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Post Reply Age and Anime Characters
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Posted 9/23/13

iblessall wrote:

This has been a topic that I have been kicking around in my head for a while now.

As we all know, many anime are set in the high schools or focus on characters who are supposedly of high school age. I say "supposedly" because sometimes I am totally confused on how old the characters are by action. Now, a brief scan of wikipedia reveals that "high school" in Japan typically starts at ago 15-16, which is only a year later than when most American kids start high school.

As an example of my confusion, allow me to present an example from my favorite anime, Blast of Tempest. Both Mahiro and Yoshino are stated to be second year high school students, which would place them in the 16-17 year old age range. But then I watch this show and watch the depth of emotion and thought that each of them express over the course of the show and I ask myself, "Are 16 or 17 year old kids capable (emotionally, etc.) of what I just watched?"

Furthermore, we also a weird mixture across anime where Mahiro and Yoshino are the same age as the characters in Kiniro Mosaic at the end of the series.



=?



Wut.

And I don't remember anyone in my high school acting like the girls in Kiniro Mosaic.

So what do you guys think? Is high school just used as a setting, where behaviors don't have to match the supposed age of the characters? Or I am simultaneously over-estimating AND under-estimating the capabilities of high school students? Has my memory of those days truly become so jaded in these past 2.5 years?


I think you're under-estimating, but not necessarily over-estimating. I think we often times over-estimate how foolish we were back in our youths. Teens and even kids are capable of far more than we often give them credit for. Besides, emotional maturity can't be measured just in years, but also in total life experiences. In Blast of Tempest for example, Aika meant the world to both Yoshino and Mahiro. Her death was devastating to both of them. They can remain fairly calm throughout the show because after losing AIka, any further losses they have are trivial compared to Aika.

As for Kirino Mosiac, while I can't comment directly on it since I haven't seen it, it does seem to be one of the those shows where the characters look and act like they're in elementary school even though they're in high school. It really doesn't make sense. That said, It probably has to do with the fact that high school is this time everyone reminisces back to in Japan. Because the Japanese labor market is so hard to get into and has such long, grueling hours, many Japanese see high school as the happiest time of their lives. Because of this, shows where it's not necessary or doesn't make sense for characters to be in high school tends to have them be anyway. Nostalgia sells well, even if people didn't do anything like what happens in the show in their high school.
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Posted 9/23/13

ndalum75 wrote:
I think you're under-estimating, but not necessarily over-estimating. I think we often times over-estimate how foolish we were back in our youths. Teens and even kids are capable of far more than we often give them credit for. Besides, emotional maturity can't be measured just in years, but also in total life experiences. In Blast of Tempest for example, Aika meant the world to both Yoshino and Mahiro. Her death was devastating to both of them. They can remain fairly calm throughout the show because after losing AIka, any further losses they have are trivial compared to Aika.


Oh, yes, I understand within the world how Yoshino and Mahiro can be calm in the face of everything after Aika's death. I LOVE that explanation. However, the way that they both handle her death itself, well...a high school kid who seeks revenge like that? One who bottles up his own pain so as to not cause his friend anymore? I really don't know how realistic that is.

For my part, I essentially consider both of them to be of college age, because that seems much more realistic to me.


Also, I didn't quote it, but thank for your insight on the Japanese take on this. I don't really know anything about the culture, so new perspectives always help my understanding.
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Posted 12/22/13
Honey from Ouran Highschool Host Club
Carries a bunny around and is the shortest of the Club
Yet he's the oldest (18, I believe)
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Posted 12/22/13
Sometimes it can be odd but it all varies based on the genre of the anime and the art style, all animes vary so that's why you can't really compare characters of different animes.

It bothers me though when animes are based off elementary or middle school kids and they are off fighting the world and falling in dramatic love... that's a huge UMMM??... it just doesn't make sense for me

If the anime is in a high school setting it doesn't bother me quite as much whether they act like middle aged adults or not
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