Gakkou ja Oshierarenai!
(Something the School Cannot Teach!)
Genre: School, Comedy, Romance
Air Dates: Every Tuesdays @ 10:00 pm, 07.15.2008 – 09.16.2008
Starring: Kyoko Fukada, Shosuke Tanihara, Ran Ito, Aoi Nakamura, Aki Asakura (and others…)
More Info: D-Addicts Wiki
[SIDENOTE] This is my first Japanese TV drama (or J-dorama as most foreign fans would call it… I just simply call it J-drama) review I’m posting up here in my site. Just to let everyone know that the reviews I’m posting are not in particular order. I’m not a “new fan,” so to speak, but a returning fan who decided to write what I think of the stories I’ve watched. The dramas I’m reviewing are not in any particular order since I just started today and watched these awhile ago, just a sidenote.
An exclusive private all-girls high school recently became an integrated school, meaning boys are now allowed admission to the school due to low enrollment, which can threaten the school to close. As a test run, the school admitted five boys to first year level. In the meantime, an enthusiastic 3rd-year English teacher named Mai Aida decided to open a Social Dance Club in order to help the boys adjust to their new school life and included five other girls who did not join any other school clubs to complete the club’s first run.
Through peer pressure, adolescence, experiencing issues many high school kids face, as well as facing major traditionalism among the staff and the rest of the student body, the ten students and the teacher in the Social Dance Club are the focus of the story.
I actually enjoyed the story, regardless of some strange scenes. I wouldn’t recommend this series for the underaged due to mild adult situations and depicting somewhat controversial issues such as family issues, teen pregnancy, sex, and mild homosexuality. If you’re in to the major slice of life type of shoujo manga-esque stories with a bit of fun and flair here and there, then I would recommend this one. (Apparently, this isn’t based on a shoujo manga like many J-dramas we’ve seen)
I was a fan of Kyoko Fukada when I used to be very heavy with J-pop and J-dramas about three or so years ago, which prompted me to watch the series, plus I like school-related stories, most especially if they’re comedies. What sort of turned me off here was Fukada’s acting of Mai Aida. Maybe the screenwriters wrote Mai Aida’s character as a somewhat aloof and carefree Disney-fanatic English teacher, but somehow Fukada’s acting didn’t convince me as she usually would in the past. I guess I’m having trouble seeing her in a teacher role, but then again I haven’t seen much of her work as of late. Maybe I need to watch more dramas with her in it.
There are some new stars that I’m unfamiliar with (but now I’m familiar with them somewhat) that I found quite impressive. I liked the chemistry going on between Kazuki Mizuki (played by Aoi Nakamura) and Hitomi Kenjo (played by Aki Asakura), and I also found Tomu Nishikawa (played by Win Morisaki) completely full of energy. The extra 3.2 star was awarded to them in this review. All the rest, I think the storyline could be a bit more improved, but I did like how the story ended.
I did find the Disney-related mentionables throughout the story, in which Disney fanatic Mai Aida uses Disney elements to compare and teach a valuable lesson to her students and even to the principal of the school. For instance, she began naming the principal’s aquarium fish from the characters of Disney’s 3D-animated film Finding Nemo. In addition, she always imagined seeing her social dance club students being a prince and princess blooming, just like in classic Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Mulan. Even though that was cute and clever, I wished the story would have steer their focus away from that and more towards the characters important to the story.
Granted that I saw this at a streamlining media site (I know it’s illegal but I’m too lazy to download both the raw file and the soft subs (or hard-subbed files even)), fansubbed in English, one thing that gave me the minus (it could have been a 3.5) was the subtitling itself. For instance, their romanization and the translation of the title is wrong, there were a lot of typos, incorrect/inaccurate translations, and unnecessary sidenotes which they can just use an actual translation in place of that unnecessary sidenote. Seeing these are one of my pet peeves with fansubbers in general whether they were translating something in Japanese or not. Here’s a general example of what I mean by an “unnecessary sidenote”:
Subtitle: I found my keitai, finally!
Sidenote: (usually above the screen) “keitai = cellphone”
Please! Why not just say “I found my cellphone, finally!”? The purpose of subtitling these shows so it can reach a wider audience and understand the storyline itself, not for the fansubbers to show off their so-called skill of the Japanese language or their skill of just subtitling in general. What’s the point? If any, a sidenote can be added if there was something in the Japanese dialogue that was absolutely foreign to a non-Japanese, such as a cultural day, a popular Japanese proverb, and something similar to that. In all honesty I have seen a lot of badly-fansubbed Japanese dramas and sadly, this was one of them.
Like I said, if you like school-setting comedies, I suggest you watch this series. Other than the bad subtitles and some of the cliches, I couldn’t give a high rating on this one.