These days, our household entertainment program has added the TV dorama version of Great Teacher Onizuka to the rotation. This 2012 remake of a much older series, itself adapted from a popular manga/anime running in the late 90s, follows the adventure of a barely-reformed yanki/bosozoku type (the titular Onizuka) who, through great feats of suspension of disbelief, gets hired by a private high-school principal to teach a particularly difficult class. Difficult, in that the usual troubled, broken home, violent kids are the good ones: the bad ones are an assortment of sociopath damien-like monsters constantly plotting to get rid of the teaching staff through increasingly deadly means.

Like most Japanese TV fare, this one offers a mildly entertaining serialised story with mediocre acting, pathetically cheap production values and implausible plot reveals that would shame a Mexican telenovela. The point being: it is fairly simple Japanese and good language training when you are too tired to exercise the rest of your brain.

Of course, this would not be a Japanese drama, without its share of gratuitous sexual innuendoes, heavy on female objectification and wildly inappropriate1 behaviours by male characters. With the latter presented as light comic relief and therefore never worthy of onscreen reprimand, unlike whatever other amoral behaviours (stealing, loitering, failing to properly sort their rubbish…) the bad guys engage in. Lack of (Western) political correctness on Japanese TV is par for the course and somewhat refreshing (if you don’t think too much about what it says of Japanese society).

  1. from a tame Western standpoint []