Recently I finished School-Live! / Gakou Gurashi!, and I loved it. All of the details and foreshadowing, all of the moments that occur and make you realize “I should have seen that coming!” afterwards… There were definitely a few for me.
And so instead of covering each individual episode, I wanted to cover perhaps the most interesting foreshadowing aspect of School-Live!: the opening!
School-Live! / Gakkou Gurashi! Spoilers Ahead!!!
Above is the opening for the first episode of School-Live!.
And then, it’s all downhill from there…
I won’t embed videos for each opening and force you all to watch them, so instead I’ll do my best to display with images the changing moments of the opening. Because over the course of School-Live!, the opening changes many times. Not just to reflect a changing reality / dispelled illusion, but also to foreshadow the future.
There are three areas of the opening in particular that reveal the most information that we will be looking at.
First is the section depicting the exterior of the school, when the title of the anime is displayed. It occurs at about 0:22 to 0:34 into the opening.
Second is the sequence of cuts to characters that occurs from 0:57 to 1:01.
Finally, the last section is near the end of the opening from 1:20 to 1:26.
First up is the section depicting the exterior of the school. It changes 5 times over the course of the series.
Naturally, the first episode depicts the exterior of the school looking nice and clean, no damage, no zombies. After that, we see the scene change for the worse on episodes 2, 7, 10, and 11. The scene gets darker, the sky gets more red, and the number of zombies outside increases. The second-to-last image also only has Taromaru (the dog) walking across the scene, instead of running, and no girls. The final image depicts no one at all running across the screen.
Section 2 is the quick cuts to various characters in the anime, all of which a “before” and a “after”. Megu is the only one who has two changes, as opposed to the usual one. With all of these the changes are obvious, and depict what is happening in the anime.
The ONLY one of these cuts to actually foreshadow / spoil something that hasn’t yet happened is Taromaru’s scene, as we see his second image before he has been confirmed infected.
First is Yuki’s classmates.
Second is Kei, Miki’s friend who was infected in the mall.
Third is Taromaru.
And finally is Megu, with three images.
The last section is the colouration of a scene depicting Yuuri, Kurumi, and Miki in front of a starry background. Yuki then runs towards them and hugs them all. The scene begins blue, and then becomes more red as the anime progresses, changing in episodes 5, 8, and 11.
It’s fairly obvious that the theme here is an opening that is slowly changing to depict a more desperate situation. The exterior of the school and the ending scene both show change from blue to red. Blue representing calmness, peace, serenity, comfort, and red representing blood, violence, calamity, and danger.
I find these two parts of the opening very interesting, and I picked up on them fairly quickly when watching the anime. I feel like they are the most likely to be overlooked, especially the later scene. The exterior is more obvious, but if you aren’t binging the series, I could see how it could creep up on you. And personally, I didn’t even notice that Taromaru was the only one going across the scene, followed by no one at all, until I went to get these images for this post! Very subtle.
There isn’t too much analysis to be applied to the quick cuts, because it’s fairly clear that this section is sort of a “before and after”. As I mentioned, Taromaru’s cut is the only one to appear prior to his actual infection / “death”.
Most of all with this post I just wanted to point out the differences, because once you see them, it’s quite clear the message they are conveying. It’s just fun to see them all side-by-side like this. I had a lot of fun watching the openings for this anime, and trying to see if anything had changed, and so I wanted to share that for anyone that may have missed these details.
I’ve also got a review for School-Live! that I will be posting soon. Figured this was interesting enough to merit it’s own post though!
So until then,
Thanks for reading!