Sunday, January 08, 2006

DORAMA WORLD


LAST CHRISTMAS _ **** _ Yuji Oda, Yada Akiko _ Winning cohabitation romantic comedy set around Christmas 2004. MORE

***Thanks to Studio Oto for subbing the series!***





KOU KOU KIYOUSHI 2003 (High School Teacher 2003) _ Fujiki Naohito, Ueto Aya _ This is either **1/2 or ***1/2. I marked out for Fujimura sensei(Kyomoto Masaki) AKA "The Wolf" (which I guess justifies his waltzing around Tokyo with Lupin III mutton chop sideburns) and ultra-villian Yuji (Narimiya Hiroki, in a 180 from his goodie-two shoes Gokusen act). He's the club host with a taste for champange, Playstation, and putting to work high school girls like Beniko (Sonim) and Mami (Aoi Yuu, a Shunji Iwai regular who's appeared in All About Lily Chou-Chou and Hana and Alice).

Even the core forbidden love relationship between Koga sensei (Fujiki) and student Hina (damn Aya-chan has a wide smile and is actually a pretty good actress) is both incisive and heartbreaking in its depth. You feel sympathy for them even if it's wrong on a Florida school teacher-kinda level _ not an easy feat to pull off.

Actually a lot of things that happen, which the characters take for granted, are kinda wrong on a multitude of levels. I guess it's representative of the "dark dorama" genre, but the emotions are genuine enough. I mean, what would you do if you're a bishonen teacher and well-endowed teeny boppers are throwing themselves at you as you're suffering, SUFFERING!?

The twists are developed methodically, but that also means it's not seat-of-your-pants-I-want-to-watch-the-whole-series-over-two-nights exciting. It's must see _ if only to appreciate high doramatic artistry, but for advanced viewers only.

If there are two lessons gleened from this show: 1) The kids from GTO and Gokusen would get their asses kicked (or at least require years of therapy) if they attended this high school; 2) If I'm raising kids in Tokyo, I'll stick with homeschooling.

NOW SHOWING: DEKACHITTA KEKKON (Shotgun Marriage)