This recurring line is usually preceded by the crashing of a door of an abandoned dark warehouse. Then, a group of baddies inside stops beating a bunch of students and looks on in bewilderment at the person who just broke down the door – a slim young woman clad in a red jersey outfit. They ask who the heck she is. She takes off her glasses and loosens her pigtails as she comes closer while the orchestra music looms louder and louder. Then, she introduces herself: “Who am I? I am… their homeroom teacher!”
I think Gokusen was the first jdorama that I watched back when it was shown on the Kapuso network in 2003 (?). I was also familiar with the anime that was shown on Animax from time to time. So you could say my addiction for jdoramas began with this comedy series. Gokusen, its all your fault! .\/. grr!
Gokusen (TV live action) is based on the popular manga series (left) by female artist/writer, Kozueko Morimoto. All three seasons of the TV version were huge hits in Japan, garnering countless of fans all over the world as well, including here at home.
It stars my favorite Japanese actress, Nakama Yuki as Kumiko “Yankumi” Yamaguchi, the yakuza heiress turned high school teacher. You don’t need to think deep when you watch this. It’s all cute and fun.
It has had three seasons (2002, 2005, 2008) and one movie in 2009 (right pic). My favorite season was the first one since Matsujun as Sawada Shin was there.
Gokusen 2009: In the movie Gokusen, Yankumi gets to be reunited with some of her students from the past seasons and welcome new ones.
Star Power: And of course, what helped make Gokusen a hit especially for its young viewers was Yankumi’s students played by some of the hottest Japanese heart throbs and pop idols of the day (above pic: the class of Season 2).
Running gags and recurring themes: You have to be a fan to watch all three seasons because the story just repeats itself again and again. I’ve lost count of how many warehouse doors Yankumi had broken down to save her precious students. The choreographed fight scenes weren’t all that great either. Plus, they sure run a lot!
Couger Yankumi x Cute Sawada: I am one of the many fans who is still hoping that Matsujun’s character Sawada will come back someday (he wasn’t in the movie 😦 ) and profess his love for Yankumi and end up together, years after he graduates from college, that is (sorry for the spoiler but that’s what happened in its last manga issue!).
More on Gokusen: As a way of giving tribute, I will make Gokusen as my next inspiration for my FooDorama Challenge!
The FooDorama Challenge #2 – Gokusen: Gimme some of that Takoyaki!
*For Image References: click on the pics for their source links