January 16, 2010

Have you ever thought that a certain teacher back during your schooling years sucks? Did you ever hate him/her because he/she was always failing or picking on you? How would you treat and react to all those? Well, I’m sure many of us would react differently if your teacher had a delinquent or gangster background! Yikes! No, I’m not talking about GTO here but something similar of that sort. Gokusen in particular.
Kumiko Yamaguchi may look your ordinary teacher but she is part of the yakuza, the Ooedo Group to be exact. Enough to send shivers down her students’ spine, doesn’t it? However this series isn’t about a teacher getting revenge on her students by unleashing her violent nature and taking it out on them. If only the world has more teachers like her. You mean a yakuza teacher? Tsk tsk tsk. Not that. Don’t jump to conclusions with just the little information you have at hand. You’ll see why this heir to the Ooedo Group deserves much more than those teachers who aren’t worthy of being called so.
As seen in episode 1, she is a newly transferred teacher to Shirokin Private High School. You can guess that this all-male school has a reputation of being a total bad ass delinquent because of all the profanity and graffiti on the wall. Enough to make a normal person turn away. She is one of the 2 new teachers recruited to this school, the other being the busty Shizuka Fujiyama. On their first day, they are being warned by the vice president (I’ll refer him as VP – note how he is always wearing a safety helmet! That serious, huh?) about how bad this school is. He also ticks off the short and bald Principal for hiring female teachers knowing the delinquent status of this school. But Principal’s thinking is that they’re still children and are seeking love. WTF?! Is he that delusional? At least he has hopes for them. Kumiko goes to her class but her students are disappointed because they are anticipating a busty teacher instead. They think she is slow and stupid seeing that she’s acting happy and enthusiastic. Because of that, they call her Yankumi. The class go about making a ruckus, doing their own business when a student, Shin Sawada comes in and tells his pals not to make any more trouble. They listen to him and Kumiko thinks he is the leader of this class. She then gives them a paper each to write down stuff they feel like in order to know them better but they crumple and throw it back at her. While she is writing on the blackboard, a student takes a pachinko and throws it at her. But her swift reflex catches it with her palm. She realizes what has happened and acts surprised. Shin notices that there is something about her.
Kumiko and Fujiyama head home as Kumiko’s dog, Fuji, comes by to walk her home (it’s wearing a sweater?), As the students talk bad about Kumiko, Shin tells them that she is no ordinary teacher. Kumiko goes home to her Ooedo Group and is greeted by her underlings. They go pray at her late parent’s altar. She says how she has accomplished her desire to be a teacher. A subordinate of hers, Kyoutarou Ooshima AKA Kyo, asks about her 1st day. She replies all the profanity the students hurled at her. They get upset and even suggest going to kill them! Kumiko of course disagrees because this will expose her background and get her fired. Furthermore, the Kumicho (yakuza boss), Ryuuichirou Kuroda (also Kumiko’s grandpa), says that they shouldn’t get careless for her sake and it must be hard as a woman to be a future yakuza boss. Though she says her mom hates this lifestyle, she liked it. Kumicho and his assistant Shinohara leaves and the latter tells her to do her best, causing her to blush. Well, she’s still a woman deep down. Because of that, her underlings, Minoru and Tetsu act out a disgusting mock love scene, so she beats them up.
At school, she enters class to see a superimposed picture of herself (nude body with big tits?!) on the blackboard. She acts slow so her students think she really is one. In the teacher’s room, when she finds out that 1 of Fujiyama’s student got involved in a fight, this prompts her to remember how she spot her own student, Teruo Kumai, looking worried and to meet someone behind the school gym. She rushes there to see him being beaten up by expelled senior Kudou and his underlings. One of them catches her as they continue to beat Kumai. Meanwhile Shin gets a call from his pals about Kumai’s case. Since Kumai isn’t fully knocked out, Kumiko knocks him out herself! Woah! Can she do that? You bet she just did. Then she proceeds to beat those guys up for touching her student. When Shin and gang arrive, they see Kumai semi-conscious but are puzzled to see Kudou and co stacked up too. They dismiss it could be Kumiko’s doing when Fuji shows up. The rest thinks the dog did it (on an unrelated note, now you have another reason other than eating your homework. Haha! Just kidding). However Shin thinks otherwise. Suddenly Fuji stands up on his 2 hind legs and put its paws on his leg. WTF?!
You’ll notice how Fuji has a voice of his own and even if he does not communicate in language with the humans around him, you can hear his thoughts regarding Kumiko or the kids or just about anything else. It’s really odd to see a yakuza dog taking on some humanoid features and habits. Have you ever seen a bulldog smoke? Uh huh. Weird. So in most episodes as Kumiko goes about in her teaching life, she has her sense of justice but since she hails from the yakuza, her rowdy behaviour sometimes get the better of her as she spews out yakuza terms and jargon which could expose her identity. Yeah, it’s hard to keep a normal behaviour when you have that kind of background. But thankfully, nobody here is that sharp. Maybe Shin…
In episode 2, because Minoru and Tetsu are fooling around, Kumiko does some training on them and easily overwhelms the duo as Fuji watches. In class, Shin is talking to his pals about Kudou’s beating when a fight occurs. But to their surprise, Kumiko is there as she supports and gives her comments on the fight! Till 1 of them takes out a penknife did Kumiko stop them and resume class. Shin tells Kumai to go chop her head while she is writing on the blackboard. He reluctantly does so but to his surprise, Kumiko didn’t evade and took the hit (she didn’t sense a killing intent). Shin decides to leave but she begs him to stay since tomorrow there is an assessment class whereby several teachers will be observing her class. Shin decides to stay but hatches a plan to the rest. In the teacher’s room, Fujiyama thinks of creating an all-male choir club and 1 of the boys she has in mind is Shin. Kumiko concludes she likes pretty boys. Kumiko goes home and wonders if Kyo has got her teacher’s clothes but to her horror, it’s some traditional kimono and a blade. She chides him as they’re not in an execution clan. What’s this? Fuji bringing in a gun too?! What are they thinking?
Next day before Kumiko enters class, Principal gives her words of encouragement. Before she steps in, she sees something wrong and tells Principal to stall the observers for 10 minutes. VP is seen contacting a shady person telling him how this will ruin the school’s reputation. He enters Kumiko’s class to see no on there. Kumiko rushes to the rooftop to see her students hanging out there. Sensing Shin is behind all this, she wants him to tell everyone to get back to class. He agrees on 1 condition: To have a 1 on 1 fight with him. She agrees to meet him at the riverbank after school. VP is upset that Principal is doing some weird show for the observers so he leads them himself to Kumiko’s class but to his shock, lessons are going on normally. After it’s over, at the teacher’s room, Kumiko learns from another teacher that Shin had good grades for his 1st year and the reason he came to this school was he beat up his homeroom teacher during middle school. Fujiyama comes in to wonder if Kumiko as asked Shin about joining her choir club.
At the riverbank, Shin waits while his buddies remember the time how their middle school homeroom teacher accused his student for stealing even if he was innocent. Shin stood up for him. When the culprit is revealed to be another student, the teacher refused to apologize and that’s when Shin beat him up. To their surprise, Kumiko has overheard this. She faces Shin and gets upset that he did the boycott for his selfish reasons just to see how she beat up Kudou. After some yakuza advice and not wanting to fight, she instead tells him to release his energy via joining the choir club. Not amused, Shin is going to start when a policeman spots them. Kumiko starts panicking and thinks this is a setup and runs away. Yakuza and police are like water and oil, you know. Shin and co also follow. They notice how fast she is running and why a teacher is running away from the police. Fuji spots the police chasing them and manages to give Kumiko and the rest time to escape when he grabs on to the policeman’s leg causing him to trip. Shin senses something different about her and is determined to find out what it is.
In episode 3, Kumiko is upset while marking her student’ maths paper because they have just scribbles on them. She then gets a call from an old friend Yasue. A hostess of Yasue’s club, Sayuri is trying to get rid of drunken guys but they got violent to the extent of hitting her with a bottle. But before he could do so, Kumiko arrives in time to stop them. She tells Tetsu and Fuji to ‘teach them some manners’. In the aftermath, Kumiko chats with them and finds out how Yasue picked up Sayuri during tough times. Kumiko finds Sayuri’s face familiar. Next day in class, Kumiko returns the test papers and Shin scored the highest: 98 marks! Maybe that’s why he’s got the brains to be the leader. She then suggests a remedial class for those who failed. The class is upset especially Youichi Minami so he tells her off how they aren’t going to top universities or take up low jobs. Even if they can’t they’ll be thugs. Kumiko chides him off yakuza style that even so he’ll be weak. She realizes she almost expose her identity and quickly returns the papers. In the teacher’s room, Kumiko tells Fujiyama about her remedial class but VP isn’t confident due to this school’s reputation. As everyone goes home, they notice Kumiko waiting in class so they ignore her.
When she leaves at the end, she is surprised to see Sayuri looking for her. She grabs her before she could expose her yakuza identity. A Shin’s buddy, Takeshi Noda, informs Kumai that his mom has been taken away by Kumiko. Then Kumiko learns she is Kumai’s mom and that she is here to pay her son’s tuition fees. They chat when Shin comes by and wonder what they’re doing. Sayuri tries to cover for Kumiko without getting her exposed when Kumai comes running by and thinks Kumiko has called her mom because he skipped remedial class. Sayuri knocks his head and corrects him that Kumiko is her life saver. But the kids think she isn’t capable of that so before anymore unwanted accidental exposures, Sayuri tells them to get back to class and study. But Shin knows that Kumiko did it. Next day, everyone continues to ignore Kumiko’s remedial class. Shin passes by to tell her how nobody will turn up. He even quips how this class has a lower turnout rate than the choir club whom she once again asks him to join. Kumai comes home to see his mom upset about remedial class and wants him to tell the truth. He realizes Kumiko didn’t rat on him but got beaten up anyway. Next day as everyone continues to go home, Kumai decides to go sit for remedial class, much to Minami’s dismay. Soon those who failed decide to do so and pissed Minami too attends so as not to lose face. Though Kumiko is happy that they turn up, however everyone is just bumming around not listening. Back home as Fuji narrates how her work has paid off, he hears Kumiko’s scream because the maths papers she is marking still has those scribble and that remedial class was pointless. They never learn, eh?
In episode 4, Kumiko is upset that Fuji and Minoru got arrested for theft while doing their night rounds even if they’re innocent. Thankfully Shinohara has secured their release since there is no proof. She is grateful and invites him to a drink but he has matters to attend to and leaves. Minoru and Tetsu act out a lovey-dovey scene again so Kumiko beats them up. Next day in school. Kumiko finds several warning posters of a thief posted on the school walls. In teacher’s room, they’re discussing how the posters make it look like the accused is from this school in which VP hints it is because all incidents have been near the school. A pair of police detectives then comes in so Kumiko hides under her table. Principal says how the latest theft involved an elderly lady who got injured because she was being hit and her purse stolen. The teachers think that their students couldn’t be the culprit because they won’t physically hurt people. Kumiko is happy that they think positively of their students so she too thinks that hers aren’t that bad. But as she enters class, she sees Noda with a purse and instantly gets angry, taking him by his collar. She learns that it was his sister’s purse which somehow dropped into his bag. Though she is embarrassed, Minami isn’t happy because he thinks she suspected them as a thief, just like everyone else. She feels guilty and apologizes. Later at the rooftop as Shin is absent, Minami hatches a plan with the rest.
That night, Minami and Noda got caught in an alley but the police for being the thief suspect. Plus, the image of the warning poster resembles closely to Noda. Haruhiko Uchiyama spots this, calls Shin and then Kumiko. She rushes over to the police station to learn that they were trying to catch the real thief. She talks to the officer to get them released but because he too doubts them, Kumiko is upset and nearly displayed her yakuza rowdiness but is restrained by Shin and Uchiyama. The duo are released since there is no evidence. Outside, VP comes by and thinks they are the culprits. Kumiko is pissed off with him accusing them without proof because he wants to have a meeting tomorrow to expel them. The guys are amazed when Kumiko stood up for them as VP leaves. She is determined to find the real thief at all cost. She goes visit Yasue for a favour. When she regroups with the rest, the gang find her wearing a blonde wig and also borrowed an expensive handbag. She intends to be the bait to lure the thief out. Will it work? One way to find out. As she walks around, the guys watch from afar but decide to take a break. During her rounds, she encounters a flasher before hearing a scream. She rushes over to see the real thief stealing a lady’s purse and fleeing via bicycle. She gives chase but luckily Fuji who was watching her from the shadows, intercepted the bicycle. Kumiko catches him and calls for help. The guys come rushing to help her. She tries to make it as though she’s the one in a bind when in actual fact the thief is the one with his hands caught. Roles reversed. The guys pound on him till he’s unconscious. Shin notes how her acting was lame. They unmasked the thief and are sure that he isn’t from their school because he’s an elderly guy. Next day, Principal and the teachers are happy their name is cleared but VP isn’t as he throws the newspaper away. But the other guys aren’t happy about Uchiyama because he’s got his face in the newspaper and gotten himself some interview proclaiming to be the leader of the group. Who could resist that?
In episode 5, Kumiko gets a call and learns Kumicho has been hospitalized. She rushes to hospital and into the arms of Shinohara (on purpose). Kumicho’s condition isn’t serious and should be okay in 2-3 weeks. Minoru and Tetsu drank till they’re drunk to relief themselves at Yasue’s bar till they pass out. Nearby, a couple of yakuza claiming to be from Ooedo Group beats up a Kakita Group yakuza member. In school, Kumiko gets warning from Shin that Kudou has joined the Nekomata Group and to be careful if he ever intends to take revenge. Back home, Kumiko’s uncle and Kumicho’s brother-in-law, Tenkai, visits them to inform about how there’s a war cry from Kakita against Ooedo. Furthermore, the injured member claimed it was from Ooedo. Tenkai takes out a necklace which belongs to their group. When Minoru recognizes it is his, Kouzou Wakamatsu grabs Tetsu and Minoru by the throat demanding what they had done. However they proclaim their innocence so Kumiko thinks they have been set up. Tenkai says there’ll be a meeting over this and will be overseer by Tanukibara-kaichou (chairman on yakuza group). Since Kumicho is out, Kumiko volunteers to be the rep. Tenkai also suggests to bring Minoru and Tetsu along so that the other party will listen.
That night as they depart, Kumiko puts on make-up and dress in her traditional kimono. She punches Minoru and Tetsu out. Kyo notes she has no intention of taking them along in the first place. In the car, Kyo remembers the past how Kumicho introduced Kumiko to him and how he thought her how to fight. Minoru and Tetsu are tied up back home and also remember how they first met Kumiko. They were doing some bad stuff around Ooedo’s territory. After learning their family abandoned them, Kumiko took them in and treated them like her brothers. She even told them to go to school. When Tetsu said how his teacher told him not to come till graduation day, after that day, Kumiko confronted him and beat him up! Shin and co are hanging near Kakita’s area when Kumiko arrives. She is surprised to see them but they don’t recognize her. Tenkai is already in discussion when Kumiko makes her entrance. Kakita rep gets mad when Kumiko says she didn’t bring the duo. He starts getting rowdy but powerful Tanukibara-kaichou tells him to shut up. He then asks if she is willing to take responsibility and her reply is when that time comes, it comes. He then gives out a heartily laugh and finds it interesting. He agrees to broker a peace deal but Kakita rep isn’t happy so Tanukibara-kaichou chides him that they aren’t living in that era anymore. Kumiko is grateful. As they leave, Kyo tells Kumiko that they have been informed the real culprit impersonated as an Ooedo member is from Nekomata. Minoru and Tetsu come rushing to see if Kumiko is alright (earlier they broke free from Fuji’s watch and tied him up). They also apologize. Then Shinohara rushes in as he wonders if Kumiko is alright but couldn’t recognize her. When he realizes it, he laughs out loud and thinks she has put too much make-up. Oh the heartbreak…
In episode 6, while Shin is pondering Kumiko’s real identity, he notices his classmate Kubo being bullied by 3 seniors. He confronts them but they attack him. Though Shin fights back, a masked wrestler beats the crap out of the bullies. Shin knows she’s Kumiko but she acts blur and leaves. While taking a breather, she almost got exposed to VP who wonders what she’s doing. Kumai is lifting Shin back home when they spot a black car with 2 guys waiting (Minoru and Wakamatsu). They then see Kumiko secretly jumping over the school wall and quickly into the car. Shin decides to follow them. At the hospital, Kyo is trying to persuade Kumicho not to leave the hospital yet. Kumiko arrives and learns that Kumicho has learned about the Nekomata’s case and is worried. Kumiko thought he had left the group’s matters to her but he is concerned if the school finds out and got her fired, it would affect her teaching dream. Kumiko assures him and Kyo commits to protect her dream so Kumicho leaves it to them. Shin and Kumai are watching from afar. That night, Shin and Kumai follow them back to Ooedo house and conclude this is a yakuza’s spot. Shin infiltrates to find out more but is spotted by Fuji. Tetsu then brings them in but the ruckus has Kumiko already spotted them from her window. She is surprised to see them here.
Wakamatsu, Tetsu and Minoru are interrogating them. Shin is unfazed while Kumai feels scared. Kumiko then appears and tells them they are her students. Just as she’s about to reveal herself, Kyo comes in and pretends to get rough on her. Yeah, he does some mocking slap to her face as Kumiko plays along. He cooks up a story about her debts owed. Kumiko and the rest note that Kyo is doing this to protect her identity but it’s so lame (even crying!) that she thinks her students won’t fall for it. Well, only Kumai did. Kyo lets them go in the end. On their way out, Kumai misinterprets and thinks her dad has left her with a debt just like his own. As Kumai goes get his scooter, Shin tells Kumiko that he knows that the lady in make-up and Kimono then was her. After they leave, Kumiko goes back to see Kyo trying to kill himself for raising his hands towards her but is being restrained by the rest. Kumiko thanks him and for everyone to quit acting already. Next day, Kumiko goes to school early to see Shin waiting. He says he will keep quiet if she tells him why she became a teacher. She answers about Minoru and Tetsu’s case how they were kicked out of school and thought it would be nice if there was at least a teacher who didn’t kick kids like that out. Shin promises not to tell anyone. Plus, he thinks school will be boring if she was fired. Later Kumiko sees Kumai, Minami and Noda hanging around recess and soon it is class time when her stomach growls. Minami and Noda teases her so Kumai secretly passes his bread to her, thinking she is skipping meals to save money for her debt. Kumiko feels sorry for fooling him and thinks how kind everyone is.
Kumiko is surprised to learn that Fujiyama has successfully recruited 4 boys for her choir club in episode 7. And they’re all good looking. Yeah, they’re singing in falsetto voice too. Principal tells Kumiko that he didn’t hire both ladies for their good looks or fair skin. Kumiko walks with Fujiyama on their way out school when they see a student, Ichikawa, with a bruise on his cheek. Fujiyama calls him to join the choir club but he runs away. Later Uchiyama, Noda and Minami see a poster of Fujiyama trying to recruit members for her club (she drew her own boobs big!). They speak several nasty and perverted rumours about her so Kumiko chases them away. However Fujiyama says 1 of the rumours is true but will not say which. Kumiko notices a bully going to do a painful wrestling move on Ichikawa so she does 1 on him first, citing wrestling reasons. That guy leaves with Ichikawa. Kumiko goes talk to Fujiyama about Ichikawa’s case but the latter says he rarely talks to her no matter how much she asked. Meanwhile Ichikawa is doing errands for the bullies. They tell him to ‘bring’ the latest released game to their house tonight. Ichikawa is trying to steal a game from the store but Fujiyama stops him in time, offers to buy it for him and requests to talk things out at her home but he runs away instead. She gives chase but lost him after she tripped.
Fujiyama is having a meal with Kumiko and Fuji. She tells of her past how when she was a rookie teacher, a student of hers tried to commit suicide. She noticed the good looking student always in a company of some guys and always being teased. She never suspected anything because he was always smiling. Then he took pills to kill himself but luckily was rushed to hospital in time. His parents blamed the school and especially her for not noticing. Fujiyama soon quit and wandered around southern Japan. She realized she wanted to continue teaching as she felt she could take on anything and don’t want that to ever happen again. Fuji notes how she has a big heart in addition to big boobs. Kumiko is having lots on her mind in class about Fujiyama’s past and Principal’s words so she decided to cancel class to have a football match. They are against it but she says it’s that or a maths test. As they are playing, they spot Ichikawa on the rooftop preparing to jump down. Since he isn’t listening, Fujiyama says to jump and she will try to catch him with her boobs! I know they’re big but not THAT big! Well, she did say it’s better than doing nothing. Kumiko tells her to keep talking while she runs up the building. Just when Ichikawa decides to climb back in, he slips. Luckily Kumiko reaches in time to grab his hand. However, her hand couldn’t reach the railing which means she is falling too! Thankfully Shin arrives to grab her hand and the other students follow and pull them up. Ichikawa and Fujiyama emotionally embrace. In the end, Ichikawa joins her choir club. But she has 4 seniors who request joining her club. They are from Big Boobs Lover Group and they look ugly. Fujiyama is so horrified.
Kumiko and Fujiyama are thrilled about the school’s upcoming field trip to Okinawa in episode 8. But the male teachers cautioned them how the last time it ended in lots of trouble. When they arrive in Okinawa, trouble brews when Uchiyama gets into a verbal spat with the local Habu Gang leader, Amuro. Kumiko breaks them up but Amuro isn’t pleased and tells her to f*ck off! Kumiko reiterates and this time he saw her scary aura so he and his gang back off. At sightseeing stops, the teachers are contemplating of skipping each one because they have potential for trouble. A group of pretty school girls and nasty brats. Trouble indeed. This upsets them so Shin devises a plan. On the next stop, Shin and co make Kumiko ‘it’ and plays tag. The teachers have a hard time catching them. The repeat this at every stop. When everyone retires at a hotel, the teachers patrol and stakeout at points to prevent them from leaving. Then late at night because Kumiko has been chasing all day long, she fell asleep. This is part of Shin’s plan as he and the rest easily sneak out to town. Fujiyama then brings Kumiko back to their room to sleep.
Kumiko wakes up in the middle of the night to find Shin on top of her. She gets furious and thinks he is planning to do something funny. Fujiyama wakes up from all that ruckus and misinterprets. She supports them and plans to give them some time alone. However Shin says something has happened to Uchiyama (he isn’t with the rest). Shin says while he was asking a girl for directions, they nearly for into a fight with a local gang. The flee but Uchiyama got separated in the process. Attempts to call his handphone failed. Kumiko and Shin go out to look for him as he leads her to the spot of the fight. They see the same bunch of gang so Kumiko proceeds to talk to them. They made jokes like how he’s dead so she isn’t amused and slaps 1 of them. Not amused, they all fight back but she slaps them all till their cheeks are swollen and crying! Beaten by a woman? Shameful. They told them how they chased Uchiyama but lost him. As they continue to search, they spot Amuro running by and telling his members how Uchi got kidnapped. Upset Kumiko threatens him for details. He says how the Mongoose Gang has threatened to kill him unless they give up. Then everyone including Kumiko gets hyped up to save him but Shin wonders why they are so eager to go save someone they hardly know.
At the harbour, they confront the Mongoose boss and soon realize it’s a trap as they’re being surrounded. Kumiko steps in and demands for Uchi’s release and is willing to bet her life on it. The Mongoose boss acts tough but after seeing her dragon aura (and how it easily discards his useless cowardly mongoose one!), he gets scared, blames it on his subordinates and runs away! Some kind of boss. His subordinates are surprised and also run away. They then find Uchi in the nearby warehouse but to Kumiko’s despair, he isn’t the Uchi she’s looking for. Yeah, he is Uchida. However Amuro is grateful and will help in her search. Meanwhile Uchiyama is seen lost in the streets wondering if the chasing pack is gone. Amuro comes by in his bike and tells him to get on. Uchiyama is suspicious at first but he tells him Kumiko is their saviour and that she’s a good person and someone they’ll never find as amazing as her. Back at the harbour, Amuro’s other members brought back their so called versions of Uchiyama (based on Kumiko’s description on him earlier on). Soon Amuro comes back with Uchiyama and everyone thought there’s going to be an emotional reunion but Kumiko becomes enraged and starts slapping his cheeks till they’re swollen. Boo hoo! When Kumiko returns to her Ooedo home, she has keychain Shisas (those lion statues) for everyone but a very huge one for Kumicho and Shinohara.
For the cultural festival in episode 9, Kumiko tells her class they’ll be doing a host club as this is a chance for them to make friends with girls. A male teacher says how seniors and juniors don’t get along citing Kudou’s case. Also, a suspended senior, Ichirou Tsuruta, is coming back for the festival because he wanted it and Principal allowed so. Kumiko is outside the building when he sees Minami taking on big sized Tsuruta. Everyone else is watching and realizes he is back. Minami is scared but tries to act tough. He even pretends to drink Noda’s oolong tea and did drunken fist and hit Tsuruta when he is offguard but that didn’t amount to anything. Tsuruta didn’t want to beat him up because he’s weak so the seniors lied by saying how Minami said bad about his face. As Tsuruta prepares to give Minami a kick, Kumiko notices Tsuruta backed down before his kick connected, though Minami is like flying and taking the impact of it all and then faints. During the festival, the host club isn’t drawing in the girls and scaring them away because of their menacing face. Even if Kumiko coaches them, nothing changes. Minami then tells Shin that the rest will go ‘advertise’ for more customers. Kumiko follows them and eavesdrop on their plan to ambush Tsuruta and the seniors. Tsuruta is making yakisoba for his class when a classmate informs they’ve got a challenge letter from the juniors. In their rage, they all rush out, spilling Tsuruta’s yakisoba. Fuji is visiting the fair and has a taste of his yakisoba and finds it delicious. Tsuruta feels happy and Kumiko observing from afar notes how he’s different from the other seniors. Principal and VP are visiting the empty host club and since Kumiko doesn’t want them to find out where the rest has gone to, she leaves them in Shin’s care while she goes to look for them.
The seniors have gathered near a bridge but the juniors are no-show. When Tsuruta turns up, he spots a yakisoba nearby. As he proceeds to pick it up, the ground caves in. It’s a trap by the juniors to immobilize Tsuruta. With him trapped, they all come out of their hiding and they all start fighting. Kumiko watches them all. Once it’s over and everyone gone, Kumiko lends her hand to get Tsuruta out of the hole. She talks to him and knows he doesn’t want to hurt the weak but he believes that the losers must obey the winners and thus the reason he has to keep going. However she says that she is the only person stronger that him in school and challenges him to a duel. She even says she’ll beat him with 2 fingers. Though Tsuruta says he doesn’t hit girls, Kumiko makes fun of his face and in his rage, he starts attacking but ultimately lost when she stuck both her fingers up his nose (it’s bleeding!). Because of that, she wants him to obey what she says. That is, to stop hitting people even if he’s asked to because truly strong people don’t show their power and to study more. Tsuruta wonders if the festival is over so Kumiko thinks he could help out with their host club. When Minami and co come back, they are shocked to see girls flocking around Tsuruta’s yakisoba stand in their host club. It’s a real crowd puller as he becomes their number 1 host. Say, where have those guys been after their fight ended in the draw?
A group of cat mask people is seen beating up a student in episode 10. Uchiyama and co are discussing how another of their classmate have been beaten up. That night, a scared student pays a hefty sum for a cat badge. He gets mocked by his pals but the cat mask gang appear and beat them up. Only the one with the cat badge is unscathed. As Kumiko walks to the teacher’s room, she notices lots of students wearing the cat badge. She learns from the other teachers’ discussion that students are resorting to stealing money from their parents to buy those badges since they aren’t cheap: 10,000 Yen! Later Kumiko learns from Shin that someone is selling them behind the train station and notes that place is Tenkai’s territory. She goes to see him and tells of the current situation but he is unaware of it all. Kumiko requests to do an investigation. But when she leaves the area, VP sees her and is suspicious. He decides to investigate. Kumiko goes to wait the train station but nothing happened. Till Shin shows up and says he thinks some punks are secretly selling stuff to students on another group’s territory and that his school is being targeted. Thus he is here to be the bait, though Kumiko protests. True enough, Shin meets a couple of punks who tell him to bring money at a certain place in exchange for the badge or else. After that, Kumiko tells Shin not to get involve anymore.
The punks return to Nekomata’s place. The boss is happy with the badge sales and one the cat mask people is Kudou. He is laughing because his plan against his ex-school is going well. It isn’t long before Kumiko barges in. Kudou recognizes her but those who aren’t familiar with her powers, gets beaten up. Even if they had knives in hand, they still can’t touch her. Useless. Suddenly a henchman comes in with Shin in his grasp (he was ambushed while wandering around the area). Kumiko has no choice but to back down so the punks take turn punching her. Shin is upset Kudou is behind this and tells Kumiko not to care about him but she took the blows anyway. In Shin’s struggle, he almost break free but gets pinned down. The henchman is going to beat him up when Minoru, Tetsu and Fuji come in. It seems Tenkai called them and with Fuji’s nose, they get to find where Kumiko is. The punks are scared so the Ooedo guys bashes them up as Kumiko warns them never to lay a finger on her students. Kudou manages to escape but Fuji gives chase. However that dog tires out. Pathetic! A human outrunning a dog? That dog has got to shape up. When Kumiko gives Shin a ride home, she warns him never to get involve in her private affairs. Next day in class, Kumiko notices Shin is absent.
Kumiko learns from Principal that Shin’s dad, Sawada, has given him a letter to quit school in episode 11. She tells him to hang on to that letter while she goes to investigate. Shin’s buddies are also worried since Shin didn’t tell them himself. Kumiko and Shin’s pals decide to go to his house and see him. On their way, she learns how Shin may have got into a fight with his parents since they were against his decision to enrol in Shirokin. Kumai says his dad is scary because he is the chief police officer. Kumiko panics and tries to back out but bumps into Sawada. He tells them it is useless to go see him so Kumiko negotiates and he allows only her to see him for 5 minutes. Shin is confined and heavily guarded in his room. The reason is that his elder brother, an honour student, suddenly dropped out of college and disappeared. He was to replace his dad’s position. This means with his disappearance, Shin is seen as his replacement. Kumiko gives him a maths test for him to do. Once she leaves, she has a chat with the rest. They want to go save him but she tells them to give up as they might get arrested. But the guys are adamant. That night, Kumiko gets a call from the police. At the station, she sees the quartet and even Tsuruta, all a little bruised. The officer says that they will not be charged for property damage and will be let off with an official warning. Kumiko is upset with them but Kumai gives her Shin’s maths test. She understood and tells them to go home.
That night, Kyo knows that she is going to war along and finds out the whole thing. She is willing to risk her teaching career just to save him. Kyo also wants to help though Kumiko says he is obvious as a yakuza and a screw up could cause trouble for the group. So Kyo plans to take full responsibility if Kumiko gets caught and some dramatic emotional drama of him severing ties with the group while Tetsu, Minoru and Fuji shed dramatic tears. *Rolling eyes*. Kumiko and Kyo bust in and lightly beat up several bodyguards to kidnap Shin. When the guards report to Sawada, he didn’t give chase as he has an idea who the culprit is. Next day, Sawada and his police entourage arrive at Ooedo’s home. He knows his son is here and that Kumiko is part of the yakuza. She is prepared for her identity to be exposed. But when he says he can find a reason to destroy the group and even Kumicho, she can’t let that slip by and tells him how her grandpa is a better person than him even he’s a yakuza. Unlike him, her grandpa didn’t force his children to lead a certain lifestyle. Kumicho then comes out to talk to the police but since Sawada is still persistent, he dares him to do what he wants but he leaves. Everyone is in awe/fear of his commanding aura. Sawada agrees and will return once he has evidence. Shin then steps out and begs that he graduates from this school. He also mentions how he picked this school just to get on his nerve and initially thought this school was for pathetic losers but he soon realized the importance of this place because of his friends and teachers. He was also jealous of his brother and worked hard to impress him but now is a man of his own and can decide for himself. When Sawada leaves, Shin apologizes to Kumiko and Kumicho. She gives him back his test paper in which he scored perfect.
Kumiko is running late for school in episode 12 and sees Principal coming late too. But to her surprise he is too tall! She learns that he is Principal’s older brother and this school’s chairman. Chairman is planning to close this school down though Principal is against it. Because Chairman thinks this school has only scums, Kumiko challenges him to a bet that if they get to be number 1 in Japan, the school will not be closed down. He is reluctant but since she puts on a scary face, he agrees to do up a contract and stick by it. Later the other teachers get to know of this and that they have only 2 weeks to do so. Furthermore, they have to be best in either academics or sports. They all get hyped up and start training their students under their specialty. Kumiko finds that her own class isn’t interested because they think they’ll graduate by the time the school closes down and that they don’t want to have any memories of this place. Later she learns from Shin that Chairman’s reason for closing the school down is to build a new company on this site. The deal has already been sealed and this was just an excuse. Plus, Shin mentions the only thing his class is good at is street fighting but Kumiko wants to play by the contract rules. On her way home, she sees a Mexican guy, Carlos, begging for the umpteenth time to Minoru and Tetsu to join their group. When he says his talent is boxing, Kumiko gets an idea. Next day, she forms a boxing club and makes Shin the captain and the rest members. Their coach is Carlos. Kumiko says that the National High School Boxing Tournament has ended and since they are short on time, she will arrange a match with its winners: Yabuki High School. However she got turned down but will try again. In the meantime, she wants them to train so Carlos unleashes unconventional training methods in this crash course.
Kumiko fails in yet another attempt to get a match as Yabuki’s coach isn’t giving a sh*t about them and tells her they’re going on a training stint with a university team. The other teachers come back with their own failures (like the judges were laughing at Fujiyama’s choir club during the tournament and she won the unique character award only). With 1 day left, Kumiko takes desperate measures and tells Shin and the rest to pack their bags as they’re going to ‘invade’. Yabuki’s boxing team arrive at the university only to find Kumiko and her students waiting for her. It seems they’ve knocked out the university team and took their place. No choice but to fight them. Minami and Noda instantly lost their matches while Uchiyama after several pounding, wins after he slips on his blood to knock down both his opponent and referee. Yabuki coach isn’t happy but because of Kumiko’s rowdiness, he gives in. Then it’s Shin’s turn and because the referee is still groggy, he beats his opponent kickboxing style and wins. The final match has Kumai pitted against Yabuki’s oversized foreigner named Bison. Kumiko tells Shin to take everyone else out. It seems she is going to take over Kumai’s place. She beats Bison with her agility. Next day, Chairman is shocked to see Shirokin beat Yabuki but thinks it’s an informal match. However Principal puts his foot down and tells him off that they have beaten the best and to stick with the contract. Chairman has no choice and VP is sad because he lost his position as director of that new building. On his way out, he spots Carlos thanking Kumiko when she says he’ll be able to become part of Ooedo.
In episode 13, Kumiko catches her cold so her Ooedo underlings over react like it is some big deal but when Shinohara comes by, Kumiko sure puts up an act that she’s sick. VP then snaps a picture of her entering her home and even tells his intention of letting the Board of Directors know about this. However Kumiko is unfazed. Also, Kudou is watching from afar. Next day, Chairman congratulates VP as they can use this info to close the school. However to their dismay, Principal tells them Kumiko has hand in her resignation letter. The duo are upset as this would lessen the impact since she’s a step ahead of them. Soon word spreads to Kumiko’s students as they confront her outside the school gates (except Shin and Kumai as they are absent). They wonder why she resigned so she lied and said she is sick of them. She proceeds to mock they have no balls to hit her and the scum they are. Everyone gets worked up and starts attacking her but Kumiko beats them all. She goes off when Kudou and her underlings appear before her. They want her to come with them but Kumiko resisted. However her cold worsens a little so she collapses as they carry her into their car. Kumai is passing in his scooter and spots this and calls Shin. The duo tail them to a warehouse. Shin tells reluctant Kumai to go and tell the Ooedo family about this. Kudou then goes off to see the Nekomata boss and leaving a henchman to guard her. But this single guy is a tough nut to crack and Shin has a hard time before really putting him out of commission.
Scared Kumai goes back to inform Minami and the rest to go save Kumiko but they aren’t interested, seeing what has just happened. No amount of words could change their mind so Kumai goes off himself. After some time thinking and reflecting back, they are contemplating on rescuing her and that’s when Principal comes in and says Kumiko won’t give up that easily and tears her resignation letter. Meanwhile the Nekomata boss is upset to learn what Kudou has done and reprimands him. That’s because they’re dealing with the influential Ooedo Group and any word from the powerful Kumicho could send them all to their doom and destroy the group. He thinks of getting rid of Kumiko and leave no trace. Weakened Shin tries to carry Kumiko out but Shin and the other Nekomata members have arrive. Kudou is going to slice Shin with his knife but Kumiko instantly gets up and holds him off. Before things could turn into Nekomata’s favour, all of Kumiko’s other students arrive and a free-for-all starts. The Nekomata boss tries to escape but sees Kumicho and the other Ooedo. No escape. VP is going to snap another picture of the ruckus in hopes of getting a scandal but Kyo gives a scary death threat. In the end when Kudou and the Nekomata gang are beaten flat, everyone learns the truth about Kumiko. She too learns her resignation has been rejected. Shinohara comes by to see if Kumiko is alright but Shin goes up to him and says he arrived too late. For once, Kumiko didn’t go lovey-dovey over him as she and the rest follow Shin out. Kumiko then suggests a race back to class to take some test, which has everybody rushing back. The teachers and Principal are happy to know things turned out alright.
I guess it’s pretty okay the way things turned out for Kumiko and her students. The school won’t be closed down, Kumiko gets to continue her teaching dream and her students get to have their favourite teacher back. See how she can change a bunch of delinquents? Even if their attitude still stinks but overall, I feel that they are much better from who they are at the start of the series. It’s like she’s like their angelic saviour, in the form of a yakuza. It was pretty amusing to see Kumiko sometimes unleashing her yakuza style of teaching upon her students but I guess you can’t win them over with sugary coated nice words. If there were more teachers like her in this real world (talking about her principals lah). Principal is also an understanding guy. He may be short in stature and a little odd in his behaviour but he sure isn’t when it comes to the affairs of his students and teachers. I’m glad that the teachers of Shirokin are equally concerned about their students’ welfare.
I wonder if the other threats that would expose her identity be permanently removed. Like VP will be keeping his mouth shut if he’s not willing to risk his life. Such a chicken. The same case for Kudou and the Nekomata Group now that they have taste the true and fearful powers of the Ooedo Group. It is one painful lesson they’ll never forget. What about Shin’s dad? As long as they don’t do any serious crime, maybe he’ll close an eye. Shinohara’s character truly puzzles me. I noticed that every time when he makes his appearance, he is like rushing from somewhere. Hope he isn’t some double spy. But too bad, no actual romance between him and Kumiko.
I’m not sure if this series is to make viewers have a different view of the yakuza. A good yakuza? Maybe. But what I mean is, generally we know them as ruthless thugs and gangsters and it is true like many organized mobs like the mafia in Italy, run their own giant business. Whether their trade is legal or not is another different story. In this series, the Ooeda yakuza (including Fuji) are sometimes like one emotional dramatic lot. Notice the several times when they get poetic about their pride, ties and such, the rest would be crying and trying to hold back their tears. And I do find it real funny when that happens. Are they really the tough yakuza they’re supposed to be? Well, even so, this proves that they are still human after all. And remember, being a yakuza should not be on one’s what-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up list.
One thing I want to note about the drawing and art of this series. Well, I have a feeling that many of the characters here look ‘ugly’ so as to give that frightening look especially if you’re talking about delinquents and yakuza but even the girls here look ugly! Even Kumiko just looks so-so (please don’t kill me!). Another amusing thing is somewhere at the end of the opening credits animation, everyone from the students to yakuza and even Principal and Fuji are seen jogging together. Hey everybody! Let’s all have a round of healthy exercise! Cast away your differences and make a run for healthy living! Haha! Every time I see this, it never ceases to make me smile. This series is quite popular enough to have spawned 3 seasons of live action TV drama with the recent season just concluding in early 2009. I’m pretty sure it’s about the same storyline too but of course there are some differences between the manga, anime and TV drama.
So it doesn’t matter if your background isn’t desirable, whether you’re a gangster or an AIDS victim, the important thing here is the heart. Yup, never judge a book by its cover. The next time you decide to badmouth your teacher or even disrespect that noble profession which builds leaders for tomorrow, think twice and look in the mirror real hard. Your teacher could be a secret CIA agent or a king of some tiny Pacific kingdom in disguise or even an alien! I know that there are some teachers who are undedicated and couldn’t give a damn about their students but in any profession, there are bound to be black sheep. So are you still thinking your teacher is a dumb and slow person? Well, if you were that smart, you wouldn’t be in school in the first place, right?

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