Anime School Cliches: True or False?

anime school roof
Many anime series focus on school life, and it is a very common subject for slice-of-life anime series. Although school life anime share a lot of common traits, many fans wonder how realistic the school life shown is. Everything you watch on TV can’t be trusted after all, especially since anime are well known for exaggerating. Having personally gone to a Japanese high school, I can share my experiences to answer some anime fans’ burning questions!

Is melon bread really popular in Japanese high schools?

True!
Japanese high schools don’t always have cafeterias, but they do have school stores. Students can buy lots of different types of breads here, among other things they need for school. Many of my Japanese classmates like melon bread, and for a few of them, it’s even their favorite food! For those of you that are wondering though, it doesn’t really taste like melons. It’s just extremely sugary bread that kinda looks like a melon because of the way it’s scored on top.

Can students go on the roof of their school?

False.
The school I went to was built so that going on the roof was not possible. Most schools in Japan are like that as well. Even if it is possible to go on the roof, it’s against the rules. As cool as going on the roof would be, it’s unfortunately just an anime myth.

Is walking home with your crush a big deal?

True!
In Japan, boys and girls don’t really mix. Girls stay on the girl’s side of the classroom, and boys stay on theirs. It’s really uncommon for boys and girls to just be friends, so if a guy and a girl do make an effort to walk home together, they probably want to be more than friends.

Are sailor style uniforms common?

False.
In the past sailor style uniforms used to be normal, but now it is really uncommon to see high school students wearing the traditional Japanese uniform style. Most schools have girls wear skirts and dress shirts while boys wear slacks and dress shirts. Both genders have sweaters and jackets that they can wear in the winter as well. I have only seen a few different sailor uniforms during my stay in Japan.

Do Japanese schools use chalkboards?

True!
Although Japan is seen as a highly technologically advanced country, they still have chalkboards in most schools. The students take turns cleaning the chalkboard after each class so it’s ready for the next teacher to use. To go with the chalkboard, some schools do have cool chalkboard eraser cleaners, where the student places the dirty eraser on the machine and it sucks off the dust! I did a small survey about this, and only one person said they knew of a school with whiteboards, but it was a middle school and not a high school. It seems there’s no real reason why most Japanese schools use blackboards.

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