Research questions

If there are no answers to these, I’ll just make my own estimations or try to work material around the issues in a generic fashion. Fun! It’s actually been a while since I’ve watched the anime, and I no longer have the first 2/3 to reference. I’m aware of the drama CDs and some of the DVD specials, but I don’t have direct access to those either (some forums have translations of some drama/radio CDs, so I’ll try to go off those if I refer to any of that material). Mai-HiME-only universe.

(1) Just how old was Natsuki when she was orphaned?

(2) There was no mention of her father, but there was that image in the anime of a man walking away with a woman. Thoughts? Or just random.

(3) How does voting for class president/student council members work in Japanese schools? (Can positions be inherited or not?)

(4) I don’t remember exactly when Shizuru met Natsuki (how old they were/what classes). I think these are in the DVD specials or drama CDs…

(5) I’ll be referencing materials like Wikipedia and matching Talk sections, but the Japanese schooling/education system articles at Wikipedia are out of date. (Can’t tell in what way.) I know terminology differs a little depending on sources: elementary/grade/primary, junior high/middle, high school/senior high school/secondary* (secondary might be used to include both middle and high school). Recommended links to current Japanese schooling system (or even more information about Fuuka) would be nice.

(6) I’ll have to do more research in the collegiate system, but AFAIK there’s the entrance exams, and you cannot double major (true?). Rules on dorm/apartment living during first year, cafeterias, etc…

**EDIT:

(7) Youko’s (don’t know how they’re spelling her name on the DVDs) clinic: She’s a full doctor and not a nurse, I’m assuming? I don’t know how clinics in Japanese schools work at all or just how much equipment is available (IV drips?). Eh. Maybe too much effort.

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18 thoughts on “Research questions”

  1. Hey I enjoyed your fic before, and I’m here to try to answer as much as I can :P.

    1) She was a child for sure, around her elementary ages, if someone cant answer it for you, I’ll go try to find more info on it XD.

    2) He re-married with another woman, and I beieve he sent her money every once a month to pay for her expenses. (It sounds most reasonable to me)

    3) I dont believe positions can be inherited, I always figured it was a voting ordeal. Either that or the person in charge of a certain role, can give away his/her role to someone of his/her choice. That would explain the Haruka –> Yukino Vice President of the Student Council ordeal.

    4) They met in the garden outside Fuuka Gakuen (Where we first saw Mashiro and Fumi), Natsuki was about to crush a flower before Shizuru interrupted her saying, “Flowers are meant to be cherished, because they aren’t given much time to enjoy life” (Or something to this effect, I cannot remember the direct quote :P)

    5) http://www.outpostnine.com/editorials/ this might help. It’s a series of editorials from an American man who transferred to Japan from the JET program and is teaching middle school kids in Japans current school system.

    6) Agh I dont know about this, but if you still end up with nothing after a while, contact me and I’ll try to help.

    Hope all of this helped somewhat XD.

    1. Awesome. (Didn’t expect an answer so soon. :P)

      Re:(4) Yes, that’s probably one of the most famous ShizNat scenes out there, but were they both in middle school still? (Eh, I remember the DVD special screencap shows Natsuki in a little sailor outfit, so it’s implied they’ve known each other pretty long… Maybe I should figure out school uniforms, too. Such trouble.) I guess just having an idea of how many years they’ve known each other would be a good estimate, too.

      Thanks a lot. :D

      1. Haha I’ve got good timing? XD;!

        I’m sure Natsuki was in middle school, because that outfit is for all the middle schoolers (ex; Mikoto and Nao), I deleted the specials but I’m pretty sure Shizuru was in her second or first year of highschool…? I’ve read somewhere that they knew each other for 4 years in total though, not sure it’s reliable but it does make a bit of sense and match with their school grades :P.

        No problem, it’s a pleasure to help :D.

    2. Take a good bit of what this guy (Azrael) with a huge grain of salt. Most of his posts are decidedly unflattering and many were outright racist on his forum. He’s funny but not gospel.

  2. I see elwhyenen is fast and very good source of information.:)
    So I want only to add that there is DVD special about Haruka’s speech as the candidate, during voting for student council president. Of course she lost miserably to Shizuru.

    1. Poor Haruka. I ended up liking her a lot towards the end. There will be some cameo roles for the other characters here and there, but honestly, I’m not that confident I can keep them all totally “in-character” (especially when there are art books, CDs, specials that I haven’t seen), though I suspect Haruka is easier to deal with than many others. Assuming the council positions are always voted in, I think I can work around that. (Heh heh heh.)

      (I don’t suppose anyone knows when the voting usually takes place? Beginning of the school year? Not that it matters if I go through with the plan I’m thinking about, I suppose.)

      Thanks for the note. ;)

  3. Comments

    Many of these answers (i.e. Mai HiME related) you can find out from the Drama CD/Omake translations.

    As for information about the Japanese schooling system, you might be able to find something at the following links:

    ED.gov Resources on Japanese schools (make sure to follow the links at the bottom of the pages for the whole resource)

    Japanese Education: Grades K-12

    Basic Structure of Japanese educational system

    I’ll post more of my links after I restart this blasted browser.

    1. Re: Comments

      Thanks a lot. I think I’ve found the DVD specials now and some forum posts of [some of] the drama CDs–negi. Whoa. (I’m not sure I can work that ‘canon’ into my type of story, though. A shame.)

  4. (4) According to the DVD specials, Natsuki was a first year middle schooler while Shizuru was in her third year. They’re about two years apart schoolwise but more like 1 year apart age wise.

    (5) In Japan, what Americans call elementary school runs into the 6th grade. Middle school runs to grade 9 while High school runs from 10-12. Fuuka is an elevator school, which means as long as you pass, you get automatically bumped up to the next grade level (and/or graduate). I do not believe Fuuka has a university level, though it is very likely given the prestige of the school for it to have “sister” schools at the university level.

    1. (6) Ahh… the horrific entrance exams. Yes. One must take a seperate entrance exam for each university the student wants to go into. So if you’re applying for five universities, you must take five exams. The difficulty of it will be determined by the presitge of the school. Also, the way departments are set up are different. Unlike in the States where we have a single overarching department for a certain type (English for example). They have their departments split up into specialties. (Example: Department of British Literature, Department of Japanese LIterature.).
      Students are required, unapplying, to apply for a single department. They are not so much accepted into the university as they are accepted into that university’s department. This means that students are often times required to choose their major in high school. Thus this prevents you from having a double major. It’s not so much as you can’t, but it -really- difficult to as each department may have it’s own entrance exam. Example: University of Tokyo has a seperate exams for Engineers, Humanity, Literature and Science (There may be more, but those are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head.)
      Course titles are also as imaginative and creative as the department names. They’re not a really good indicator of -what- the class is to be about though.
      College schedule is split up much like the high school schedule. You don’t really have a free floating schedule like we do here in the states. From first year all the way up to Grad school, your day is seperates into periods in which you take a certain class in that period. Each Schedule is also unique to the department. This is to ensure that all students are taking the right classes with the right people. (Example, all 2nd year Microbiology students are all taking the same classes at the same time.)
      Of course, unlike in the American universities, the professors tend to give their students much more slack once they get into the university. Students are practically guaranteed to graduate. This is mostly because most professors will just lecture -at- you for your entire class period. Homework is rarely assigned and exams are even more rarely given. And often times you aren’t really given the chance to ask questions either.
      BTW: No syllabus and professors don’t really tend to have tenure.
      That’s it for the most part on how the system works academically. Now to socially:
      Most universities will have dorms. Dorms vary from university to university. If you want to use a real one, I would suggest visiting the university’s website and taking a look to see how it’s set up. Universities in the city limits will most likely have small dorm rooms. But there is always the option of living off campus as transportation is cheap. Just a warning though, doors tend to close shortly after the last classes get off.
      Students don’t tend to mingle too well with students from other departments. This is mostly because there isn’t too much communication between departments for social events and stuff. If the student wants to know what’s going on outside his or her department, a lot of the time she or he has to go out and find it. Eventually someone (Like Shizuru) could build enough of a reputation that information on when and where the next party or gathering will be will just automatically filter to her in someway shape or form just because she’s well… popular.

      (7) Assume Fuuka is special. Really. Youko seems to run like a mini hospital on there. Most school nurses aren’t more or better equipped than your average American High School Nurse. You got some basic pain killers, a cot or two for them to lie down on with a curtain for privacy, some themometers and other stuff. If it’s beyond really basic things, the nurse will either send you home or send you to a hospital depending on the seriousness of the situation.

      You should take all this with a grain of salt. I am not and never have been a Japanese student. I got all my information about the japanese school system from a friend of mine who’s an exchange student from Japan.

      1. Thanks a lot for the general info. (Aw, I wanted to have Shizuru double-major, but that’s okay.) I won’t have many scenarios in the collegiate context (if any) but it’s good to have some idea in case a setting pops up.

        (7) Yes, I figured I could get away with a bit more in this regard.

        :)

        1. I think any school would be more than willing to make an exception for Shizuru. I mean, Mashiro did basically let her run the school, from the student body to administrative and buisness issues. Besides, can you imagine trying to say no? I thought not.

          Anyway, the Shizuru DVD special tells us specifically what year the two were in when they met. It’s on youtube, I think– ahah! She met natsuki when she was in her third year of middle school, and Natsuki was in her first, though from their bios, you can see they’re not much more than a year apart. And, holy crap, Naomi Shindoh has the most amazingly sexy voice, ever.

          With regards to Youko-sensei, I think it’s likely she’s fully qualified, though she may have been fired from hospital work and general practice for excessive drinking and reckless vehicular endangerment. Mashiro probably hired a proper doctor understanding that her school was more likely than average to need one.

          Hope that helped! Very much looking forward to your next chapter.

          1. Thanks for the positive affirmation. :) And good point about Shizuru :P though I think I’ll just keep that particular context within the realm of probability… (May change my mind, of course.) Outlining specific scenarios with the ‘arc’ is taking more time than I thought it would, but that might be a good thing.

    2. (4-5) So if Natsuki was 1st year middle school, which starts 7, when she was in 7th grade, Shizuru was in 9th. Right? (I can do math. Yes.)

      Thanks. :)

    3. (5) From the extended footage in the DVD version of episode 26, there is a Fuuka University, and Shizuru ranked first in the entrance exams (followed by a pissed off Haruka as usual).

      1. There’s an extended version of ep26? …Aw, crap. Well, I hope it makes it to the R1 DVDs here. Sounds like fun. ^^

        I had seen “Fuuka University” bantered about before, but thanks for the correlated reference.

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