Kadokawa to Set Up Online Correspondence High School
posted on by Eric Stimson
The school will be called N High School, with the "N" standing for "net" or "nakama" (close friend) according to Kadokawa president Nobuo Kawakami. There is no daily schedule or location, allowing students to adjust their day to fit their studying needs. Students will be able to study:
- Programming from the top engineers at Dwango (the company between Nico Nico Douga)
- Writing and publishing from successful writers at Kadokawa
- Principles of "entertainment" from successful creators (manga artists, illustrators, light novelists, producers, video game creators, etc.) at the Dengeki brand
- Creative arts (fashion, pastry baking, beauty, game design) from Vantan
- Farming, fishing, traditional handicrafts, and trades from Japan's rural municipalities
- Traditional subjects (math, English, Japanese, science) needed to advance to college
Students will study online videos and textbooks, write, submit, and edit reports, and take tests. At least three years of schooling and 74 units are required for graduation. Each student will be assigned an adviser to help them with their studies, whom they can reach via phone or e-mail.
Teachers will include (top to bottom): Keiichi Sigsawa (Kino's Journey), Reki Kawahara (Sword Art Online), and Jun Umezawa (former chief editor at Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh)
Students will attend the main campus on Okinawa's Ikei Island for five days a year to meet with their teachers for assistance they wouldn't be able to get at home and have fun at an island resort. Students that can't travel that far can settle for the Vantan Design Institutes in Osaka and Tokyo. Events and activities simulating the cultural festivals and such that characterize high school in Japan will also be provided at the annual Nico Nico Chōkaigi pop culture festival and online.
Cultural activities in Okinawa
Total costs (tuition, class fees, facilities fees, and other expenses) are calculated as 129,700 yen ($1,057) in the first semester, 79,700 yen ($650) in the second semester, and 84,512 yen ($689) in the third semester.
N High's school uniforms
Reaction online has included harsh mockery, including claims that N High School will only increase Japan's population of hikikomori (shut-ins) and NEETs (unemployed, untrained adults). Hiroyuki Nishimura, the founder of the message board 2channel, expresses doubt that the skills that the school emphasizes will remain relevant for long, pointing to America's Internet boom of the 2000s and the currently underemployed computer programmers it produced. He also emphasizes how important traditional school is for teaching social skills and for training students to deal with "annoying teachers and friends you fight with," which N High couldn't possibly provide.