[Jdrama] Watashitachi no Kyokasho

September 8, 2007 at 5:15 pm Leave a comment

Starring:
Kanno Miho as Tsumiki Tamako
Itoh Atsushi as Kaji Kohei
Tanihara Shosuke as Seri Naoyuki
Shida Mirai as Aizawa Asuka
Maki Yoko as Oshiro Saki
Fubuki Jun as Ameki Masumi
Sakai Wakana as Yoshikoshi Nozomi
Ohkura Koji as Toita Atsuhiko
Sato Jiro as Kumazawa Shigeichi
Mizushima Hiro as Yahata Daisuke
Tomiura Satoshi as Kaneyoshi Riku
Tanimura Mitsuki as Nishina Tomomi
Suzuki Kasumi as Yamada Kazuko

Watashitachi no Kyokasho (translating into ‘Our Textbook’) is a Japanese drama that aired in the spring of 2007. There were 12 episodes (the first being an hour long) and received average ratings of 11.2%. The show’s theme song was Water Me sung by BONNIE PINK. At the 53rd Television Drama Academy Awards, Kanno Miho won Best Actress and Sakamoto Yuji won Best Scriptwriter for their work in the show.

Kaji Kouhei is a new substitute teacher at Kirioka Middle School. He was inspired by Kinpachi-sensei from the long running school drama and wanted to become a teacher like him. On his first day there, a student is skipping class – Aizawa Asuka.

Tsumiki Tamako is a lawyer in a reputable law firm, quickly making her way up to the top. She is given a case on bullying at a school, but declines it since uncovering the truth in a school is very difficult and will most likely lose if accepted. She is engaged to the president’s son, Seri Naoyuki and they are next in line to succeed the firm.

Asuka goes to Tamako, but Tamako refuses to see her. When Tamako leaves the firm, Asuka follows her from a short distance. Kaji-sensei, looking for Asuka, catches her and the three end up going to eat together. Later, Kaji-sensei offers Asuka encouragement and asks her to start attending classes again. She cheers up and entrusts a key to Kaji-sensei and runs back home.

The next day, Asuka comes to class. However, during the day, a school-wide fight breaks out and the majority of students run outside to see the commotion, leaving Asuka by herself in the classroom. Presumable, she was trying to see what was going on outside through the classroom window and fell. After sustaining serious injuries, she died.

Kaji-sensei and Tamako meet up again and he remembers the key Asuka has given to him. The two search for the locker in the train station and find Asuka’s schoolbag and vandalized notebooks and textbooks in it. Tamako, remembering previous strange comments and actions by Asuka, comes to the conclusion that Asuka was being bullied in school and thus prompted her to commit suicide. She starts investigating the matter with the intention of suing the school.

After hearing word the Tamako’s intentions of suing, the school brings the case to her law firm and asks for representation. The firm accepts the case with the defending lawyer being Seri Naoyuki, Tamako’s fiance. Since Tamako was not asked to be representation on the opposing side, Seri requests her to withdraw her lawsuit or leave the firm. She refuses and subsequently, he breaks off their engagement saying that they were never in love, they just thought that they would logically make the best partners.

Thus starts a series of events that last for two years in the courtroom.

I really enjoyed this series; I thought the writing and acting was excellent. Kanno Miho was really believable as a compassionate but at times ruthless lawyer. One thing I didn’t understand was that her character was get so emotional at critical times. If she’s really an elite lawyer, wouldn’t she have learned to keep her eyes from getting teary? Perhaps the situation was too personal, but I don’t quite get it.

I liked Itoh Atsushi in his role, but he’s kind of a pushover at times. He did a really good job as a new naive and eager to please teacher. I thought all the teachers and the vice-principal were really rounded out characters – everyone had their back story. Mizushima Hiro, who played Yahata-sensei, really surprised me – at first I didn’t recognize him, then I finally did as the same guy who was Nanba Minami in HanaKimi! He looks so different in this one! The four main student characters are also really well developed. I have a hard time finding any faults with the character development in this series.

The plot is great, and I thought the writers did an excellent job of piecing the evidence together. I also thought the way the effects of bullying were really well portrayed and how the students, teachers, and administration reacted to it. There were a few parts in the series where I was kind of confused about what had happened – but this was mostly all after the time jumps. I also wished that at the end, we could find out what happened to all the characters, not just a few.

I’m personally really glad I watched it all after the series finished because there are some killer cliffhangers at the end of most episodes. It’s not happy or very romantic and neither is it comedic, but this drama is so damn good. People who haven’t seen it are seriously missing out. Watch this drama!!

Buy the boxset: Japan Version

Entry filed under: dramas. Tags: , , , , .

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