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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Division 1: 15 sai no blues (2005)


Country: Japan
Genre: human, life, school, violence
Format: mini-drama (~20 minutes X 4 episodes; Division 1 series 13th stage)
Cast: Zeebra, Tegoshi Yuya, Iwasa Mayuko, Higashi Ayu, Chiyo Shota,
Synopsis: Shunsaku (Zeebra) start to work as a tutor for a junior high school boy Sanada Kohei. Kohei has had 10 tutors before him, sucks at studying, at communicating with people and is bullied by his classmates - only joy for him are his flowers and love for Sakie, a girl in his class. But Kohei is not the only one who seems to have problems in this house. Shunsaku tries to show to the family the meaning of blues.
Rating: 3/5
For the first thing - the family is totally wacko!! Mentally it is really hard drama to stand - there are too possibilities - you love it or you hate it.
Tegoshi Yuya is the highlight of the drama and most of the people watch it because of him (true, even I xD). Kohei's character is actually disgusting and gives me creeps, but he still is the highlight. Believe me or not, but he actually screams more than talks in drama - and his screaming is funny, because Tegoshi Yuya had kind of a different voice back then (I think he was going trough voice-change then xD  He was 17 when the drama was filmed). He is isolated, depressed  and he bites nails - but you can see that Tegoshi Yuya in real life did not bite nails, because the way he did it was just hilarious and totally fake. Even though it did not look like biting, it was gross and made me sick O.o More than that, the creepiest thing was "The Blanket". I find it absolutely insane and grotty. Kohei actually reminded me Tegoshi's character Tommy in "Gekidan Engimono - Ie ga tooi", but Kohei is  more repulsive. In the end, I hated the bullies more than Kohei. He had just some issues, but bullies were unforgivable. In my country some years ago one bullying led to suicide, bullying does not have to be physical and even mental bullying is a school violence! It is not a funny thing and I hate it so much.  (About school violence I recommend you a movies called "The Class" (2007)- it is Estonian movie, it actually had drama sequel in 2010 "The Class - life after", but I do not know if the drama is available in English, and "Hold me tight" (2010) Denmark movie. Both of them are absolutely brilliant movies) 
You can see how far the school violence goes in "Division 1: 15 sai no blues". I really understood that he actually was in big pain and wanted somebody to stop him. At the same time, when Shunsake hit Kohei (and it is not for only once), then I yelled "YES!!!!". Kohei was a crybaby and had no self respect or confidence. Sakie role was really imporant in drama, but the actress did not have much screentime. I do not know who is the actress, so I would appreciate if somebody would tell me, if they know. She is really beautiful. Drama does not show her side of the story, so it divides the thoughts apart - how does she feel, what she really meant etc.
And when you took a a first glance at his sister Yukari, you understood that the problem lays in the family. How can one girl let herself down to this low? I am not going to write a long post about "how to be confident in your own body?" (If someone really wants I may write a special page about it - I am the best person to talk about this kind of thing xD)  And then comes the most utopian part of the drama - NO woman changes so quickly from nerd to babe (I do not insult nerds! I mean the stereotypical American thinking of nerds as unpopular glass-wearing science freak - I actually find nerds amusing and very interesting people, especially I like their smartness =D ). This kind of changes take at least months and years! I did not understand why Yukari and Kohei did not talk to each other much, but I guess they just followed their parents patterns.
I did not like the mom at all. She had annoying variable voice and no parent, aware or not, should not prefer one child to other. It was so easy to see that she was much more concerned about Kohei than Yukari, I understand that Kohei had had problems since childhood, but showing the preference in front of everybody makes the other child feel just abandoned and pushed aside. The father of the family was just selfish and did not think clearly. The family did not speak to each other much, mostly only mother was panicky talking, but others even did not listen to her. For many times I wanted to make a big wake up call to the family, so they could wake up from their sleep. Luckily, I was not the one who had to do it.
Shunsaku actually was not a tutor, but he had knowledge and motivation. I must admit, that even I did not understand the whole "blues" thing in the end, but otherwise he told pretty smart things. Shunsaku was real pervert, but at the same time he did not to anything illegal. I loved how he actually fitted into this family and was there like at his own home and he was the most normal person in the house!  It was cute how he connected with mom and how children bonded with him in the end. He had extreme tips for everybody, but I loved his enthusiasm and that he had his limits too. (Now he reminded me "Gachi baka" Gondo, but Gondo did not seem to have the limit where he just wanted to leave. That's why Shunsaku looks more human to me than Gondo). NB! Zeebra acted as Shusaku and also the themesong of the drama, "Wildin" is his song.
It takes much nerves to watch it, but I must admit that I loved it! It has so many minuses, as you see in this review, and I do not know what were the real pluses of the drama, but it had something sweet and hopeful in it.

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