Yuki Takeya is in love with school life. She loves it so much that she joined the School Living Club with three other girls, their supervising teacher, and the club dog Taroumaru. This club makes the most of living at school. However, Yuki’s blissful school life is all a delusion. The real purpose of the School Living Club is to prevent Yuki’s fragile reality from shattering. In reality, these girls are surviving the zombie apocalypse by barricading themselves within the school.
While putting moe girls in disturbing situations is not a new concept in anime, School Live takes the rare stance as a zombie apocalypse survival series and thrives under it. Do you want more cute, but horrifying anime recommendations like School Live? Then look no further.
For Fans of a Zombie Apocalypse
Sunday Without God
This is a story about a world that God has abandoned. As a result, new life cannot be born and the dead walk restlessly among the living. Before leaving, God granted one last miracle by creating the Gravekeepers, those capable of putting the dead to rest. This is the story of Ai Astin, a cheerful but naive Gravekeeper that looks after her village. However, after a mysterious man shows up and kills her entire village, she agrees to go on a journey with him, intrigued as he states that he is supposedly her father.
Both series are about the zombie apocalypse, but they just go about it in different ways. School Live is obviously about the flesh-eating kind of dead while Sunday Without God is more about the restless dead. Both provide a nice mix of light-hearted moments as well as dark ones, though a Sunday Without God is a little more dramatic.
High School of the Dead
It happened suddenly. The dead rose and threw Japan into chaos. In the high school of Takashi Kimuro, the situation forced him to kill his bitten best friend and protect the man’s girlfriend, Rei. As they narrowly escape the school with a few others, they find the real survival just beginning.
School Live and High School of the Dead are alike in the fact that they are both about groups surviving a zombie apocalypse. However, while School Live is about moe girls, High School of the Dead is about tits and fan service. Yes, the boobage does get in the way a bit, but if you are able to look past it, you still get some great carnage.
Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel grew up on the streets together and both turned to crime in order to get by. However, when their activities are noticed by the eyes of the expansive Millennion mafia syndicate, the pair find themselves brought under their wings and rising through the ranks. Things go well until one fateful day that changes it all. Years later, Brandon Heat is brought back from the dead to fight Millennion and its new leader, Harry MacDowel.
Unlike School Live that is pretty upfront with its zombies, Gungrave doesn’t become a zombie apocalypse series until the second half. The first half is a flashback that tells the story of two men and their entrance into organized crime, then events happen and the second half is about vengeance and a world of near apocalypse.
For Fans of Moe Girls Being Violent
Higurashi: When They Cry
Keiichi Maebara just moved from Tokyo with his family to the small town of Hinamizawa in the summer 1983. As the town is so small, school children of all ages are lumped into one class. There he becomes fast friends with four girls where he spends his days after school idly playing games. However, as the town’s annual festival approaches, he learns about a series of murders, disappearances, and other mysteries that surround it. When he confronts his friends, he finds them mysteriously tight-lipped.
You like cute girls being violent? Both shows have that. However, School Live reserves its violence for zombies while Higurashi is more about straight up murder. However, Higurashi can be a bit difficult to follow since it tells the various routes of the visual novel, but both are a juxtaposition of moe and blood.
Magical Girl Raising Project
There’s a rumor going around about a new game called the Magical Girl Raising Project. The rumor states that one in thousands who play it have a chance to become a magical girl, and the rumors turn out to be true. This chance allows them to have supreme beauty, strength, and other abilities so that they can help humanity. However, when 16 magical girls end up in one district, the administration announces that only half may remain. At first it is a race to get the most magical candy, but as time goes on, the game twists into something much darker.
Like School Live, Magical Girl Raising Project is about cute girls being put in a bad situations and doing what they need to do to survive. However, Magical Girl Raising Project has a touch of supernatural with the whole magical girl aspect, but it is as much about survival as School Live.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are your typical middle school girls, but one day they encounter a cute creature named Kyuubey that offers to grant them one wish. In exchange for their wish, they must become magical girls and protect humanity from witches. While Sayaka accepts right away, Madoka is more hesitant, not knowing what she would wish for. However, her decision is even further delayed when the mysterious Homura Akemi, a transfer student, begs her not to accept.
Both shows take a firm stance of looking like a cute moe school life shows in their first few episodes. However, in both series, as you continue to watch, things take a dark turn and then it just only continues to get worse and rarely ever gets better.
For Fans of Delusions
The fifteen-year-old Megumi Shimizu dreamed of leaving her small country town behind for the big city, but those dreams died when she did. It was her murder that kicked off a summer of blood and terror in this small town where a city boy and a country doctor try to stop the epidemic of death happening around them.
In School Live, Yuki’s delusions are pretty easy to see through, especially as the show goes on and she deals with them. However, in Shiki, what is real and not real remains an intriguing mystery right up to the end. If you are intrigued by delusions, Shiki has them in spades.
One day Takumi Nishijou hears about the brutal New Gen murders that have been occurring around the city. Although thinking it doesn’t involve him, strange events begin to go on around him that has him struggling to separate illusion from reality.
Both School Live and Chaos;Head are all about main characters that can’t separate reality from their delusions. However, Chaos;Head is more of a condition than the self infliction of School Live. Both shows also feature cute girls that are a little more violent than you would expect as well.
There is an urban legend going around in Musashino City where the infamous Shounen Bat rolls around on roller blades and beats people with his golden baseball bat. Numerous reports of his attacks have been reported, but the police have been unable to catch him. As the investigation continues and more people fall victim, paranoia begins to set in.
While paranoia isn’t really a big theme in School Live, it is the major theme of Paranoia Agent. The feeling of paranoia often leads to delusions and there are a lot of them in both shows. If you are tickled by untangling complex themes and what is real or not, Paranoia Agent contains some great character stories and a complex overall plot. Plus, like in School Live, people get whacked in the head quite a bit.
Did we miss any more anime recommendations worthy of School Live? Tell us in the comments section below.