#9 Very Small Schools

Looking back, I think one of my favorite school memories was my high school freshmen year. The school was new and had just opened and there were only two classes; freshmen and sophomores. What that meant was there were smaller classes, less crowded areas, everyone knew each other, and there were no lines for anything. As the years went on however, more students attended as new classes were added till we had a properly filled school; so it became like any other high school. Still, I will never forget that first year, where there were not many people to deal with. You never had to compete for where to eat, everyone was somehow livelier, both teachers and students; it was bliss.

Personally, I just find smaller schools better. Anime however takes this to the extreme. Only in anime can there be a school that has only five people attending. Since it’s back for its second season, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about something related to Non Non Biyori. For the uninitiated, Non Non Biyori is a slice of life anime taking place in a small country side part of Japan (It’s also a show you should be watching). So small in fact, all four of the main characters are part of the five students who make up the entire school. I’ve heard of classes with few people, even classes with just one person, but never have I heard of a school with only five people. Plus, the show only focuses on four of them.

All of the characters are different years, there aren’t even second to fourth year elementary students in the school. There is one teacher for all the students, and that teacher is related to the youngest student. Three of the students are also siblings. Basically there is one student, the more-younger-than-she-looks Hotaru, who is the odd one (i.e. has no relation in the classroom) out in the entire school. In fact the lack of any other people, besides family members and the occasional neighbors, makes me question rather this show takes place in some type of purgatory. On a different note, let’s think about this carefully, that is, the pros and cons of going to a small school.

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Pros of A Small School

  • You’d always be the top of your class. (After all, you’d only be against yourself.)
  • Everyone knows each other well. (You’d be able to forge strong bonds, or some other cheesy thing relating to friendship.)
  • It’s easier for senpai to notice you. (Ex. In the series Hotaru has a major crush on Komari. It should be rather easy for Hotaru to get Komari to notice her, because unless Komari is a siscon, brocon, or lolicon, I’d put my money in favor of Hotaru.)

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  • Not to many people to interact with (meaning your anime wouldn’t be anything like this):

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Cons of A Small School

  • You might be the bottom of your class (Who knows, you might be the type of person to play against yourself and lose)
  • You might want to meet new people.
  • If your late, it would be easy to catch you.
  • It’s easier to get Senpai to hate you (Ex. making many stuffed plushies of said Senpai.)

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  • Not many people to interact with (You might become socially awkward and end up like this):

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  • Uninteresting sports festival? (Seriously how would that work? Another school comes over, so it’s five against an entire school? Every grade for themselves, so a 1st grader vs. a 5th grader vs. a 7th grader vs. an 8th grader?)

As you can see small schools would be interesting in real life, but exist only in anime. To end, here are some last minute thoughts about small schools:

  • You’d always have the bathroom to yourself.
  • Is it still possible to cheat on tests?
  • Would the teacher get paid 5 times more for teaching 5 grades?
  • Is there a cafeteria? A lunch lady? Seems like a waste to have if you ask me.
  • Imagine, what type of clubs could you even have?
  • You might as well call this home school.
  • On a short day, could you call it 5 People, 5 Classes, 5 Hours?

Wow, have I been busy since the last time I did this, but now that I have more free time I’m bringing it back. Expect more random topics and rants about things that can happen only in the world of anime. Also expect more, as my goal is to release 3 to 4 of these a month. Stay tuned for more.