Shoujo-tachi wa Kyoua wo Mezasu – Choosing Your Path in Life


I’ve always had a soft spot for anime that focus on school life, its just one aspect of the anime medium that fascinates me. Many may complain about its almost never ending presence, perhaps justifiably so, given the numerous generic, even poorly constructed series that have been released over the years. But even then, the actual school setting remains one that interests me; it is arguably one of the most important aspects of anime, and the stories that anime portray. Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu uses this familiar setting to explore ideas of careers, and what one wants to do after high school, and important question in Japanese society where success is expected, but conformity remains central to its social fabric. The careers form that we briefly glimpse, and the importance placed on choosing a path after high school are very important aspects of school focussed anime. Read more of this post

School centric anime and their importance in current day Japan


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