Forum - View topic
Answerman - Why Do Anime Students Always Sit In The Same Seat?


Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
fx434



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:04 am Reply with quote
Rolling Eyes i Sit In The Same Seat and I'm sure I'm not Anime Student just a Student
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akamaru_Inu



Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:05 am Reply with quote
Not to mention it saves the animators and background artists the trouble of drawing a room full of students in designated seats from different angles.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pajmo9



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 593
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:12 am Reply with quote
We had assigned seats when I was in high school.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 833
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:16 am Reply with quote
The better question is, why are the windows always on the left-hand side from the class's perspective, with the doors on the right (one front, one back) and a long hallway outside that only has classrooms on the one side? It doesn't matter whether the show's set in a decrepit rural school from the 1940s, or an ultramodern Tokyo academy, they all have the same layout. Is it just easier for animators to always work from one pattern, or do Japanese schools all use one standard design?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1254
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:20 am Reply with quote
We had assigned seats all through public school, elementary (same classroom all day ) to high school (roughly the same seat in different rooms). Alphabetical, which meant that I was always towards the back and two rows away from the windows.

I liked University much better, I always sat on the first row next to the windows. Kept a close eye on the teachers, just to see what hi-jinks they got up to.

Mark Gosdin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1254
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:29 am Reply with quote
I think the common design in Japan is an effort to minimize the amount of artificial lighting needed during daylight hours.

In my home town in Oklahoma our vintage 1920's & 1930's school buildings also made an effort to use as much natural lighting and air circulation as possible. The 1960's & 1970's built buildings did not do this, they were concentrating on hvac use and had small windows to minimize heat from outside.

Mark Gosdin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
I_Drive_DSM



Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:39 am Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
The better question is, why are the windows always on the left-hand side from the class's perspective, with the doors on the right (one front, one back) and a long hallway outside that only has classrooms on the one side? It doesn't matter whether the show's set in a decrepit rural school from the 1940s, or an ultramodern Tokyo academy, they all have the same layout. Is it just easier for animators to always work from one pattern, or do Japanese schools all use one standard design?


Schools have some of the largest real estate in terms of square footage for property in Japan, even further when you look elsewhere in the modern first world. In Japan where square footage is at extreme premiums in high metro areas it's even more apparent than similar situations. When you consider all the facilities on site it leaves very little room for the actual classroom facilities themselves, which is why the primary structure both is often straight built and consists of multiple floors (the added benefit of segregating years by floors is an immediate by-product of multiple floors).

Any architectural student will likely tell you that windows are an incredibly important aspect of building design; possibly more so than the actual 'meat' of a building. Windows generate climate, have safety features, promote aesthetics, and in many cases contribute to the well being of the occupants (it would be dull being in a room with no windows all day). Many older buildings in Japan do not have central heating and air, which windows can help to naturally control climate.

As to orientation, egress and degress is easier parallel to the hallway and is likely done for safety reasons (both a front and rear entry/exit). As to why it's left-hand orientation I'd surmise that due to the consistent building design of Japanese schools it's to assist in emergency situations. Having to have tailored evac plans for a building can be eliminated if schools are, relatively speaking, uniform in design and procedure.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
chronos02



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 174
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:00 pm Reply with quote
That was a strange question and pretty nonsensical I must say.

Seating arrangement depends on each school's policy regarding student distribution, and afaik most schools in the EU use the very same system you see in most anime, the main changes between them being how those sits are determined the first time, as well as future seat arrangements.

First time seating is mostly decided through alphabetical order, same as many anime shows, and very rarely they use a grading arrangement taken from the entrance exams for freshman year, and final exams for subsequent years. I know of one school that did this by language levels, mixing up students with high levels of english/french/etc. with those that had very low levels, in order to "even out" class development for those subjects or subjects that used those languages. My old school divided students by class based on the english level (Class A for good english level, and B for a low one) so they could teach both classes correctly, and the seating arrangement was done alphabetically.

As for subsequent rearrangement of seats, like in japanese anime, they are done either by term, every few months, weeks, twice a year, or passing a threshold based on some parameters the teachers have. There may be other types, but these are the main ones I have seen that are identical to many anime series. We also cannot forget the lottery one as well as the free arrangement (not free always, but free to choose and then fixed until the next rearrangement). The most common way seats are arranged is based on marks, having low marks will force you to get a front-row seat, while having high marks will move you far back.

In the end, these decisions are based on what the school believes is best for the student's development, and how much easier it will be for the students to learn, as well as how easy it will be for teachers to keep them from derrailing during class.

The one thing I find completely different from the west is the fact some schools publicly announce the marks for their pupils on the school's board for everyone to see, I have yet to see a school here do this, though being fair, all the Japanese schools I have known have never done this (not that I know many, but still...). What I do know is that if a school did this over here, they'd get sued for sure, since it's a violation of privacy, and no, a student agreeing in a contract is not valid, the guardians should do that AND the student must agree to it, in a case per case basis.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 341
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:26 pm Reply with quote
I remember having assigned seating in elementary and middle school. Some of my high school classes had it, some didn't. It depended on the teacher. In college there was no assigned seating, but after the first week or so (when there were people adding or dropping classes), students generally sat in the same seat simply out of habit.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DigitalScratch



Joined: 06 Jul 2013
Posts: 335
Location: Area 51
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:16 pm Reply with quote
The protagonist sitting in the back-row, window seat is just one of the many endearing cliches of anime. Like how most student protagonists wake up late and have to run with food in their mouth. Or how it’s super obvious who the main characters are because they’re the only ones with unnatural hair styles/colors. Or how every anime mom with a low side ponytail is doomed to die of the mysterious anime cough. All very fun cliches that I hope continue to stay a staple of anime.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Zin5ki
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 6570
Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:17 pm Reply with quote
At least WataMote subverted the trend by reallocating its protagonist to a seat antithetical to the windowside ideal, highlighting the disparity in privacy in a rather cruel manner.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
sokpupet



Joined: 22 May 2004
Posts: 127
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Akamaru_Inu wrote:
Not to mention it saves the animators and background artists the trouble of drawing a room full of students in designated seats from different angles.


Thank you. That's exactly one of the reasons I knew would be included and I'm surprised it wasn't. The best way to deal with cost efficiency is integrating it into the story, after all.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Coup d'État



Joined: 29 Dec 2017
Posts: 154
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:17 pm Reply with quote
chronos02 wrote:
That was a strange question and pretty nonsensical I must say.

Seating arrangement depends on each school's policy regarding student distribution, and afaik most schools in the EU use the very same system you see in most anime, the main changes between them being how those sits are determined the first time, as well as future seat arrangements.


#NotMyEurope

Seriously though, the only system I've ever known in Germany is "take a seat wherever, be quick about it, you're stuck there for the entire year. Better not hate your neighbor. Good luck." And since we wander from classroom to classroom, you have that same shitty fight over and over again the entire first week.

On another note, front seats are super underrated. They're the best. You both hear everything the teacher says (so, less studying later) and are never the one the teachers try to pick for shitty stuff.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DeeeFoo



Joined: 18 Oct 2015
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Does anyone know why the windows in classrooms are always on the left?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Aquasakura



Joined: 01 Jan 2014
Posts: 470
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia, U.S.A
PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:54 pm Reply with quote
chronos02 wrote:
That was a strange question and pretty nonsensical I must say.


I was thinking the same thing at first when I saw this. After all it's not like the fact that students siting in the same desks often is unique to Japanese schools. It's been a long time since I attended a public school so I can't remember if there was a time I was given seating arrangements. I think there were times that did happen. However, as Shiflan mentioned once students have picked a desk/seat they would be sitting in they would come back to that same spot for the rest of the school year unless told otherwise. The same thing happens in collage as well. I took it as being part of our nature in sticking with what is familiar once we get use to it.

With that said thanks to this question I have learn something new about how writers and animators go about creating scenes in their stories. I was not aware of this trope of the protagonists commonly being place next to the window, and how it serves story-wise. Surprised I never notice or thought that was a common thing when I have watch/read school life anime/manga in the past.

Coup d'État wrote:

Front seats are super underrated. They're the best. You both hear everything the teacher says (so, less studying later) and are never the one the teachers try to pick for shitty stuff.


I was told to always sit in the front for this very reason (minus being called on) by my mom I think, and I have been doing it ever since. Or if I can't get in the front at leat get close as possible. It does have it's benefits like you said. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Manga
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group