I have written two long-form articles about the infamous anime adaptation of the School Days anime, a train-wreck high school romance that careened into disaster and had its final episode delayed due to a real-world axe murder that Japanese television executives thought was a bit too close for comfort to the events of School Days’ final episode. The first article covered School Days and the Nice Boat meme in a comprehensive fashion while the second article featured my search for the Nice Boat television program that originally aired in lieu of School Days’ 12th and final episode. While School Days and its “Nice Boat” live forever as an all-time anime meme, we do not see much new content from the franchise in light of the fact that the anime aired in 2007 and the underlying visual novel was first released in 2005.
I periodically check Anime News Network to see the what anime is airing in the new season. On a recent visit, I came across a new School Days story: ‘Nice Boat’ Trends as Sekai Makes VTuber Debut on School Days Anime’s 15th Anniversary. Let us dive into the report, which was authored by Mr. Kim Morrissy.
The English catchphrase ‘Nice boat’ started trending on Japanese Twitter on Tuesday after DenFamiNicoGamer reported that School Days heroine Sekai Saionji debuted as a Virtual YouTuber.
Hold the boat.
Something about this passage jumped out to me.
Having watched (and reviewed) the final episode of School Days, I am surprised that Sekai is able to debut as anything given what happened to her. Did School Days have a hidden sci-fi plot? Did someone upload Sekai into a computer? I would note we did see something like that happen in at least one popular visual novel, but I will refrain from spoiling the one I am referring to.
But that aside, it appears that notwithstanding some of the life-ending events involving Sekai at the end of the School Days anime, she managed to make a new career for herself. Now I will preface my next piece of analysis by noting that I am not too familiar with the “Virtual YouTuber” scene. It is not my area. I know that they are popular in some circles, but the concept is lost on me. With that being said, I am familiar with Sekai Saionji in the School Days anime. I question whether she has the sort of personality that one would want to spend hours with on a YouTube stream.
Of course, the person behind the Sekai VTuber is Sekai’s voice actress, Ms. Shiho Kawargi. What inspired Ms. Kawargi to (literally) bring Sekai back to life as a VTuber? I turns out that Sekai is not the only School Days alum on YouTube:
On December 24, 2020, the other heroine of School Days—Kotonoha Katsura—made her debut [as a VTuber].
In light of the fact that Kotohona was a bit more animate than Sekai at the end of the anime, Kotohona being a VTuber makes ever-so-slightly more sense than Sekai’s comeback. (The School Days visual novel has many possible endings, including many that do not end with bloodshed.) Given the events of the end of School Days anime, I hope that Sekai and Kotohona are not planning a collaboration.
[Ms. Kawargi] expressed a proactive interest to collaborate with Kotohona’s voice actress, Tae Okajima on further VTuber antics.
Some people who read my School Days content without having prior knowledge of the anime and Nice Boat meme may have wondered whether the meme was really well-known enough for me to not only write about it for The New Leaf Journal, but also to have subjected myself to skimming through the anime series to remember the details enough to write a comprehensive, spoiler-filled summary. Let the VTuber story suffice as evidence that the Nice Boat meme is alive and well 15 years after the infamous episode that gave rise to it. But while the fact that the meme is alive and well is not surprising to me, the fact that Sekai Saionji is (apparently) alive and well is quite surprising.