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Anime Rewatch #4: Gakkou Gurashi! – Episode 3

The year is 2017. Desu Daily fans enjoy the next episode of Gakkou Gurashi.

Today we’re on episode three of Gakkou Gurashi, titled “That Time”

You can find the episode on Crunchyroll, or a different site.

Discussion and spoilers after the break!

  • AlienWarhead

    It’s nice to see a flashback to when the zombie first appeared.

  • Shrow

    I’m really loving this show so far. I uh… didn’t wait and watched all the way up to episode 7 so yeah i’m gonna lay off of it for a bit then jump back on when the re-watch catches up.

  • AngelSassin

    OH MY GOODNESS. Each episode just keeps getting more and more deep. I love how the story is unraveling about how the club ended up the way they did.

    As I’m a fan of symbolism and foreshadowing, I’m still keeping an eye out. And, since I missed commenting on the first two episodes, here’s a list of hints as to how you could have know there was something seriously wrong with this “slice of life” in the first episode before the reveal. Not sure how many of these are only hints in the English sub I watched or just translation quirks, but either way, they tipped me off.

    – They live at school. I only say this because when have you ever seen a slice of life anime with a club that lives at school? I could write this hint off because it could be the whole premise of the slice of life: “girls’ daily lives while living at school.”
    – Gas lantern in the opening scene. Why do they need this? They can just turn on the lights, right?
    – Taroumaru. The dog. What kind of school allows dogs? None.
    – The first shot of the school hallway shows three separate fire extinguishers. That’s a little excessive, but who knows, maybe japanese schools actually do that. Or not. Use in case of emergency.
    – No character other than club members and Megu-nee show their eyes. Symbol for lack of identity, as it’s impossible for Yuki to meet someone who isn’t there. The only exception to this is Yuki’s classmates, who she knows intimately. Of course, many other anime do this as well as a sort of artistic style to keep the attention away from unimportant characters, so this can also be written off.
    – The hallway shown immediately after the OP is somewhat dark and empty. Empty, sure, because class is starting. But DARK? Also, there are no lights shining through the classroom door windows. I guess they’re opaque or something?
    – Kurumi has a shovel. This is either a character quirk, or she really has an attachment to it. Pro-tip: characters have quirks for a reason. Why does Kurumi carry a shovel everywhere? She even begins explaining how shovels have “the highest kill ratio in the trenches” during a war. Cool fact, but…
    – Mii-kun is reading a Steppen King novel. The parodied author, Stephen King, is known for writing many horror novels.
    – Rii-san’s slight moment of surprise and concern when Yuki mentions she almost went home after forgetting to go to club.
    – Yuki, when explaining why she loves going to school, speaks as if all the things in the school are hers, in a way. “We’ve got everything, it’s like our own country!” This phrase also sounds as if the school is the only place she can go, as if it’s impossible for her to leave (and that she doesn’t want to).
    – Megu-nee’s introduction. She doesn’t stand out. What an interesting quirk. This one actually doesn’t hint at the episode’s reveal, I just find it interesting. …for reasons.
    – Yuki enters the classroom, and the initial shot of her and the few seats around her show them as empty. Then, suddenly, a seat is filled when the first classmate speaks, and after that, the classroom is filled with other students.
    – Yuki sleeps in class. This can be written off as well, since it goes along perfectly with her air-headed personality, but it makes sense that Yuki can’t continue making up an entire day’s worth of classroom scenarios, nor the information they teach, as there’s really no teacher. The net result: Yuki learns nothing that day, but still has fun (and gets her rest).
    – Mii-kun unexpectedly opens the classroom door, and is completely oblivious to the students’ and teacher’s shock and frustration until Yuki brings it up. This happens on two other separate occasions. HOWEVER, here’s an anti-hint: It takes a while for Mii-kun to spot Yuki, despite her being the only person in the room, and despite Mii-kun probably already knowing where Yuki is going to sit for class. What’s up with that? WHAT’S UP WITH THAT, ANIMATORS??
    – Mii-kun’s strange reactions when Yuki interacts with people other than club members.
    – The chalkboard. THE CHALKBOARD. 9:14 is your time stamp. This is the first instance of a HUGE HINT. Huge hints like these only appear for a split second. First off, the left side is written in short sentences and with terrible grammar. Then, when Yuki leaves, it reveals the right side, written in RED, reading “All is in the darkness in the past”, “Please don’t throw me away”, and “Help me.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this when I was watching the first time. Talk about depressing.
    – Mii-kun is constantly nervous.
    – Sound of wind, inside the school building, at 11:00. After they hear Taroumaru and run off, the camera shows the windows a little better, revealing them to be shattered for a brief moment at 11:07.

    At this half-way point, I start feeling that the episode is empty. It doesn’t feel real to me. But it gets better.

    – The hallway is barricaded with desks and chairs, tied with wires. Another hint that could never be written off (haha, a “dead end”).
    – For some reason, all of Yuki’s kouhais aren’t in class while Yuki goes to class. What’s up with that?
    – School Living Club charter: “…live their whole lives at school…” …so not temporarily. They live their whole lives at school. There is no outside life. There are no parents. There are no homes. This school is all they’ve got. “…foster self-governance and independence…” …sounds like an important skill to learn while in an apocalypse (although this can be written off as legit, as it definitely is a legit goal of any club).
    – There were no other horticulture club members on the roof until Rii-san mentioned them, and their faces nor identities are revealed. Mii-kun continues to reluctantly acknowledge them.
    – Kurumi and Rii-san’s brief moment of silence on the roof when Mii-kun and Yuki go chasing after Taroumaru again. In a brief moment at 15:35, we see HUGE HINT NUMBER TWO: a grave’s headstone, a cross, in the dirt of the garden. The pan out over the field at 15:40 shows members of the track team doing something, but they all seem frozen (but actually they are moving, but very slowly, as stereotypical zombies do).
    – Hardtack. They “taste like survival.” Heh. Either way, Hardtack is a biscuit that’s “inexpensive and long-lasting… and is used for sustenance in the absence of perishable foods, commonly during long sea voyages, land migrations, and military campaigns.” Thanks, Wikipedia. If you’re familiar with what hardtack is, this may tip you off. If not, you’ll go unfazed.
    – Megu-nee walks in and makes a comment. Kurumi then says “we didn’t have any casualties.” Megu-nee responds with “I’m a casualty!” (My limited Japanese knowledge noticed she said “arimashita”, which I would translate as “there was one”, but this is less funny)
    – Mii-kun continues to be frustrated and concerned about Yuki’s thoughtless and happy nature, given the actual situation they’re in.
    – Yuki’s sudden confession of love, trust, and dependence. She wants everyone in the club to know she’s happy that she has them. I’d be happy too, to be honest.
    – Mii-kun (the biggest hint giver this episode) goes after Yuki, thinking that she won’t be okay by herself. “By herself.” BY HERSELF. She’s going to a classroom, where there’s people, right?

    BOOM. Classroom reveal. There’s no other people.

    I watched the episode for a third time this week just so I could write this. I REALLY enjoyed the episode’s use of foreshadowing. It’s extremely brilliant. I’m super sad I was tipped off that this anime is about a zombie apocalypse before watching it the first time, but the ending still surprised me. My heart hurt for a while. After realizing I didn’t get the full effect of the reveal, though, I told my sister I was going to show her the first episode of a slice of life I enjoy, and she reluctantly agreed to watch it with me. I forced her to go into the episode completely blind, and at the reveal, I looked at her, and she had the most dumbfounded look on her face. A few “what?!” and “oh my goodness”s later, the episode ended, and I asked her what she thought. Her first words were “I hate you”, which I took as a compliment.

    I’m looking forward to completing the rest of the episodes!

    • AngelSassin