Hmm... I think I may be sensing a pattern here...note
In works about or in a school, whether due to laziness or otherwise, Class X-A or Class X-1 (X being the year) will usually meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Most/all of the main characters or other important characters will conveniently be in that same class.
- That class will be the weirdest and liveliest one/will stand out the most within the school.
- Said class will be a Weirdness Magnet or a Fantasy Kitchen Sink.
This is a direct result of The Law of Conservation of Detail
In some countries, classes remain constant, with all classes except for PE taking place in one room, and the teachers being the ones cycling around instead of the students. The students in the class also tend to not get split from year to year very often, sometimes even using the same room and just changing the nameplate. As such, this finds its way into school-themed entertainment of all sorts in those countries quite often, since the writers can't find any reason in themselves to care
about which class the students are in, since there's no real difference and they'll all move up together in the same class anyway. Rather than actually work on choosing a number for the class, they decided to stick with an A or 1. Very rarely is there any deep meaning behind why it had to be A/1.
From a writing stance, this is convenient for keeping the main cast together without having to Hand Wave
anything, since the target audience is used to that system and would readily accept it. What is not readily accepted is that the class number/letter tends to always be A or 1, and therefore this trope comes into being.
When this is invoked, class rivalries tend to be with class B or 2, which is invoking this trope twice in the same work. Too lazy to pick a class number or letter again
? Go with the second option, you were already too lazy to pick one the first time, may as well stay consistent.
In fact, a common aversion is to place the main character in the aforementioned second class, simply to try and not look like this trope. Or the third, in order to further avoid it. In fact, it's just plain difficult to tell if an aversion was deliberate or not, with few exceptions. Several of these usually have some sort of actual distinction between the sections (A/1 being the "best" in these cases), which is an Internal Subtrope
of Second Year Protagonist
(i.e. Mid-Performing Protagonist.)
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Anime and Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima! and its spinoffs has most of the main cast in Class 2-A at the start of the series, with the main character as the teacher. The class quickly moves on to the next year... where they're Class 3-A. The class also happens to have people ranging from princesses to a robot to a vampire to a Chinese Martian entrepreneur mad scientist martial artist mage and future descendant of the main character.
- Rosario + Vampire has the entire main cast placed into Class 2-1 by the beginning of season 2 in both the anime and manga. Lampshaded by Mizore when she wonders if it was the headmaster that made sure that everyone was placed in the same class.
- The World God Only Knows has at least three of the more important capture targets in class A of their respective grades. However, the two main characters are in Class B.
- Baka and Test Summon the Beasts inverts this with all the main characters being in Class F and Class A being the antagonists (they are arranged by their test scores). The other four classes in between are almost entirely inconsequential and only their Class Representatives get any screentime.
- To Love-Ru also uses this for most of the main cast that actually goes to school. They're in Class A in the first year that was shown, then it gets messed with somewhat in the second year. Ren then asks why he's the only one who was moved to a different class.
- Mami of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is shown to be in class 3-A in the manga adaptation, as well as in the Spin-Off manga Puella Magi Oriko Magica.
- With the exception of Buccha, all of the main characters in Air Gear are in Tomita's class, which is class 2-1. Even Akito/Agito and Kururu, who transfer in, are in the same class as (almost) everyone else.
- Beelzebub puts all of the main characters from Ishiyama, as well as everyone else from Ishiyama into class 3F when they transfer into St. Ishiyama, regardless of grade. This is, of course, lampshaded.
- Princess Lucia puts two of the main characters in 1-A.
- Both of the main protagonists of Bakuman。 were in class 1-1 in high school.
- Iris Zero averts this by placing the main characters into two different classes, neither being class 1.
- Rio of Ratman is in class 2-A, but she is merely the tritagonist. The other 2 more important main characters are in 1-C.
- As is usual in Japan, the main characters maintained their class letters when moving onto the next year, but Anzu came into the school as a member of class 1-A.
- All of the main cast who are students in Seto no Hanayome are in Class 2-1.
- Oddly enough, in third year, all but the main character are put in 3-1. Nagasumi goes to the class of delinquents known as "Middle School Alcatraz", for no immediately apparent reason.
- Class A in Prunus Girl seems to be composed of a bunch of nuts for whom Maki gets to play Straight Man, not that the rest of the school is much better.
- Averted by Sousuke Sagara of Full Metal Panic!, as he loudly announces his allegiance to Class 2-4 as Student No. 41 during his heartwarming attempt at a Badass Boast during the anime's last episode.
- Sen Yarizui of Ben-To is in class 2-1. Of course, this was revealed at complete random with no meaning in the slightest.
- Ichika and Lemon in Waiting In The Summer are in class 3-A.
- Eita and Masuzu of Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru are shown to be in class 1-1. Chiwa isn't in the class, however.
- Yoshitaka and Izumi of He Is My Master are placed in class 2-A. Their sharing a class is convenient for Yoshitaka, since it allows for him to give Izumi orders from just the next desk over. Anna is also in that class.
- The main cast members of Mysterious Girlfriend X are all in 2-A.
- Averted in Future Diary. Yukiteru and Yuno are both in class 2-B initially, and they end up in 2-C and 2-D respectively and their new school. While that can still be considered somewhat lazy, it looks like this was a deliberate aversion.
- Zenkichi of Medaka Box, being the POV Boy, is in class 1. Shiranui is also in that class until she switches to class -13 later on. The Poster Girl Medaka, however is in class 13, the class set aside for abnormals.
- The main character in the first story of Lovers Alpha is in class 3-A. The second story features two characters in 1-1.
- This is averted by Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!, which places Nao and Iroha in class 1-B.
- In Kodomo no Jikan, the class Aoki teaches at the start (the number goes up as he teaches them for multiple grades) is Class 3-1. Seeing as Rin, Kuro and Mimi are (of course) in this class, it automatically falls under containing most of the main characters and is most certainly the most abnormal.
- A later chapter shows how when the girls are going up a grade, Aoki keeps intentionally arranging himself to be their homeroom teacher. He even tried putting Kuro in a separate class, but decided otherwise in the end.
- Yamanko! makes use of this trope.
- Zig-Zagged in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. It starts as an aversion with just one side character in class A, but Haru gets moved there for second year. The author even placed an author note in volume 8 saying that some may feel the series' title (which translates into "The Monster Seated Next to Me") has lost its meaning.
- The named eleventh graders in Daily Lives of High School Boys are in Class 2-A.
- In Hidamari Sketch, tenants of the eponymous apartments who are students of the high school's art class are all in different grades of Arts A. There's a reason why Natsume was assigned to Arts B.
- Enforced and Justified in GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class, as "GA," or "Art Department A," is the only visual art specialty class in their school. There's a "GB," (Art Department B) but that's for music.
- Hagure Yuusha no Estetica has the two main protagonists in class B-1.
- Ouran High School Host Club has everyone in the following classes... Haruhi, Hikaru and Kaoru: 1-A. Tamaki and Kyouya: 2-A. Honey and Mori: 3-A. Classes are, however, set up so that those who are not only the wealthiest, but also have the highest status are placed in class A. Students whose families are affiliated with the Yakuza are placed in class D (assumed to be the lowest 'rank'). Haruhi is a special exception in that she's a Scholarship Student, and therefore her consistently high grades allow her to be placed in 1-A.
- Nakaimo places the majority of the cast in 2-A.
- Averted in Ookiku Furikabutte, where the main character and his closest friends are in Class 1-9, and only 2 out of the 10 team members are in Class 1-1.
- Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne! uses 2-A for the main character.
- Averted in season two of K-On!. In their final year, their homeroom teacher happened to be Yamanaka Sawako who put most of the main characters in the same class so that she wouldn't have to remember too many new names.
- Mostly averted in Haruhi Suzumiya; Kyon and Haruhi are both in 1-5, with Haruhi right behind Kyon (even after a seat shuffle). But this is bound to happen when two people definitely don't like each other at all and one of them is a Reality Warper. The other three brigade members are each in separate classes that are also not 1-1; Koizumi is in the last class, 1-9, probably because he's a "transfer student."
- This is done in Fantasista Doll.
- In Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Kiri starts off in class 2-A. Despite not going to school for years, Iwai quickly ends up in that class as well.
- Averted in Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara. Most of the characters go to class 1-F, save for Rin, who's a year ahead, and Kuromiko, who's in middle school.
- Mega Man Star Force has the main character in Class 5-A. Naturally, three other main characters are in there too. The only human main character who isn't in that class conveniently doesn't go to that school in the first place.
- Likewise, Mega Man Battle Network has Lan, Mayl, Dex and Yai in Class 5-1 until Battle Network 6 has Lan move away. His class in his new school? 6-1. Both of the new main characters in that game happen to be in that class too.
- Averted in Valkyria Chronicles II: the protagonists are members of Squad G, which is the class where slackers, misfits and undesirables get dumped. Overcoming the problems, lack of teamwork, and defeatism that landed them in said class is a major part of the first two thirds of the game.
- This trope is used in Fortune Arterial.
- Subverted in Custom Robo: Arena: the protagonists are all placed in class 2 rather than class 1.
- Subverted in Persona 3 and Persona 4, at least the main character, best male friend and best female friend are in the same classes for both games. However there usually are plot-relevant upper and under class friends among the fighters as well. Most other cast members don't actually go to school, being social links for family and friends outside the battle scenarios.
- Subverted in Battlefield: Bad Company. The player character is part of the 222nd Battalion's B Company, which is where the Army sends its biggest troublemakers to get rid of them as quickly as possible, either by constantly sending them on suicide missions, or by them surviving long enough to take advantage of B Company being the fastest track to retirement. Double subverted in Bad Company 2, where the company is still just your regular old Army unit but is now given the same respect and sent on the same sorts of missions as special forces, mostly due to their reputation for surviving anything.
- In The Simpsons episode "The Front", there's a class called "Remedial Science 1-A".
- Extremely evident in Hero 108, where in spite of the title implying a very large cast, nearly all the action is centered around the five members of the "First Squad".