September 10, 2015

Gakkou Gurashi Ep03

Well, if nothing else, I'm persistent.  Slow, but persistent.  Like kudzu, or the plague.  I'm not giving up on this project, even if it runs me into the ground, thereafter becoming a member of the waddling dead and make a cameo appearance in this show.  Ladies and Gentlemen and other readers of The Pond, the world's first zombie duck.  Except, of course, that wouldn't be true, not by a long shot.  I was about to say the world's first zombie blogger, but... well... I mean... y'know.  Kinda hard to tell the difference, really.  So.  Gakkou Gurashi.  Let's review, shall we?  In Ep01, we met the more-or-less lead character and discover that she's more than a little bit tetched in da haid.  To be fair, she's got good reason: zombie apocalypse!  In Ep02, we're introduced to the rest of the School Living club, featuring Shovel Girl.  Oh, and the impossible school store.  So what wonders will Ep03 bring us?  Well, chances are you already know, since I'm writing this over a month since the episode first aired, but let's pretend, shall we?  Actually, to be fair, I've kinda forgotten the details already, and I haven't watched the show since then.  Remember the rules, everybody: I'm not interested in hearing how the manga does it, and I really don't want to know spoilers and details I haven't experienced yet.  Or I'll become very angry and you won't like what happens then.  So let's get on with Ep03!

The teacher, Megu-nee, is sitting in the teacher's office and writing in a journal, and cheerful, lighthearted writings they are, too!  "This may end up being my will."  Whee, so happy!  The members of the School Living Club are off doing something or other and she has some free time, so it looks like her writing means flashbacks for us!

If nothing else, though, this does seem to answer the burning question as to whether or not she's actually real or a figment of Yuki's imagination.  One gets the impression that Yuki can't spell "journal", let alone dream up someone writing in one.  So what really happened when the zombies came?

"I stayed up late the night before the world came to an end."  However, being a good adult, her alarm goes off at 6am, much too early in my book, and then she gets a text from her mother.  Seems Megu-nee is a brand new, wet behind the ears, teacher... a little meek, and mom worries about her.  I am not going to sniffle.  I am not going to sniffle.

After a piece of toast, she's off to work.  On her way, two more texts come in from mom, which she ignores: "I'm driving."  However, she does notice... there sure seems to be a lot of sirens this lovely morning.  Police cars, ambulances, more police cars, is that a helicopter in her rear view mirror?  Hm. Curious.

Once in the teacher's office, she gets lectured by the Vice-Principal.  Seems he's not pleased with the way she tends to be friends with her students, as opposed to being all "I'm an adult" with them.  While I understand his view, I think he's wrong.  It was the few teachers I thought I could trust that I learned the most from in high school, and those were the ones who treated me like a person.  Ellen, the orchestra teacher, for example.  Or George, the theatre teacher who I never actually had for a class.  Or Ralph, the chemistry teacher, who knew me because I was friends with his daughter.  They were good.  Okay, maybe not Ellen.  Come to think of it, I'm not even sure I liked her very much.  But I don't think she thought of me (or any of us) as students.  Neither did the vice-principal, Eugenia... I think to her we were all hooligans and ne'er-do-wells.  Of course, I also remember her as being about 208 years old, so my memory may be faulty.

Turns out the V-P gives that little "no friends" speech to all the new teachers, so Megu-nee probably shouldn't pay too much attention to it.  As the other teacher gives her a pep talk, the TV in the corner is reporting news of a disturbance of some sort occurring downtown.

Oh dear.  Just so you're aware, the people crouched over the prone forms are not helping to care for the injured.  Unless you count "eating them" as caring for them.  If you do, then yes, yes, they're caring for them.  Deeply and passionately.  Brainz.

Some time thereafter, Megu-nee Sakura-sensei is returning tests when she comes to Yuki's.  Apparently she didn't do very well, and she's told to stay after for additional study.  The whispers of the rest of the class tell the story about what they think of Yuki... and it's not good.  They feel sorry for their teacher, having to spend time with the little weirdo in the kitty-ear hat.  I don't think I ever felt sorry for a teacher having to spend extra time with a student, but then, I may have been the little weirdo in the kitty-ear hat.  Metaphorically, that is.  I have never worn a kitty-ear hat.

After school, while Yuki and Sakura-sensei work through a problem together, another student quietly gets the teacher's attention.  Not even one of her students, except in the way that all children are part of a teacher's purview.  And if you believe that, well, I've got a lovely can of spray-on zombie repellent for you.  Axe Body Spray, it's called... you use it on yourself and everybody who smells you knows you don't have brainz.  Heh.

Kurumi is... um... feelin' all kinda warm and tingly when she's around her track team senpai, and she doesn't quite know what's going on.  She does know that she can't just talk about it to just anybody, but Megu-nee is a-okay to her!  The teacher quickly figures out that the twin-tailed lass has gots the luv bug, and gives her some advice (that we don't get to hear, because do you really think anybody on an anime production staff knows anything about romance?  And no, body pillows don't count).  Feeling better, Kurumi runs off to rejoin the track team in their track teamy antics... and with a small victory under her belt for the day, the teacher returns to her less-than-stellar pupil.

But then she gets a series of texts from her mother saying things like "Emergency!" and "Call me!" and one of them has a link to a grainy cellphone video of violence in a nearby mall, and people being attacked in the streets and trains running over people walking on the tracks, and it's all very ominous and creepy and this has been an awfully long sentence hasn't it?  Anyway, to keep her pupil from trying to go home despite the trains not running, they decide to go up to the roof.

Where the Gardening Club meets.  While Yuki helps Yuri, the gardening club member, in an attempt to snag a mini-tomato or two, Sakura-sensei gets a call from the other young teacher, from back when the vice-principal was scolding Megu-nee, and she's panicked.

Something very very wrong is happening.  After finding out that Megu-nee is on the roof, she tells her to stay there, make sure the door is locked and don't let anybody in.  Then there's a crash on the phone, the other teacher screams something about the staff room, the phone goes dead...

...and someone starts pounding on the door to the roof.

I can't tell you just how high I jumped when this moment played out on my screen at two a.m.  Much like Ep02, I may possibly have peed myself a tiny bit.  If you're thinking that's a lot of unplanned weeing, well, you're not wrong.  If and/or when you get to be my age, you may change your mind.  Unless you are my age (or older), and you may have changed your mind already.  Anyway...

The pounding continues but the door is locked.  Who-, or more ominously what-ever it is on the other side can't get in.  The other two aren't aware of it, but Sakura-sensei knows that something's wrong but they're safe.

...and then Yuki yells "coming!" as she heads for the door with her variable-incidence wings in full sweep.  Though she doesn't move a muscle, though her expression doesn't change in the slightest, one can just tell that, at this moment, the kind and gentle teacher very much wants to chuck the kitty-eared cap-wearing student off the roof.  Repeatedly, if possible.  Instead, she just says "wait."  The two students look at her like she's suddenly grown a wombat.  The pounding changes to desperate pleas for help from a familiar voice.  The teacher listens briefly, then opens the door just long enough to let in...   

...Kurumi and her one twoo wuv from the track team.  He's hurt, and she's carried him all the way from the track to the roof.  Damn, girl's gots herself some some stamina.  When Yuri sees that he's hurt, she immediately says "let's get him to the nurse".  Kurumi's response is cryptic... in effect, it's "we can't, it's too late."  Well, yeah, the sun is going down but the school has lights, right?  And then Yuki almost casually asks "what's that?"

Oh, right... the track team.  Turns out they weren't the first in the school to get it, but pretty close... and them one of them got senpai McDreamy, and here we are.  As Yuki's mind starts to wear a groove in the thought "why is this happening?"...

Oh dear.  We got trouble, right here in River City.  That's trouble with a capital "T" and that rhymes with "Z", and that stands for Zombie!  Zombies that appear to cause random fires to break out across town... perhaps what they use for circulatory fluid is actually napalm?  Mm, that will raise the difficulty level a touch, won't it?  Suddenly, more pounding on the door to the roof, but this time accompanied by loud evil-ish moaning.  The dead break a window (which wasn't there before, it must be pointed out) in the door and Yuki's fragile little mind snaps, leaving her wailing and sniffling.  Then, just as it seems like all would be over and the series a short OVA...

Sakura-sensei shoves one of the Gardening Club's lockers in front of the door.  Unfortunately, even with her pushing against it, the undead seem to be about to get in anyway.  Yuri pitches in and that seems to stem the tide a bit, allowing the teacher to order the broken Yuki to shove another piece of equipment in front of the door.  So let's recap.  There are five people on the roof: Sakura-sensei and Yuri are pushing against the zombies trying to get in.  Yuki is responding to orders and trying to reinforce the door.  That leaves two: Kurumi and her track team senpai, who for simplicity's sake I'm just going to call Skippy.  And since this would be a horrible time for Skippy to turn into a zombie...

...Skippy turns into a zombie.  Though upon further reflection, I'm not entirely sure I can think of a good time to turn into a zombie.  Maybe before Boyapalooza, a concert festival made up entirely of boy bands.  Though perhaps beheading yourself with a soup spoon would be more merciful.  Skippy knocks his besotted kohai down, at the last moment she meets Shovel-kun, and...

Symbolism!  And a shovel in the throat of Skippy, too.  The rest of the group looks horrified, but Kurumi doesn't notice as she stands over the undead body of Skippy, which is still moving.  She then begins to rain blows down upon Skippy's head with Shovel-kun.  So, I'm thinking this means the relationship isn't working out?  Kurumi doesn't appear to be thinking about stopping anytime soon, until...

...Yuki appears to have complete emotional-level failure and starts sobbing and clutching at Kurumi.  This snaps Shovelgirl out of her mental lock, but looks like we've seen the reason why Yuki is the way she is.

So to recap: there are four people on the roof.  Sakura-sensei and Yuri are holding the door.  Yuki is a gibbering mess.  Kurumi is having something of a reaction herself after hitting Skippy with a shovel somewhere between five and a thousand times.  Yuri asks an ill-timed but still pertinent question: if the entire school and the outside world has been overrun by the shambling not-so-alive, what's going to happen to them?  Before Megu-nee can respond, her flashback comes to an end.

She believes that outside help will come... eventually.  Until then, she'll defend the girls for the rest of her life.  Because she's their teacher, and it's her duty.  Jumpcut to some other time different from the above...

...the School Living Club is having hardtack for lunch.  Seems they can't cook because the power is out.  Also means they don't have any hot water, much to the dismay of Yuki, who revels in hot showers.  Well, don't we all?  Growing up, the Old Home Pond didn't have a shower.  I didn't start taking regular showers to start the day until college, when I took a racketball class at 8am just so I could shower at the club we met at.  Which also explains why I took the class for all four semesters I was at the junior college before I went to Duck U, even though I didn't get credit for three of those semesters.  Well, that and I actually really enjoyed racketball.  I was actually pretty good at it, too!  By the end of that first semester, the only person who could beat me was the teacher.  By the end of the second semester, she and I were pretty much evenly matched.  By the end of the third semester, I was helping teach the class.  I wasn't fast... I couldn't really get from the front of the court to the back with any alacrity, for example... but I had quick reflexes and could judge angles better than any mathematician.  I also had an ability to get a killshot from anywhere on the court at any time.  Not always, but often enough that... oh.  Heh.  I got sidetracked.  Gee, that never happens!  Anyway, the decision is made (by Yuki, of course) that since there's no power, the School Living Club is going to go camping!  There's a four-person tent in storage, which will fit everybody!  Except for Megu-nee.  That's fine, she'll be on watch anyway.

And then the entire club thanks her for everything she's done for them.  D'awww.  The episode comes to an end with the four girls in the tent, trying not to tell scary stories or anything that brings back bad memories, like Yuki asking Kurumi if she ever had someone she liked.  They all agree that Megu-nee is a great teacher.

And with this ominous final image in our heads, we fade to black, roll credits.

So we still don't know how they got off the roof, and I have no idea if we're ever going to find out.  We also don't know where Miki came from, or the dog for that matter.  We do know that Sakura-sensei is a real thing, though, not some figment of Yuki's imagination that the others are humoring.  That's good to know, I think.

Next episode, and I love that I can say this and mean it: more zombies!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:10 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Really enjoying your writeups, but I'm not touching this one.  I feel a great, big train wreck coming at the end of the tunnel.

Posted by: Ben at September 10, 2015 09:52 PM (S4UJw)

2 A handful of broken schoolgirls and a partially broken teacher.


"That's trouble with a capital "T" and that rhymes with "Z", and that stands for Zombie!" Monorail! Er, wait...

Posted by: GreyDuck at September 13, 2015 10:56 AM (rX7cO)

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