Friends who know me, and those privileged few who follow my tumblr, are aware that I have a mild obsession with Japanese school dramas centered around the maturation of delinquent guys. There is something about these stories, whether it be the horde of extremely attractive males, a plethora of ab shots, or the heart-felt stories that make me want to go out and live my life (despite the fact they inevitably lead me to watching more TV) that get me in the gut every single time. Seriously, my friends and family will attest to the fact that I’m a big crier when it comes to TV, and these dramas especially are my personal dose of medicine. As this is a new site and I’m experimenting, I thought I’d do a little battle of the boys post, focusing on my two favorites in this genre: Gokusen (3) and Tumbling. I’m a lover of all the Gokusen seasons, but as both Miura Shohei and Haruma are in the last season, I can’t help but get all googly-eyed while watching the it, so that’s the one I’ll stick with! Tumbling on the other hand has my favorites Yamamoto Yusuke (the boy can do no wrong in my eyes) and Daito Shunsuke, and I can’t say no to those guys, whether I wanted to or not!
Let’s start with the teachers’ showdowns!
One of the major pros of Gokusen (all seasons) is, of course, Nakama Yukie. The lady is hilarious. I remember when I first started watching Gokusen, my reaction went something like, “Who is THAT!? And WHY IS HER HAIR SO HORRIBLE!?”
And then of course within seconds she undoes the pigtails and gets rid of the glasses and VOILA!!, she’s one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen. If I may say, that’s a really lucky transformation.
When watching Superman, I never really got the whole “OH NO CLARK KENT IS SO UGLY WITH GLASSES” thing because, to be honest, he looks pretty much the same to me (only I think glasses are sexy on a guy, so I preferred those to the blue latex suit). However Yamaguchi Kumiko, affectionately (and always in my brain) known as Yankumi, manages to do a complete 180 without those glasses. I wish it was that easy for me! The appeal of Yankumi is not just her looks, however, but also the fact that she essentially saves all these lost children over, and over, and over again. She’s an awesome lady who has ninja skills and ridiculous romantic fantasies just like the rest of us!!
On the other hand, Tumbling has AKIRA playing Kashiwagi Yutaka.
I know he’s a famous popstar, but I didn’t actually know that the first time I saw the show. His long hair and derpy smile wasn’t really my style, so I overlooked him. He has none of the badassery that Yankumi has, and while it’s adorable that all he wants to do is play with plants, I prefer Yankumi’s flavor of awesome.
No offense AKIRA, but if there was a fight, I bet my money on Yankumi!!
On a side note, I’ve just started watching the new GTO remake (yes for Yamamoto Yusuke, though I hate his hair so much right now) and AKIRA has made a marked improvement. I can definitely recognize the sexy now!.
Showdown between the main guys!!!
Gokusen’s main focus is on having the guys discover their dreams and graduate. It’s definitely a message I can get behind. In particular Miura Haruma is just one big bundle of awesome. He’s a great actor, and I’m really jealous of his hair, but surfaces aside, he also has the most adorable story, what with his older sister trying to protect him, and him not wanting to be a burden. On the other hand, Tumbling has Yamamoto Yusuke. He’s awesome and so damn sexy I often pause my screen when he appears, but he’s also ridiculously full of heart. While Yankumi is the heart and soul of Gokusen, he is the heart and soul of Tumbling. He brings all the boys together, and also goes through a huge amount of emotional turmoil. His unflinching dedication to his friends makes me teary-eyed every time. If I were to choose between these two… I’d have to say Yusuke!! I love them both so much, but the character with the most punch is definitely this leader!
Chemistry award! The chemistry in both these shows is amazing. The guys are all adorable as friends, and their real life friendships definitely bleed into the show, making it all the more believable. Tumbling’s chemistry is wonderful and gets me smiling like an idiot within seconds. Especially the individual friendships, which I think are stressed more than the group dynamics, are spectacular. I’m thinking of Yusuke and Shohei of course, whose bromance is just epic. However, the best Chemistry award goes to… Gokusen!!
The chemistry between these guys are used in the comedic moments, and really make the show what it is. I especially loved it when they went to the maid café. Their obsession with kawaii girls tempered by Ogata’s steadfast disinterest is just too good to deny.
Best individual character arch goes to… Tumbling! It’s Daito Shunsuke, Miura Shohei (who let’s face it has learned a lot about acting since his foray in Gokusen), Nishijima Takahiro, and Yanagashita Tomo! Daito Shunsuke’s story in particular is very touching. His need to get over the death of his friend as well as his survivor’s guilt is believable, mature, and sensitive. On top of this, Tumbling actually has a gay man who is not stereotyped or turned into a gimmick. As much as I love the Hana Kimi-esque gay story line, Tomo’s story of unrequited love and fear that his friends will abandon him is deep and wonderful.
Best grumpy character… Gokusen! Takaki Yuya as Ogata Yamato, you’re a star. You actually beat Daito Shunsuke and Nishi! Well done, trust me that’s hard to do! I’ve always been a sucker for the one calm disinterested character in the midst of all the high energy characters. Yuya is my favorite out of these two. However, if I was doing a Gokusen battle, Kame would beat you. Sorry Yuya. Kame’s just too cute!!
Best outfits! Sorry, I just had to put this one in. Gokusen is so the obvious answer *ignoring Takaki Yuya’s horrible shoes* because let’s face it, anything will beat those horrible pink Tumbling outfits!
So who wins at the end of the day!? It’s a difficult decision, but the answer is… *drumroll please…*
…ME!!!!!! Muahaha, you thought I’d say something controversial there didn’t you? Sorry guys. These are two of my favorite dramas. They rank equally in KSQUISH’s LOVE LIST!!! Because of all the happiness these shows have given me (not to mention all the eye candy), the big winner around here really is me! So what do you guys think? Which one is your favorite? Comments would be loved!
Also here’s a Gokusen 3 fanvid that some awesome person made *not mine.* I think it captures the essence of the guys very well!