Like many, I was full of anticipation waiting for last week’s premiere of the new AKB48 dorama Majisuka Gakuen. Being ‘morning-challenged”, I set three alarms to make sure I woke up on time as the show would be airing at 7:12am local time. Too bad for me I misread the schedule and set them one day too early! I’d have to do it all again the next morning!
Nachu shares my feelings about getting up so early.
One more day, would it be worth the wait? I usually take anything I watch via Keyhole TV with a grain of salt. The sound and picture are mediocre at best. And on a good day I will have to stop and re-start the feed at least a couple times. On first viewing I enjoyed the show, although the lack of any plot development left me yearning for more. But that’s okay, obviously they are going to spend the first episode or two introducing the cast of characters, and there are quite a few. It’s difficult to speculate who will be the most prominent characters throughout the series, although we have an idea. The first episode focuses on two…
I didn’t notice it at first, but Maeda doesn’t say a word in the first episode until the end of the show. (Actually, one word as pointed out by WabukiSensei 🙂 ) Nachu’s part is sort of a “McGuffin” type of character. Two new students, one making a big entrance, the other flying below the radar. Nachu plays Onizuka with total camp and zeal. I am really happy she decided to take on this “unattractive” character, and she does an amazing job with it. Everything from the gravely voice to the “fat-suit” is great. But the best moment had to be her exchange with the school nurse (?). This guy may have been the creepiest part of the whole show.
In some ways Majisuka Gakuen reminds of the 70’s film classic “The Warriors”. I love all the little gangs, with their distinctive type of dress and habits. Team Hormone is a lot like their “Warriors” counterparts “The Rogues”, Sasshi’s character being like “Luther” Not nearly the toughest group of the bunch, but will probably be the instigators of a lot of crap. Sasshi does an amazing job of playing a sadist.
If I had to pick one girl who I thought did the best job in this episode, it would have to be Sashihara. I have a feeling “Yankii” might run in her blood. The looks on her face were so amazing.
The you have Rappappa (Warriors counterpart, The Grammercy Riffs). They are strongest gang of the school, led by Mariko (Masai) and Yuko (Cyrus). We haven’t seen too much action from them yet. That’s because they don’t have to bop their way around school…they own it! Keeping with “The Warriors” theme, that little gang of unknowns at the beginning represent “The Orphans” And who are the “Baseball Furies” you ask???
Aside from Nachu and Sasshi who are both great, here are some of my favorite members and their characters…
Komori Mika as “Mukuchi” I love the concept of her being a “mute” character, as that is kind of how I think of her anyway. She didn’t do anything particularly spectacular, but I just adore her! Come to think of it, she actually expressed herself very well!
Nito Moeno as “Bungy” I am pleasantly surprised to see cute little Moeno carrying this part. She’s kind of a wise-ass, and she pulls off the attitude nicely.
Tanabe Miku and Katayama Haruka (Jumbo and Showa) They haven’t been prominently featured yet. I always think of Tanamin as sort of “dorky”. So it was cool to see her play a tough girl. And one of best transformations so far…
That is Nakaya Sayaka, right? Wow! She looks amazing in that costume! Quite a departure from the adorable little maid she played in Infinity. I never in a million years would have thought Nakayan could pull off a “tough and intimidating”. Kudos to her!
Back to the show. The first episode was mainly character setup. Nachu is obviously going to be a pain in everyone’s ass. Team Hormone are trouble makers. And then you have Maeda, the girl with a split personality…
My guess is her motivations will continue to be revealed as the series progresses. Based on the scene that takes place at her home, she has a mild-mannered father and a hellraiser for a Mom who was suspiciously absent (dead? prison?) The other little plot point are those bracelets she is wearing. Takahashi Minami is reportedly playing an important “friend” from Maeda’s past. Could the bracelets have something to do with her? Are those friendship bracelets? Why is Maeda wearing both of them? Where is Minami now? Just a thought…Maeda’s motivation has something to do with Takamina. Is this a “revenge” mission? Now this is reminding of Death Wish. Acchan is Charles Bronson?
Anyway, Maeda doesn’t stay quiet for too long. Her “statement” being the annihilation of “Team Hormone”. Yes, there’s a new girl in town. Does Yuko-senpai and the rest of Rappappa have something to worry about?
I think they might. It’s going to be Yuko vs. Maeda in a no holds barred Battle Royale! Their Prom should be interesting. Oh yes, I am dying to see next week’s episode 🙂
CK in California