KoKo Kyoshi is my first exposure to Japanese prime-time soap opera. After watching the whole ten hours of it, I must say that I like it in a guilty pleasure kinds of way. The story was well written, but it gets mushy from time-to-time, and the pace of it tend to drag on a bit longer than it is needed. The production value of this serial drama is quite good in comparison to American daytime drama. Unlike American soap operas that goes on forever, Japanese serial drama has a limited run on TV for about two months, more like a very long mini-series. The show was shot on video on locations in and around Tokyo and its suburbs.
The story is of concerns of one seventeen years old Hina Machida and her friend, Beniko Kudo during their 11th grade term at their girls high school. Hina is the shy, introverted one, while Beni is outgoing and loud. At the start of the school term one night Hina met a young man called Ikumi Koga, who she liked and somehow ended up spending a night with him. The next day, she happens to find out Ikumi is to be her new math teacher at her school. Like I said, this is teenage love, Japanese style.
Anyway as things got interesting, Beniko also fell for a guy called Yuji Kamiya, who was part-time host at a night club and a full-time pimp. He has plan for Beniko that is good for him but not for her. Not only that, Yuji had run-ins with the teachers at the school a year earlier which caused the death of a student. As Yuji sets his eyes on Beniko, both Hina and Ikumi can not seem to stay out each other's hairs, which could caused problem if their true feelings for each other were to make public. Oh yes, as this is a soap opera after all, Ikumi happens to be dying of a brain tumor, things only goes up hill, or rather, down hill after that. Along the way we get to see Hina somehow got tricked into believing that she is dying of brain tumor instead of Ikumi, the teachers at the school declared war on Yuji the pimp, and at the end, one of the teacher got killed in what I must say the longest death scene that I ever saw, and that's only covered a small amounts of goodies in this serial drama.
The storyline aside, if you are interested in the culture of Japanese teenage and what the education system of Japan is like, this film is for you. Other than that this serial drama is good to watch on a rainy day with a big bag of popcorn.
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