School, it’s something we all have to go through at some point. Now how long you stay in school varies, but everyone has at least experienced the boredom that accompanies five days of classes. Even if you enjoyed school, I bet you had at least one subject you treated as a time to catch up on sleep. Whether it was science, art, physical education, or even history, we all had that one subject we couldn’t bring ourselves to pay attention to.
But what if I told you that there was a way that you could learn all about these glorified nap sessions while not having to go to a single class or lecture? And what is this cheat to obtain this vast array of knowledge? Why, it's obviously anime! Thanks to series such as Dr. Stone, Cells at Work! and How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift, you can learn everything you would normally have to go to school for right from the comfort of your home. No need for early starts and annoying classmates, just you and your television (or monitor if you’re on a computer) and hours of anime that’ll teach you all you need to know.
Let’s kick things off with science, probably the subject that has the most diverse range of classes. And what better way to learn all this information than watching a teenage genius use science to create modern technology in the stone age. That’s the premise of Dr. Stone, and you’ll be able to learn a lot from even just the first episode. From creating gunpowder, all the way to how phones are made, you’ll learn it all. Every new concept is also explained by a little robot version of the main character Senku which helps (especially when they start using bigger words). Each new episode will expand your knowledge of science as a whole; just don’t try that gunpowder thing at home.
But what if you’re interested in the human body? Why not try Cells at Work!? You’ll be able to learn all about how your cells keep you alive. The series even shows the body in various crises, from heat stroke to cancer cells. So not only will you be able to learn about how your body functions normally, but you also get an "accurate" depiction of how your body reacts to different situations. Similar to Dr. Stone, Cells at Work! has a narrator who chimes in now and then to explain topics and terminology. You’ll also be able to see the platelets, which are freaking adorable. You should probably watch this series regardless, just for them.
What if you aren’t built for science? What if you’re more of the creative type? Anime has got that covered as well. Now, I know you probably think that you can’t learn about art from a show because art is subjective, and it’s about how you feel. Whilst that’s true, some shows can give you an idea of the process and techniques used in various art forms that you can apply to your own. Blue Period is a good example of this with how it showcases painting as a way for people to express their emotions. You’ll also learn about painting techniques and terminology as well, and without having to sit on uncomfortable chairs (probably just my school on that one).
If you don’t want to be a little depressed when learning about art and want to know more about music, try K-On! This series is about a music club where half the club joins without knowing how to play any instruments. While this is a problem for the characters, it’s a major benefit to you because you get to learn alongside them. Whether it’s learning how to read sheet music or how to stay on beat, you’ll get a crash course on the basics of music in a short amount of time. Plus, the series is extremely pretty, so you might have to watch it twice, once for the animation and the second for the actual knowledge part.
How about physical education? Surely anime can’t teach you anything about sports and exercise. Well, you’d be wrong again. Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of sports anime. Is there a specific sport you’re interested in that you’ll never get a chance to play at school? Just watch the anime for it, and you’ll get the same experience. You’ll learn the rules, game flow, and strategies that go into playing pretty much any sport. If you want basketball, watch Kuroko’s Basketball. Volleyball, check out Haikyu!! Water polo or swimming, have you even lived if you haven’t watched Re-Main and Free! There’s an anime for any sport, so you don’t have to slog through kickball for the 100th time.
If you’re into the mechanical side of physical education, though, How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? will be your go-to teacher on everything biomechanics. This series combines all the important information you need to know about muscle groups and exercise with some of the best comedy around. This combination will allow you to digest bite-sized nuggets of exercise knowledge while laughing at the girl with the muscle fetish and the magic muscle-hiding tracksuit (just roll with it). After watching this series, I guarantee you’ll be a master of all things exercise, at least in theory (I can’t promise anything).
Let’s say you aren’t interested in science, art, or sports but are fascinated by history. Have I got the anime franchise for you! Let me introduce you to the heroic spirit deathmatch known as the Fate series. Now, if you were to watch a few clips from this franchise, I’m 99% certain that you would say that this has nothing to do with history. It’s just a convoluted plot with really good animation. While yes, the Fate franchise does have a dumb story and pretty animation, I’ll let you in on something. All those characters fighting are based on actual historical figures and legends.
You have historical figures such as King Arthur (who was gender swapped and called Artoria but don’t worry about it), Gilgamesh, and Iskander. You’ll also meet figures from a variety of myths and legends, such as Medusa and Hercules from Greek myth, as well as Cu Chulainn from Irish myth. Yes, the main point of this franchise is admittedly the cool fights and confusing plot, and yes, I might be biased, seeing as it’s one of my favourite series. But I stand by what I say, that watching any entry in the Fate series will give you an insight into a variety of historical figures, myths, and cultures that you wouldn’t normally learn in a standard History class. Plus, you get to see Excalibur slice a giant monster in half. I think that’s better than watching a random war movie for the 50th time.
There you have it, a collection of anime series that you should watch instead of going to school. From learning about science in its many forms to historical figures fighting to the death, I’m certain that you’ll be able to absorb more information from these anime than you ever would’ve from any classroom. Trust me, I only nearly failed a couple of classes back in high school.
Want to check out more combinations of school and pop culture? Take a look at My Pop Culture Teachers! A multi-part series showcasing how pop culture can be the best teacher out there.