Coded green.

Thursday 11 March 2004

Screenshot anime Gokusen

Pic of the day: It almost looks like she's got some psychic power, but then again lots of things in this anime are exaggerated. Photo from Gokusen.


I've been watching a fansubbed anime called Gokusen. I don't know enough Japanese to have any idea what the name may mean, if anything. But it is a funny and heartwarming story about a girl who is raised as heiress to a criminal family, but her goal in life is to be a high school teacher. The series starts as she reaches that goal, but she soon finds that old habits die hard ... and sometimes are quite useful. There is also a beautiful, smart and athletic boy in her class, which is otherwise populated by ugly and dumb people. And there is her coworker with the big breasts, who seems like a not too bright woman with a thing for pretty high school boys. But there is more to all these people than meets the eye ...

The series is full of somewhat over the top humor and suspense. But there is something to it ... like a summer day when those high gauzy clouds have crept in front of the sun. A shadow that is not quite a shadow, not obvious until you see it.

I guess the humor kinda gets in the wrong throat when each episode ends with this song. (Translated by AnimeOne. From Japanese, which may explain the strange English at times. It is very hard to think in those two languages at the same time, I understand.)

Everybody cries
when being born.
It's because life in this world is burdened with
repeated sadness
and distress
bringing bitterness to everybody.
The days I trembled alone
cannot be swept away by my hands.
Even if my fate looks like leading to a steep mountain,
I will keep going forward, never looking back.

The song is beautiful, by the way. I like the lyrics as well, although they seem to portend a much more sinister turn of events later on. It is not all fun and games already: Episode 7 is about boys being bullied to suicide. (A phenomenon more common in Japan than in most other countries, incidentally, although Scandinavia is also fairly high. I believe however that this is largely due to suicide being reported as suicide, not swept under the rug like in Catholic countries, where you won't get a church burial if you take your own life.)

Needless to say, I have personally no intention to jump off a steep mountain. Repeated sadness and distress may be part of life, but it can be greatly mitigated by setting realistic goals and working on oneself instead of others. But enough about that.

Anyway, the series is interesting so far (seen episode 8). It is funny but serious, pretty but ugly, corny but realistic. It fills me with conflicting emotions. I think simple minds will enjoy it or not, depending on which feature catches their eye. For me, the complexity is the heart of it. These people seem simple at the outset, pure caricatures, but they turn out to have a lot of depth. I suppose real people are like that too, if you learn to know them. But most real people don't appear in a weekly broadcasted anime. Or write a daily online journal.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Supergirls
Two years ago: Barely ecchi teenz
Three years ago: A brief history of sin
Four years ago: More Mr Nice Guy
Five years ago: Ready to go

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