Old Fart Who Loves Japanese Pop Culture 日本の大衆文化を愛する中年

Japanese Dramas, Manga, Anime and Japanese Movies, Jpop, and anything else about Japanese pop culture that I find interesting.

日本のドラマ、マンガ、アニメ、J-POP、その他私がおもしろいと思った日本の大衆文化について

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Top 10 School Dramas


Yamada Taro Monogatari and Hana Kimi are both ending this week and I'm so sad to see them end, they each have been very entertaining in they're own particular way. It got me thinking about all the great dramas that are focused on schools, teachers and students. So here is my 10 top list swollen to 14, it changes all the time GTO was number 1 for an awfully long time, at least it was until I saw Nobuta. But GTO still remains the most re-watched of all the school drama in my collection. 9 out of the 12 are set in high school, 1 is middle school Queen of the Classroom, Orange Days & Nodame Cantibile are set in colleges, Proposal Daisakusen covers middle school, high school and college.
1. Nobuta wo Produce
2. Hana Yori Dango 1 / Hana no Kimi(tie)
3. Nodame Cantibile / Proposal Daisakusen (tie)
4. Hana Yori Dango 2
5. Great Teacher Onizuka
6. Yamada Taro Monogatari
7. Strawberry On The Shortcake
8. Gokusen 1
9. My Boss My Hero
10. Orange Days

Honorable mention Queen of the Classroom, Majo no jouken aka Forbidden Love.

I'll try and post something about each of the dramas that I haven't already posted about because each of these shows is really special in its own way and if you haven't seen any I highly recommend them all. This list is really fluid as it constantly changes in my mind, and Hanazakari no Kimitachi e and Yamada Taro Monogatari haven't even finished yet.

What's your Japanese School Drama top 10 list?
What do 5 of my top 8 have in common besides being set in a school?

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13 Comments:

Anonymous colbyni said...

I loved most of these dramas, and a couple I just haven't watched YET. I'd tried to put them in order 1-10 but found it too difficult. However, would have also included Dragon Zakura, and Waterboys 1 & 2.
Also, I can't decide if Tantei Gakuen Q should count, but I love it too.

9/19/2007 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

@colbyni I haven't had time to watch Dragon Zakura yet, and I loved Water Boys the movie but still haven't watched the dramas yet they're in my too be watched pile and I'm downloading Tantei Gakuen Q I was just waiting for more episodes to get subbed before starting it, but I will soon because they released the subs for episode 6 today. It was very hard putting them in order and I'm sure they will all change again. So much good drama, so little time ;-)

9/19/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stand Up!! is in my top 10

9/20/2007 01:39:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

@anon I really loved Stand Up and I'll post about it once the dvd version is fully subbed and posted, the only reason I didn't include it is because it's mostly about their summer vacation and their neighborhood. But I definitely agree about it being a very good drama, and it's got one of the best casts around.

9/20/2007 11:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Edo said...

Yankee Bokou ni Kaeru is my number 1 japanese school drama as for the others in my top ten its a bit of a mix and match.-Oh! and by the way, what is the answer to your trivia question if you don't mind me askin'?

9/20/2007 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

@Edo Yankee Bokou ni Kaeru looks really interesting and has 3 of my favorite actors Takenouchi Yutaka, Shinohara Ryoko and Kato Natsuki but it's not being seeded at all. So unless they make it series of the week at d-addicts or someone posts it to alt.binaries.japanese.multimedia I won't get to see it. The FTP I subscribe to doesn't have it either. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

How about 1 hint before I give out the answer. The 5 dramas are HYD 1 & 2, Gokusen, Hana Kimi, and GTO.

I'll post the answer tomorrow if no one gets it right before then.

9/20/2007 04:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oguri Shun

9/20/2007 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I agree that Nobuta was a great drama in terms of it being super hilarious while effortlessly showing other more substantial things in the story. My biggest complaint in the series is the ending. Most of my friends that also watched the thing agrees with me that it was undue "fanserving" for the JE fans. Yes, its important to highlight Nobuta's growth but not the point making things weird(it's not like she and Akira weren't weird). The beach ending thing was really did not sink well me and my friends.

9/21/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

@Anonymous Oguri Shun was in HYD 1 & 2, Gokusen, Hana Kimi, and GTO. If I was a producer in Japan planning a school drama, I'd sure want to get him to be in it.

9/21/2007 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

@Stephen it was undue "fanserving" for the JE fans.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****

I really liked the beach ending, from the lunch with Mariko straight to the end when they leapt into the ocean. I don't know if it was done on JE fans behalf or not. For me it worked on the level that even though they were physically separated the ocean still joined them together as did the sky. It seemed to me that half of the series occurred on the rooftops. I also thought the ending was very reminiscent of the ending to "Beach Boys" when both of the boys left Makoto she loved each of them. Nobuta loves them "both together" and Shuji says "The 3 of us we can live wherever we are." Actually jumping into the ocean maybe a little overly symbolic, but it could also be viewed as the enthusiasm and joy of being alive.

I very much agree that Akira and Nobuta are weird individuals, but I thinks from that weirdness is where they draw their strength.

How do you think the series should have ended? I'd love to hear alternate endings from others who either liked of disliked the ending.

9/21/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous wi2en said...

hi there Kevin, i just have to say that i really like ur blog =D i like ur choices of doramas & animes ^^

as for Nobuta wo Produce, it is also in my number 1 list of most fave dorama. i agree with how u put them into words:
"For me it worked on the level that even though they were physically separated the ocean still joined them together as did the sky." very well said ^^

though i did feel sorry for Nobuta, being left out by her best friends T.T it felt.. bittersweet to me. cause the same thing happens in real life. we may have to say goodbye to our friends/loved ones, but that's just another part of life. and the parting (could be) what make us stronger.

10/05/2007 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

@wi2en
Thanks a lot for the kind words. I agree that it is indeed a very bittersweet ending as life often is.
At least Nobuta smiled for the first time before going to the roof to shed a tear. I really loved that scene where she asks if she's smiling and the camera is blocked by the mirror.

10/05/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous jen-chan said...

your site is really cool!

Ive been a jdrama fan for less than a year now. Ive seen and enjoyed a lot of them because of story's 'fresh' and appealing twists and concepts.

browsing through the net to find a good review of jdramas , here i found your blog with added bonus : the download links of those dramas i wish to follow and watch.

Thank you for this cool blog :-)

2/16/2009 01:39:00 AM  

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