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Jpnbullies

Uh-oh....

School bullying can take many, many forms. Still, in media these "forms" often follow some distinct behavioral patterns, which are especially notorious in Japanese media and double if it's a shoujo manga (hence the name of the trope). Still, the bullying seen in other kind of manga (especially shounen or jousei) and in some Western media may also fit the bill.

While the Alpha Bitch, the Beta Bitch, the Girl Posse and the Jerk Jock are the most usual perpetrators, it's not uncommon for a nerd to be one as well. Heck, maybe the nerd was a bully victim and ultimately became what s/he hated for one or another reason. Also, there will often by a Bully Hunter who's ready to tell the bullies to piss off.

Here is a list of some of the most common bullying behaviors related to this trope:

  • Theft and vandalism: the victim's belongings are taken away and either hidden, thrown into the trash, ripped or used as "barganing chips" between victim and bully/bullies. In Japan people tend to steal indoor shoes, throw away or damage school desks (often with graffiti or garbage), etc.
  • Gossip: bullies spread rumors about the victim, especially about them being slutty or violent.
  • Silent Treatment: ignoring the victim and acting like s/he isn't there. The contrary is also true: bullies often corner their victims to yell at them or beat them up, if not both.
  • Written threats: in the forms of letters, e-mails, texts, etc.
  • Written messages about the victim in public, generally via writing them in the class whiteboard.
  • Force Feeding, usually bugs.
  • Japan only: placing flowers on the victim's desk, which is considered as an implied death threat/wish.

Unsurprisingly and sadly, it's Truth in Television. In the specific case of Japan, school bullying is such a huge problem that it has led to spikes in youth violence and especially in teenage suicide.

Anime and Manga

Shoujo Manga/Anime

  • A staple of romance-centered shoujo manga is having the heroine deal with bullies, more often than not coming from her attracting the attention of the local hottie. As such, many examples from the list will fit in this pattern.
  • Mars's first volume has Harumi and her Girl Posse pull an especially dangerous version of this on heroine Kira Aso after local bad boy Rei Kashino starts paying attention to her. They accost her in the hallways, threaten her, and then Harumi nearly smashes Kira's hand with a hand weight until Rei comes to the rescue. Harumi gets a smack to the face and a legitimate death threat from Rei for her troubles.
    • In the second volume, Kira gets attacked again, this time by another group of girls who hate her for getting a popular boy expelled when he steals credit for her art. Shockingly, it's Harumi who puts a stop to it this time, telling the girls that such behavior is embarrassing for high school seniors.
  • Peach Girl has Momo being harassed because, as a Dark-Skinned Blonde, she's mistaken for a Ko-Gal and therefore believed to be slutty. It doesn't help that the Alpha Bitch Sae encourages said bullying due to envy.
  • Oniisama E should be renamed as "School Bullying: the Manga". Nanako Misonoo is a victim of near EVERY single tactic in the book (and not only from Alpha Bitch Aya and her Girl Posse) as soon as she's chosen to be a member of the Sorority aka her school's Absurdly Powerful Student Council despite not being from a rich family (she's "merely" middle-upper class) AND having just come into the Elevator School itself.
    • By extension, Nanako's first school friend Mariko is also targeted by Aya, though in her case it's because she defends Nanako AND for It's Personal reasons.
  • Another candidate to  "School Bullying: the Manga" is Hana Yori Dango, where the F4 Clique run by the male lead Tsukasa and his buddies (Akira, Soujirou and Rui) pretty much rules the student body and can single-handedly lead them to bully anyone they want. The action is kicked off when the female lead Tsukushi decides to not only stand up for one of their victims, but to beat up Tsukasa in public - Tsukasa, who until then had near always gotten his way, is both furious and intrigued by Tsukushi from then on, and they engage in massive Belligerent Sexual Tension...
  • In the Boarding School arc of Candy Candy, Candy is bullied not just by Alpha Bitch Eliza and her Girl Posse but by Eliza's younger brother Neil and his buddies, and occasionally others take part of it. I.e., when Candy arrives at Saint Paul Academy she doesn't know about the dress code rules (wearing a black uniform in Sundays instead of the standard white one) and is cruelly mocked by everyone and ESPECIALLY the aforementioned group when she shows up in the normal white uniform (Not helped by the vey strict nuns refusing to let her change clothes). Eliza spreads Malicious Slander about Candy among the students (which causes some friction with her roommate Patricia at first), and later Neil and his friends trick her into going to the woods and then corner her, verbally harassing her until Terry shows up to set things straight.
  • Tokyo Babylon has a case featuring a girl named Hashimoto, who is totally ignored by her classmates when they're not treating her like shit. She first appears when the class is organizing a trip; she sits alone, and when the teacher asks the other students if someone will join her, nobody wants to.
    • In X 1999, Yuzuriha was harassed at her former school because her classmates couldn't see her dog spirit Inuki and thought he was her illusionary friend, so they bullied her over it.
  • Kodomo no Omocha:
    • At the start of the story, Akito Hayama and his friends are the bullies and at some point they almost drown Sana's friend Mami when she tries to call him out and accidentally presses Akito's biggest Berserk Button (calling him a demon). Sana Kurata decides to call Akito out on his shit, which causes Akito to fixate on her.
      • Later, when Akito has more or less reformed, he once tries to give (rather blunt) advice to Mami when she's in trouble, but she harshly and then fearfully rejects him. Sana's mother Misako tells him that it's his own fault since Mami cannot forgive him for what he did to her.
    • Later, Sana gets bullied more than once by other people, especially Naozumi's fangirls. At least once she's cornered and has her clothes slashed, which reveals her Modesty Shorts.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: The entire plot is kicked off by Saionji pinning Wakaba's love letter to him on the board and getting the other students to read it out loud and laugh at it. Poor Wakaba is in tears, understandably, and a pissed-off Utena challenges Saionji to a fight as revenge for her friend. And in the process, she "gains" Anthy. It turns out that Anthy was the one who pinned up the letter, to manipulate Saionji and Utena into a duel and bring Utena into her brother Akio's plot.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • The title of the manga itself comes from a bullying-related incident that happened to Tohru Honda, the protagonist. Fruits Basket Turnover is a child's game based on assigning fruits names to the players and calling them up by turns. Tohru was always called "onigiri" alias "rice ball", and soon she realized that since she'd never be called forth, the kids did that to bully her.
    • In highschool, Tohru is harassed by the Alpha Bitch Motoko and her Girl Posse for being close friends with the very popular Yuki Sohma, whom the girls idolize and adore... though Tohru's best friends, Arisa and Saki, do their best to protect her. They go as far as rigging the cast for a School Play that Tohru and Yuki are supposed to be in, and as Tohru's friends try to undo this "damage", Hilarity Ensues.
    • Yuki's cousin Kisa Sohma is a middle schooler whose uncommon hair color upsets her classmates, who subject her to the "silencing" tactic: they refuse to speak to her, then mock her if she ever says anything. That's why she becomes a Cute Mute until Tohru reaches for her.
    • In the brief sequel Fruits Basket Another, the Tohru expy Sawa Mitoma was bullied as a little girl by kids who isolated her and told her she was annoying to her very face. This is why she's a huge Nervous Wreck.
  • In Kare Kano, Alpha Bitch Maho and her friends lead the whole class into doing this to Yukino after it's revealed that she's not the "perfect girl" she pretends to be at school. And a short while later, Maho is at the receiving end.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • When Makoto first appeared in Usagi's school, everyone fears her due to her bad fame as a delinquent and refuses to approach her until Usagi does so. In the first anime she was also mistreated in her old school, save for the Cute Bookworm Tomoko and her old friend Ken.
    • Ami is implied and later confirmed to be looked down by other kids who think she's too arrogant over her good grades, when in reality she's just a Shy Blue-Haired Girl. In the first anime, she's temporarily shunned by everyone but her friends when the Monster of the Week frames her for cheating at school.
    • The R movie has some flashbacks where not only the bullying that Ami and Mako went through is touched on again, but it's revealed that Minako used to be the center of gossip since her classmates thought she was too childish and weird. Rei isn't bullied at school (in fact, she's a bit of a School Idol), but adults talked shit about her behind her back because of her Psychic Powers.
    • In the first anime's S season, Hotaru has Healing Hands and is an Ill Girl who suffers seizures. A flashback has her schoolmates isolating her for both reasons.
      • Much later, several tactics are used against Yuuko/Eudial from the Witches 5: her fellow Witches gossip behind her back, her locker is tampered with, and slugs (which she HATES) are put in her stuff. The culprit is another Witch, Mimete, who then tampers with Eudial's car and kills her - and also puts slugs on the brakes as a finishing touch.

Shonen Manga/Anime

Jousei Manga/Anime

  • In Private Actress, the junior-high student Fuyuka Sakuragi dies mysteriously in her Boarding School and it turns out she was heavily bullied by the local Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse before her death (ie, she was a talented artist and her sketchbooks were ripped and stepped on, she could not make phone calls without being spied on, etc). The protagonist infiltrates the school to gather information and see if the bullies actually had something to do with Fuyuka's demise. Yes, they did. Fuyuka at first was in good terms with the girls, but witnessed the Alpha Bitch Kanna's murder of an older student (who was The Rival to her in the Drama Club) and was intending to report her to the police no matter what, so Kanna and her "friends" all but bullied her to death.

Seinen Manga/Anime

  • When Veronica Madaraki from Franken Fran stays for a month in an all girl's school, the girls (save for one, Yura) bully the Hell out of her.
  • In Wandering Son Shuichi Nitori is a trans girl who became aware of it rather early in her life, so she's often bullied by other students.
    • Shuichi and Yoshino's trans lady Cool Big Sis, Yuki Yoshida, became a Hikikomori after being bullied. The exact incident that drove her to this had boys forcing her to put on a Sailor Fuku.
  • Mohiro Kitoh often includes bullying in his manga:
    • Narutaru: Shiina's close friend Hiroko is an extremely booksmart girl, so the Alpha Bitch Aki and her Girl Posse (Mihaya, Hiroka, and the more reluctant Miyoko) beat her up, force feed her bugs, and once even rape her with a test tub to force her lower her brilliant grades. It backfires fatally on the gang when Hiroko gets her own Mon, Oni, and she uses it to kill them (and in Aki's case, force feed her bugs and rape her before killing her)
    • Bokurano: One of the pilots, Mako Nakarai aka Nakama, is bullied at her junior high because her Hot Mom Miko is an ex-prostitute and now bar hostess. In the manga, after Mako saves the life of the ringleader and her boyfriend before she finishes her battle and dies as a result, said Alpha Bitch is shown acting more humbly and maturely.

Other Manga/Anime

  • The Sentai OAV Gakuen Tokusou Hikaruon has a young man named Hikaru Shihoudo (the titular Hikaruon) infiltrating a local highschool to investigate the suicides of several students, which are linked to bullying.

Other Media

Films

Live-Action TV

  • In the Soap Opera Oshin, a little Oshin is subjected to this when she tries to go to school in Yamagata, since she's a farm girl who also has to take care of her boss's baby. She gives up going there, and later she learns to read and write thanks to a man named Shunsaku whom she has an Intergenerational Friendship with.
    • Decades later, one of Oshin's children (her youngest son, Nozomi) is heavily bullied at school when it's revealed that he's adopted.
  • Boys Before Flowers, the K-drama version of Hana Yori Dango, begins when the heroine Jan-Di (Tsukushi) stops a rich boy from taking his own life. It turns out he has been horribly bullied at his elite school, with his bullies even encouraging the kid to kill himself - so the school authorities give Jan-Di a scholarship to try hushing the bad press that the institution itself is getting over the incident.
  • In CSI: Miami, a boy who's bullied at school has to be talked down from hanging himself.

Literature

Video Games

  • In Tokimeki Memorial, when a player commits the mistake of having the Player Character focus only on the chosen Love Interest and ignore all the other potential girlfriends, they will get so jealous that they'll become all too willing to use "bombs", aka weaponizing the "rumors tactics" towards the PC. If the player doesn't take measures to defuse those bombs, they will explode, heavily damaging relationships with all the characters the PC knows. It's very hard to recover from a gone-off bomb with regular characters, and an essential Game Over with Nintendo Hard characters such as Shiori Fujisaki or Kei Hazuki.
  • According to the mangas, Kyo Kusanagi from The King of Fighters began his fighting career as a Bully Hunter who protected kids being harassed.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2 reveals that both Lisa Silverman and Eikichi Mishina were harassed as kids, which explains a lot about their behavior.
    • In Persona 3 Portable, the Female Protagonist can befriend an older girl named Saori Hasegawa who's bullied by other students (especially via the gossip tactic)
    • Persona 4 has Kanji Tatsumi, who is bullied (espeically by girls) for having what's seen as "unmanly" hobbies like knitting and sewing. In his first scene, he's also falsely accused of being a bully.
      • Ai Ebihara used to be harassed before her parents got rich, especially for being a Fat Girl in these days. Now she's a deeply-wounded Alpha Bitch who's very cold to others in an attempt to hide how much such things hurt her.
    • Persona 5 has Shinya Oda being harassed due to his No Social Skills.

Visual Novels

  • The Dangan Ronpa franchise, set in very... special schools, features MANY cases of bullying. Students like Touko Fukawa, Chihiro Fujisaki, Mikan Tsumiki and Kazukichi Souda have been at the receiving end for it.
  • In School Days, Makoto hates bullying. Whether he's a Jerkass or a Nice Guy, he will ALWAYS despise it to no ends.
    • One of the most important plot deals is how one of two the principal love interests in the game, Kotonoha Katsura, is constantly and severely bullied by the local Alpha Bitch Otome and her Girl Posse. Heck, one of Kotonoha's prospect routes is so made of this trope that if Makoto does NOT stand up for her, she will snap massively and murder his other main prospect girl, Sekai Saionji.
    • One of the spin-off games, Cross Days, is from the perspective of Kotonoha's classmate Yuuki Ashikaga, who's among the few who tries to help Kotonoha deal with the bullying. His friend and potential girlfriend Roka Kitsuregawa is also being bullied by Otome and Co., though that's because Otome's dad cheats on Otome's mother with Roka's mom, so Otome hates Roka by association.
  • Yume Miru Kusuri features this, especially in Aeka Shiraki's route since she AND the Player Character are targeted for bullying by the local Alpha Bitch, Kyouka.
  • The Prince of Tennis Dating Sim Gakuensai no Oujisama has the Player Character being bullied if she's a Hyoutei student and the chosen boyfriend is Keigo Atobe. If Atobe finds out he's upset at the girl for not telling him about it, and can even protect her from the bullies.
  • One of the many, MANY tactics that Ayano "Yandere-chan" Aishi from Yandere Simulator can use against her love rivals. If she spreads rumors about one of said rivals, she can manipulate the Alpha Bitch Musume and her Girl Posse into harassing the girl and turn the rest of the school against her, using tactics like "desk defacing" and "putting flowers on the desk to imply death wishes" among others. Musume is also implied to apply Clothing Damage to others with a knife.
    • Ayano can do this more directly to Kokona Haruka from the Drama Club, via spreading rumors about her sluttiness. Worse, Kokona does engage in sexual activities like Compensated Dating, but it's due to huge personal problems (and Yandere-chan can potentially help her with them too, should the player decide to do so).

Western Animation

  • Katie Holt aka Pidge from Voltron: Legendary Defender was at the receiving end of school bullying before being a Paladin, with her classmates calling her a nerd and laughing at her when she was excited about something scientific.
  • Lisa Simpson got the silent treatment in variety in "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson," when she was struggling with a practice machine gun at military school. Later, when she slips and almost falls during a dangerous final test, the other cadets are yelling for her to fall to her death! Luckily, this leads to a moment of awesome when Bart alone tells her she can do it, and it helps her get right back to the task and finish the exam with flying colors.
    • Lisa herself pulled this once, getting so jealous of the Cute Bookworm Alison that she planned to vandalize her school diorama to make her look bad. Luckily, her conscience got the better of her in the end, but still, it was not one of her better moments.
  • The girls of South Park Elementary did this to poor Bebe Stevens when she developed breasts earlier than any of them and the boys started fawning over her. They spread rumors about her being a slut and started excluding her from their activities.
    • Cartman tries to pull this on Wendy in a later episode, writing a book about what a whore she is to force her to give up her position as Student Council President. Only a small group of kids believe him, Wendy's boyfriend Stan has a fit, and Wendy just rolls her eyes and tries to ignore Cartman's bullshit. The worst anyone does is Butters coming over to her house and peeing all over her front door, to which Wendy and her father's reaction is a Flat What.
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