First of all, let me apologize for the amount of time it took from the last post I wrote. With that out of the way, it’s time for the second Installment of this editorial series about School Life!
This time, we will be taking a look at the place that is under the spotlight more than you imagine: The seat by the window.
Most schools in anime have individual seats. Yes, there may be some that are shared but the big majority is the single seat. Why would that be? Well you should already know this but in anime and manga the artists try to give each character unique personalities. Within the same series, you will have a hard time trying to find two similar characters because this is one way to make their main differences stand out more and make the story more appealing.
Another thing to have in mind is the place where the seat is located. Students who are in school doing their best want to have their full attention on the teacher, whose seat is at the front, while the others seat near the back so that they can goof around out of the teacher’s sight and not get caught and punished… It doesn’t always seem to work though.
Ah, but we are focusing on THAT seat. Ask yourselves this question: “Where is the main character usually seated?”. I assure you that 95% of the time, they will have their seat right there: near the back of the room and by the window. Is it strange? Could it be coincidence? Not really.
What type of person our character is determined by where he/she seats, and while they might not selected by the students themselves, the main characters always seem to be drawn to that particular place.
It is to my belief that this seat has a special meaning: It signifies the contrast between the classroom and the outside. The window defines this imaginary barrier between these two identical yet different worlds. And it is not rare to see our character stare out of the window with a gloomy or melancholic look on his/her eyes; it’s almost like they want to be inside but also wish for the outside. As a student, everybody wants to graduate as fast as possible to have their freedom while enjoying the little youth that they still have. Because in a story the main character is the one on whom we focus all our attention, the viewer tends to know all about their personalities and state of mind. Therefore, they are not in that seat by coincidence, but because that is where they fit in.
And now on to the great finale: Who in the history of manga and anime is the best suited to have that spot in our perfect classroom? This is a rather difficult choice – that person needs to be direct but loose, strict but laid-back. These characteristics that are polar opposites make me point to only one person:
Kyon (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi)
I came to the conclusion that Kyon would be my best choice because of his narration of the events that occurred in his freshman year in the strange club that is the SOS Brigade. He seems to wish for a normal school life, but he doesn’t seem to mind this wacky and crazy world that he was dragged into. One might say that he leans more towards the latter even if he always seems to refuse it.
Again, as I said, the viewer has a much clearer image on a character’s ideals, personality and wishes than perhaps the character himself/herself. Through Kyon’s speech and thoughts, we learn much more about all of the people that interact with him as well as giving the best point of view from the two opposite forces that tie the string of the storyline.
Next time, we will be looking at the leader of the team inside the classroom: the teacher. When we look at a teacher, we expect them to be responsible and strict towards the students. But that view changes depending on his/her personality; we cannot think them as simply the person who injects your daily dose of knowledge everyday. Why? You will see soon enough.
Until then, why don’t you give your opinions in the comments about this as well as your favorite characters whom you would like to be classmates with? Who knows, I may feature them next time…