JAST USA has been publishing English visual novels and RPGs for a ridiculously long time, releasing our first games way back in 1995. While we’ve published a huge number of titles, one of the most famous — and to many, infamous — has been School Days. Since we recently had the 12th anniversary of the “Nice Boat” broadcast, I thought I’d write a post on why you should get over the School Days anime and play the hentai games instead.
The History of School Days
When I pitch 18+ games from Japan at our booth at anime conventions, I often tell customers that there are three types of games made by Japan, which are
- standard visual novels, which place you at the center of a story with choices to make, and still on-screen visuals, such as the newly remastered Saya no Uta
- games with RPG or other gameplay elements, such as the outstanding long hentai JRPG Seinarukana
- games with full, flowing animation, which are School Days and Shiny Days, the only two games in this category, likely forever
School Days is a game published by 0verflow in 2005, which broke the mold because it was a fully animated game, rather than using the usual stills, essentially a full season worth of animation but with choice points allowing you to explore 21 different game endings. The creation of genius writer (and 0verflow president) Mathers Numakichi, the game explores a love triangle between main character Makoto, the shy, busty Kotonoha and the devious Sekai. There is a large number of side characters Makoto bangs quickly (in the anime) and has interesting, well-developed side stories with (in the game).
A big reason School Days got so popular were the fun “dark” endings, in which one girl would kill the other, or kill Makoto, or do something else unexpected. This was all happening at the dawn of the yandere boom, when Higurashi When They Cry was also very popular.
The School Days anime came out in 2007. As is often the case when converting a complex, multi-route visual novel into a single anime series, a lot of changes had to be made, mostly forcing Makoto to have sex with every single character in one “playthrough” which is not part of the game. This makes him seem more of a dick than he is in the original game, and turned a lot of people against the character.
Today is the anniversary of Nice Boat Day, when the final episode of School Days was substituted by this lovely video of a boat. A foreigner in the Nico stream commented "Nice boat!" and a new meme was born.
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) September 19, 2019
Then came the ending, which really hit fans over the head with its shocking violence. Although the ending was original and not part of the game, some fans avoided the game because of it. Adding to the drama, the original broadcast of the final episode was delayed by two weeks, with a picture of a “nice boat” substituted in its place.
Why You Should Get Over the School Days Anime and Play the Games
School Days is a great game, one of only two full animated eroge that fans can ever hope to play uncensored and in English, given the recent trends in the visual novel industry. It has fully uncensored sex with loads of hot girls, which lots of fun. There are 21 endings in our “HQ” release, including four bad endings (where someone will die), multiple normal endings in which either of the two main heroines win, several Setsuna endings, plus endings for two side girls (Hikari and Otome), and the expected “harem” routes.
The prequel Shiny Days is even better. The game, which tells the story of what would have happened if the characters had met the summer before the events of School Days, is very much focused on Setsuna, who is the darling character of the game’s creator, but since there are a mind-blowing 39 endings in the game, there are plenty for nearly all characters. If you’re into MILFs, then rejoice, since every character’s mother is a romanceable character in the game, and several of them have well-developed game endings. If you dislike Sekai for any reason, then be happy because she has the mumps during Shiny Days and is almost totally absent. Since Shiny Days is all about who is fucking whom, there are no violent endings in the game at all.
Both games also offer a huge value, too, giving you a massive 11GB and 18GB of data for a very reasonable price. Plus, you’re supporting the original game creators as well as JAST USA’s future game development efforts.