Gakkou Gurashi! – 10

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Fun Time is officially over as shit hits the fan on all fronts in this taut, slithering, devastating, unforgiving powerhouse of an episode. It starts quiet on a rainy morning. Miki laments that she’s finished her book—at the end of which its implied the dog comes to a bad end—Rii-san informs her why she’s so down: this is the same kind of day when they lost Megu-nee, their sensei and caring protector. Ever since then, Rii-san has been trying to fill the void Megu-nee left, and the strain shows this week as pretty much everything that can go wrong, does.

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Kurumi, the muscle of the group, confidently strikes out to find the escaped Taroumaru, assuring Rii-san she won’t do anything rash. She ultimately can’t abide by that assurance, first locating a zombified Taroumaru, then Megu-nee herself, in the previously un-explored basement. Why she goes alone is beyond me, but like I said, she’s a tough one, so I guess Rii-san felt she could trust her to come back safe and sound on her own.

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As soon as she spots both Taroumaru and Megu-nee, Kurumi knows what she has to do; it’s just a matter of being able to do it. She was able to kill her would-be boyfriend before he killed her back when this all started, but her hesitation results in Taroumaru running rampant until she can trap him in a room (with a non-sliding door he can’t open). And when Megu-nee raises her face, Kurumi can’t help but see her memory of her warm, beautiful, heroic teacher, not the shambling monster before her.

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She loses her nerve, and Megu-nee bites her. Damn, that was fast. Kurumi gets back to the safe zone, but it isn’t long before the wound starts to fester, and it becomes pretty clear that things are not going to go any better for her than they went for the dog or the teacher. It’s only a matter of time.

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During this time, as she screams in her sleep, we go inside her head, where she’s trapped in a nightmare in which countless zombies stalk her from just behind the walls of a classroom she’s in.

When they break through, her mind will be lost and she’ll be one of them. The only glimmer of hope she can be saved comes when Miki consults the emergency manual, which indicates there’s medicine—an antidote?—down in the basement shelter.

Rii-san doesn’t want Miki to go alone, but she doesn’t have much choice; she has to be there if and when Kurumi turns. As for Yuki, her bubbly obliviousness is more of a liability than ever. Miki and Rii-san are going through emotional issues of their own, and they have no time to babysit her.

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Miki finds Kurumi’s shovel, but also spots Taroumaru’s still-full dog bowl and collapses into tears, remembering how Kurumi lamented that she’d “failed”, and believing she too had failed to protect Taroumaru, just when they had kinda become friends last week.

Miki claims not being close to Megu-nee (who we see sitting down there, “writing”) will make it easier to take her out, but the dog’s down there too, so her task to grab the medicine—before Kurumi turns—is not going to be easy, to put it mildly.

As for Yuki, when she stops in the hall to remark to herself how today is like “that day”, and she then asks herself what “that day” is, and then feels the cold rain hitting her on the face. She sees the broken window now, just as the zombies burst through the ground floor and start bringing the barricades down.

We can imagine what she’ll see next week. The question is: how will she react to her sudden awakening? Will she be able to play a role in her own and everyone else’s survival, or are they all doomed?

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

8 thoughts on “Gakkou Gurashi! – 10”

  1. This more than compensates for swimsuit filler. In fact, it almost makes one long for the sweet gentle days of swimsuit filler when everyone was happy and Taroumaru wasn’t dead. Even as a manga reader I’m scared; I have no idea what’s going to go down.

    Taroumaru was very minor in the manga, and the zombies didn’t break through the barricade at this point in the manga (though other equally disastrous things went down), so I don’t have a clue who will live or who will die.

    Combined with Miki’s meta comments about “I was hoping for a happier ending with this version, even though I know what happens in the original”, it’s probably not gonna be happier than what went down in the manga, or might even be much worse.

    1. Well, let’s review and see where everyone’s at:

      1. Megu-nee is a zombie (who, like the students, is still vaguely going through the motions of her life before she died);
      2. Taroumaru is a zombie;
      3. Kurumi, the most capable “soldier” of the group, has been bitten and it’s only a matter of time before she becomes a zombie;
      4. Miki is going to where Kurumi got bitten, either to her death or to find medicine;
      5. Rii-san shows signs of cracking under the weight of the leadership role she inherited from Megu-nee, and probably also feels guilty she let Kurumi go alone; and finally,
      6. Yuki is finally starting to return to reality from her dissociative state.

      Things are certainly not peachy. We’ll see if the medicine is only being dangled before us as a glimmer of false hope before bringing the Hammer of Despair down upon us, or if it’s a legitimate means to save Kurumi.

      I’m also interested to see if Yuki’s “awakening” is a good thing—happening at the time when her friends most need her to be present and clear-headed—or a bad thing, in which she’ll descend into an even deeper psychosis.

  2. Great episode, great review too. Well the days of sunshine, swimming, and being accustomed to their little world have all changed. The next episodes are balanced on a knife edge and it’s going to make for great anime. I’m not expecting the JSDF or any heroes to show up any time soon. The girls have to find it in themselves to get through this and how they will do that – if they will do that – has me on the edge of my seat already.

  3. Dog zombies are so scary.

    Kidding aside, this episode is just so heart-wrenching and so depressing. I could feel for the girls’ loss and despair of the situation. And even if they somehow manage to get the cure for Kurumi, there is still the matter of a mass of zombies closing in on them. So sad…

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