School-Live! Volume 1
The premise of School-Live! Volume 1 is amusing, but I found reading the book frustrating. It’s got too many hints, too little actually happening or explained.
Four girls are living in their school after a zombie apocalypse. Thankfully, the school has a well-stocked science lab, a school store for consumer products, solar panels for power, and a full garden on the roof.
Yuki is the cute, naive one who doesn’t seem to be accepting the reality of the situation. Kurumi is the active, shovel-toting, violent one. Yuuri is the practical, organized one. Megumi is the faculty advisor (although she looks the same age as the others). It took me longer than I would have hoped to figure this out, since the cast all have the same voices and not very well-developed personalities.
They talk a lot, but about nothing important. They go on “missions”, venturing out of their classroom to the library or the store for restocking. They occasionally risk encountering a zombie, which Kurumi dispatches. I wanted more to happen in this first volume, but in terms of how much I knew afterwards vs coming in, the back cover copy told me more than the story content.
There are weird hints that the teacher is more than she seems, particularly since she shows up when needed, no matter the location, and that there’s something wrong with Yuki. It’s all kind of muddled, though, with too much implication without satisfaction.
The feedback I’ve seen on the series suggests that most readers are coming to the manga after watching the anime adaptation, which means they already know more about what’s going to happen. That may be a better audience for the story, since they won’t be as frustrated with the lack of substantial content here as I was. School-Live! is drawn by Sadoru Chiba from a story by Norimitsu Kaihou. (The publisher provided a review copy.)