Fanart Friday returns, having completely retooled its image for this school year... only problem is, nobody's buying it. Last week, we sent off the season with a look at what a Japanese summer is all about, but now it's time to pack up our books, put on our new clothes, and head to school!
The first Back to School Edition had some favorites, and while you'll see a few familiar faces, there have been a lot of new shows since then--and yes, they all take place at school. Seriously, anime creators--high school wasn't terrible for me, but it wasn't that awesome either.
Then again, maybe that's the point. Now, the bell's ringing--class is starting!
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School Rumble was mainly about the wacky not-quite-triangle between Harima, Tenma, and Karasuma, but I always loved the supporting characters more. They were all pretty familiar (tough-yet-popular-with-the-boys Mikoto, seemingly cold-yet-caring Akira, random white girl Sarah), but that familiarity helped the show, and--at least for me--made me remember similar people back when I was in high school.
It's not just regular schools that get the spotlight in anime and manga, with stories taking place at specialist schools, like music schools or art schools or, uh... exorcism schools. While I love how several stories of Blue Exorcist were about their courses and studies, it makes me wonder what movies the teachers would put on when they needed to catch up on paperwork or sub for another teacher. Dunno about you, but I'd get sick of watching and rewatching The Exorcist (for the record, my school did this with Rudy, but I still love that movie).
On the more normal side of specialist schools, we have Nodame Cantabile, a hilarious mostly-comedy about a music college. This is one series where I'm surprised that nobody has picked it up, even for streaming--it's good stuff! CORRECTION: Turns out Nodame Cantabile is streaming on Crackle--check it out!
by minshall428 READER SUBMISSION!
I'm not gonna lie--I always let out an audible groan when I find out that new-season shows are taking place in high school (then I end up watching them anyways). However, I have a real soft spot for shows that don't take place in high school, but then parody themselves by showing up in a high school setting--while I loved the Gintama high school mini-arcs, my favorite had to be the whole Konoha Gakuen thing in Naruto Shippuden.
Uhhh... yeah. I'd say if you don't know what's going on here, then I guess you just have to read the manga, but that's not entirely true. Cromartie High School is--no joke--my all-time favorite school-based series. I absolutely love delinquent manga like WORST and Shonan Junai Gumi, but the way that Cromartie looks like a badass delinquent series while being so utterly weird is completely irresistible.
A popular title making the rounds right now is Assassination Classroom, from the creator of Neuro. An obvious fit for this week, it deals with a group of kids being trained to kill their teacher by their teacher, an impossibly-powerful alien. If they don't kill him within a year, he'll wipe out the planet! How's that for finals pressure?
Battle Royale is far from the first "kids having to kill each other for the public's entertainment" title, but its constant, shocking twists and turns are very hard to forget. Also, here's an important hint: if your "weapon" is a megaphone, and you see that everybody else is armed with swords and guns and crossbows, you do not stand on a hilltop and try to get everybody's attention, moron.
Back on the topic of specialist schools--they're very, very concentrated. Those of you wanting to go to art school might be surprised at how you'll have to live and breathe art, especially your chosen field. Honey & Clover may have been about people and relationships above all else, but it also got the tension and pressure of art school down pat.
I keep putting off doing a complete sports-themed Fanart Friday... probably next month. Kuroko's Basketball takes school rivalry over sports in an interesting direction--a middle-school team of elite basketball players breaks up and goes to a bunch of different schools! Now, one former member has to take on his former teammates one at a time! Who here is hyped for the next season?
Straight-up, no jokes, Toradora was a total blast. I didn't think I was going to like it--the friend who recommended it to me has very few shows that he actually dislikes, so I was prepared for the worst when I turned it on. It ended up being pretty awesome!
I don't know how much material the Full Metal Panic! anime has covered, but I would always be happy with more. Free! kind of changed KyoAni's direction, so what's next? Personally (and I say this every time), I'm hoping for more FMP.
Silver Spoon never fails with me. I'm normally not into slice-of-life shows, but Silver Spoon--instead of being a show about nothing--focuses on character development, with an overarcing story about goals and bettering yourself. It also helps that all the agricultural information is just that damn interesting.
While the number-one thing I will always remember about Red Garden is its stylish-as-all-hell opening, I've always loved its setting. Sure, it takes place at school (most times), but it's so creepy and overwhelming!
In A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun, an old trope is rolled out with Academy City--a city-state made up of 23 specifically-designed school districts--only this time, it's the superpowered who are training in the city! This takes delinquent warfare (or in this case, just plain ol' students fighting) to a crazy new level.
For some reason, I keep calling Dusk Maiden of Amnesia something else--Dusk Maiden of America. I have no idea why. Anyways, haunted school stories are always cool, and Yuko totally sounds like my kind of main character--I'll get around to checking it out soon enough.
Azumanga Daioh's Osaka knows how to while away the school day! I keep talking about this with a friend--school desks are the best things to crack your back in. One day I'm just gonna walk into a high school, randomly sit down in a class, crack my back, and leave.
I love the chunky linework on this Kimi ni Todoke piece. The art for the manga was always kinda wispy, very basic-shoujo but solid, and the anime captured it well. But I'm always a fan of thick outlines--keeping the pixellation looks pretty slick, too.
Okay, so Soul Eater is supposed to take place at school, but the students are constantly just going off on their own independent-study programs--and by that, I mean they just go out and kick the shit out of demons without any teacher supervision. Doesn't sound that bad!
Lucky Star hit one of the most important parts of high school for me--just sitting around talking about the most random crap with friends. It wasn't just me--one of the best things I'd ever heard while waiting in the lunch line were two mokes sitting around, and one of 'em says "'ey brah, who you tink would win in a fight--one lion, or one bear?"
Sorry, but Aishiteruze Baby is the best "stuck with a baby in high school" series for me. Beelzebub still looks pretty fun, though, especially when you add in the whole delinquent/not-quite-Rosemary's Baby angle.
For those who don't know, SNAFU is a military acronym for "Situation Normal, All F**ked Up." That about describes the kind of life Hachiman gets put through in My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. Poor guy!
The reader who requested this is right--Persona 4 does get all the glory, so here's some Persona 3! Every Persona game deals with having to navigate the social perils of high school in addition to murdering your way through a demon-filled place of darkness, so I'm wondering what the next Persona game will bring to the table!
However, if there's one school show I really want to see more of, it's SKET Dance. The manga seems to have ended already, so now we can have a filler-free run to the ending (if the studio is up for it)!
And that's everything for this week--no homework, so just chill and enjoy the rest of the weekend! It's ridiculous just how many anime, manga, and games take place at school, so there's no way I could have included them all--what are your favorites?
Like I say every week, your art is always welcome here on Fanart Friday, regardless of your skill level or experience--just PM me a link to your work, and I'll be sure to include it in a future installment! For those of you wanting to get your work shown off, here are the next three installments of Fanart Friday:
-Next week, on SEPTEMBER 13th, we're answering a long-overdue reader request with a look at TOKUSATSU and SUPER SENTAI HEROES! Also, characters inspired by tokusatsu and sentai (like Shinesman or the Ginyu Squad) will make appearances--THIS IS THE ONLY THEME I'M ACCEPTING REQUESTS FOR THIS WEEK!
-Then, on SEPTEMBER 20th, it's time once again for the six-month RECAP EPISODE! While I'm not taking any requests, I WILL TAKE ANY SUBMISSIONS (WITHIN REASON), REGARDLESS OF THEME OR CHARACTER. Go nuts, it's Fanart Friday's second birthday party!
-On SEPTEMBER 27th, we'll sit down for a nice plate of gagh with our favorite ALIEN characters! Who are your favorite visitors from another world?
Thanks again for coming by to check out Fanart Friday! Have a great weekend, and we hope you come by next week!