Monday, January 18, 2010

Majisuka Gakuen Episode 1 English Summary

I thought Majisuka Gakuen (“Are you serious? Academy”) would be a comedy-drama, much like Ikemendol, but there hasn’t been too much humor in the first episode; it was intense! I can’t stop raving about it so I’m giving you the summary of the first episode (episode one: In this World, It’s All About Being Serious, aired January 8, 2010). One interesting point is that we are already made aware of the cast that features many of the AKB girls, but we don’t see many of them on the first episode. I thought some of them would end up like extras, but there were dozens of extras, something I didn’t expect, which means the AKB girls’ roles would actually be important roles, and they would have cool debuts on the show.

The episode starts with very horrid scenes of a school run by yankees, a term used in Japan for delinquents. The all-girl school is beset with gangs, fighting, and bullying, and although I know bullying is a real huge problem in Japan, these scenes are extreme. Complete anarchy.

Next scene is a math class where the teacher has absolutely no control. Here, we get our first glimpse of the first relevant gang to the story, Team Hormone, who often chats while barbecuing, in this case, inside the classroom.

Team Hormone, a group of sophomores, is lead by Sasshi (as Wota), with Akicha, Kitarie (as Unagi), Moeno (as Bungee), and Komori (as Mukuchi). Apparently, most of the girls are using their real names (for example, when the teacher calls Sasshi, she is called Sashihara-san), but they have nicknames, most of which actually are related to them in the real world (or at least in the AKB universe). Wota refers to Sasshi’s popular Wotagei dance which came from wotas, or superfans, Kitarie got the name Unagi Inu (Eel Dog) in a mic performance at an episode of AKBegas from Yukirin at AKBingo’s April 22, 2009 episode, Bungee refers to Moeno least hesitating to jump off the bungee challenge at Shukan’s Sept. 25, 2009 episode, while Akicha is just using her regular nickname.

They express concern about a new transferee who will come to the school today, a feared, legendary yankee who can beat the crapola out of anyone, no matter how many they are.

Just to emphasize to the viewers that it’s the yankees that run this school, when the teacher dares to ask Sasshi if she would like to try to answer the math problem, she burns him with the meat and says she’s in the middle of eating, as the teacher apologizes.

Something catches the eye of Team Hormone, as well as the rest of the school.

New transfer student arrives, Nacchu (of SDN48), as Daruma Onizuka.

She makes a statement and catches everyone’s attention by destroying a volleyball with one punch.

The second gang, Rappappa, is introduced, whose freshmen members are Tanamin (as Jumbo), Yonechan (as Rice), Haachan (as Showa), and Nakayan (as Anime).

Nakayan, the only girl I couldn’t recognize because she looks so different, watches the new girl outside.

Rappappa’s great four, all juniors, are introduced, Tomochin (as Shibuya), Yukirin (as Black), Rena (as Gekikara), and Kojiharu (as Torigoya). (Yukirin is humorously referred to as Black Yukirin and Black Marimokori in AKBingo, in the mic performances, to suggest she has an evil side counter to her cute, very appealing image, Gekikara refers to the spicy food Rena conquered in a series of challenges on Shukan, while Shibuya may pertain to the April 8, 2009 AKBingo episode where Tomochin was voted by young men in Shibuya as the girl they would most want to have as a girlfriend among four choices.) Rena is only represented by a picture on the wall, not only because she was absent, but because this is factored in the story on a later episode. Shinoda is also introduced, as Rappappa’s subleader (as Sado).

Rappappa is considered the top gang in the school.

Gold Eyebrow Association (just a bunch of extras, no AKB members), a freshman gang, decides to take on Nacchu first, to show her who’s boss.

Nacchu’s first hit sends the watching girls reeling.

The rest of Gold Eyebrow Association eventually does nothing.

Maeda Atsuko enters the scene, minding her own business. She’s another transfer student.

Nacchu and Maeda are introduced by the math teacher to the class as the new transfer students. Nacchu gives the class the finger, to which they all react angrily to, while Maeda bows respectfully. Nacchu evicts a student from her seat to take it, while Maeda takes the one given by the teacher.

The Principal reveals to the math teacher that one of the two transfer students is a bad, bad, bad girl, but her father was her former lover, and that’s why she’s here.

Annoyed, Team Hormone challenges Nacchu by asking her to pick one of them, but she declines by saying she’s after someone upstairs.

Nacchu heads upstairs to Rappappa’s headquarters, and confidently says she wants to be a member, and when she is told they are full, she confidently says one of them has to leave.

As Maeda tries to enter the library, a sign says it’s in use, to which we are greeted with this horrid scene.

Team Hormone enters the scene, and as Maeda tries to walk away, they block her. They offer her to pick one of them, and when she doesn’t speak, they make fun of her book, which they drop, push her down and then take her money. Maeda just walks away without a word. Team Hormone concludes they have a new subordinate.

As Maeda walks along, she finds a bunch of girls over Nacchu, who was beaten up and thrown down the stairs by Rappappa.

Nacchu says the fight ain’t over, but unable to stand on her own, as Maeda tries to walk on by, Nacchu grabs her ankle.

Maeda helps Nacchu to the clinic while Nacchu keeps blubbering about how she didn’t lose the fight, and that she wants to be the top dog of the school, and that beating Rappappa was the way to do it. Nacchu says only the strong survive. When Nacchu asked why Maeda was even in a school like this, it triggers a memory, and we’re presented with one of the first mysteries of the show, the mysterious bracelet.

Without saying a word, as soon as Maeda recalls the bracelet, she drops Nacchu to the entrance of the clinic, literally, where we are introduced to the pervert doctor who has his eyes set on the new girl, Maeda. He also has a hidden camera setup in the clinic’s dressing room. I already hate the guy.

In the next scene, Maeda has dinner with who is apparently her father. She is quiet for the most part as it is revealed to us that Maeda’s mother is also a yankee and so far has not been in a fight in her new job, as a trucker. We are also shown that her father has quite the opposite personality, as he is the nice, cheerful fellow, who tries to make a serious Maeda happy.

As her father talks about her mother and asks about her new school, Maeda removes and wipes her fogged up glasses, showing also that she is wearing the mysterious bracelet. She wears two, one pink, one blue.

Up on the school’s roof, Team Hormone talks about the beating Nacchu got, and how apparently the legend was an urban myth, and they decide to finish her off.

Maeda sits on a terrace-like part of the school to read, when Team Hormone enters the scene, dragging a beaten up Nacchu.

As Maeda tries to leave the scene, as they continue to beat on Nacchu, Team Hormone tells Nacchu to admit defeat, otherwise they’ll beat her to death, to which Nacchu says she’d rather risk her life than admit defeat. Nacchu emphasizes she’s serious. Team Hormone makes it clearer that they will beat her to death.

Continuing the insults and the beating, Sasshi asks, “Majisuka?” (Are you serious?)

It is Maeda who replies, “I assure you, I’m serious.”

Sasshi asks, “What did you say?”

Maeda turns to face them and says, “In this world, it’s all about being serious.”

After a flurry of blurred shots, Maeda comes back inside the school, where she walks past Shinoda. Shinoda notices Maeda.

The door opens where one of the members of Team Hormone stumbles in. There was no else in sight.

Shinoda decides to inspect the outside, where she finds all the members of Team Hormone on the ground, writhing in pain.

Shinoda also finds Nacchu, sitting on a corner, in disbelief. Apparently, the legend was true. They just had the wrong transfer student in mind.

As if to tease us for the upcoming episodes, Maeda walks past two girls who are not yet introduced, Kuramochi and Kasai.

Shinoda reports the carnage that occurred to Team Hormone to Rappappa’s big boss, who is none other than…

Yuko Oshima.


Majisuka Gakuen is better than I expected, and I’m very excited to see all the episodes, but since the weekly show just started January 8, I’d have to wait for the weekly airing just like the rest of the fans, but I would so love to watch all 12 episodes in just one sitting. The girls did great acting, especially Maeda Atsuko. The girls’ portray characters very different from what we normally see them in, very little cheery personalities, as we’re shown much more serious scenes. Some of the fight scenes are a little more violent than what I had thought, not necessarily because of the girls, but because the shots were great and postproduction also did a great job, so the casual fan might squirm a little (but they’re not very gruesome).

We can expect the Nacchu-Maeda friendship to last the whole story, as I guess Nacchu would become Maeda’s sidekick, and it’s interesting to see if the school gets cleaned up at the end of the show by Maeda, or will we have a more gripping, surprise ending. Maeda's father seems to be an interesting character, especially since as it turns out that he is the one who had the steamy romance with the principal before Maeda was born, so how does a bright and nice fellow end up with such unusually headstrong female partners? And remember, we still have dozens of AKB girls who will still debut on the show, so each episode should be an interesting one! Now, I kinda hoped they didn’t release a list of who would play what, just to keep us fans guessing. But either way, I’m loving this show! Now that you know what the first episode is about, go watch the rest of the series!

(ADDENDUM: If you would like to see my discussion on the first half of the series [episode 2-6], see here: )