World of Bakuhatsu

Expanded setting info for Bakuhatsu Gakuen

Life at Explosion Academy

Life is not easy at Bakuhatsu Gakuen, but it is memorable. Many people do look back at their later years and recall them as the best years of their lives. The work is hard, the expectations are high, but school is still a protected environment where you are shielded from the real world, and the chances to gain friends are many.

The alarm rings at 6AM every morning. For those in the first two years, the Snooze button does not work as advertised. It instead delivers a sharp electric shock to the user, helping them wake up. At 6:30 AM, sirens sound through the halls, and staff make sure all students are awake and ready - dormitory inspections may also be performed randomly at this point. Breakfast is served in the cafeteria at 7 AM and is nutritious, but bland and unappealing. For those with the money, there are more appetising options available from on-campus take-out places - the cafeteria is really a food court.

The dorms are all split up so that groups of students (4-6) have a shared living space, shared bathroom, shared lavatory, shared kitchen (if they wish to cook their own food), and for first-year students, a shared bedroom with bunk beds. Second-year students get their own fairly small bedrooms, and third-year students get their own en suite bathrooms and lavatories, with only the kitchen and living space shared. Fourth-years actually get their own baths - other bathrooms just having showers, not including the on-campus "public" bath-houses (gender-segregated with a wall that carries sound).

Classes start at 8:30 AM, and from there, it's a full day of activity. Two classes of one hour each, with a 5 minute break between them, then a fifteen minute break after the first two classes. Then another two hour-long classes with a 5 minute break in between, and a one-hour lunch break at 12:50 PM. At 1:50 the final two classes occur, once more with the short break, and classes end at 3:55 PM. At 4 PM, students are expected to report in for their Club Activity, which lasts until 6 PM, with dinner served at 7.

After that, students are left to their own devices, but are expected to mostly be in their dorms or the training area. Lights-out is at 10 PM, ensuring that people don't have too much time to cause trouble without being really stealthy. The exceptions are on weekends: on Saturdays, they still have the first five classes, but finish early, and on Sundays, the students actually have the entire day off. Lights-out is at midnight on Saturdays.

After four years of this, many students are locked into the routine, so when they do their tour of on-call service, they are used to this and literally are ready for action all the time, keeping themselves fit and healthy. On the other hand, some immediately go on a bender of partying.

Students are strongly encouraged to socialise with one another - between the Houses (indeed, dormitories are usually a pre-selected mixture from various Houses to enforce this), and between year levels (although actual classes and dorms are held by year level).

The Benefits of Seniority

Senior students flat-out enjoy a much better life in Bakuhatsu Gakuen, and this is pretty constant in any Messiah Industries school in the world. The conditions simply get better as you increase in year level - actual age doesn't really matter, it's your year level that determines seniority.

First-Year Students are never actually allowed off-campus with the exception of combat missions - even then it's rare for them to be mobilised against Abominations. They even have to spend all holidays on campus, still bonding with their team instead of returning to their families. As for spending money, they have 2,000Y per week - that's about enough to replace two of their free meals with fast food, or to get perhaps five candy bars. The uniform requirements are strictest at this year level as well, with skirts needing to be a minimum of 20cm below the knee, and not even the choice of their own socks.

Second-Year students still rarely see combat with Abominations, however they are allowed home during the Summer holidays. Their spending money more than doubles, becoming 5,000Y per week, and they are now considered mature enough to drink… with the on-campus bar having strict cut-off limits and seriously charging upwards of 2,000Y for a single drink. Uniform requirements are a little more lax - skirts can be as scandalous as "anywhere below the knee", and students can finally choose their own sleepwear, underwear and footwear - assuming they can afford these things in favour of just using the provided uniform.

At Third Year, students will start to be sent to fight Abominations and engage in off-campus adventures and training exercises. They are also allowed home for the quarterly two-week holidays if they so wish. The spending money now hits 50,000Y per week, which is approaching a normal wage for a normal full-time worker. The dormitories are larger and better decorated at this point, and uniforms are relaxed further still: skirts can go above the knee, as long as underpants aren't showing when standing still, and shirts needn't be tucked in and so on. Small adornments can also be added to collars and small amounts of jewellery can be worn. Finally, first-year students are expected to follow the instructions of third-year students in regards to simple tasks like fetching things and reminding them of stuff.

Fourth-Year students see the most combat, and can receive weekend passes to leave campus. Spending money increases to 100,000Y per week, which is a perfectly nice wage for someone who isn't paying rent or bills and doesn't need to buy food. The uniform rules are more lax than ever, to the point that students can just wander around in jeans and trenchcoats or lucha libre masks or whatever. In the same way that first-year students need to follow the simple instructions of third-year students, second and third-year students have to obey fourth-year students, again, assuming the instructions are simple and reasonable. Fourth-year students frequently become sempais for junior students, looking after them and teaching them - with their kohais doing pretty much anything asked of them.

Interaction With the Real World

Students at Bakuhatsu Gakuen don't interact much with the outside world. Sure, over time they're allowed to venture into it, but they still "belong" at the school, and they don't yet have a place in the world. That said, students can still call people outside with their phones, or use the Internet, or send and receive physical mail, and the televisions have the same channels as anyone else, so they are not cut off from the world. They're just not really interacting with it.

Most of this game is set in the school itself, so the outside world takes a secondary role, if that. Characters can certain spend time out there, enjoying a world where technological progress has made people's lives easier, where the problems of today have given way to the problems of tomorrow, and people have found new things to argue about.

Natural disasters are still very much a real thing, but they have become easier to predict, and to react to, and cities have greater defences, and recovery teams that are specifically designed to help get life back to normal. It is still a world of variety, with many different cultures and languages, and clashes between these are still a real thing. The various countries work together more closely to fight the Abominations - it seems that what it takes to get people to work together really is a common enemy. But there are still conflicts, skirmishes and calls for sanctions, there simply have been no major wars in this time. Should the Abominations one day be eradicated, this will doubtless change.

Just as there are different languages, there are different currencies: the world has not yet converted to a single global unit of money. As the greater "Empires" of the European Union and United States waned, their individual currencies became less universal, so in fact it has become more important to carry the right money in a given country, not less important. That said, with the majority of transactions being cashless, it's easier than ever to simply convert funds in the account. Currently, yen sits at almost exactly 100 to the US dollar, which is almost one for one with the British pound or German mark. Inflation has occurred, as it always will, but the end of the world did not happen: people receive more money, and they pay more money for things, and they're encouraged to keep money tied up in inflation-adjusted assets or accounts that gain interest, not just stuffing it into their mattress. A candy bar or bottle of soft drink costs around 400Y ($4) at the cheapest (more if bought from vending machines), with a good coffee costing twice that, and a thousand yen or more needed for a fast food meal. Buying a small house and the land it's on costs upwards of one hundred million yen, but your average adult earns around three hundred thousand per year.

Crime and Punishment (and the Lack Thereof)

The law is still very much a real thing, and people are expected to follow it. Even Messiah Enterprises is, at least in theory, not above the law. If its members were found to have committed grievous offences, they would be prosecuted and imprisoned like any other (probably). As for the students, actual crimes willingly committed with malice could fall under the regular legal system, however it would in almost all cases be deferred by the relevant authorities to Messiah Enterprises to be handled internally. Allowances are made, however: any theft of property for the purpose of destroying Abominations or to save human lives is allowed (though returning things is encouraged), likewise there is an automatic waiver for collateral damage caused in pursuit of their missions. Should civilians be caught in their attacks and injured or killed, it would be up to a tribunal to determine whether it should be treated as manslaughter or a tragic accident.

For crimes committed within the campus, it is always resolved internally, by the Student Council, or by the private justice department of Messiah Enterprises in cases where the crime is committed specifically against the company - and even then, it is frequently handed over to the Student Council. Justice department penalties can range from warnings and censures to fines (deducted from student allowance or staff salary) to imprisonment. The Student Council can, broadly speaking, issue any sanctions it sees fit. Probably not the death penalty.

Breaches of school rules are not treated as crimes, of course, and it is accepted that, especially in a school like this, breaches of rules will just happen. Students actually have a fair amount of leeway, and for all the school has regulations about the colour of socks and so on, the fact is these things are rarely actually enforced. Typically, breaches of rules are handled by the teacher of the class where it took place (if it happened in class), or in other cases by whichever member of staff or the Discipline Committee happened to catch them. More serious issues are escalated to the Discipline Committee automatically, and from there, they can deal with the matter on their own or bring it before the Student Council for proper felonious offences. When a member of the Discipline Committee catches someone in the act, they usually book them (an official write-up which is forwarded to the Morality Officer), or hit them with a kendo stick or suplex them.

Think back to your days in school. Try to remember stuff for which you got in trouble. Whatever it was, that probably isn't an offence (or isn't penalised as one) any more. Generally, just a verbal warning applies - "Stop speaking out of turn", "I saw that note, cut it out", "Can you wait until lunch to eat?", "No wasps in the classroom!" Disrupting class or arriving late, on the other hand, is almost always met with having to stand in the hallway holding buckets of water. Nobody really remembers why this is, but it's a tradition at this point. Detention is still popular, for the more vigorous or repeated offences, and is spent at lunch times, sitting in the official Detention Room, theoretically in silence, and often with tasks set such as copying out War and Peace or writing lines. Some teachers might take the opportunity to practice throwing things at them, making them do push-ups, or performing experimental surgery on them.

Given the school's approach to violence (one of enthusiasm), the next step up from minor sanctions is corporal punishment - something embraced wholeheartedly by violent members of staff (and by various students who feel no pain or get their :3 face from it). This is left to the discretion of the staff member or member of the Discipline Committee, but with various limitations. This need not be the more "traditional" methods, and can just as easily involve tasering, locking them in a figure-4 leglock or whatever. Actually, the most frequent thing is hitting them on the head with a rolled-up newspaper, because it looks stupid and breaks tension.

Beyond that, the matter can be brought to the Student Council. Any Student Council trial is legally binding, and there are no appeals: their decision is final. They are able to sentence even staff to the on-campus prison for any length of time, and can authorise anything they consider appropriate (including "requiring they receive psychiatric treatment"). At the end of the day, this isn't that sort of game, so don't worry about it too much. It's just one of those aspects of school-based fiction that demands many words be spent on it.


Pictured: that sort of game.

Smash the World's Shell: The Student Council

Entry to the Student Council is by election or invitation, depending on the position - you can't just outright choose to join it, and the only position available to first-year students is Officer of First-Year Relations. This can change, and it is intended that, should a Main Character want to join the Council, they can end up doing so, depending on the skills they can bring. If you prove yourself worthy, it can happen.

Needless to say, this being an anime, the Student Council outranks the United Nations and is plotting something incredible that could change the entire world - or even destroy it. Even Messiah Enterprises no longer controls them - the Student Council literally is the highest authority on the planet.

Although there are a few elite minions - General Members or Members With-Out Portfolio (MWOPs) - most people in the council have a proper title. Only those with proper titles are considered voting members and expected to show up to meetings - the rest are merely on call as needed. The following are true Voting Members:

  • President (who is beyond all reproach and can in fact veto decisions and call all shots regardless of votes - this is exceedingly rare)
  • Vice President (a loyal second in command, trusted advisor and "handler of delegated matters")
  • Head of General Affairs (the person who starts meetings and keeps track of/recommends solutions to everyday matters)
  • Officer of First-Year Relations (always a first-year, with the job of helping first-year students integrate)
  • Treasurer (the only person with keys to the safe, and the only person to know exactly how much money the Council has (a lot))
  • Secretary (mostly exists to take notes, and to know everything)
  • Internal Affairs Officer (a sort of Commissar of the Council, there to handle grievances against the Council itself or deal with members who go past their boundaries. Formerly established by Messiah Enterprises to make sure it runs they way they want it to, but the post has largely been influenced such that their loyalties lie closer to the Council)

There are also a few Sub-Committies, some of which have their own Voting Members on the Student Council:

Discipline Committee

Some see it as a group of armed thugs who go around shaking people up for money for the Council. Mainly because that's the truth. They also serve as a sort of student police force, and are even tasked with taking delinquents out, and are given special permissions in regards to roaming corridors and dispensing violent justice. Authority is even granted to leave the grounds to hunt escapees. Special positions:

  • Morality Officer (equivalent to a Club President, and is a true Voting Member of the Student Council. Often oversees Detention)
  • Secretary

Student Communications Committee

This sub-faction exists to serve as a means of communication between the general populace of the school and the Student Council - to filter out frivolous matters, but allow students to have their messages heard when it's important. Special positions:

  • Communications Officer (leader, true Voting Member of the Student Council)
  • Secretary

Council-Teacher Relations Committee

This sub-faction deals with such issues relating to the teaching staff - mostly serving as a form of communication with them, but also there to keep them under control. Special positions:

  • Staff Management Officer (leader, true Voting Member of the Student Council)
  • Secretary

Ex-Students in the World

There are still many places in the world for former students. Adapting to the real world can take time, even more than it used to for regular students. Thanks to the on-call duty, ex-students remain paid, though many will also hold down part-time or even full-time work, with an exemption for Abomination attacks.

Given the powers they have available, former students are effectively always treated as being armed: any violent crime they commit is automatically aggravated, and they have to be very careful and slow with their movements simply when pulled over by police - the same way you would if you had a shotgun glued to your hands. They are also expected to exercise greater care in all of their actions as well - if your tackles are like meteor collisions, you just can't pursue a career in football.

Luckily, the majority of ex-students are actually productive members of society. They were taught for four years that society is handing them an easy life on a silver platter, that they are getting many benefits simply for having their powers, and all they need to do is uphold their end of the societal contract: help people. It's fortunate that the majority believe this. Even those who hate either the school or Messiah Enterprises find themselves wanting to help their neighbours and community.

Finally, a decent number of them never really leave Messiah Enterprises: there are always jobs available, whether extending their on-call status, or taking a more active role, or being sent out on diplomatic or explorative missions, or indeed returning to the school to teach.

There are two major problems that face many former students, however, problems that can impede their ability to adapt to normal life. The first one is obvious: post-traumatic stress disorder. Those who fought Abominations, especially those who witnessed friends die, or came close to death themselves, can suffer from this serious mental condition for the rest of their lives. Therapy is free to these people, but there is no guarantee that it will solve their problems.

The other is this: school typically exists to, above all else, teach people the social norms. Students learn to socialise, to live in an environment with other people who have their own needs and opinions, and how to work with others and fit in. That isn't what Explosion Academy was made for. It's what happens, so some extent, because you can't change that aspect of schools, but it's not how it was designed, and as a result, the social norms that students learn don't actually apply to the real world. They are taught to adhere to a rigid caste society where seniority bestows more power than merit or any other factor, where might makes right, and this is not a society that exists in day to day life.

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