This second episode focuses mostly on Kurumi, the shovel-carrying girl with purple hair, and we finally see the girls’ situation from a perspective that’s not Yuki’s normalized version.
The opening scene is of Kurumi remembering her past with a senpai she had a crush on and whom she killed when he became a zombie and attacked her. He may have been the first victim of her beloved shovel.
Then there’s Yuki, waking up late and rushing to breakfast before going with Sakura-sensei/Megu-nee for a one-on-one lesson. Once she’s gone, Miki tells everyone of how she found Yuki talking alone in the classroom again. She does suggest that they do something about Yuki’s mentality but Rii-san (still don’t know her full name) vetoes it, saying that it’s better for Yuki to live a carefree life in their situation. Kurumi leaves for patrol while Rii-san and Miki discuss whether the zombie infestation is a nationwide issue and whether help will arrive. They seem hopeful that it’s not worldwide.
On patrol, Kurumi comes across a lone female zombie while checking the barricades. She climbs over the barricade to kill it and is about to when she finds that it used to be her friend. She hesitates but when the zombie starts reaching for her, she bashes it anyway. Rii-san berates her for going out alone though.
Megu-nee devises the idea of pitching their supply run as a ‘test of courage’ to Yuki. It works and the head out to the school store and library. It seems that the zombies don’t come out at night. They theorize that they may return to their homes out of some kind of buried memory. Now I’m imagining zombies going back and forth from home to work and school every morning and evening as per their human schedules. Holy shit, that’s a creepy image.
The girls’ run to the school store goes well even though Yuki gives them all a scare when she gets excited over some really big balloons.
No, that’s not a euphemism. Actual, literal balloons.
The library visit doesn’t go as easily. The dog is hesitant to go inside (guessed then that there was a zombie inside) so Miki and Kurumi stay outside with him. The other three go inside but Yuki runs off to look for manga. Just then, Rii-san spots the zombie. Maybe it’s the zombie of a librarian without a life or something.
Megu-nee finds Yuki just in time for the zombie to come their way. She manages to get Yuki quiet and hide with her while it shuffles past them. Thank heaven the zombies in this show seem to have dulled senses and no brains.
Rii-san reaches the others and appraises them of the situation. They make enough of a racket to draw the zombie’s attention and Kurumi kills it. They all find Yuki who apologizes for running away. She’s still unaware though. She thought the zombie was a ghost and part of their test.
Anyway, they all reach the safe space in one piece. That night, Kurumi dreams of killing her boyfriend and wakes up in terror but is comforted by the sight of Yuki beside her.
Gakkougurashi’s blend of cuteness and horror continues, with the horror having a bit more presence in this episode than in the last. This episode is not as focused on Yuki so we get to see a bit about how the others girls are dealing with their situation.
I remain very impressed. A lot of the appeal comes from the discrepancy between the super-moe art style and the actual subject matter. But I guess that is the point. It’s jarring, yes, but in a good way. Even as the girls are going about their daily routine, I keep wondering how things are outside and what’s going to go wrong. I also wonder how many of them will survive all twelve episodes because we all know someone has to die in zombie horror.
My one and only irritant with this show is Yuki, not because of her screwed up headspace as you might think but because of her voice.
Yes, her voice.
It’s this cutesy, high-pitched, cutesy and oh did I say cutesy thing that reminds me of babytalk. I swear my eardrums weep every time she opens her mouth.
On the other hand, her screwed up headspace is the only reason she’s interesting. I’m curious to know how and when her mind immersed her in this pretty delusion and also what will happen if/when it wears off. Meanwhile, all the other girls seem to be kinda grounded by Yuki’s innocence. Maybe the need to protect her while keeping her unaware helps them deals with their mess of a situation better. At least that’s the vibe I got from this episode. We’ll see.