After seeing a total of three episodes, I can’t get past the obvious problem that everyone else comments on: that the supposed high school students look ten years old (at most). Is this just a stupid and distracting drawing convention? Is the world of the future suffering from an epidemic of some terrible chibifying disease?
Probably not, since the students from the other high schools look like normal teenagers, as does Manabi’s brother. Here’s another possibility: perhaps Seiou High School is a special school for child prodigies, a school full of Chiyo-chans if you will.
There is no support for this in the dialog, but if we assume that the main characters are actually 10 years old it would explain a lot:
- Why the girls seem bright but very immature.
- Why they get clobbered in the inter-school dodge ball tournament.
- Why Takako is shocked when Manabi addresses her using “chan”. She’s actually much older.
- Why the students from the other schools seem to regard the Seiou students with amused tolerance.
- Why the Seiou students seem intimidated by the students from the other schools.
- Why holding buckets of water is considered an appropriate punishment for a high school student.
OK, it’s just a wild idea, but it makes sense to me.