Are Japanese schools like anime schools? Comparisons

Are schools in Japan the same as anime schools? Most Japanese animations, despite having a lot of fantasy and exaggeration, most of the time show a real scenario of life in Japan. School anime is a very popular genre that shows what a student's life is like in Japan. Most anime schoolchildren have the same characteristics that seem even clichés.

Anime really show what Japanese schools and students' personality are like. In this article, we will examine points and clichés that actually exist in schools in Japan. We will also see some minor differences and details of the schools and some references that may be of recommendation to you.

Where do anime schools get it right?

Clubs - The first thing we notice in anime schools is the existence of clubs that involve different categories such as sports, reading and even games and computers. In most anime the main characters participate in clubs,


Festivals and Events - Those games that you find in the anime of people riding on top of others and competing really exist and are called Undokai. Schools also hold other open festivals, where students have the opportunity to make a Maid's Café or Cosplay.

Japan schools vs anime schools

Footwear - In Japanese schools there are those lockers for you to put on your sneakers and put on the traditional shoes to walk around the school and keep it clean.

Senpai and Kouhai - It is not only in anime that this happens, there really is a relationship between students of different grades, especially when they are friends, they end up using these terms to call each other. Senpai is like an experienced veteran who helps you, and Kouhai is a rookie freshman.


Westminster Chime - This is the name of the famous and nostalgic bell that rings in schools in Japan. In almost all school anime we end up hearing this sound.

Ijime: BullyingPeople think that anime only shows good things in Japanese schools, but in reality it doesn't. Anime really shows all kinds of things that happen in a school, including Ijime. Not only anime, several dramas that are based on manga end up focusing on this theme.


Some anime like GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) show cases of ijime that even led to suicide attempt, and that unfortunately happens in Japan. And there, even the girls end up doing ijime with some boys.

Other characteristics of schools

Snacks - In most schools it is forbidden to eat processed and industrialized foods, the most that ends up being juice and soda machines. Anime end up presenting this well, with the famous obento (lunchboxes) and purchases of drinks during lunch at school.

Girls only school - There are women's schools in Japan. There have been cases where these schools have started to release enrollment for both sexes, as happened in the anime Maid-Sama. Imagine how happy the first boys must have been.

Japan schools vs anime schools


Tests for the entrance exam - The last academic year really puts pressure on students to study like crazy to pass the entrance exam, the most important test of their life. Just like in anime, they take courses, teachers take career tests, give support, etc.

School trips - The students' travels in the real way are as impressive as the anime. They actually travel to other islands like Okinawa, go to another distant province and to various tourist spots in the country. Some schools even organize trips to other countries like Korea.

School anime stuff that isn't entirely real!

Colored hair - Although Japan is quite liberal with respect to fashion and appearance, it is unusual to find students with different and exotic hair colors. Some schools even prohibit certain hairstyles and hair colors.


Skirts are not short - In the anime, most girls have short skirts on their thighs, and really the girls in Japan also use very short skirts ... Only the reality is that the skirts themselves are not extremely short, the girls who shorten their skirts to stay before the knee, most often out of school. Girls usually do this to get attention, and anime authors ended up using this cliché to get the attention of the male audience. Some schools are strict in this regard, they do not usually allow certain changes in uniform and even in appearance.

School roof - Almost every school anime we watch shows students on the school roof. This is not allowed in a large number of schools in Japan, but many end up breaking this rule. Why so many scenes on school roofs? Manga and anime artists use the school roof a lot to present the beautiful scenery, or to make some scenes that require the characters to be isolated.

Japan schools vs anime schools

Grades - We see in some anime the display of students' grades in the class, this can really happen, but not in all schools. In most of the best students are rewarded, but in secret.


Student Council - Anime ends up presenting the student council as head of the school. The council helps teachers plan festivals, events and other important things for the class and school, but they don't usually have the power that anime shows.

Japan schools vs anime schools

Japan or anime schools? Conclusion!

Although anime present Japanese school life well, they exaggerate in most things, present several things that are prohibited and break school rules, in addition to exaggerating the students' excitement and joy. The reality is that the Japanese school is much more rigorous, but they are like any other school. They are there to study, follow rules, make friends, fall in love, get ready, etc. Like us, many of them don't like to go to school and study… I myself during my trip I found several students skipping class.

Below I will leave a list of school anime that I recommend for you to get to know schools in Japan better:

  • Toradora;
  • Another;
  • K-On;
  • Suzumiya Haruhi;
  • Hyouka;
  • Kimi ni todoke;
  • Yahari Ore at Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru;
  • Kokoro Connect;
  • Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO);
  • Gin no Saji;
  • Angel Beats!
  • Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo;

Needless to say, in real life boys don't accidentally fall on girls' chests. Not that monsters, massacres, magical girls, strange creatures, time travelers and psychics appear at school. I hope you enjoyed? Do you have anything to add? Leave your comments.