Archive for July, 2011

Takei Emi as Yoshino Nao
Matsuzaka Tori as Yokoyama Aruto
Kaku Kento as Tamaki Makoto
Nagayama Kento as Takeuchi Kazuya
Minami Keisuke as Wajima Go
Ishida Takuya as Hirose Satomi
Furukawa Yuki (古川雄輝) as Kishi Tetsuro
Kanai Yuta as Murai Hajime
Arai Yusuke (新井裕介) as Hirakawa Koji
Nishi Yosuke as Watanabe Shinichiro

School, Romance, Drama

In Japan, most students take a set of entrance exams in order to apply for High School. Yoshino Nao accidentally shifts the answers on her answer sheet and ends up failing the entrance exam. One of the few schools willing to accept her is almost completely all male students. Yoshino begins her studies at the school and finds everything so unbearable.

“Asuko” is a technical school where students learn a practical trade, in this case metal work and construction. Yoshino finds the work difficult and dangerous but she begins to see underneath the seemingly “messed up” school. Her dream had always been to attend a normal high school, to date freely, to prepare for college exams, and to also have normal girl friends.

In a gripping story of love, camaraderie, and perseverance, not only does Yoshino change but so do the students around her in her homeroom class. When challenges arise in the lives of her classmates, she begins to understand more of the world at “Asuko.” Will Yoshino try to run away from this horrendous school or will she find new meaning in her life?

I was absolutely enthralled with this drama. It has been quite a long time since I have seen any Japanese drama that could catch my interest like “Asuko March!” did. The story was gripping. It had all the essential elements of a drama: humor, character development, a wide range of emotions, and also a great cast. As I got more into the drama I thought back to the drama Great Teacher Onizuka and felt that there were a few similarities.

The heroine Takei Emi brought out a wonderful performance as high schooler Yoshino Nao. She clearly creates a personality for herself and as the drama progresses we can see the dynamic changes to her character. She matures along her journey to discover her own place at Asuko and also along her journey in learning about her classmates. Her pure-hearted nature causes her to be the victim of bullying but also allows her to gain the trust and love of her classmates. I do admit that Takei Emi has one of the greatest smiles I have ever seen. It is very natural and clearly defines her emotions in particular scenes. We can tell when she is happy, forcibly having a smile, or even when she is embarrassed in front of the boy she loves.

All of the supporting cast were great. They helped to create the mood and pace of the whole drama and really pulled off a stunning performance. The main leads and classmates of Yoshino had really great chemistry with each other and also with the other supporting cast.

I am not a fan of comedy dramas, and at first I thought that this drama would head more in that direction, but boy was I wrong. There was a wide range of feeling to this drama. Scenes made me smile, brought tears to my eyes, or even a quick laugh. I felt sincerity from the drama and I felt that for the most part there was nothing too exaggerated or “cute” as we see in many Japanese dramas.

I highly recommend everyone to give this drama a chance. I learned a lot from watching the interaction between characters and I felt that the messages in this drama were very important in society. I believe that part of the purpose for this drama was to show the more accurate portrayal of the lives of students attending technical high schools.



Read Full Post »