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School-Live!: A Tale of Living Off of Moe Slice of Life

Imagine a Japanese man turning the key to his apartment door. It’s the end of a work day. It’s late. He’s tired. If he was a salaryman, the stress of his dawn to dusk position could be getting to him. If he was a part-timer or contract worker, the numerous jobs, irregular shifts, and insecure pay is its own stressful beast. As he enters through his door and walks to his kitchen looking for something to stuff his mouth with, he stares in the direction of his bed. He’s tempted to turn in before he collapses from exhaustion immediately after. An exhausting thought creeps into his mind. How long will he suffer this routine, this exhausting monotony of exhausting labor, exhausting day exhausting out exhausting exhausting exhausting…

…and then he realizes his show is on. With whatever food is still hanging from his lips, he flips the channel on his TV to a late-night anime program, full of slice of life, full of moe. Exhaust emptying from his mind, he thinks of cute girls instead of crushing obligations.

While it would be of an overgeneralization to claim that all otaku watch moe slice of life for the above purpose, these shows are undeniably relaxing for many otaku to watch. In a society where otaku resent the notion of living to work, School-Live!, or Gakkou Gurashi!, explores, through the epic metaphor of a zombie apocalypse, who the escapism of moe slice of life speaks to: those who simply want to live.

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