I honestly thought I was done with my look at School Days after my last post, but I figured that I couldn’t call it a wrap on this series if I didn’t talk about the other main character. We don’t leave a job half done here on Shallow Dives in Anime, and I’m not about to start now, and there is plenty left to say. Join me after the cut as I character dive into the second main heroine of the series: Sekai Saionji
Sekai is a character that acts without thinking, and pays little attention to what the big picture is when it comes to things. The mirror opposite of Kotonoha, she is sassy, talkative, fun and sociable. She has a life while Kotonoha has none, she has friends where Kotonoha has zero, and despite not having as much of a “developed” body than her, Sekai is actually able and willing to engage in sexual activities.
However Sekai is also moody, prone to fits of depression and can withdraw into herself when she feels sad or lonely. Despite the airs she puts on, she is like any other teenager girl: she feels things too powerfully and doesn’t have the mental or emotional maturity to deal with things not going how she thought they would. It can be apparently so bad that Setsuna, despite having her own feelings for Makoto has devoted her entire life to making sure that Sekai stays on the right track, up to and including sleeping with Makoto in a vain and stupid attempt to bind him to Sekai forever. This of course doesn’t work, but it goes to show you just how fragile Sekai’s mental state is.
But it also goes into what I think is the main focus of Sekai’s character: buyer’s remorse. Sekai, throughout the entire series seems to regret almost every decision and choice she makes. From getting Makoto to confess to Kotonoha (and setting the entire mess into motion) to deciding to get together with Makoto after his interests drift to her, to continuing to be his mistress despite knowing full well he has not broken up with Kotonoha. Yet despite knowing all of this and having that regret, she makes not real effort to try and get herself out of it, at least after her initial half-hearted attempt. Instead Sekai clings to Makoto and their relationship as much as she can, even going to the lengths to fake her pregnancy in an attempt to drive Makoto to her permanently, but again it only makes things worse, as Makoto angrily lashes out at her for ruining his life with her “problem.”
With the finale, we see this buyer’s remorse in full display. Sekai, after slaving away at a wonderful dinner for her and Makoto, sees it throw in the trash (ironically because she herself destroyed it earlier after Makoto told her to get an abortion) finally reaches the limits of her patience, and the kettle quite literally starts to boil over. Her buyer’s remorse reaches it’s zenith. All the sadness at being abandoned by Setsuna, betrayed by Makoto, her own regret at setting everything in motion, and the realization that she’s fucked over her life results in her impulsively stabbing Makoto to death. And even then, after she has lashed out with such reckless abandon, does the buyer’s remorse again strike, and terrified that she has killed the man she loves, flees the seen, where she’ll eventually meet her end at the hands of Kotonoha.
Like with all my character dives, this is not a full examination on the character of Sekai Saionji, because someone like her (and the cast of School Days) is ripe for introspection and observation, especially from people from all walks of life. Yet through my experience with Sekai, I found that she was a character who is impulsive and despite feeling buyer’s remorse for her actions, makes no real attempt to correct them. She, like the rest of the cast doesn’t have the emotional support systems to guide her through such a critical time in her life. And because of that, Sekai is torn apart by and like Kotonoha, transformed into something she was never suppose to be. It is powerful thought provoking stuff, but that is what makes School Days such an interesting series to watch.