High school life, ghosts, and Katori Shingo…it looks funny already. If you could forget about Katori’s so-so performance from “Monsters” then you’ll love this drama. Moreover, another AKB (okay, former AKB) and Johnny’s mix-up with Atsuko Maeda and Kitayama Hiromitsu headlining the drama. Then there’s Anne, which would surely add perkiness to this drama.
Anyway, here is a short recap of Kasuka na Kanojo episode 1…
The story starts with a recap of the past of South Ohara Junior HS where a female teacher died in one of the nearby apartments. A new school term has started and instead of talking, the students would rather communicate using their smartphones. A problem that has plagued the way we communicate. Rumour has it that a new homeroom teacher will be coming and the said teacher will be staying in the flat that was known to be “ghost-hunted”. Kawai Chiho (Maeda Atsuko) entered the room and sweetly asked the students to put their cell phones away as classes would start. One student refused to budge, but Kawai was all patient and sweetly told her to put her phone away. Not to be fooled, Kawai seems all-smiles from the outside but she actually knows that students just pretends to listen to her. After she went out of the room, she saw a woman busying herself in exploring the school, when she asked her identity; she revealed that she’s Kirisawa Izumi (Maya Miki), the new Vice Principal of South Ohara.
Unlike other teachers who are more laidback with the students’ lack of good manners and proper conduct, Kirisawa is stricter with upholding the rules of the school as to what she did to one student during the opening ceremony. In the middle of the commotion, a phone rang, which belongs to the new teacher, Kamiyama Akira (Katori Shingo).
Kamiyama went straight-away to his designated class, with Kawai as his vice-homeroom teacher. All the students were interested to know if he will be staying in that room known for being hunted. Kamiyama just shrugged it off, saying that he doesn’t believe in ghost and such and it’s all in the head. This is coming from a man who has been speaking to “air” on his way to school. Kamiyama also added that people who started seeing things should head to hospital immediately.
After the class, Hayashi Kunihiko aka Kunicchi (Kitayama Hiromitsu) accompanied Kamiyama to the apartment block where they would be staying. Kunicchi told him about the urban legend in room 304 where a teacher apparently suffered from neurosis and eventually died. Rumour has it that the teacher didn’t get along with his students. Kamiyama enters the room and even proceeded to removing various “charms” stuck in the closet to ward-off ghost. Kamiyama said that he doesn’t care if the ghosts get upset because he’ll be the one who will pay the rent. Nice one.
While Kamiyama was sleeping, a female ghost makes an appearance, sensing her presence, Kamiyama sits-up and began telling the ghost that she can stay for as long as she want as long she won’t intrude with his life, or he’ll be force to use counter-measures. When the ghost tried to sneak-in while he was sleeping, he used his “countermeasures”, such as barricading with “salt” so she would reflect on her actions.
The next day, Kamiyama told Kunicchi that the ghost appeared, but Kunicchi didn’t believe him, of course. Afterwards, a sort of commotion is happening inside the teacher’s lounge. The case involved Honma Ayano’s mother going on her tirade that Kirisawa embarrassed her daughter, which has given her daughter “emotional scars”. Really. Kirisawa stand by her judgement that Honma is wrong for violating the school rules and what she did was merely in accordance with the rules. The mother got tongue-tied and threatens the school that she’ll bring the issue to the Department of Education.
Most teachers thinks that Kirisawa was “somewhat cool” with how she handled the situation but it just adds stress to fellow teacher- Ohara Misao (Hamada Mari).
Back home, the ghost who goes with the name Akane (Anne) tells a sleeping Kamiyama that she has reflected her actions and that the salt is really hot. Kamiyama forgives her and removes the salt. Akane asks her if he has any supernatural powers because he can see her. Kamiyama said that he doesn’t know and that he is pissed about being able to see ghosts. Once the ghost learn that he can see them, they follow him everywhere, he is more pissed that the ghost even intrude with his pictures that’s why all his photographs have ghosts’ apparitions. LOL.
Back at school, Kamiyama and Kawai learned that Aida Takuto (Jinguji Yuta) is hanging-out with a bunch of Yankis that’s why he wasn’t able to attend school lately. Aida Takuto went-off the right path following the death of his grandfather. After Aida got involved with shoplifting, Kamiyama and Kawai tells the problem with Kirisawa; Kirisawa told them that she’ll have Aida changed schools and added, “that’s the problem when teachers can’t face their students”. Kamiyama pondered what the VP said and recalled a past experience where facing his students won’t change anything.
Kamiyama went home with Akane making a ruckus since she’s trying to go outside, but somehow, she’s stuck in the room. Akane learned about Aida’s problem through a ghost friend and tells Kamiyama that he should do something about it since it’s a teacher’s job to guide their students who have stray the right path. Kamiyama told her to shut-up adding that it’s “different” nowadays. Students prefer unnecessary interference from teachers and that the parents treat the school like a customer service where they just appear to give-in complaints. How sad but true.
Akane feels bad about the situation but she can’t do anything about it. Akane became highly emotional and starts doing elemental things in Kamiyama’s room like levitation. Kamiyama takes the salt to make Akane stop. She then asked Kamiyama as to why he carry-on being a teacher? That isn’t it a teacher’s job to help their students?
Before Kamiyama could answer, a knock came from the door; his neighbours are worried that a “ghost-mischief” happened because of the noises they heard. Kamiyama denied everything that they heard. Akane, being depressed that Kamiyama won’t do anything about Aida, just sort-of disappeared.
The next day, Kamiyama mustered the courage and gave Aida a call and for them to meet; however, Aida said that there’s no use for them to talk before hanging-up. Kamiyama met Yoshioka (Sato Jiro), a wandering ghost and Akane’s friend. He told Kamiyama that he could help in locating the whereabouts of Aida. So, he asked the help of his fellow ghosts (lots of them) to look for Aida.
One ghost managed to locate Aida, who happens to be in a temple with his troublesome so-called friends, trying to get the temple’s offerings.
Kamiyama tries to stop them and the troublesome guys were just like, “let’s find a new location,” and drags Aida with them. Kamiyama recalls Akane’s word from last night and told the guys to leave his student alone. “When I see your face, it’s like it’s screaming ‘Help me!’” Kamiyama said to Aida, which just happened to be the same words that Aida’s late granddad used to say. Kamiyama, despite his annoyance with ghosts, tells Aida that his granddad was just there and he is super furious that his grandson is hanging-out with such people and that it’s wrong for robbing the offering of the temple. Aida’s granddad also makes an apparition by calling on Takuto.
Afterwards, Kamiyama brought home Aida and tells his mother that even though they are busy, they should allocate time to talk to Takuto and surely, he will have lots to say.
The next day, Aida went to school to attend class and Honma realized her mistakes and personally hands-over her phone to Kirisawa. Kirisawa refused to confiscate the phone and tells her that she could have the phone as long as it’s turned-off.
Kamiyama went home and gave Akane an “offering” since she won’t be able to eat the food. However, Akane used some of her “fighting energy” where she was able to get the “spirit of fried stuff” and ate it.
Okay, that was unexpected. Seriously, I thought that it will be all laughter but there were some serious stuff going-on. It’s like watching Gokusen/GTO, filled with slightly problem students, but with a ghostly twist. I could only assume that a new student will be featured in each episode with some ghostly things going-on with their lives, like trying to get-over with the death of a loved-one as what happened in the first episode.
Plot-wise, it’s a refreshing take to the typical high school dramas. Katori Shingo delivers a convincing performance as a troubled teacher who tries to deny that he doesn’t care about his student’s lives as he was trying to deny that ghosts don’t exist. Kitayama and Maeda were so-so with their performance as teachers, though I seriously don’t know why should there be a vice-homeroom teacher. Kitayama does look like a teacher but shorts-wearing Maeda look like she’s working for a fashion magazine than school. Anne is cute but that’s it, nothing much has been revealed yet about her past life. The character that really made an impression was Maya Miki. Her portrayal as the justice-loving vice principal (later in the ep 1 reveals that Kirisawa is actually a lawyer) really leaves quite an impression. She makes being a VP cool in contrast with other HS dramas where VPs were nothing but bald and sort-of leeches to Principals. I also love the way Kirisawa lectures someone with such finesse, it’s like she’s just having a conversation. She could make a sarcasm sound poetic that if you’re really stupid, you won’t know that she’s insulting you.
Moreover, this drama opens our eyes to the modern-day problems of school. Bullying aside, it was also noted how teachers becomes lax to the students just to avoid complaints from the parents. While the parents’ treats the school as their child’s nanny.
All in all, the episode 1 is really interesting and though the succeeding scenes can be quite predictable, this drama still has to answer questions, such as: what really happened to Akane? How is Kamiyama with his past school? Does Kunicchi like Kawai? (noting his reaction when he said that Kamiyama and Kawai go along well) and so…
Image credits to tumblr, tumblr usernames are properly credited in the caption.
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