Gokusen (Drama) Review

I`ve finish watching this drama 2 years ago and didn`t get the chance to do the review until now. Gokusen is a story about Yamaguchi Kumiko, an idealistic, young teacher(Who is in reality is a Yakuza member)who gets a job at Shirokin Gakuen High. She warmly welcomes her new class, but Yamaguchi has to find out, that she has gotten the short straw at school. Her class consists of the worst thugs and wanna-be gangsters, who have everything else in their head but learning. The class leader is Sawada Shin (Jun Matsumoto), who is always very quiet and has his heart at the right place. In this story, she attempts to win the students' trust remain without success, but as time goes by the students realize that their new teacher in fact always is on their side, no matter what, and keeps supporting them where ever she can.

Yukie Nakama as Yamaguchi Kumiko (Yankumi / Ojou / Kumicho) (Math Teacher/Class 3D adviser)

Jun Matsumoto as Sawada Shin

Katsuhisa Namase as Sawatari Goro, Kyoto (School Vice Principal)

Ken Utsui as Kuroda Ryuichiro (Kumiko's grandpa / 3rd Generation Oedo Yakuza Boss)

Misaki Itoh as Fujiyama Shizuka (English Teacher) =3

Yuko Nakazawa as Kawashima Kikuno (School Nurse)=3

Tomohiro Waki as "Kuma" / Kumai Teruo

Oguri Shun as "Uchi" / Uchiyama Haruhiko

More Cast Here.


Gokusen is not your standard High-School drama series. With a lot of fresh humor, which is always very Japanese and therefore quite wacky, this lighthearted comedy show makes for a compelling series, despite its sometimes more serious undertone. Unfortunately, latter fact proves to be the evident downside of Gokusen. Over and over again we are bombarded with educational monologues of Yankumi, who always wins over her listeners despite the initial doubt of her students.

The main premise may already sound familiar, but a female teacher who in reality is a Yakuza member is still something that serves fantastically as the groundwork to weave some funny stories around it. The show has the same problem on other occasions, too which is kinda boring for me. For example: The students get into trouble in every single episode and Yankumi eventually gets them out of it, while also providing them with an important lesson for life. As time goes on, this just happens to get repeated too often, so that Yankumi's speeches become very contrived.

Some episodes are so serious in tone over a longer period, that it becomes quite bothersome but would have done well if it had completely put its focus on the humor. Watch this drama if you are into Japanese humor, of course. If that's the case then you will have one hell of a fun ride with Gokusen, despite its minor flaws.

Season 1 Finale:

Gokusen the Movie(2009) Trailer: