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Monday, December 30, 2013

Gokusen (2008)


SEASON 3

Country: Japan
Format: 11 episodes + SP
Genre: school, youth
Cast: Nakama Yukie, Miura Haruma, Takaki Yuya, Miura Shohei, Ishiguro Hideo, Nakama Junta, Kiriyama Akito, Namase Katsuhisa, Utsui Ken, Kaneko Ken, Anan Kenji, Uchiyama Shiji, Enami Kyoko, Ryogoku Hiroshi, Waki Tomohiro, Koizumi Kotaru, Hoshino Aki, Hirayama Aya, Azuma Mikihisa, Ishihara Atsumi, Yamada Yu, Wakaba Ryuya, Kujirai Kousuke, Totani Kimito, Nakayama Masei, Hamao Kyosuke, Maeda Goki, Mayama Akihiro, Yazaki Hiroshi, Yuki Jutta, Warabino Tomoya,
Synopsis: Yankumi meets a new school and new students to who she must teach the meaning of friends and high school time.
Rating: 4/5
Read previous seasons here: first, second

I liked the third season more than the second, but less than first.
Yankumi has been teacher for already 7 years now and you can see how the time has changed her and how the age difference has widened with students .When in first season she was acting like a "buddy" with students and in the second she was the most like teacher, then in the last season she made it into "mama" - a great mother lion who protects her children. It is exactly what it seemed to me.
I really enjoyed that third season finally recalled memories from previous seasons. In addition, she has really cute and stylish tracksuits - especially I liked those chick-yellow ones.
I do not know why but I have always had thought that Kazama Ren is Miura Haruma's one of the
greatest roles, maybe because I have seen many comments about Ren when there is something about Miura Haruma, but in reality I did not find Kazama so special. Though Kazama Ren is one character whose actions bring things to another level! When usually the fights end with bruises, plaster casts and etc, then this time it is going to end in hospital with surgeries. His only family member is his sister, who is unbelievably similar to Yankumi in her actions. Of course Kazama finds himself guilty in many things that happen to his sister and little does he understand that leaving her means that neither of them has family. 
The third season continues having inside-class rivalry and in this case the competitor to Kazama is Ogata Yamato. From the start I liked his crew more than Kazama's, because Yamato crew wore really nice shoes - it was the way I even later understood who belonged to which group. But despite what I just told you I did find Ogata more childish and immature than Kazama, because he thought that they must fight in order to things be honest. He distrusts Yankumi for a long time and I even do not understand what was the reason behind it. 
Ichi(mura) used to go to elite middle school, but he was not good enough to continue, which is weird that he became so bad to end up in Akadou. If he once was in a elite school then I bet his parents had the money to save him from Akadou too, but I will never know the real reasons. He is really kind and he is the first one to call Yankumi with her nickname. At the moment Ichi's character is the only role Nakama Junta has ever played - I do hope he will now get more auditions. 
What is a "Gokusen" season without a girl-trouble. This time it is Kura who has to deal with bastard
"father-in-laws". I do not understand why this season they spend so much time in hospital. Anyways he meets with lovely girl (played by Kojima Haruna, who made a much greater job than in "Ikemen desu ne"), who makes him suffer. Kura is really friendly and loves spending time in karaoke. I fell in love with his handcuff-earring - it does not look cheap as the ones I have seen in shops in my country. Kiriyama Akito has acted later in several dramas, from which some of them I will watch in future. 
Honjo Kengo is a bit airhead and steps into the bucket many times with his ignorance like mistaking "freeter" to "breeder", but that is forgivable because he is his father's son. His story reminded me a bit of Kuma's, because Honjo's father runs a tofu business and puts his hope on Honjo, but as you might predict Honjo does not give a single tofu what happens to this place. Ishiguro Hideo actually acted in "Gokusen" second season too - he was a quest in 8th episode as Yabuki's brother, but that must be kept as a secret.
Kamiya Shunsuke has issues as he thinks that he is weak and once again Yankumi must make it clear that real strength is not in fists but in mind. But he is also the guy who is the goukon-master and gets ladies from goukon even after other totally fail - sadly it seems that those girls are just gold-diggers for his looks. I think Miura Shohei had the biggest debut of newcomers with "Gokusen", though he became noticeable much later in "Hanakimi 2011".
From other characters there are also Baba-san from the previous season who is such an airhead that
 he has forgotten Yankumi's background and just remembers his feelings for her. But Yankumi's love interest is Natsume-sensei, who is the least Yankumi's taste, when compared to previous men. Natsume-sensei looks a lot younger than others and there is something fragile about him, though he seems to give the most hope for Yankumi. The all time character vice-principle Sawatari continues to changes sides. When he is the one who brings Yankumi into Akadou, after trying to use Yankumi's methods himself, then after Yankumi is already a part of school staff he again turns against her and does not believe that she is able to make a change. The moment when I again yelled "SHUT THE RAMEN DOWN! You have seen it already twice that she is capable of making every single one of her students change and graduate high school!" - I ended using up all my nerves with him.
I found it a bit silly how fast they all become buddies with each other. Already in the second episode they act just as they have always been all 6 together. Also I found a bit annoying that the "Friends-subject" had to go over and over again several times before finally understanding that the whole class consists of friends. The difference with other seasons becomes in with the facts that guys get to know Yankumi's secret reaaaallly late and the school never finds out about it. 
The time passing on from the first season is clearly noticeable when you pay attention to Kuma's
storyline. As usually Kuma gets acquainted with new students and the difference between them shows how much he has grown since then - in the first season he was the same kind of brat as new students. By the time of the third season he is married with the same girl he fell in love in the first season! and they are expecting their first child! Due the "expecting" there is a lot of baby-talk in this season - which is partly in fault that Yankumi becomes "mama-lion".
My most frequent thoughts while watching this season were "I wish Wakaba Ryuya would finally have his big debut when he returns to the screen.... Oh my freaking Gyoza - Miura Shohei is so hot..." and basically that's it. The sad fact is that when you have watched the first season, then you basically have seen already all seasons. It is worth to watch everything as it is amazing drama, but it does not kill you if you do not.
And to end this review, I wish the best to Nakama Junta and Kiriyama Akito who will be making their debut as a new Johnny's group Johnny's WEST sometime in 2014!


Read "Gokusen ~ The Movie~" review here!

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