Probably one of the most awaited drama this season for the sole reason that it’s written by Kudo Kankuro. A reunion drama between Nishikido and KudoKan, “Gomen ne Seishun” pilot episode earned 10.1%, underrated considering how the first episode fared well.
Here is a quick recap of Gomen ne Seishun : Episode 1
It’s year 2014 and Hara Heisuke (Nishikido Ryo) stands outside the entrance of gate of St. Mishima Girls School as we listen to the voice-over made by the so-called Goddess of Mercy while she conspicuously sits in someone else’s room. We get transported back to year 2000 when Keisuke arrives at St. Mishima and finds the chapel being consumed by flames.
Due to the past incident, Heisuke would get agitated each time he hears firetruck sirens. Nevertheless, Heisuke decides to put on a brave front as his fellow students join him at the entrance gate for a mission. With the word “ready”, Heisuke and his students take a step toward an unseen future, and we get sent back to how they arrived at St. Mishima…
The town of Mishima in Shizuoka prefecture is known for three different schools, and if you ride the train every morning, it’s likely that it’ll be full of them. One school is Sunzu-Nishi High School aka Nishikou, a co-ed school with a deviation score of 66. Nishikou is known for having high number of graduates who goes to Tokyo University. Next one is St. Mishima Girl’s High School (Seisanjima/Sanjo), a Catholic school with a deviation score of 60. Lastly is Komagata University-affiliated Mishima High School (Tonkou), an all-boys Buddhist school with the lowest deviation score of 44.
Heisuke is one of the teachers in Mishima High School, he’s also an OB (old boy/alumnus) of the said school. Compared to Nishikou and Sanjo, Tonkou is considered inferior to almost everything. In fact, in the train ride earlier, you can see Sanjo students mingling with Nishikou students but never with Tonkou students. Sanjo and Tonkou are mere 100m apart and most Sanjo students would rather go down one station earlier than to “breathe” the same air as Tonkou. Also, some students passed-by Tonkou with a rosary in hand as if they are trying to ward off evil. XD. I think I would also be scared if the Tonkou guys keeps on looking at every Sanjo girls and trying to guess whether they are a virgin or not.
Not all girls looks at Tonkou with disgust, Abe Amari (Morikawa Aoi) subtlety waves at Ebisawa Yuzuru (Shigeoka Daiki) as she passes-by the area, Ebisawa shyly waves back much to the annoyance of his friends, Akishima Tsukasa (Shirasu Jin) and Ooki Takashi (Ryusei Ryo). Seeing their exchange, Ooki starts wishing to touch boobs, just in time for a classmate of their’s (who has gynecomastia due to excess weight) to arrived at the bike lot and Ooki perversely plays with their his boobs. Nearby, they see a fight involving Furui Yutaka (Yamoto Yuma), and Heisuke arrives to stop the fight.
Next we see Tonkou students having their entrance ceremony and morning prayer (Heart of Sutra) lead Gotokuji Kyoto (Hida Yasuhito), a Buddhist priest. The students join the chant even though the likes of Principal’s Sannomiya Daisaburo aka 3D (Namase Katsuhisa) can only join the chant with “blah, blah, blah). XD. Heisuke tells him to keep his “blah, blah, blah” down and he tells Heisuke to passed by his office after the ceremony.
Heisuke arrives at 3D’s office to see Handa Go (Suzuki Takayuki) and Narita Jun with the latter covering his left eye with an ice bag as he nurse a black-eye. Sister Yoshii Yoshie (Saito Yukii) accuses Narita of camcording one of Sanjo students, Yamada-Birkenstock Kyoko (Reina Triendl), while they are on train.
Narita denies the accusation and we can see in the flashback that he was merely watching a video of sneezing dogs. Although his hand position and smirk while watching would definitely arouse suspicion. Sister Yoshii says that they have a witness, prompting Heisuke, along with student council President Handa and Narita to go to Sanjo.
While the three goes to Sanjo, 3D talks to Sister Yoshii about the possible merger of two schools due to drop in enrollment and Sanjo’s lack of funds. Anyway, their conversation ended with insults, which is totally unbecoming from supposedly two people of faith. XD. Sister Yoshii recites Sanjo’s education philosophy that is consists of “love, humility and chastity”. She’s firm that a merger will not happen on her term and even opens-up about the past issue that has not been resolved.
Heisuke, Handa, and Narita arrives at the entrance gate of Sanjo and Handa tells Narita not to apologize too easily since girls tend to band together. They take a single step and they heard an alarm. Soon, Hachiya Risa (Mitsushima Hikari) pedals her way to apprehend the trespassers while Handa keeps on saying “sorry” before she even arrives. LOL, practice what you preach. Heisuke faces Risa and the two get tangled in the fastest conversation ever with Risa having the upper hand, leaving Heisuke out of energy as Risa pedals away to get Narita’s phone.
If Heisuke feels tired, Narita is near tears since Risa was the one who gave him the black eye. XD. Risa gave his eye a knee kick (or whatever you can that move) and confiscated his cellphone before she left the train.
Speaking of Risa, she arrives riding a coaster, and as Handa and Narita shiver in fear, Heisuke just sits there looking dumbfounded with the scene. Risa stops the coaster and throws Narita’s cellphone without much preamble and leaves immediately.
After she left, Narita complains that all his phone data had been erased and the dumbfounded Heisuke finally snapped back to reality and recalls the name, Hachiya. Memories from his high school life starts pouring in as he remembers someone with the same surname, Hachiya Yuko (Haru).
At home, Heisuke’s sister-in-law Erena (Nakamura Shizuka) accidentally had a sudden naked exposure while Heisuke is washing the dishes, which makes Heisuke’s older brother, Ippei (Enari Kazuki), to ask Heisuke for a fee considering that his wife is a former gravure model. Irritated by Ippei and Erena’s sweetness, Heisuke heads to Girl’s Bar where his dad, Hara Heita (Kazama Morio), chief priest and head of Tonkou’s alumni association, is having a drink with Gotokuji.
Heisuke arrives at the bar and there he listens to his dad’s complaints against sister Yoshii. Heisuke also heard that the past incident, which involves Sanjo’s chapel being burned to the ground, has been brought up since the other party is convinced that a Tonkou student have done it. Anyway, the girl’s bar mama offered Heisuke some viper liver (not too sure about that) and says that if he ate it, it brings all kind of “wow!”.
Heita assumed that Heisuke got horny because of having such a hot sister-in-law and Heita admits that even he experiences it. LOL, she’s you daughter-in-law! The next day, the Hara family are having an early zen meditation lead by Heita who can’t help but take a peek at his daughter-in-law’s boobs. Pls…
Back at Tonkou, Heisuke isn’t the only one who have stayed in school, the nurse during his high school days is still at school and she still calls him Hei-chan. During Heisuke’s high school years, Awashima Mai (Sakai Maki) is considered the school’s Madonna and she had to endure her student’s sexuality questions particularly the part of a split nose (which I will never get). Well, Mai is not so much of a Madonna now, she now goes with “Don-Mai” and she doesn’t even give a fig when one students enters the clinic to be treated for some abrasion.XD
Donmai confides to Heisuke about a more pressing matter that she learned after retrieving Narita’s erased phone memory. Via SNS, she sees a couple selfie of Ebisawa and Abe. The said picture have reached Sanjo as well and Abe is at the school’s chapel (I’m not exactly sure about this) to confess her “sins”. Risa, who also happens to be the Sanjo’s moral teacher, can’t help but comment about disgusting things that couples do. XD
The nun inside, who happens to be Sister Yoshii, is fine that Abe is dating a Nishikou student. When she starts suspecting that Abe might be dating someone from Tonkou, she goes ballistic that forces Abe to swear to God that she’s dating someone from Nishikou and not from Tonkou.
Because of Ebisawa’s involvement, he also got called by Donmai at the clinic. She tells him that it’s in Tonkou’s school book that relationship between opposite sex must be maintained in safe distance. However, in Sanjo’s rule book, it’s clearly stated that Sanjo is prohibited to be in a relationship with someone from Tonkou and will be punishable with an indefinite suspension. Ebisawa reasons-out that everyone is dating sneakily. He tells that Ooki and Akishima pretends to be Nishikou students when they are picking-up girls by wearing Nishikou’s necktie and transforming their uniform into a coat. I don’t know how they can fool Sanjo’s students when Tonko and Nishikou’s jackets are so different.
Heisuke didn’t stop Ebisawa from having a relationship yet, and tells him a story when he was in high school. 14 years ago, Sanjo didn’t have a swimming pool so they will go to Tonkou for swimming lessons. Heisuke and Tsutaya Satoshi (Nagayama Kento) hides in the science lab while the Sanjo girls strips to their swimsuit. Bad. The guys act like bunch of monkeys as the girls stretch at the pool, making their teacher to splash water to the guys. Just like a wake-up call, Heisuke recalls that he left his keys at the science room, and when he goes back to retrieve it, he accidentally sees Hachiya Yuko dressing inside. He apologizes for intruding and closes the door in shock.
Before he completely leaves, the door opens and Yuko asks him if he owns the keys on her hand. Heisuke agrees and takes the keys from Yuko. Unlike other girls, Yuko is super nice to Heisuke so he asks Satoshi for help. Satoshi is rarity in Tonkou, he’s a model student and he used his connections as a student council president to search for Yuko and even managed to get a picture of her.
Satoshi encourages Heisuke to ask her out. The next day, Heisuke goes to Sanjo and gives Hachiya a love letter. However, their relationship didn’t progress since then after Sanjo have built a pool and the “fire” incident totally ceased any interaction between two schools.
The story depresses Ebisawa since he’s in a relationship with Abe. While the two walk on a man-made pond, Ebisawa tells Abe that they should break-up now instead of dating in hiding and just wait until college so they can date openly. Abe or Amarin to Ebisawa is fine with the way they are now and wishes for a merger to happen so that they don’t have to hide their relationship. Speaking of hiding their relationship, poor Ebisawa was pushed twice by Abe just to hide him from her schoolmates and from her friends. Nevertheless, it’s stuck on Ebisawa’s mind that Abe wants him to be more brave and to force his way in to claim Abe.
At Tonkou, Murai Shinatrou arrive to talk about the school merger and when Heita arrives on a vespa, which is totally opposite of Murai’s sleek car, Furui throws a rag at him just because he likes to. LOL.
At 3D’s office, Heisuke arrives just as Murai is leaving. As it happens, Sanjo is in the red since they are still paying for the pool and the chapel that they rebuilt. In short, Sanjo is selling-out and a merger might eventually happen to save them. However, Sanjo has conditions and that involves changing Tonkou’s name to “St. Mishima Girls High School East”. LOL, what about the boys? Heita argues that Tonkou should be the one issuing conditions since they are literally helping Sanjo out and Gotokuji recites Tonkou’s education philosophy, which is “austerity and fortitude” but 3D argues that they should meet halfway and go with “austerity and humility” (Sanjo is “love, humility, and chastity”). 3D reasons-out that the merger will be helpful for them as well since their enrollment quota has been dropping.
Heisuke asks why the conditions are so one-sided and Sister Yoshii together with Risa and Sanjo’s student council president Nakai (Hisamatsu Ikumi) arrives at Tonko’s office to talk more about the issue about the two schools. They must have overheard Heisuke and Risa says that their deviation score is higher, they have an outstanding faculty, and an efficient curriculum compared to Tonkou. Anyway, the talk continues with sister Yoshii and Heita exchanging insults and dismissing the talk about the merger.
This is where Heisuke gives a suggestion that instead of the adults arguing, why not ask the students opinion since they’ll be the one who will be mostly affected. Nakai says that she’d rather see Sanjo closes than merge with Tonkou and before Handa can say anything, Risa dismisses him. Aww, poor Prez. Then, Heisuke suggests a joint class among 1/3 of third year class, after all, it’ll be only 6 months before they graduate. He adds that it’ll be a good chance to see if a merger will be possible or not and they can also weigh both advantages and disadvantages. Surprisingly, Sister Yoshii agrees with Heisuke’s suggestion, for the sole reason that Heisuke’s idea is the only plausible one so far.
The idea of co-ed class leaves everyone’s mouth hanging after Handa made the announcement in class 3-3. When Handa repeats about the co-ed class, the class shouted with disbelief while Ebisawa obviously welcomes the idea.
Surprisingly, most of Heisukes students didn’t like the idea either. Even though they lust after girls, most of them like an all-boys school because it’s girls free (obviously), which gives them license to strip naked, tell dirty jokes, and so. However, when Heisuke asks them what are the disadvantage of having girls in class, they can’t give a direct answer either.
Heisuke then gives an example and writes “I can’t date anybody now”. Afterwards, he asks the guys what are the chances that a girl will date the guy who asks her for a date. Most answers turns out to be positive, most of them assume that girls say that because they are hinting that they don’t have a boyfriend, or that they are trying to say that they only want a casual relationship. Heisuke tells them that the chance is actually 0%. This surprises the guys and he tells them that the “I can’t date anybody now” is the other way of saying “I may not have a boyfriend but I don’t want to date you either“. Heisuke gets a bit agitated about the dating thing and says that girls only try to be nice even with a guy they don’t like since they don’t want to be hated. When they say that they are not dating, it means that they are dating, just not with you. Bitter, sensei?
In short, Heisuke says that 70% of Tonkou students became taciturn by the time they graduate because they don’t form conversations with women. Not learning to converse with women will have a snowball effect and sooner or later, they will find themselves missing the marriageable age and will further contribute to Japan’s declining birth rate. Heisuke decides to give them a word of advice not as their teacher but as their Tonkou senpai; he wants them to face their fears and face the girls. He asks them to close their eyes and raise their hand if they agree with the co-ed practice class. Ebisawa thinks about Abe’s parting words (before he got pushed in the pond) and bravely raises his hand, only to be surprise that the entire class have their hands raised as well.
The practice co-ed class will start by summer and Heisuke chooses 15 students among the applicants who will join the co-ed class with Sanjo. As the plan goes underway, Risa arrives at Tonkou’s faculty, with a box of her things and a giant crucifix, since she will be working in Tonkou in exchange with Heisuke.
Heisuke asks Risa if she knows Hachiya Yuko, and maybe if Yuko’s her sister. Risa says that Yuko is her older sister and when Heisuke asks what happened to Yuko, Risa turn surly and says that she haven’t seen her sister is many years.
Anyway, to continue with Heisuke and Yuko’s story earlier…Yuko gives her answer to Heisuke’s letter before she goes out of the train. She wants them to start as friends and gives her email address. Heisuke still has the letter at present and it’s even in ziplock like a prized evidence together with the cellphone where Yuko emailed him her answer when he invited her to watch fireworks.
However, Yuko didn’t arrive and Heisuke can only turn to Satoshi and asks him to light fireworks with at Tonkou’s rooftop. Sadly, even Satoshi is not available. Depress for being ditch, Heisuke goes to Tonkou’s rooftop and lit the fireworks he bought. When the festival’s fireworks starts illuminating the sky, he notices two figure standing at Sanjo’s building. He sees Yuko in a yukata together with a guy, the two kissed, and to Heisuke’s surprise, the said guy is Satoshi. Ouch.
Betrayed, he starts acting without reason by lighting each of the fireworks he brought and makes a rocket out of them toward Yuko and Satoshi’s direction. Unknown to him, one of those fireworks hits Sanjo’s church tower. Once he’s done venting his frustrations, he left the place and watches some of the festivities before a firetruck passed him by.
Once at home, his mother sigh with relief upon seeing him and tells him that a fire have erupted in Sanjo’s church. A realization hits him so he run toward Sanjo, just in time to see the church on fire. Aside from the church being caught on fire, he also sees Yuko and Satoshi being escorted out. Satoshi saw him and he can only give Heisuke an embarrassed and bittersweet smile. After the incident, Yuko have withdrawn from school and Satoshi was expelled due to his absences.
At present, Heisuke joins his students as they enter the premises of Sanjo. They were glad that they didn’t hear any alarms when their legs cross the entrance gate. As they casually enter Sanjo, the girls of Sanjo, led by Risa, are experiencing a different welcome as they marched into Tonkou in the midst of cheers from the boys population.
The boys of Tonkou arrives at the classroom to begin the class. Ebisawa is happy to see Abe, who doesn’t exactly share his enthusiasm. Abe mentioned earlier that she doesn’t want a co-ed class with Ebisawa because he might hate her since she acts differently at school than when she’s with Ebisawa. The boys stood stiffly as the girls give them a cold shoulder and not a word was uttered even when Heisuke introduced himself, which was really rude if I may so.
Well, the girls silence is like calm before the storm because when Heisuke makes a joke, Nakai says that she’d rather study for mock exams because Heisuke’s lessons are boring and she doesn’t want to listen to more of Heisuke’s tepid idealism. Then, Jinbo Ai (Kawaei Rina) starts making a fuss at Ebisawa for grinning and waving his hand, which Ebisawa denies doing so. This irks Jinbo so she throws her school shoe at him, and soon enough, the girls are crying for sexual harassment. Ugh. Then, Yamada-Birkenstock notices that “flashy eyebrows” (Ebisawa) is looking at Abe and she starts crying (what?!).
The guys of Tonkou are starting to get scared of the unexpected Sanjo atmosphere, like what happen to their “love, humility, and chastity”? The class is in total chaos. Nakai demands an apology and when Abe was asked for her opinion, she says (to Ebisawa), “don’t look at me you fag, I’ll sue you for sexual harassment!” Poor Ebisawa, he even groomed his eyebrows for that class! XD
As for Heisuke, he can only shout and demand for the girls to be silent. Hey, this was your idea. XD
This episode is such a LOL. The way the all-girls Catholic school is portrayed here might seem like an exaggeration but it’s closer to reality than you think. haha. I know because I attended an all-girls Catholic school and we’re not really as prim and proper and as sugar and spice inside school. At the end of the episode, I was like, poor Ryo (or Heisuke for that matter) for being thrust into a jungle that he’s not so familiar. The Sanjo girls can be a pain, they over-assume everything and thinks that they are superior to everyone else. Meanwhile, Tonkou students tend to underestimate themselves to the point that I badly want to defend them when the Sanjo girls starts ranting on them during their first co-ed session.
Heisuke proves to be an interesting character albeit his wimpy attitude and his plans for atonement. Ryo as Heisuke is just right, Ryo’s eyes is so expressive that you can see Heisuke’s pain and regrets. It’s infuriating that he says sorry a lot even with the things that was not his fault and definitely not in his control. What happened in his past is an accident and not his fault, he spent the next 14 years of his atoning for his sins that only he knew about, and if he really felt sorry then he should just confess and move on. Well, easy for me to say. XD.
Mitsushima Hikari as Risa is so hilarious, I already love her. Though there are times that she’s annoying with her “higher than thou” attitude, I think that like Heisuke, she’s also dealing with her own demons. Heisuke and Risa is quite a match and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s impossible, impossible, and impossible. The nuns and [Buddhist] priest is just as funny, the way they bicker and mock each other religions is LOL and not at all offensive.
I like the merger thing with the plot since it’s going to be a battle of sexes, wit, and religion. The thing is, there will always be double-standards, like the boys aren’t allowed to stare openly to a girl or they’ll be accuse of being a pervert while girls can stare at guys without being accuse of being a pervert, but guys will think that they are easy. I feel sorry for Ebisawa for having a multiple-personality girlfriend (okay, just two-faced girlfriend). XD. The rest of Sanjo girls are so annoying it makes me embarrassed (as a member of female population) and I hope that they’ll act like a more reasonable human beings in succeeding episodes. Oh well, since there will also be Sanjo’s in Tonkou, I hope that Heita will act with all propriety befitting of a head priest or Heisuke’s atonement will be swoosh. Anyway, this is the first time that I saw how an all-boys Buddhist school is being conducted and it’s just, well, surprising.
I wanna watch more of this drama since I want to see how the characters will develop and how everything will unveil until the big reveal. Ryo is awesome and I’m saying this without any bias, I’ve never seen him so effective with his character since JOKER and Orthros no Inu. BTW, Ryo is so skinny, he can pass as his one of his students and Handa can be the teacher. XD. Shigeoka is also good, too bad I haven’t seen SHARK 2 so I can’t make comparisons, but he’s not acting like a newbie. Mitsushima is sensational and in Sanjo’s side, I like Hisamatsu’s (Nakai) acting even though her character is just the type that I will hate. Namase, Kazama, Hida, and Saito comedic timing is perfect, I love how they throw their lines and I want to see more of their interactions.
If I understand correctly, Risa will have her own class in Tonkou, right? Well, I also want to see how will Risa conduct her class in Tonkou’s side. The likes of Handa and Ooki where left in Tonkou so let’s see what will be the difference. Compared to what we saw in Sanjo, I wonder if the boys will be more behave or will they just be as natural since they are in their domain.
All in all, I like Gomen ne Seishun, it’s promising and it gives a different take on teacher-student dramas. Instead of yankee students, we’re dealing with someone who could be worse than yankees. XD. While the repentant teacher is out not really to change his students but more like to atone for his sins. Lastly, KudoKan is such a phenomenal writer!
Raw : YYeTS at D-addicts
Usual disclaimer applies.