setting over their town, the atmosphere is ripe for a confession.