Konnichiwa! As we wrap up this week, so does this series come to a close as we discuss Rii, the mother figure of the girls in Gakkou Gurashi. Rii is the eldest among them, and she has a special place in the group. She helps keep them fed, the supplies stocked, manages their gardens, and overall she makes sure that their life at the school is as normal as possible. While the world is falling apart around them, Rii is there, keeping a careful eye over her girls like a watchful mother hen. She offers a more personal connection than Kurumi’s protectiveness, a deeper touch than Yuki’s joy or Mii’s introspection; Rii offers a constant guidance, tempered with love. Rii’s role touches closer to home than any of the girls would like to admit, which is why she’s so essential to the group: her constant nature gives the girls something to rely on. Rii provides the group with a heartfelt, steadfast love that drives her to keep the girls together and to keep them motivated. She was the one who created the “School Living Club”, as a way for the girls to keep some semblance of order in their lives during the zombie outbreak. Rii wants the best for her girls, and she makes sure that they have what they need to continue on.
In a way, Rii’s stability makes her the most vulnerable. As the one with the most responsibility, she stands to hurt the most if anything goes wrong. And the show explores the challenges she faces as their leader, as she deals with the truth behind the outbreak, and the events that happen because of it. But despite all her difficulties and the perils that come her way, Rii remains herself. The trials she undergoes do not make her any less of who she is, but they help to shape her into more than what she was. Rii’s solid and dependent nature is analogous to Christ’s faithfulness: He is always there for us when we need Him. He understands our pain because He suffered it for us on the Cross, and He guides us through our trials. He never leaves us, never abandons us, but with a steady hand pulls us towards our final destination, through the dark pains of this world towards an eternal future. And this is the role of the family, to protect us from harm, to bring joy to our lives, to provide wisdom and guidance through life; a perfect example of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. So as you go away from this, reflect on what your role in your family is. Is it loving protection? Spreading joy? Offering insight into different situations? Providing guidance? Whatever your role may be, do your best to fulfill it. Maybe it means helping a sibling with homework, or spending time with a parent, or encouraging a loved one; find your niche and grow in it. Families depend on each member, and everyone is important.