14 Japanese volunteers tell us about moments in their lives that seemed to come straight out of an anime.
A lot of the situations that happen in anime, like people punching holes in each other and destroying planets with finger beams or whatever, can tend towards the fantastical.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t at least a tiny possibility of some anime situations happening in real life. We’re certain, for example, the common trope of the “senpai” senior student confessing his love for an underclassman in an empty high school classroom has actually happened in real life. Bleeding profusely from the nose when the girl you like inadvertently does something flirty? Man, that would be a crazy coincidence but it’s still in the realm of possibility, we guess.
With that in mind, we asked 14 Japanese volunteers to tell us about their real-life moments that bore an uncanny resemblance to an anime scene.
First, we had our volunteers fill out this (frankly quite ridiculous chart) of anime tropes that they’ve actually experienced. The entries are as follows:
1) Had a cute after-school club activity manager
2) Rode to or from school tandem on a bike with your boyfriend/girlfriend
3) The student council at your school decided on club activity budgets or otherwise had some kind of extreme authority
4) Asked someone out/were asked out by someone in an empty classroom after school
5) Ran to school with a breakfast pastry or toast hanging from your mouth because you were in a hurry
6) Went to a school that allowed free access to the roof
7) Saw something sexy/flirty and had blood shoot out of your nose
As you can see, in spite of the nosebleed phenomenon being a thing that doesn’t actually happen outside of an extreme cosmic coincidence, four of the people we interviewed (all women, oddly enough, despite the trope usually involving men) claim it’s happened to them. Perhaps they just leaned in a little too close to said sexy activity?
Next, we asked all of our volunteers to give us the number one most anime-like moment they remember from their lives:
“I was staying after school doing some student council work by myself when the girl I had a crush on came in. We already sort of knew we had a mutual crush, but it was a crazy coincidence that she’d be there at that specific time. We ended up talking about all kinds of stuff until it got dark outside. Man, high school was such an innocent time.”
“When I was in middle school, I fell for a girl who had just transferred to my school. But one of her parents was always getting job transfers, so after a year she ended up moving to Hokkaido. It was just like an anime the way she just appeared one day and then left just as suddenly.”
“There are lots of those scenes in action anime where the protagonist sprints up to a cliff, stops at the edge for just a second, then jumps off like it’s nothing. I actually did that in a way when I bungee jumped from the world’s second highest bungee spot. I felt just like a bird, flapping my arms in the air.”
Not exactly the same, but we wanted to sneak a Ghost in the Shell reference in. Warning: Robot boobs and head explosions.
“There was this girl I had always liked…but she was engaged. I ended up having to move without ever telling her my feelings. Around when I was preparing to move, I learned she’d had feelings for me, too, and had been talking with others about breaking off her engagement. The day before my move, we talked. I told her, ‘Go be happy. I’ll find happiness in my new town, too.’ Crying, she said, ‘I wanted to be the one to make you happy.’ Maybe she was just getting cold feet about her marriage, but it’s a memory I keep with me.”
“When I was taking the college entrance exams, a girl who was hoping to get into the same college as me gave me an Ultraman good luck pendant (As if to say, ‘Nothing is impossible when Ultraman is with you.’). I’d hoped for us to start dating while we were at the college, but, unfortunately, she passed and I didn’t.”
Ultraman, look out behind you!
“I was at the water fountain during an after school club activity, when the club’s cutest girl invited me to a Christmas party. I was in the ping pong club at the time – the lamest of clubs – and I thought it was some kind of trap. I pretended I couldn’t hear her and walked away.”
“Unfortunately, though I’ve seen a lot of anime, I don’t think I’ve ever had my own anime moment.” (cue waterfall of tears.)
“I was washing dishes in my scary Home Ec. teacher’s class. As I was cleaning, I accidentally broke a dish, making a huge CRAASH noise throughout the class. My teacher looked up and demanded to know who shattered the dish. Out of nowhere, this guy – the class clown – timidly said, ‘It was me, sir.’ I was so thankful to him. I wish I could say we started dating after that, but I guess this episode wasn’t that anime.”
“We were doing shuudan toukou (walking to school in a group – a frequent thing in Japan, often done for safety reasons). This bird flew by and dropped a giant doo right on the head of this guy in front of me. All I could think was, ‘I’m glad it wasn’t me.'”
“I remember once, a friend and I were saying goodbye to each other on the usual path we walked home by after school. When she was out of sight, I turned around to start walking again and ran straight into an utility pole. Now that I think back on it, I really wish my nose had started bleeding. That would have been so anime!”
“In middle school, our class president was always putting on a good face for teachers, but in reality, he was a brat. He was always skipping out on his responsibilities as class president.”
“In elementary school once, I finished up classroom lunch early (in lower grades, lunch is served in the classroom in Japan) so I could go wait in this little library we had for this boy I was friends with. When he came in, we just made awkward eyes and forced smiles at each other. I still get embarrassed when I think back on that.”
“After my high school graduation ceremony, the senpai I’d always admired gave me the second button from his school uniform (a graduation tradition).”
Something like this
“In high school, my boyfriend at the time and I were sitting by a river, talking [the quintessential anime scene]. We both looked up at the sky just in time to see a shooting star. We looked at each other and I knew we were thinking the same thing: We’re destined for each other. Things got complicated and we broke up seven years later.”
“I went to a summer music festival with a guy who wasn’t quite my boyfriend, but we were more than friends. After the last show finished and everyone was leaving, we got separated among all the people heading home. He reached back and blindly felt for my hand, and I grabbed his. After that, we just walked, hand-in-hand, for a while. We held hands and walked in silence with our eyes cast down. The lights around us seemed to be twinkling in a fog and everything seemed like it was moving in slow motion. Maybe it was the endorphins, but it felt a lot like an anime.”
“I coincidentally ran into the guy I liked at the water fountain. We ended up playfully splashing each other with water. It was the epitome of being young.”
“Mine’s a secret.”
We don’t know what kind of anime that last lady is watching…
Anyway, what about you? What’s your real-life anime moment? Let us know in the comments!