15 April 2012

Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou ep. 1 review

Okay, I have watched this episode a couple of times already before beginning to screen cap for it, partly because I do want to use the programs I watch to help me learn and practice Japanese. So I tried to research a few things before moving on to do a review of the episode. I tried to find the romanji for all the character names, I may be a bit off for a couple but I think I got them all.

So far I like the series. This is the kind of drama I have no trouble enjoying, as it has the delinquents with hearts of gold trope going for it. I do find it a pity that because it is a late night drama it is only about 23 minutes long. Especially as this first episode is just set up.

Starting off with a bang, or school fight.
Even the show titles the first episode as a prologue. Which is not too bad as there is a large cast and with this drama being under half an hour long not much time to introduce everyone.

Morimoto Shitaro plays Sakuragi Tatsuya
Which is probably why we get character names and traits on screens like this.

Matsumura Hokuto plays Asada Tetsuya
As most people seem to be, I was also surprised that Matsumura Hokuto played such a large role. His character is the second in command to Tatsuya and is the "cool" type of character.

So is this a church or sacrificial alter?
From this episode I feel the girls got the short end of the stick, or at least so far. Not only are there more male characters, the guys get seven character info screens while the girls only have two, but as they are the "prefect" Japanese girls it means none of them seem to have any personality. I hope that changes as the series goes on or I am sure to find all scenes with them pretty boring.

Shimazaki Haruka plays Shingyouji Fumie
Haruka's character is pretty much the only female character that does much of anything as the student body president of the girls' school. Though most of that is looking at things in a kinda creepy manner.

Tanaka Juri plays Noguchi Satoshi
I am amused that Tanaka Juri ended up with the "idiot" character. His character seems to have the habit of bringing pain unto himself by not thinking things through.

Kyomoto Taiga plays Terakawa Maya
Kyomoto's role seems perfect for him as a pretty boy. According to information about the characters in promo for it his character was raised by his mother as a girl, so I hope that is used to good affect in this drama with the "battle" between the girls and boys.

Oba Mina plays Ushiroku Saya
Oba Mina gets to be saved from being a complete wallflower like the rest of the female class as the student body vice president, thus being Fumie's number one lackey from what I can tell. Unfortunately she is not saved from having a completely bland personality.

Takaki Yuya plays Tatsunami Shohei
I was surprised at how big Takaki Yuya's role was in this episode. I did not think he would be a part of the Bakada group, but he was there for all the major scenes with them all. I rather like his character, especially as it is not only quite different from his role in Gokusen 3 but also because his character is quite different from the others in the drama.

Lewis Jesse plays Satonaka Yuuki
Love how his character trait is apparently being bilingual here. I think Lewis Jesse and Kouchi Yuugo make a surprisingly good pair and I find the two to be scene stealers so far.

Kouchi Yuugo plays Shinbo Makoto
As I mentioned before Yuugo and Jesse are highlights in the scenes they are in. I hope we get to see more of them, and maybe not only in fights.

Shintaro the hot tempered yankee.
It surprised me to see that Shintaro had shaved the sides of his head. I really do not care for the hair style but it is something one would expect a yankee/delinquent to have. This role is a real departure from what he has done so far as he has mostly been the cute younger brother character. But it is easy to forget he is only fourteen in this drama.

What is that creature in the title?
And after both student groups get the news of the merger we get the opening for the drama. I like the song, Kis-My-Ft2's Shake it up, so far and like what they have done for the drama opening.

That's a pretty poor stance there Shintaro.
The boys and girls face off and our main characters are revealed, if you could not figure it out before.

Why do you look so worried Shintaro?
I think I would like the girls vastly more if they actually got to slug things out in the drama. Which I guess there could be a chance for considering who is writing this drama.

Fight to the last idol standing.
Love the slow-mo choreographed fight scenes in the opening. They look interesting and I would love to see some of this in the drama itself.

Miyata has this pathetic teacher thing in the bag.
Even if he had little screen time I already feel sorry for Miyata Toshiya's character. It is easy to see that the students hold power even the teachers.

Shintaro gets the one ring, er, bracelet to rule them all.
We get a flashback and see probably some of the least convincing siblings ever. Seriously, Shintaro and Uchi Hiroki look nothing alike. So until the drama says otherwise my canon is that they are either half-brothers or step-brothers.

What could go wrong?
The plot that takes up most of the episode is with the boys. They are fighting some gang who end up stealing the name placard of the school. So of course Tatsuya goes to get it back and Tetsuya comes with him. And they end up fighting a warehouse full of gang members, which goes as well as one would expect.

We come in peace, or not.
Thankfully the calvary arrive to kick ass and take names.

No one can defeat the pretty.
I just love the smirk Kyomoto has here. His character seems to happy when he is fighting.

Duo of awesomeness.
Again, I really love these two as a duo. Especially with Yuuki insisting on using English randomly and Makoto telling him that he does not know English.

Totally camouflaged.  
And I love that Takaki's character is really a coward at heart. His avoidance of doing any fighting really helps bring some humor to things, even though Satoshi's screw ups are also rather funny as well.

The prize in the bottom of the burning barrel.
And of course the guys get the placard back, a bit burnt but otherwise okay. Which makes me wonder what it is actually made of.

School girls or body snatchers?
The invasion has begun.

Tatsuya's expression here would be my own if I was confronted with a small army of school girls and the leader asks me and my group to be friends.

"No, seriously WTF?"
And the episode ends with the girls just standing there as the boys look very confused.

Overall I liked the episode. It is definitely not a drama that asks you to take it too seriously and so far has done well to showcase the guys in it. I do hope the girls get some good moments as well, but I think they need to actually be given personalities for that to work.

In any case I cannot wait for the next episode next week.

New Japanese word learned this episode: 合併(がっぺい/gappei) - merger, union, combination (Used in this episode to talk about merging the two schools.)


Jpopwanderer said...


Thanks for the review. I watched the episode but i don't know japanese so i didn't really know the story though it wasn't hard to guess what was going on at all given the type of drama. Still it's good to know the actual plot.

Before watching the drama, Juri and Taiga were my favorite ones of the group. But i found myself enjoying Jesse&Yuugo duo the most. They were definitely scene stealers like you said and their dual-language bickering was hilarious. i really hope they will get more screen times later on. I also like Hokuto's cool type character. i think he is doing a good job pulling off the role. i'm still not sure about Juri's and Taiga's characters. they were uninteresting to me at this point. hope that will change coz i really like them and want to see them do well here. Unexpectedly, i found Shintaro the blandest of them all. To me, he def look 14 and middle school. i still can't see why he gets the lead coz to me he has no charisma and his acting is not that great but that's just me. I really hope he and the drama will do well. these are juniors i want to see debuted in the future.

Anonymous said...

I think the word aniki which is used here is not referring Uchi as the elder brother but more like senior. You know...kinda like yakuza referring the seniors or higher rank members....

Thennary Nak said...

@ Jpopwanderer

Well I only gave a very sparse account of the story line. I only understand some Japanese, but it is usually enough to figure out what is going on, and I have seen enough dramas like this one to recognize the common tropes.

I think with episodes being as short as they are it would be difficult to really get too much into the characters, but I do hope Juri and Taiga's characters get a bit more focus. I have heard rumors that Taiga's character may be played against a tomboy character on the girls' side so I feel we should get to see more of him with that.

I think with Shintaro he just has a role that does not give him much to work with. His character is a well-used type-cast for these kinds of series and most are really bland. I do have hope that he might get to do something a bit more challenging with the character acting wise as I don't think there is much for him to work with as it is now. I really liked him in Snow Prince and doubt his acting has gotten worse since then, but it could also be factors like the director, as they get a say on how an actor acts, as well.

@ Anonymous

When the other guys say it, yes you're right but in all the press releases about the show that mention Uchi they bring up that his character is the older brother of Shintaro's. Also right before the flashback the boys are looking at the flag with all the past members of their group on it and it shows Uchi's character's name who has the same last name as Shintaro's Sakuragi, so they are supposed to be actual brothers unlike the others.

Jpopwanderer said...

@Thennary Nak

Well sparse account is still better than nothing =)

i guess you're right about Shintaro my impression have more to do w/ his character in this drama than the real him. This is true for all of them actually. It's also interesting though to see how their acting+characters affect my view/preference of them. Anyway it was only the 1st episode i hope the story will get more interesting. i can't help but compare this drama to Gokusen and it's not up to par at this point. The rating was decent though, i think, for the drama in this time slot.