I don't know how many times I've watched the first episode now (do all fansubbers get to learn their dramas by heart?!
) but I am still amazed by the fact that it withstood those many viewings without losing its impact on me for one bit!!
As a school dorama, of course we've seen it all before:
- the dedicated teacher
- her rigid, blasé, even embittered colleagues
- the Kouchou - Kyotou - Gakunen Shunin trio, each sucking up to his senior
- the goofy PE teacher
- the fashion-victim English teacher
- the students "who cannot trust grown-ups" anymore
- the all-powerful student clique
- the teacher's first ally in that class - the weakest student of them all
Still, Seito Shokun! manages to take this well-known recipe and somehow make it work for one more time.
The fact that the tone is darker, the direction - great, the cinematography - excellent, the music - riveting, and the acting simply superb, of course, helps a lot
I was looking forward to watching Uchiyama Rina and Horikita Maki, because not only are they beautiful, but also great actresses, but I must confess I never expected to see such
good acting from virtually everyone
Besides the fact that the children look like children, which is a production achievement in itself (congrats to the Casting department!
), they can also act!! Their ice-like rejection and downright hostility sent chills down my spine everytime I watched them in action... Ochiai Motoki managed to bring tears to my eyes as Watanabe-kun... Hongo Kanata's Aoki Kohei is not bratty, he is as mean as hell!
Horikita Maki makes my heart freeze. Can there be in her a more mysterious character than Nobuta? Her "Kimura Juria" is a serious candidate.
Uchiyama Rina makes me smile whenever she smiles and feel whatever she feels. I'm head over heels with Kitashiro-sensei already.
Watanabe Ikkei takes this episode's prize for the sheer relish that he acts with!!!
I'm already rooting for Miyazawa-san to have a great change of heart and mind by the end of the series, but I'm afraid that's as wishful a thinking as for Sawatari Goro-san, Gokusen
's Kyoto, to finally come round!
I'm really looking forward to the next episode now, and wondering how a teacher, who heard her first ever students yell "Die!" to her 33 times in a row, while trying to hit her as hard as they could, will be able to keep up and "never give up"!