What is a School Anime? [Definition; Meaning]

School is something that we are all forced to attend throughout our childhood days whether or not we want to. For some it’s a haven; for some, it’s hell, and for some, it’s just another place to have your body exist in for a set amount of time each day. Each day though can drag on and on, but school anime works hard to make sure that the unordinary happens every day. That’s why we are here this time. Whether you are new to school anime or anime in general and are looking for somewhere to go, you have found the right place as we explore what school anime is.

First Period: Learning Is Optional in Anime

This may some as a bit of a shock, but anime characters really do not get a whole lot accomplished during school. In fact, it would be incredibly boring to watch an anime about students learning. If you’ve ever been in one or taught in one in Japan, you know it’s not exactly a carnival. Rather, it’s strict lessons with students either paying attention or snoozing. Still though, anime is completely different. Maybe the students are having full-blown conversations, notes are being passed back and forth between each other, something out of this world is going on just outside the window, or who knows what is about to happen! Just about anything could happen and school anime tends to focus on those moments between classes, during lunch, or before and after school. One thing is for sure, there is always someone who is terrible at studying and preparing, and faces the consequences of their laziness.

Lucky Star

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2007 - September 2007

Konata Izumi is a high school gamer who wants to spend her days posting about anime and games while consuming both, rather than preparing for classes. She is however, an odd fountain of knowledge when she isn’t making random references to games and anime. Joined by her friend Miyuki, and the twin Hiiragi sisters, Tsukasa and Kagami, the four girls tackle some of the most important and pressing questions that need to be answered. Namely, can you really put mayonnaise on oyakodon and it still be a parent-child bowl? And W\
\what is the best way to eat a chocolate cornet? From the top or the bottom? These deep, introspective concepts are just some of the ideas that you will see confronted in Lucky Star.

Lucky Star is a staple among school anime. It often shows the girls either talking about school outside of school itself, or having random conversations unrelated to school while being in school itself. It’s this juxtaposition that makes it so interesting. The characters feature a diverse and wide through process that can and does touch on everything that you never wanted to know about but suddenly you’re sucked in and thinking critically about these strange conversations. True too, there’s conversations about studying, frequently shrugged off by Konata who needs to play another game or watch another episode of anime while having fun, and study parties! Just ironically, not much school happens which is something that is shown often by anime.

Sakamoto Desu ga? (Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2016 - July 2016

Sakamoto is cool. No wait, he’s cooler than you. Wait, no! He’s the coolest!!! The mysterious boy appears one day as a transfer student, he already has everyone going after him because he’s perfect. There are no flaws about this boy. Sakamoto is always at the top of the class, pranks will always fail without fail, and of course, everyone likes him. He can even make friends with the roughest and toughest students and somehow win them over with his charm. Heck, even parents are into him!

Sakamoto takes place primarily in a school, though of course, there are parts outside of it. Sakamoto runs around helping everyone fixing problems that the characters are so self-absorbed that they cannot reach a solution without his guidance. Everyone’s constantly in uniforms, save for Yoshinobu’s mother, and you see the students running around throughout the school.

Nothing Out of the Ordinary to See Here...

If anything else can be said, it is that school anime is a two-faced coin and not multi-faced dice. On the other side of the coin of school anime are anime that are bizarre school anime. Something that you would never expect to happen, happens. And not only that, it’s every single day. Sometimes new, and sometimes the jokes are repeated, but these anime go to show you that while the characters may appear generic, they are anything but and are completely over the top.

Saiki Kusuo no Psi nan (The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 2016 - December 2016

Kusuo Saiki is just another average, high school student trying to make it through life. Or is he? While Saiki may appear to be just surrounded by a bunch of coincidences, he’s actually a super-powerful esper! He can transmute, teleport, get anything he wants, perform astral projection, is super intelligent, and more. He has to keep it a secret from everyone other than his family who already know, and that makes his life a daily struggle. Did we mention too that he is super overpowered? A sneeze can destroy everything in a mile radius at the least. If he uses his power too much, it might just go a bit haywire. Still, he is going to try his best to live a peaceful life alone with his coffee jelly and avoid his classmates as much as he can. Too bad it never happens!

Saiki K. is an anime all to its own. The anime is set for the most part in his school or where he is surrounded by his classmates, but they bring chaos and disturbances wherever they go! Saiki lives in his school uniform, but does hilarious things for everything else. He purposely tries to get average scores in every class in order not to appear too powerful, although he hates bugs and that can cause problems if he is in the middle of something. This school anime has all of the character stereotypes you could want, and the best part is that saiki can read all of their minds giving you essentially double the cast! You’ll be laughing a lot, so be prepared.

Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan PV

Nichijou (Nichijou - My Ordinary Life)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2011 to September 2011

Nichijou follows three childhood friends and their daily lives. Their names are Mio, Yuuko, and Mai. If you thought that these girls would lead a normal life, you are sorely mistaken. In fact, their lives are nothing short of pure chaos. While they may go to school and attend classes, strange happenings are always occuring around them and that does not stop with the principal wrestling a deer that is hyper-violent itself! What it may lack in a linear story, since Nichijou is about random happenings, it makes up for with humor and non sequiturs.

Nichijou PV

Final Thoughts

These are just some of the few quintessential anime that we feel are perfect for those wanting to know more about school anime or start from the basics. Japanese school life in real life isn’t really something that is that drastic and dramatic and so anime tries its best to make it as interesting as possible by giving you over the top stories or just ridiculous developments that would never happen in real life. If you have read the article and seen those in this one, then there are countless others that we can go on to recommend that are all set in schools. Shows like Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, Hundred, Azumanga Daioh, Tonari no Seki-kun, School Rumble, K-On!, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, Yuru Yuri, Paniponi Dash, and even shows like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Maria Holic. The choice is yours as to which poison to pick, but the number of school anime has to be approaching thousands upon thousands, so you always have something to choose from.

Sakamoto-desu-ga-crunchyroll What is a School Anime? [Definition; Meaning]


Author: Nagareboshi

American by birth; international by choice. I am trying to bring attention to one of my favorite causes; me. I translate by day and write by night. Aspiring polyglot. My dream would be to be the personal translator for Amuro Namie. Other than that, my hobbies include languages, weightlifting, sleeping, karaoke, GOOD coffee and music. When I’m not doing any of the above, I am most likely laughing hysterically at Willam Belli videos or EV farming. I ain’t gunna Rupologize for it neither. Waifu are Shirai Kuroko & Euaerin.

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