Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gakko No Kaidan (Japanese Drama) Review

I am always a big fan of Japanese school dramas such as Gokusen (starring Nakama Yukie, Matsumoto Jun, Oguri Shun and a whole lot of Japanese Actors who are well-known in Japan as of this day), Nobuta wo Produce (starring Yamashita Tomohisa, Kamenashi Kazuya, Horikita Maki and Toda Erika), Sprout (starring Chinen Yuri, Aoi Morikawa, Jesse Lewis and Fujiko Kojima),  Bakaleya Shiritsu Koukou (starring a lot of young idols from Johnny's Jr. and AKB48) and Scrap Teacher. Since then, I am always on the lookout for Japanese dramas that focuses on school life, whether it is about friendship, romance, being a detective, or to some extent brutal killings (Battle Royale and Assassination Classroom, anyone?). Only Japan can have this kind of plot in a school drama, but before I get to that angle of Japanese entertainment, I want to talk about the 2015 drama Gakkou no Kaidan [学校のカイダン ] (School's Staircase, literal title)

Kamiki Ryunosuke: So, I have to admit that Kamiki Ryunosuke is one of the Japanese actors that I think are one of the best in subtle expressions. Among other Japanese actors/actresses of his generation, he is the most experienced and probably, in my own opinion, best in acting. You might remember him on the live action of Rurouni Kenshin which starred Takeru Sato, they are both from Amuse (talent agency) by the way so they have work for several dramas/movies together. On Rurouni Kenshin, he played my favorite character on the Series, Seta Soujiro.
Aside from his impressive list of works, he has won several awards inside and outside Japan such as Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Kazoku Game" from two award-giving bodies.
Kamiki Ryunosuke's Recognitions:
  • 77th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor - Kazoku Game
  • 17th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Apr-Jun 2013): Best Supporting Actor for Kazoku Game
  • 2006 Japan Academy Awards: Best Newcomer for Yokai Daisensou
  • 51st Monte-Carlo TV Festival 2011: (Nominated) Outstanding Actor in TV Films for Threads of Our Hearts (Kokoro no Ito)
  • 2011 Seoul International Drama Awards: Yahoo! People's Choice - The Best Actor of Japan / Netizen Popularity Award
  • 4th Tama Eiga Awards: Best Newcomer Actor for Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutte yo and SPEC TEN

Kamiki as Seta Soujiro in "Rurouni Kenshin"


In Gakkou no Kaidan, he played the mysterious, perverted and genius speech writer. Though, his performance can be considered over-acting by some, I think he acted the part of being mysterious at the same time manipulative character well. His expressions on funny scenes were hilarious .I have the outmost respect for this actor and we have the same age, how cool is that!
 Hirose Suzu: Aside from the fact that Hirose Suzu is 5 years younger than Kamiki, she is relatively new in acting department. She started on year 2013. But don't get me wrong, this girl showed a huge amount of potential in this series as she carried out her scenes well. She is one of the actresses that I would love to look out for.

Hirose Suzu
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Her chemistry with Kamiki was also commendable. I hope they will act together as a couple in a romantic-comedy series or a movie. 5 years is not that big of a gap and Kamiki still looks like a 17-year old high school student in this drama.

The story revolves around Haruna Tsubame (Hirose) who finds herself elected as the school president due to the support   by the Platinum 8, a group of the richest students in the school and the hidden leaders of the school. They are rich, influential and manipulative.  As soon as she discovered the main reason for being elected as president, her peaceful days in the school ended and she became a victim of a harsh system on the school. From here, comes in Shizukui Kei (Kamiki), a mysterious young man who appears in front of Haruna while she was in a desperate situation. The two decided to change the school full of injustice, irrationality, and corruption step by step with the power of words written by Kei.

My thoughts:
I love how the series involve leadership and corruption here in the movie. I think it represents the society nowadays where there are a lot of injustices happening caused by the leaders and powerful ones victimizing the lower class in the society. It also shows the problem of having a puppet president who appears to be a leader yet powerless in front of the people. The series also shows how people’s minds and emotions can be swayed by words.
The chemistry between the two actors was shown on the few cheesy moments of the drama such as the indirect kiss scenes, hugging and consoling scenes. There’s a bonus at the last episode for you romantic people out there. I don’t want to elaborate since I want to spoil your moods in watching the series.
Other positive points of the drama are music and settings of the drama. The insert song is “Just One Girl” by Fujiwara Sakura and the main theme song is “Uchouten “ by B’z.
 My only problem is that the episodes were rather repetitive due to the ending of every episode and the Platinum 8. I would like them to show more arrogance and power in the series but whatever, the series has ended. Just watch this series.
8.99/10 – Highly Recommended!

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Gakko no Kaidan (NTV)
Kamiki Ryunosuke
Hirose Suzu


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