Book Review: School-Live! Volume 4

April 3, 2017

School Live! Volume 4 cover

I hope that everyone is having a good week so far,
regardless of whether you are on break or dealing with the daily grind, as
usual.

As I mentioned in the last
review
, I had gotten some books recently that I had been meaning to get to
for a while but could not, due to the situation that happened last month.

So far, I have covered one of the seven titles that I got
and there are still quite a few to deal with.

Today, I will be reviewing another one of those titles,
which is called School-Live! Volume 4
by Norimitsu Kaihou.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier
post
, I will not go over it again.

While doing some recon work, one of the girls come back
injured and the others do not know what to do about the new predicament.

However, they know that they cannot remain alone in the
school forever, and they have a few ideas to enact, but they still need to get
things prepared and deal with the problem occurring within the group.

Even though it has been a while since I read the previous
volume
, as I have been focusing on getting this series three volumes at a
time, until I got to where the anime stopped, which was the next volume,
according to a page
on Baka-Updates Manga, I must say
that I kind of liked this.

From the moment that I opened up this book and started
reading a few pages, I felt like I was pulled back into the world of the series
and I did not want to put it down for any reason, though I do have to satisfy
the same needs that every human has to deal with.

If I had to say why, it is because the kind of atmosphere
that I have come to expect from this series than more comedic tone that the anime
took on when it aired.

Now, I do not hate seeing some amount of humor in a work, as
it keeps things from going stale, but only if it is done right and feels
natural, unlike what happened with Rewrite
episode 10
.

However, a zombie apocalypse cannot feel as relaxed as
things felt during the course of the anime because people would have both
mental and physical troubles in a scenario like this.

In the case of the manga version of this series, things
still seem to be feeling intense, as this comes across as people actually
trying to survive, though it might very well lose that positive aspect when I
get to the later volumes, since this series is not what I would call one of the
best out there.

Still, Norimitsu seems to know what he is doing, since I
would have been a little angry if things started to feel dull, and I feel like
giving him a bit of applause.

I also liked how I found out a bit more about what the
characters were like before and leading up to the situation that they are in
now.

While there were not too many flashbacks, which is actually
a good thing, the volume included some writing from the late teacher that tried
to keep them safe that detailed who each girl was as a character and what she
was going through, while she herself was struggling as she tried to be strong
for her students.

By seeing this, I was able to get a good idea of what each
girl was like, except for the new one that recently joined their group, and get
a good picture of why the girls were trying to make sure that Yuki stayed
delusional, which I already noted was likely a self-defense mechanism that came
about because the trauma Yuki experienced, and I want to believe even more now,
knowing that she became much more childish around the time the zombie outbreak
began than she was before.

Of course, I am not too sure how long Yuki will continue to
be delusional, but getting this kind of information makes me want to see how
each girl will develop over the course of the series and how they will all
overcome their mental trauma, and makes me want to give Norimitsu some praise.

If he can keep this up, the series might become better than
just another generic series, and that is what I am hoping to see.

I also liked how the characters were forced to do something
and suffered because of it.

While there are many stories out there in which characters
do something that they do not really want to do, such as Akira in Cage
of Eden Volume 5
, it seems like they always come out unscathed and they get
over it quickly, which makes things seem to be little less realistic than
things were before, even if it is necessary to get over things quickly in
certain situations.

Here, however, when one of the girls that were part of the
original group finds out that their beloved teacher became a zombie, she comes
back injured and starts the process of becoming a zombie.

Megumi Sakura was part of their lives for such a long time
and, even though the one that encountered her did seem to be emotionally
charged by it, I do not think that they would have been able to kill her
because of how close they were.

After all, I doubt that any good and decent person would be
able to strike a fatal blow if they were forced to take the life of somebody
close to them, not to mention that they would be haunted by the fact that took
person's life, regardless of if it was the right thing to do or not.

Seeing as how this was illustrated perfectly in this volume,
and how the new girl decided to take things into her own hands because she was
not close to the deceased teacher, it came across as a bit more believable than
if the characters just got over things, especially considering that these girls
are only teenagers.

Manga already has a tendency to not feel realistic to many
people because of the absence of parents and teens and children can do whatever
they want, but having things be that realistic is also not quite as enjoyable
as if only the things that the characters went through and did felt realistic
and believable, since fictional works are meant to help people escape reality,
as well as help us discover how humans behave and why, at least when we get
fully fleshed out characters and are able to connect with them.

As a result, I find myself liking what Norimitsu is doing
with this series, even if it is not quite at the level of Clannad or Your
Lie in April
, where a large part of the struggles is internal, and I hope
that more moments like this get explored as the series progresses, otherwise I
might just consider dropping this series for not meeting my expectations, just
like Not
Lives
was dropped because it did not meet my expectations.

The thing that I liked the most though was how the girls
have finally decided to leave the school behind forever.

Even though they have not really left the school at all in
this series, except for when Miki joined up with their group, and it still
seems to be rather appealing, I do not think a series like this would continue
to stay good if exploring the school was all they did and many of the
complaints about this series have to do with the fact that the lives of these
girls is way too peaceful for a zombie apocalypse.

These guys are supposed to be trying to survive against many
hordes of zombie, yet the only time they are attacked by zombies is when they
leave their safe zones, which makes the series seem to be less realistic for a
zombie apocalypse.

However, start with this volume, the girls decide that it is
time to leave when the subject of graduation crops up, and my interest in this
series is increased a little more than it was before, though it is not quite at
the same level as Pandora
Hearts
or many of the other series that I enjoyed.

Hopefully, things can be a bit more interesting than the
excursion that the girls took back in volume
2
, but since Norimitsu Kaihou cannot really impress me as much as Jun
Mochizuki or many of the other writers I like have, I am kind of doubtful that
anything is really going to happen.

Still, that does not mean that Norimitsu should not be
praised for expanding things beyond the school, and I am willing to give him
some minor applause for doing something right.

Because my interest was captured and help throughout the
duration of the book, the troubles being forced to do something felt more
believable, the characters became a little more fleshed out, and that they are
finally planning to leave the school forever, this volume was fairly decent.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
nothing really bothered me too much.

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

Considering that there were a few things to like, though not
anywhere close to what I would consider perfect, this was worth reading.

I recommend this mainly to fans of School-Live! And
Norimitsu Kaihou, as they would be able to enjoy this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth trying, but this
series might time some time before it can appeal to fans of zombie apocalypse
stories.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me Patreon,
so that I can continue to find more worthwhile read, and do what you guys
usually do when you find something that impresses you.

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