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#1
Old 06-24-2007, 09:03 PM
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Origins of the Japanese "S-Rank"

Everyone who has played some Japanese console games and watched anime knows that if you do well you get an A-Rank, but if you do something near perfect it's considered S-Rank.

But why S? And where did they get that from?
#2
Old 06-24-2007, 09:43 PM
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I always figured that it stood for "super," or perhaps "sugureru" (excellent).
#3
Old 06-24-2007, 09:44 PM
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Perhaps A-rank is for "Amachua" (amateur) and S-rank is for "Shihan" (master)?

There's really no reason for them to pick "A" as the lower rank just because we begin our alphabet (and therefore our alphabet-inspired lists) with it.

Last edited by jayjay; 06-24-2007 at 09:45 PM.
#4
Old 06-24-2007, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayjay
Perhaps A-rank is for "Amachua" (amateur) and S-rank is for "Shihan" (master)?

There's really no reason for them to pick "A" as the lower rank just because we begin our alphabet (and therefore our alphabet-inspired lists) with it.
Things is the ABCD ranks are just rated just like we would.
#5
Old 06-25-2007, 09:55 AM
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My understanding was that in Japanese schools the top grade you can get is "S." I have no cite, however.
#6
Old 06-25-2007, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awldune
My understanding was that in Japanese schools the top grade you can get is "S." I have no cite, however.
Nope. Or at least, all of the public schools I taught at used numbers (1-5 scale, iirc), and given the centralized nature of the Japanese school system, it's most likely standardized.
#7
Old 06-26-2007, 01:59 AM
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Googling turns up a lot of references to the Naruto series: in that anime/manga/game S-Class criminals are scariest.

I see from this site that the allies sorted Japanese WWII era war criminals into Classes A, B and C. There's even some controversy involving public figures who visit shrines connected with Class A criminals.

Pure speculation: manga authors wanted something beyond "Class A", which was both familiar and tainted. Settling on "S Class" may have merely been a matter of alliteration.
#8
Old 06-26-2007, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Measure for Measure
Googling turns up a lot of references to the Naruto series: in that anime/manga/game S-Class criminals are scariest.

I see from this site that the allies sorted Japanese WWII era war criminals into Classes A, B and C. There's even some controversy involving public figures who visit shrines connected with Class A criminals.

Pure speculation: manga authors wanted something beyond "Class A", which was both familiar and tainted. Settling on "S Class" may have merely been a matter of alliteration.
Interesting idea, but seems very unlikely to me. The ranking system used (most often in video games rather than manga or anime) mimics the American grade system, going down to F (and skipping E). Also, saying something is Class A in Japan does not carry a negative connotation.
#9
Old 06-26-2007, 02:32 AM
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The Japanese wikipedia article on the letter S says that it stands for "special" or "superior", although it doesn't give any kind of citation.
#10
Old 06-26-2007, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cckerberos
Nope. Or at least, all of the public schools I taught at used numbers (1-5 scale, iirc), and given the centralized nature of the Japanese school system, it's most likely standardized.
Here's an example of an university that uses the S-A-B-C-D-F ranking system. Here's another.
#11
Old 06-26-2007, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jovan
Here's an example of an university that uses the S-A-B-C-D-F ranking system. Here's another.
Interesting. I was only referring to secondary education, but your post makes me wonder about Japanese universities. At the one I'm currently studying at there is no S rank for grades.
#12
Old 06-26-2007, 09:53 AM
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The Wife says that one of the universities she teaches at uses S as the top grade and the other uses A. Tokyo University (where she got her masters and is getting her PhD) uses kanji and not ABCs for grades.
#13
Old 06-26-2007, 09:57 AM
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Just to complicate things further, if there is a rank beyond "S" on Japanese games, it's usually "SS".
#14
Old 06-26-2007, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revenant Threshold
Just to complicate things further, if there is a rank beyond "S" on Japanese games, it's usually "SS".
That one's pretty easy to understand, I think. I assume that just as the Japanese write LL for XL size (and LLL for XXL), the additional S is just show that it's even more superior.
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