Sunday, November 20, 2005

Jyoou no Kyoushitsu (The Queens Classroom) ep 1-3

I hate shows with lots of kids. They're always boring and irritating with the adult character/teacher usually helping them sort out the usual problems like not having friends, bad parents etc.

The Queen glaring at Kazumi.

But Joou no Kyoushitsu is different. If I had to describe it in a sentence, I would say its like Battle Royale set in a primary school. Amani Yuki plays the Queen, a teacher who dresses up in black all the time and looks like an S & M mistress. Instead of your typical super enthusiastic teacher, the Queen is a harsh one. In ep 1, she sets up a rule whereby the two lowest scorers have to be class representatives and do ALL the chores. Later she changes it to whoever disobeys her has to do the chores.

The Queen basically implements the rules of society into the classroom. Only those who excel and do what they are told get priveleges. Those at the bottom suffer. The Queen basically rules by divide and conquer. The students fear her and her punishments. She quells any uprising by the students by going after their weak links and turning friends against each other.

Shida Mirai plays plays the main character Kanda Kazumi, who gets punished in ep 1 and is helped by Shindo Hikaru (Fukada Mayuko) character. Hikaru is the 2nd top student in the class who is quiet but seemingly mature. Joining them is Yusuke, the class clown. These characters are the only ones who truly dare speak out against the Queen.

Shida Mirai as Kazumi.

I cannot offer enough praise for Shida Mirai's acting. You feel for her as she tries to muster courage to face the Queen and you applaud her sincererity in trying to help people and do the right thing. Her fear of the Queen is all too real. The scene where she speaks up for Yusuke is too fucking beautiful. Her acting is just too damn good for a 12 year old kid. After only watching 3 episodes. she really deserves to have won the best newcomer award.

In ep 2, the kids try to unleash the most fearsome force in Japan on the Queen; their mothers on the PTA but the Queen deftly parries their attacks and does some attacking of her own to keep them in line. The easiest way to defeat the Queen would be to united but the Queen easily splinters their fragile unity.

What is scarier than PTA mothers? The machiavellian Queen, that's who.

Yeah, this show features kids but the story is anything but childish. Its a dorama about human behaviour. How we act in groups and how we act as individuals. Its about the strength of friendship in the face of adversity. Its about the our need for self preservation versus our ability to be unselfish. Its about our role in society and the rat race for 'success'.

And the music and cinematography and this dorama are excellent. The most memorable scene is the one where Yusuke 'sacrifices' himself so that Kazumi can sneak by the Queen and not be late. You can feel Kazumi's fear as she races to the class while Yusuke is desperately trying to distract the Queen. Its a simple thing, trying not to let your teacher know you are late but the way they do it is just too fucking awesome.

I cannot recommend this dorama enough. Forget about eye candy and idols. This dorama is about great story and bloody excellent acting. Its a crime that only around 500 people have downloaded this dorama. Watch till the end of ep 1 and I guarantee you will not regret it.

And hontoni arigatou gozaimsu to kryptolus and hanchan for bringing us this great dorama.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome drama, I totally agree.