BakaTest – Grade Competition in Anime
Laughter, anger, worries, love, friendship, competitiveness, growth and degeneration. All of these emotions are packed within the doors of a classroom.
Most school life anime just focuses on the first five aspects. Don’t you agree?
I like animes which portray school life. Yes, whatever you want to say, even if it’s heavily cliche already. Then again, one thing that I see them overlook is this aspect of tight competition in the school. We often see anime such as Toradora! where the focus is actually romance and comedy. The academic standings of the characters weren’t really given the focus. GTO, meanwhile focuses on the issues of the students, primarily bullying and delinquents, but not whether these characters are studious and bright.
Okay, what I want to talk about here is this competition of the characters in terms of grades. Just thinking about this topic reminds me of Special A, since the it’s the primary gripe of the female lead, being the second — But I haven’t watched it so — so much for that. Maho(Kare Kano), is basically the same — It’s just that she was overwhelmed by this helpless feeling of defeat.
We rarely see seriousness in the competition of the characters in terms of their grades. Azumanga Daioh features Yomi and Chiyo having a relatively close fight in their grades. Chiyo didn’t really mind her grades. It was only Yomi who we could see somehow obstinate on planning to beat Chiyo’s score.
I think only Kare Kano so far has given me this kind of situation wherein the revolving issue is “class standing”. Absurd as it may seem, but I think this is rather realistic, compared on how other shows take it. Based from Kare Kano and regarding the competition inside the classroom. Maho was somewhat used to be the one at the top of the ladder — which is why she was frustrated when Yukino was able to usurp her from that place. Then again — that frustration might probably be actually pretty much the same with what Yukino felt when Arima grabbed the crowd.
There really is a competition going on just to have that spot you wanted in the corporate or professional world, not only in Japan. I’ve even read some articles citing that this tight competition in the school grounds is also one of the reasons why hikkikomoris exist.
I guess one of the reasons why some of us like watching anime is, because it deviates from the real world, where competition exist. We’d rather focus on the comedy, rabu-rabu scenes, and other hijinks that happen in schools instead of its primary purpose, which is education. And, I think anime producers know that, which is why they are showcasing us with shows that do not put grade competition in its lime light.
Even if you say that BakaTest does the opposite, you could actually see them portraying the anime in such a sarcastic way wherein some of the characters just don’t care about their grades, or staying in that kind of situation. It somehow deviates us again in reality when Himeji proclaims that she is better off in Class F, rather than in Class A! (That sounded though as if she was consoling everyone in Class F)
You could blandly see the classroom where our primary characters stay, and how poor they are treated in terms of facilities, and yet, do we really focus on that aspect of the show? No, some turn their heads and stare at Hideyoshi instead 😀 .
Class F’s objective to beat Class A seems superficial to me. BakaTest would have shown some aspect of reality, just as how “respect and treatment” is equated to your intellectual capability in school(which is not necessarily true!), but then again, you won’t really notice signs of disappointment in the characters when they were beaten once again by Class A.
Then again, if you would want to see Baka to test to Shoukanjuu in light of the comedy it presents, then go ahead.
image credits: pixiv user 雪見@ばかてす