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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dragon Zakura (2005)



Country:
Japan
Format: drama in 11 episodes
Genre: school, youth
Cast: Abe Hiroshi, Yamashita Tomohisa, Nagasawa Masami, Teppei Koike, Aragaki Yui, Saeko, Nakao Akiyoshi, Hasegawa Kyoko, Yasawa Shin, David Ito, Hori Akari,
Synopsis: Ryuuzan high school is Tokyo's lowest rated school with average score 36. Sakuragi Kenji, a former race-gang member, is a poor lawyer who’s put in charge of Ryuuzan high school bankruptcy, but then he decides to save the school. He creates special advanced class for students to get them into Tokyo University.
Rating: 5/5

Sakuragi Kenji does not seem to be much, but he is so damn smart! At first I thought that he might have some kind of teacher degree too XD I would have wanted them to give the reasons why and 
how he came up with all those plans and ideas and a little bit more about his background, but I guess I must read the manga :/ I wish someone had made this kind of program for me too so that I could have had better results, but then again.. I did not need great results to get into university. Abe Hiroshi's acting was rather good. As Sakuragi did not show out any emotions and he always had on the same serious face, then I say that Abe Hiroshi acted this part really well, but the fact that he won the best actor's award for this, then he was brilliant. I wish to see his acting more and I really like that he kinda looks like half-Japanese (need to do background check on him XD) 
Ino-sensei only understands everything literary and gets caught up by sentence “for my precious students”. Even though she is rather naive, she is the only teacher who tries to think at least a bit about students. There is something cute about her, but I cannot believe how she hardly understands anything. Believe me or not, but this drama gave me the feeling that I would like to study high school subjects like maths, physics and chemistry again.. I so hope that I do not have any maths exercise near me, because I might start to solve them. Then again seeing them taking the exams reminded me the stress of them and I praise the sweet Gyoza for the fact that I do not have to take them again. Beside I put the “need of learning” into Russian as it is the only subject that needs more memorizing.. I hope I was able to memorize at least something.. ahhh.. now I think I should concentrate on learning it more..
Yuusuke was bought into the “Todai plan”. Yes – “BOUGHT” not “brought” (as for “buy-bought-bought” and not “bring-brought-brought”). He has a huge pride that does not let him accept help from others even in critical situations, that’s why he is pushed into corner to surrender. Young Yamashita Tomohisa is young. I love his hairstyle in it – bad boy with a nice smile (Actually remembered some song lyrics...). I do not know if Yamashita Tomohisa actually played the trumpet himself, because I have not heard of him playing it later.
Naomi is Yuusuke’s childhood friend, who has feelings for him. Yuusuke calls her “Nao-Boo” for unexplained reasons, so I hope that they have explained the “boo” part in manga. I like seeing 

Nagasawa Masami in good girl role that is left at background, because compared to Aragaki Yui in it, she looks way too average. She is the one who goes to special class, because she has realistic views about how her life would be after graduating Ryuuzan and that view is something that she does not want to accept. Sakuragi’s sentence “Your life will take 180 degrees turn” makes her understand that actually there is nothing wrong with trying. I think that she is the one who has the most obstacles on her way.  About Masami’s acting.. well, it is the same even now, which is sad, because I think that every actress/actor should improve with time. I give you a hint and tell you that Naomi and Yuusuke will share some cute “friendship” moments which might struck into your hearts. I almost start to hope that someone has made a fan-vid about them, but as most of the fan-videos have been torn down from Youtube, then I find it difficult to believe.. 
Aragaki Yui plays the bad girl. She looks so damn beautiful this way and I think that she suits more into this role than into “good girl” roles. At least here she is interesting and not plain. 
She is Yuusuke’s girlfriend, but their relationship seems to be more like only the title, because they do not show out that they actually are in relationship, especially Yuusuke who rather talks to Nao-Boo about important things in his life than with his actual girlfriend. She enters into special class because of Yuusuke, so until the end even Sakuragi does not understand her motives. As I told you around the corner, she is not 100% explained and that’s why Aragaki does not get as much screen time to criticize her acting, but it was more interesting than her other usual student-dramas.
Hideki, played by Koike Teppei – the funny cute dude. I adore how he gets really familiar with everybody and adds “-chan”  after their names, but I find it difficult to say anything more about him. 
I do not consider Koike Teppei as a great actor and Hideki was not so remarkable either. For me he was just a character who made the drama a bit cuter. Maki-chan is soooooo cute :D She wants to enter Todai because she thought that it is easier way to become an idol. Her friend recently became a talent (idol) and most of the time is annoying her with messages from other countries. She gave me again the “gyaru-mode”.. thank you, gyoza, that I do not have enough cute gyaru-stuff.. (ahh, doushite??! I want to be a cute girl too for a moment! Well.. must accept the fact that I am pretty and not cute :/ *egocentric-mode*) She suited together with Hideki, who was shown on the screen as much as she - aka mostly left out.
Ichiro is the character I feel most sorry for. As he has a twin brother in Shuumenkan, he is totally left beside by his family and to think that his younger twin brother almost hates him.. I do not know. I hate Jirou so much for what he does to Ichiro, even though Ichiro has sacrificed most of his life so that Jirou would succeed. As a twin, I find Jirou’s actions unacceptable. Most of the time, I wanted to kill Jirou, because even though Ichiro looked like real baka, Ichiro was so cute and sincere.  
Beside Jirou there are many annoying characters in this drama, like other teachers and parents. I think that because of people like them the education system and children studying results are bad. I remember from my school time that there were teachers who made their lessons more interesting and students had better results in them, than in lessons that were only taught by textbooks word by word. And as it is said in drama, teachers must have passion for their subject.  There is a lot to study from this drama, starting from great studying-strategies and hints on exams.  But I admit, that I do not agree to 24/7 studying and you might call me naive like Ino-sensei was, but you must enjoy your youth too, then again in Japanese society these exams and school system are very different from the ones in my country.
 
  
SPOILER-review:  I saw it coming that all of them won’t get in and that Yuusuke will decide not to go to Todai. For me it was sad to see them not getting into uni, because I know damn well how it feels when you do not see your number/name on the list. At moments like this, it is important not to give up, that’s why I liked the ending. But one thing made me think *ero-mode in brain*, if Ichiro got into Todai.. did Maki slept with him as Ichiro was also part of the “sleeping-agreement” or was the agreement valid only when Maki would have gotten into Todai too? It is just something that made me think :P  

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