Depending on where you are in the country, the school year has already begun or is just about to start. School life certainly is a challenge but one that isn’t done in animation form all that much in the United States and especially not with any kind of seriousness to it with the situations that many face. Whether you’re new to the upper levels of education or you’ve moved on from there, here’s five shows that we think you should check out from the school based anime world:
1) His and Her Circumstances
Originally known as Kare Kano, the series follows the lives of two very seemingly perfect freshmen, Yuko and Soichiro. What’s under the surface is what draws them together into a relationship that deals with the problems of being as smart as they are, the past that Soichiro grapples with and the secrets that Yukino has about her habits at home. For Yukino, it’s about discovering what really matters beyond her grades and scholastic excellence when she finds someone that means the world to her. And for Soichiro, it forces him to open up after dealing with a lifetime of guilt and issues related to his real parents. Family, relationships and friendship build the basis for this series that plays heavily in the comedy arena as well.
2) Girls High
While there are plenty of shows that feature high school girls of all different stripes, it’s a rare series that offers an unfiltered look at them, especially in an all girl’s school. The show focuses on a number of issues to young women, from dating and make-up to true love and bodily issues that happen. While it plays to being a situational comedy, it does it in a way that keeps the ensemble cast moving and dealing with all manner of things under the surface. The important of friends and of putting yourself out there becomes key.
3) Genshiken: Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture
If there’s one thing that happens in high school life, it’s that a lot of people tend to push their hobbies and interests out of the picture in order to fit into various groups. Genshiken, the only show taking place in college on this list, is about celebrating ones interests, especially those of a geeky nature. Revolving around a club designed to “study” geek culture such as videogames, animation, figures and more, it brings a group of different personalities together with common interests that eventually do start to change how they interact with the world at large and even find a little bit of love. Instead of hiding what you love, Genshiken is all about putting it out in the open and not being ashamed of it.
4) School Rumble
One thing that most adults say, whether they mean it or not, is to enjoy high school life as it’s one of the best times of your life. School Rumble is the wackiest of the comedies on this list as it follows multiple classes throughout a couple of years of their high school career as they interact with each other, deal with school events and activities and a wide range of weirdness that seems to creep into all of it. Designed with short stories within each episode, it covers a range of characters and personalities for people to identify with and to simply laugh at as the two main characters are, for better or worse, simply quite stupid.
The story of Suzuka is one of the more serious ones here and more difficult ones simply because the lead character Suzuka is so difficult herself. It follows a young man named Yamato who comes to a high school far away from home and he falls head of heels for a girl there and does his best to woo her, which includes going out for the track and field team that she’s on. But she has so many problems herself and has closed down emotionally while also being cruel to him that it’s a very difficult relationship to watch happen, especially when Yamato falls in love with someone that seems to be better suited for him and she returns his feelings. Heavily dealing with the pressures of love while also extolling participation in sports, Suzuka has plenty of comedy but knows that at its core it’s about the relationships of young first loves.