12 Days of Visual Novel Reviews – Day 2: School Days
So I assume everyone has either seen or at least heard of the School Days anime. It is well known among anime fans as either having the worst main character of all time or having the worst ending of all time. (At least I think that is what everyone thinks about it.)
The School Days visual novel is a fairly unique experience as the whole thing is a movie. Everything else is the same as a normal visual novel, there are still choices which affect what happens in the story.
School Days starts with Makoto falling in love with Kotonoha, a girl he has been admiring on the train to his school. His classmate Sekai notices his feelings, and helps him get together with her. On the day of Makoto’s first date with Kotonoha, while waiting for her to arrive he is kissed by Sekai. Makoto has no choice but to go on his date while being very confused about what happened.
Sekai and Kotonoha are the game’s two main heroines, with the majority of the 22 endings being focused on one of them. Surprisingly, I found myself liking a lot of the characters in School Days (Makoto, Sekai, Otome, Setsuna, Kokoro and Hikari). Everyone else I felt fairly neutral about, except for Taisuke and Kotonoha. Taisuke is a terrible person with very little redeeming qualities, and Kotonoha I just could not stand at all.
School Days was an interesting experience for me. I liked Sekai a lot, but the games setting makes it a very hard story to digest because of how painful it is. It really doesn’t help that I despise Kotonoha, she has the absolute worst personality and ruins everything.
The bad ends in school days can be pretty graphic content wise but there are only 4 of them which isn’t really that much. Also unfortunately the end from the anime was anime original and therefore not included in the visual novel.
It’s interesting to note that the all-ages ps2 version of the game increases the amount of bad ends to 9, and extended the current bad ends.
While most of the bad ends are pretty cringe-worthy in how graphic they are, the least graphic bad end remains my favourite ending in the game.
Despite not being able to consider School Days a good visual novel, it was worth it for me because of the characters I liked. The story can be painfully awkward to watch at times though, so I can definitely understand people not liking it much.
It might be worth playing through a few playthroughs of School Days to experience the interactive movie format. Although Shiny Days is probably a better choice for that because it is newer and has more lighthearted content. (Personally I’ll be waiting for the bugfix patch so some of the system bugs can be fixed before I play it though.)
- Arguably likable characters.
- Unique interactive movie format.
- The really awkward cringe-worthy situations somehow work.
- Buggy system that crashes a lot.
- Graphical glitches.
- Art is poor at times, especially in non h-scene and non close-up shots.