Construction of gendered identities within the school environment


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As I have pointed out in previous posts, anime provides a dream world where the audience can escape from their everyday lives in a world of fantasy. Some anime may take the fantasy element literally, with series set in magical worlds, or in futuristic science fiction settings or dystopian landscapes, but others present a more subtle form of escapism, one where the escape is into the everyday. This everyday is often highly idealised and romanticised, and predominantly takes place in or around school grounds. One of the central themes that most recent anime share (at least those series set in or around school) is the position of school in the central characters lives, and how comparatively little importance is placed upon formal education and all that it encompasses. Instead, the school grounds become important as a space where ‘family’ relationships are created and reshaped. Read more of this post

School centric anime and their importance in current day Japan


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As Goodman (2011) points out, the Japanese education system provided a clear connection for both male and female workers between success in education and the quality of the jobs they could secure (Goodman, 2011; 52). Generally speaking Japanese school children are made aware from an early age of the direct correlation between the size of a potential employer and the job security, salary, and status that employer would be able to offer. From the early Post-War period onwards, top employers would choose their new workers from top universities, which in turn chose their intake based on high school hierarchies, that in turn took students based on scores of the high school entrance exam that everyone sits when they are 15. The entire education system of Japan is based on a meritocratic structure that engenders high competition amongst students, and produces what Ronald Dore (1976) describes as a ‘very expensive intelligence testing system with some educational spin-off, rather than the other way around’ (Dore, 1976; 48-49). Read more of this post

The slightly Illogical Autumn 2012 season preview


So it appears to be that time when many anime bloggers start to look forward to the new season, to see what looks interesting, or to simply rip into anime as a whole with an immense sense of superiority. I tend not to look too far ahead when it comes to anime, and for the most part concentrate on the current season rather than look at anime that have yet to air. Also, I never watch previews, they tell you very little about the series, providing a few sound bites and a look at the animation style without really giving any indication as to what the anime will really be about. As such my previews don’t contain them and I don’t even bother with them, instead I see what other information is available and generally make up my mind based on the plot overview and artwork. Having had a look at the line-up for next season it does look to be potentially very interesting. As with all anime seasons there is a plethora of anime on show, ranging from the classic romance/shoujo series, through the light novel adaptations to the (usually) over-hyped anime that never quite turn out to be as good as everyone suggests they should be. Overall the season has quite a varied lineup, with may different genres included, something that is always nice to see in an anime season. There are some potentially very nice romance series which will obviously go down well with me as a fan of a good romance, along with numerous sequels to some more recent, along with slightly older series.

This list is in no particular order, and barring a couple of series that I honestly dont like the look of I will at least have a look at everything listed, whether I finish the anime is another matter entirely. Read more of this post