Extra: Nice… uh… school?

academyHuge gardens. Multiple libraries. Active and organized clubs. Fancy, clean cafeterias with food you can eat without fear of catching some unknown virus. If you think I’m describing a high-in college, think again. I’m describing many high schools seen in anime.

Perhaps it’s simply because the background staff feels left out when they have to draw “ordinary” settings, but most shows, especially today, show off schools that are anywhere from impractical to simply impossible. And it could also just be the idealized vision. Creating worlds we would have rather have had back when we were still in school. Many of the homes in anime are the same way. Huge, spacious and completely impossible for any normal Japanese family to own. But when it comes to the schools, it may be more than just wishful thinking.

Over the last few decades, Japan has seen lower and lower birthrates. Kids are expensive to take care of and with the cost of basic living on the rise, the amount of children many Japanese families are willing to have has decreased significantly. Today, an average Japanese family has only one child. Considering that’s only one child to two parents that will one day die, it certainly doesn’t look good for Japan’s future. And schools are feeling the effects before anyone else. With an decrease in children, schools find they must compete with each other for students. After all, a school can only run if they have students to teach. And the competition in recent years has only become more frantic. While the elaborate setup of Ouran Academy is a bit over-the-top, a few other seemingly extreme school set ups are not. While it seems crazy for a school to have archery ranges and such, it isn’t really a stretch for schools to have that in Japan. And considering that extra curricular activities are sometimes a requirement for some schools, clubs in Japan are often far more organized and lively than the clubs here in the US.

So maybe some of those extreme schools aren’t so extreme after all. Except Ouran. But then again, Tamaki’s father is in charge so that’s not too surprising really.