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Japanese high school students idolizing other students.


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Kiyomaro



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 212
Location: Chicago,Illinois
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:40 pm Reply with quote
I've seen this a good number of times in anime, students idolizing or practically worshiping a member of their peers, not to a Kaorin/Sakaki degree, but I think you get the idea. An example being Hikari from Special A or Amu from Shugo Chara. My point being, do Japanese high school students act like that for real?
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:57 pm Reply with quote
I thought that kids everywhere did that. I haven't seen the examples you gave, but envy and worshipfulness towards the popular crowd are common worldwide. Aren't they?
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:11 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
I thought that kids everywhere did that. I haven't seen the examples you gave, but envy and worshipfulness towards the popular crowd are common worldwide. Aren't they?


Not really in America. It's more of a "omg she's pretty but I bet she's actually a whore and has herpes" kind of resentment. So no, it doesn't really happen.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:04 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Not really in America. It's more of a "omg she's pretty but I bet she's actually a whore and has herpes" kind of resentment. So no, it doesn't really happen.


Oh, I don't know about that. It does, to an extent, happen in America, although the idolized individuals are commonly star quarterbacks, head cheerleaders, or prom/homecoming queens. That kind of idolizing has been dealt with frequently in American TV shows and cinema. Admittedly, though, anime titles do take this to a far greater comedic extreme.

I have always found it an amusing contrast that an idolized student in anime is nearly always also a top academic performer, whereas such individuals get shunned as nerdy in most American media. (That often doesn't prove true in real life, however. In my high school graduating class, the valedictorian was a cheerleader and the salutatorian was a soccer jock.)
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fighterholic



Joined: 28 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:56 am Reply with quote
In my experience, I did not see it happening to the exaggerated extent that at times has been portrayed in anime. However, there were idols at my school, like one of the girls in the gymnastics club. Everybody was talking about her, at some point and time during the day.
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Randall Miyashiro



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
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Location: A block away from Golden Gate Park
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:17 am Reply with quote
I think this is common in high school based shows on both sides of the Pacific in films like Clueless to more modern series like Heroes and Smallville. I think it's definitely more exaggerated in media, but don't think it's something that is exclusive to Japan.
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TheTheory



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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Location: Central PA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:50 am Reply with quote
Yeah, I'd be willing to bet that what you see in anime is vastly overblown from what actually occurs in Japan. My more-or-less-uneducated-but-i'd-like-to-think-i-understand-the-world opinion being that what you see in American schools (a number of hierarchical cliques centered around several popular people) is probably not too different from anywhere else. It could be with the difference in culture it is different kinds of people rising to the top of the cliques... although judging by anime, the common factor seems to be a stellar physique.

More what the topic is about (the one person worshiping another person, and in my experience usually female worshiping a female or female worshiping a male)... that always kind of weirds me out a little. Still, anime is a medium prone to fantasy, and I suspect that this is merely another manifestation of that. I mean, speaking as a male, who *hasn't* wished a beautiful female would worship their very essence? (Not a realistic, or healthy, way to build a relationship, so I'm not upset that it never happened with me...)
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Elfen12



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
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Location: Bay Area
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:29 pm Reply with quote
This was just thrown together off the top of my head, but often times in Animations (I mean all of them, Cartoons, Anime, etc...) they tend to over exaggerate many things. Think about it. In American cartoons, animators over exaggerate situations by making objects bigger, more numerous, etc. Since this thread talks of communication and views towards others (the idolizing of a student/students) lets take an example shall we? There was/is a show called Ed, Edd, n Eddy. In this show, it was about a group of kids living in the circumcfrence of a culdasac (spelling). You rarely saw there parents, in fact i don't belive you did. In the show they had a girl everyone thought was supposed to be beautiful (nazz), a "cool dude"(kevin), a weirdo (johnny), a wimp (Jimmy), a whiney girl (sara), a wierder wierdo (rolf), and then a dummy (ed), a smarty (edd), and a selfish guy that many didn't like (eddy). So you could imagine how they delt with each other... but they certianly took it over board, they exagerated it becuase it was a cartoon... had it been a movie, it would have been impossible to exagerate it to the extent that the cartoon did. My point being here is that cartoons (whether Anime, American cartoons, ... even.... i don't know, Cartoons in Mongolia for that matter) exagerate things. I think that perhaps here, in Anime, the whole Japanese hich school idolization is all an exageration too. This is peerely theory though. I'm sure it may happen to an extent, but not nearly to the extent that it happens in all those school related animes. I would think it'd be an exageration of a rather common thing in japan, just like in Ed, Edd n Eddy, that group of people, we all know at least a couple people like that in America.

-Elfen12- i rest my case... this was all theory don't forget...... and when i say theory, i don't mean you TheTheory
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daxomni



Joined: 08 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:52 pm Reply with quote
I agree with those who say that high school students also worship and idolize other students here in the US, and probably all over the world for that matter. I can vaguely remember a handful of situations that might be termed idolizing back when I was a boy myself. What I think is unique to Japan are adults openly idolizing high school students. Japan's creepiness factor runs the gamut from absurd innuendos to excessively mismatched attractions to racially biased xenophobia to extreme levels of enthusiasm for even rudimentary hobbies to widespread untreated mental illnesses potentially leading to life-long hermitage and possibly even suicide. Japan is a wonderfully unique place to visit, but seeing businesses openly cater to moral subversion, racial elitism and social extremism can be rather jarring and difficult to understand for the uninitiated.

-Dax
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Schtim



Joined: 12 Sep 2007
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Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:02 pm Reply with quote
I didn't come across this kind of phenomenon in the Swedish high school (Upper secondary school) in the ages from 16 to 18. Actually, not even close to being like as mentioned before, in the animes S.A and Shugo Chara.
When I was in high school I rarely knew anyone outside my class, since the school consists of people from alot of towns and places, the only one I knew outside the class was the people from my "town".
Another thing that Swedish people are known for and doesn't seem to have any interest to change is the word "lagom" or in english "enough", not to much and not to little. We don't like to stand out to much unnecessarily.
Unlike in the US we don't have any prom king/queen or a Football team to talk about and there are no "clubs" like they show in the school themed animes.
This is why I really like this kind of phenomenon in the anime series, it is a little exotic and unfamiliar.
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Pinkwings



Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 234
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:53 am Reply with quote
I didn't see that kind of behavior at my high school. Not at all. People would think you were interested in them if you acted like that with them. At least here where I live. And god help your soul if they are straight and you are the same sex as them and you act that way..god help you...
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abunai
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Joined: 05 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:47 am Reply with quote
daxomni wrote:
Japan is a wonderfully unique place to visit, but seeing businesses openly cater to moral subversion, racial elitism and social extremism can be rather jarring and difficult to understand for the uninitiated.

Interestingly enough, this sentence works equally well if you substitute "the United States of America" for "Japan".

- abunai
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jetz



Joined: 31 Jan 2007
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Location: Manila, Philippines
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:40 am Reply with quote
This kind of thing happened in my high school. When I was watching Maria-sama ga miteru, it reminded me so much of the stuff that happened in my school (minus the sister system thing). I actually came from an exclusive, all-girls Catholic school, so there were definitely similarities.

The Valentine's episode reminded me of what I used to experience during Valentine's day in our school. I would see girls preparing gifts for.. err.. other girls and some would even plan dates. Since most of us had little or no contact with guys, some of us would crush on other girls that it seemed normal. The school administrators knew about it, but they only punished those who were caught (They were very conservative nuns Very Happy).

I also remember this one incident when a new student transferred to our school. She was very pretty, so when she first came in a lot of girls were standing outside her classroom's door, waiting for her to come out so they could catch a glimpse of her.
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braves



Joined: 29 Dec 2007
Posts: 2306
Location: Puerto Rico (but living in Texas)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:42 am Reply with quote
abunai wrote:
daxomni wrote:
Japan is a wonderfully unique place to visit, but seeing businesses openly cater to moral subversion, racial elitism and social extremism can be rather jarring and difficult to understand for the uninitiated.

Interestingly enough, this sentence works equally well if you substitute "the United States of America" for "Japan".

- abunai


Um, can't the substitution also made for just about every country?
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abunai
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Joined: 05 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:07 am Reply with quote
With varying degrees of blatant obviousness, yes. I believe that was my point.

- abunai
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