Genre: Romance, Drama, Slice of Life, Comedy
Length: 12 episodes + OVA
"Makoto Ito's in his first year of high school and looking for a girlfriend. He thinks he's found the jackpot in Kotonoha Katsura, but isn't sure of how to make the approach. His classmate, the equally pretty Sekai Saionji, thinks she has the answer and offers to help bring the two together. At first, Makoto eagerly accepts, but as Sekai's offers become increasingly advanced, his feelings begin to waver - and not just in her direction. Making matters worse, all the girls professing a newfound interest in him seem to be a little bit... off.
Adapted from the hit Visual Novel and directed by Keitaro Motonaga (Jormungand, Majikoi), School Days is a suspenseful look at what happens when playing the field takes a turn for the worse. Controversial enough to require postponing broadcast in favor of a nice boat, School Days goes where most high school romances wouldn't dare!"
While this version just came out in June of 2014, School Days originally aired in 2007. Eastern Star was nice enough to relicense it for North American distribution again. I'd seen bits and pieces of this anime before and had definitely heard a ton about the ending, but I hadn't actually gotten to go through everything. I also purchased the Visual Novel that JAST remastered earlier this year and haven't been able to play through it, yet.
Based off of the original VN, School Days the anime, decides to take the path less traveled in the industry. What starts out as a high school love soon turns into a harem situation... not. Once Makoto has stuck his hand... or something else... into the cookie jars of these young ladies, he won't pull it out. That's okay because someone else might just cut it off for him! Don't come in expecting a happy ending here as this route is a Bad End!
It really helps if you don't come into this series knowing anything about it beforehand. I had a general idea of what all happens so I got a little bored in the first couple episodes as I was anticipating certain events. At first, you feel a little sorry for Kotonoha and Makoto as they're both new to love and have no real idea what to do. Makoto tends to think with the smaller of his two heads and is overly aggressive. Kotonoha is a very shy and reserved girl who doesn't know what she wants. The moments of awkardness are soon replaced with something much darker, though. Makoto's desire to get in the pants of his schoolmates jumps to a whole other level. Playing the field isn't going to net you a harem; but it will provide a fitting end for this trash.
As School Days progressed further in, I had several moments where I was just repulsed. In reality, this is something that is very plausible when you bed several women at once and tell more than one that you're dating them or in love with them. Friends with benefits might work, but not romantic interests. By the end, I felt horrible for Kotonoha with all that she had to put up with from Makoto. Won't give out any spoilers, though!
Coming from 7 years ago, there isn't a Blu-ray release for this one just yet so the visuals aren't outstanding, but it still looked nice and pretty. They got a little cheap on the animation, though. Characters faces tended to not always be drawn the same from frame to frame which I found a little odd. Happens when the staff gets rushed, though. No English dubs here as it's subtitled only. No actual Extras either. However, the Kokoro-chan OVA was pretty funny to watch. It went more ecchi/comedy than anything else. Lastly, I loved the music here. Great score throughout the series as well as multiple ending themes that I was entranced to listen to every time.
Wonderful series overall that is very different from the rest out there. It's not for the weak of heart as the emotional abuse these girls take is outrageous and it turns physical later on as well with a good bit of blood. While maybe not the entire thing, there are several episodes that I'd gladly go back and rewatch over and over again. School Days should be a part of every anime fan's collection!