Book Review: School-Live! Volume 1

June 16, 2016

School-Live! cover

Things seem to be going pretty smoothly, huh?

As many of you know, I recently got some books from Amazon. The grand total of titles I got were six, but with one of those being a preorder, I only have five at the moment.

Of those five, I have covered one and four remain.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is called School-Live! Volume 1 by Norimitsu Kaihou.

Yuki Takeya is an ordinary girl that is enjoying life in high school talking with classmates, learning new things, and participating in club activities, or so it seems.

In actuality, the world has been overrun by zombies and Yuki is one of the four survivors and, together, they must continue to survive, while not letting one of the four realize that everything they once knew is gone forever.

Having watched the series on Crunchyroll, and enjoying the laughs I got from it, though I would not exactly call it a comedy, I decided to give the manga a try.

Now that I have read it, this was fairly enjoyable.

I liked how the zombie apocalypse in this series was handled, and was even revealed.

Yes, like the dreaded vampire stories, where there are so few unique or rare things about vampires, such as Karin Maaka from Karin, zombie stories are all too common these days.

That is one of the bad things, aside from the stupid things that are allowed to slide through like those found in The Book Thief and The 5th Wave, about getting published through the traditional method, since those publishers want something that will sale, which makes sense because publishing houses are business.

Then again, not all books published through the traditional method are terrible, just like not all self-published books are some great masterpiece that the gatekeepers of traditional publishing undervalued, especially since even I do not like some of my own work enough that I am hesitant about giving copies of those books to others, instead of copies of books I am proud of writing.

In the case of this book, it literally starts out as if it is just an ordinary day at school, as if something were going to eventually happen, and it is revealed that something already has happened.

I have to give Norimitsu quite a bit of praise, because he has done something that I have not seen done that often, if at all, in other works, especially in a story featuring zombies.

Normally, in a zombie series, you either see what ultimately leads up to events, such as what occurs in South Park's Pinkeye, or that something has obviously happened, such as in The Walking Dead, though info on the pilot episode of the show and the first chapter of Robert Kirkman's comic series, which the show is based on, do not seem to get zombies involved right off the bat, like how High School of the Dead started right off with a zombie attack.

This is what I really want to see in many zombie stories if one does not even bother how to explain what occurred to have things turn out like the overused setting of a zombie apocalypse.

I also how the characters were suffering psychological trauma.

A lot of the time in fiction, we often focus on one main conflict, which include the usual man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. society, or man vs self, but in real life, as even some books, according to a post on Now Novel's blog, there can be multiple conflicts going on at once.

For example, here, even though the characters are trying to survive against zombies, they each have lost people due to the zombie outbreak and that causes something to happen quite a few problems for them, with a few being revealed in this book.

I know I have not read or watched everything relating to zombies, but this is bound to be prevalent if a zombie apocalypse were to occur.

After all, like the characters in this book, we would be forced to kill the people we care about or not know what happened to those people.

Who would not be suffering psychologically having to go through things like that?

I know that I would, because I remember being sad for quite some time after putting a pet down and I was onboard with the decision, despite it not being what I wanted to do.

This really makes me want to see how the characters will be able to overcome their internal struggle, while also having to survive.

The thing that I liked the most though was the inclusion of honorific definitions and a few other translation notes.

While I am not exactly new to anime or manga, I still do not know everything there is to know, just like I do no not know everything there is about the various aspects of the field of technology, and my somewhat limited knowledge made me think that two characters were siblings, when they were not.

Then again, Conan Edogawa seems to always refer to Ran as Ran nee chan in the original Japanese version of Detective Conan, even though we know that they are not related by blood or other means, such as adoption.

By having things like this, newcomers to manga would be able to clearly see the things that people who have been reading manga for a while, or fluent in Japanese, would be able to see and understand.

Unfortunately, these honorific definitions are not as common where I live as they used to be, such as when Del Rey Manga published Negima! Instead of Kodansha Comics.

However, because Yen Press included it within the pages of the first volume, I want to really pat them on the back for making it more friendly for newcomers.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked.

The fact that this book does not seem to be yet another zombie apocalypse story until the last few chapters and that the characters are suffering psychological scars, as well as the fact that Yen Press included an honorific definition list, made this book fair enjoyable.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are to be expected from the first volume of a series, I cannot really think of anything that bugged me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering that this book had a lot to like and nothing majorly wrong with it, this was definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of the horror genre and zombie stories, because there is a bit of a creepy vibe near the end and the characters do not just blow threw things with ease.

As for everyone else, this is worth giving a try, as it does seem to be a bit different from other zombie apocalypse stories.

What are your thoughts on School-Live! Volume 1? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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