torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
Title: Gokusen
Author: Morimoto Kozueko
Number of Volumes: 16
My Rating: 5/5

Summary: Yamaguchi Kumiko is the new teacher at an all-boys school full of delinquents, but what her students don't know is that she's no ordinary first-time teacher: she's the granddaughter of a local yakuza boss and is used to far worse than them. But she fears that she'll lose her job if people find out about her family, so she can't reveal her secret, which leads to all sorts of hijinks.

Review: Okay, this is just a hilarious and adorable series and immediately became one of my all-time favorites. I tried to watch the drama, too, but omg, it's horrible. Basically it took everything good about the manga, everything that made it unique, and turned it into just another story about a good teacher who turns a bad class around. (And apparently there are sequels where she goes to a different school each time and does the same thing.)

It really changes things when the rest of the school is normal, full of good students, etc. and only Yankumi's class is the bad class. For example, in the manga, when people report a high school boy is going around robbing old people and the cops and neighbors all immediately assume it's a Shirokin student, it's not just Yankumi's kids they're doubting, it's the whole school. And when Yankumi says my students may do this or that bad thing, but they would never rob an old person! and the other teachers say things like, well, but this is Shirokin, you never know, and she says, well, do you think one of your students would do it? and then each of the teachers says the same thing as her, basically, that while their kids are delinquents, they would never do that, it's a Moment. All the teachers are saying that while the school (deservedly) has a bad rep, they know their own students and their students would not do something like this. But when the other teachers in the drama say my kids would never do that, it's just snotty and mean. They know their kids are good, but they doubt Yankumi's kids. It gives the whole storyline a different vibe, and not in a good way.

I also hated how the drama changed her crush to being on a policeman rather than the family lawyer. Again, it totally changed things, introducing an unnecessary "omg I hate the cops but totally have a crush on one!" thing as opposed to her having a crush on someone who was "on their side", so to speak, and whom she'd grown up with.

Okay, so...this review is basically complaining about the drama? But unfortunately I actually read this manga almost a year ago and put off posting a review because I wanted to compare with the drama, and I disliked the drama, so I put off watching it, and then even after I decided to just ditch the rest of the episodes and not force myself to watch the whole thing, I had a backlog of other reviews I needed to write and this just kept getting pushed to the end of the queue. But this month my goal was to catch up on my manga reviews, so I was determined to write something, only to find I couldn't remember much of anything except this paragraph I'd already written ranting about the drama. *cries*

Anyway, it's just a really cute series and I highly recommend it. I have no idea whether the anime is similar to the manga or not, just avoid the drama at all costs.

While the anime has been released in the US, the manga has not. However, it has been completely scanlated.


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