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.
Pete Zaitcev disagrees here: http://zaitcev.livejournal.com/128397.html
Don also says that they seemed chibified. Obviously, there’s some of that.
Perhaps I should make it clear that I don’t seriously think that the “school for prodigies” is what the writers really intend (though I would probably like the show a more if it was.) There is just no support for it in the text.
Probably the creators of the manga just thought it would be cute to have high school students who look like 10-year-olds, and this led them, perhaps unconsciously, to make them act that way as well. The disconcerting thing is that only the students at one high school are drawn that way, with everyone else looking fairly normal.
By contrast, the high school students in Lucky Star are also chibified, but since everyone is drawn that way it is obviously just the style of the artwork, and easy to get used to.
I’m easily taken by such theories for some reason, even when they are pure fanon. I like to agree with Steven den Beste about Bottle Fairies being a story of a mad girl, or to think that Naruto is actually The Fourth himself.