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School Days has become an anime whose reputation far exceeds its fame. Dubbed by many as a masterpiece, and dubbed by just as much people as a convoluted mess, it has nonetheless become an anime that is simply impossible to forget. With a storyline that takes a very dark turn to a set of characters that become archetypes of the darkest sides of the human psyche, School Days is one anime that will stick with you no matter what.
Despite its reputation, one cannot deny the fact that the creators of School Days were very courageous to some extent, taking the slice of life and romance genre and deconstructing it to an extreme level. As the end credits of the final episode starts rolling, you as the viewer will surely experience catharsis like never before. Maybe that very fact is the reason why the anime is just that notable. It’s because it is the one series that was able to draw out real, even primal emotions from its viewers.
So if you liked School Days, or at least find the emotions it triggered within you interesting, these six anime may very well be for you. Here then, are 6 Anime Like School Days!
Similar Anime to School Days
1. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2006 – September 2006
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni involves the story of Maebara Keiichi, a young boy who has just moved into the quiet town of Hinamizawa. While there, he becomes close with a number of local girls, but when a grisly murder takes place in the quiet town, Keiichi realizes that his friends may not be what they seem after all.
What makes Higurashi and School Days quite similar is the way that they use they outward appearance and presentation as a way to catch the viewer off guard. Both anime utilize an art style that has usually been reserved for innocent, lighthearted titles. However, as the story unfolds on both series, one realizes that the anime goes into the deepest, darkest depths of the human heart. Overall, very few people have managed to watch these two titles without experiencing a shock of some sort. And for good reason too.
2. True Tears
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2008 – March 2008
True Tears tells the touching story of a young man, Shinichiro Nakagami, and his childhood friend, Yuasa Hiromi, who has been living with his family after her father passed away. Though close when they were growing up, Shinichiro starts noticing that the beautiful Hiromi is starting to become a shell of her usual self. As he tries to get her to open up to her once more, their lives become entwined in a story that will ultimately change them both.
True Tears and School Days have similar elements in the way that both anime deal with characters that are of the same age and are having the same struggles. The theme of unrequited love is common in both anime, as well as the concept of love being able to change a person. Both also have very good production values. In a way, True Tears is a lot like School Days, filtered many times over until the plot has achieved its purest state.
3. Shin Seiki Evangelion (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 1995 – March 2006
Evangelion tells the story of 14-year-old Shinji Iraki, a young man who was summoned to Tokyo by his father after being abandoned for many years. Upon arriving in Tokyo, Shinji is forced to fight for humanity’s survival using the Evangelion, a gigantic, organic mecha. However, it isn’t long before Shinji begins to find himself in the middle of a series of events that may very well decide the fate of the human race itself.
You might be wondering why Evangelion is in this list, which is populated usually by horror/slice of life titles. Within the plot of Evangelion and School Days lies a literary concept that has been attempted very few times – Deconstruction. As Evangelion is the deconstruction of the mecha genre, School Days is a deconstruction of the slice of life and romance genre. Apart from this, both anime are also very psychological in nature, delving into the inner struggles of the characters’ subconscious in the midst of life-changing events.
Any Animes Like School Days ?
4. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Majica (Magical Girl Madoka Majica)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2011 – April 2011
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica centers on the story of 14-year-old Madoka Kaname, a young girl who treasures both her family and her friends beyond all else. After the arrival of a mysterious student in her school, she meets a mysterious creature, Kyubei, who offers to grant her one wish in exchange for her to become a magical girl. As Madoka is soon to find out however, things are usually not as simple as they may seem.
This anime and School Days are quite similar in the way that they are visually deceptive. Both anime presented themselves as innocent series that are no different from the countless others in their respective genres. However, as viewers eventually found out, they are all but that, as they featured a storyline that was borderline naturalistic. Also, both series explore the theme of doing what is right and doing what is convenient, as well as the underlying consequences, the butterfly effect if you may, of decisions that one chooses to make.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Trailer
- Episodes: 47
- Aired: April 2006 – March 2007
The story of Nana involves two very different young women who share the same name. One is a selfless young woman following her boyfriend to Tokyo to live a life she has always dreamed of, while the other is the liberal, lead vocalist of a punk rock band who also wants to make it big in the capital. Soon, the two women find themselves living under the same roof and with that, a remarkable friendship begins.
Nana and School Days actually have a lot of common themes. Both deal with the complications of relationships, as well as the darkness of deceit. Cheating on a significant other is also explored in both anime, as well as the point at which one loses his/her innocence. If True Tears is School Days in its purest form, Nana is, in a number of ways, School Days in a very sophisticated, polished and mature form. This is one title that, if you enjoyed School Days, you should never miss.
6. Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2011 – April 2012
Mirai Niki tells the story of Amano Yukiteru, an extremely introverted young man who spends his day writing a diary entry of everything that happens around him. Soon, he finds himself in a deadly survival game where only one will survive, and where the prize of victory is the honor of being the god of time and space. With the innocent-looking, yet just as deadly, Gasai Yuno, Yukiteru discovers that human beings are capable of doing anything in order to get what they want, regardless of the cost.
What is very notable about Mirai Nikki and School days is the fact that they both share the elements of the yandere genre, with Kotonoha of School Days being a prototype and Gasai Yuno of Mirai Nikki being the perfected profile of the psychologically-twisted anime female. Also, both series feature a number of dark and mature themes, such as traumatic experiences and even gore to some extent. Overall, both anime are designed to shock the viewer at some point, and in a lot of respects, they have done just that.
School Days is truly an anime that has achieved what it set out to do. It was created as a deconstruction of the slice of life and romance genre, and as it story unfolded, it gave its viewers a deconstruction of such degree that has not been seen in anime hence. Of course, the six mentioned here are but the tip of the iceberg, so if you have any other recommendations, feel free to mention them in the comments below!
Till the next list, everyone!