Thursday, April 28, 2011

Majisuka Gakuen Season 2 Characters Analysis

When Majisuka Gakuen ended, I didn’t really think there’d be a Season 2. I couldn’t imagine that they can come up with an interesting storyline that can continue the first season (emphasis on the word "interesting"), especially with what would happen with many of the characters. So I was pleasantly surprised when they did announce that Season 2 would start April 2011! And just basing on the first episode, it already seems that it is very interesting, so they are starting at the right pace!

As the series is ongoing, I will limit myself to characters introduced in the first episode, as there were so many characters introduced (or reintroduced) then. What I want to focus on is something only us hardcore fans would recognize. Yeah, it may be obvious to us, but for the new fans, they don’t realize that a lot of the storylines going on is in part a reflection to who the girls are in real life. I mentioned some of this in my previous summaries from the first season here:, but I would like to point out a few things for this season for the new fans who may not be aware. I can imagine this is a version of how some of the things in real life were happening in the head of Aki-P, AKB’s producer and the producer of this show. Maeda’s battle with Yuko in Season 1 was a great example of the show channeling real life. Which is why the ending was great.

Team Hormone

Some of the most popular former Kenkyuuseis (Research Students) make up Team Hormone. Upstart, fresh faces, that could lead AKB someday. Yes, I was talking about Sasshi, Moeno, Kitarie, Akicha and Komori as AKB girls, and as Team Hormone within the series as well. They are relatively fresh to be at the highest ranks (media senbatsu, Skirt Hirari 7), but certainly girls to contest with. When the senior members eventually graduate though, guess who’ll be in charge.

The bonds of these former Kenkyuuseis hold up in real life, so for them to appear as a Team in the series is fitting. I especially love that Sasshi and Moeno are reunited here considering how close they were back when they were newly promoted in Team B.


Formerly Gakuran, since from last season’s second year, she is now in third, she no longer wears a gakuran, thus the name change. The real life reflection of her character? Sae is one of AKB’s handsomest girls, and this fact seems to be played on more highly this season. Sae is popular with the ladies! Then again, she’s popular with guys as well.

Nou-Gyouken Sisters

Formerly Kabuki Sisters, they also move on from second to third year students this year. OK, this probably has no relation with their real life, except that Kasai and Kuramochi are good friends as former teammates from Team K.


One of the most interesting characters from Season 1 stays in Rappapa’s Big Four as Gekikara was unable to graduate from last year, likely because of her absences since she was held by juvenile hall (or whatever they have over there) at the beginning of season 1. She is now known as Amakuchi. It was cute how Sasshi asked if she was curry (gekikara means spicy, pertaining to the fact that it is known that Rena loves spicy food, while amakuchi means sweet-tasting). It was very cute how Amakuchi/Gekikara confronts Jurina for the first time. I love W Matsui! I compare this scene in my head with their confrontation scenes in Mousou Deka!, the SKE comedy-drama. Do it, it’s cute! So varied! Apparently, as a promise to Yuko, she has to stay sane now.

Her weirdly placed umbrella of course relates to the umbrella she uses in her SKE Request Hour topping solo Kareha no Station.

What surprises me most about this scene is that someone from Majijo is actually studying. Other than Maeda, I mean. Her necklace also says “Pop” now, from last season’s “Rock”, and apparently this will be a sign as to whether we are seeing sane Amakuchi or insane Gekikara.


I don’t even remember when it started, but Minegishi is known for always wanting more screen time, in a good way, not in an annoying way. And why not, she is great in front of the camera, as she is one of the most entertaining personalities in AKB (which is why Shuukan AKB ran segments of her interviewing celebrities without a script). As one of the few remaining original members of AKB who is not in media senbatsu, she wants more and more screen time to boost her popularity, and this apparently is well known now as her five-girl team from the Ameba Pigg Team competition (that Team Mint won) was named Shaku ga Hoshii (essentially meaning “I want screen time”).

School body president Minegishi had a nice character from the first season, but it really didn’t get a lot of screen time. Coming up with which characters to develop from last season, I think it was genius to take in Minegishi as this time one of Rappapa’s Big Four, especially considering logically many of the top Senbatsus probably can’t take a major role this season considering what has already happened last season. In the first episode, Miichan keeps talking about many of the characters’ screen time, as her name Shaku would suggest.


The first and so far only member to be chosen Senbatsu while she was still Kenkyuusei, I suppose Management saw a lot of potential and hope in Komori in her early days. Her popularity hasn’t reached Senbatsu status again, but she is fair fodder of many jokes these days. So Mukuchi coming out as “president” could have been an interesting possibility (as Komori the future face of AKB would have been), but as Maeda would eventually reveal, “not gonna happen.” Mukuchi is still very much Team Hormone though, so everything I said about Team Hormone applies to Komori.


Yui Yokoyama is one of the most recently promoted members of AKB, and the very high amount of push she gets from Management is very noticeable. When I first read Yui would be in Majisuka, I was very interested in the role she would play. Making the story very interesting, the newcomer is Rappapa’s new president! No one knows her position in the story, as no one knows her ranking in AKB, as the upcoming Senbatsu election would be able to show how popular she really is. I think making her president was a very smart move in terms of storyline as viewers will keep guessing, especially on how she became president. My guess was she is Yuko’s secret younger sister, although episode 2 seems to disprove that.

Team Fondue

This year’s Team Hormone, except instead of Hormone, they eat cheese fondue. (I want some of that.) Team Fondue is composed of some of the freshest faces of AKB, being part of 9th and 10th Gen. (AKB’s latest generation so far is 11th.) Technically, only Ichikawa Miori is a Kenkyuusei here, as Mina Oba, Haruka Shimada, Haruka Shimazaki and Suzuran Yamauchi have all been promoted along with remaining 9th Gen, but Miorin being the most popular 10th Gen member, it is very reasonable to see her here. It’s really cute to see them less glamorized than we would normally see them as they portray yankees. I’m very happy to see Shimazaki part of this, as she is already rarely exposed, most likely because she doesn’t need the extra exposure, considering she has the record for highest ranking Kenkyuusei in the Senbatsu elections, ranking as high as #28 last year while still being Kenkyuusei that time. I’m surprised that many of the other 9th Gen darlings aren’t here, like Miyu Takeuchi, and especially Anna Mori, who I really think can very easily portray a yankee. Either this isn’t their cup of tea, or they will show up with other roles later in the season. As Team Hormone is composed of former Kenkyuusei that could be the very top girls someday, Team Fondue follows in their footsteps the same way. Also, from Hormone’s green uniforms, Fondue has cheese yellow uniforms.

Showa, Jumbo, Anime and Rice

Hacchan, Tanamin, Nakayan and Yonechan are good friends of Mayuyu, all being part of original Team B. Even though they are original B, these four have not achieved as much popularity as many of the girls, outside from being Undergirls and Janken Senbatsu. They were last year’s Rappapa’s freshmen members, and although as such they received exposure, they weren’t main key characters either. Although Rappapa remains on top, with newer members passing them in Rappapa’s hierarchy (the same way in real life they are passed in popularity by former Kenkyuuseis, for example those that are in Team Hormone), they are left outside the club room, where the popular girls are. It only made sense that they would be recruited by Mayuyu (Nezumi) as they would align with her. Sticking with Mayuyu is the way to go!

The “Where are they now” characters

From the former Big Four, to Daruma, we get previews of where they are right now. Big Four graduated last year, after all. Except for Gekikara, that is. We don’t know if all of them will come back with a major role for this season, but my guess is they will.

Daruma Onizuka

Another blow-out character from last season, Nacchu is out in training. It makes sense to not have Daruma back at once as following around Maeda from the beginning may become repetitive.


Shinoda is trying to live a respectable life as a nurse, trying to control her temper from what may be a condescending superior.


Yukirin is now a cashier at a store, using her super speedy ability for extra fast service. She carries around her child, to which no one knows the father of, a storyline that was never used but I heard about since Season 1.


Short-tempered Shibuya is now working in I.T. In her scene, she cluelessly presses a key on her laptop as she observes that all data then disappear. Tomochin is funny.


The very sexy Kojima is now doing… sensuous massages. Apparently, she’s popular at it. Understandably so.

The main antagonists

Unless there are more surprises, which I guess there will be, as the ending of the last season alluded to, the main bad guys here to take the top from Maeda is the tandem of Jurina and Mayuyu. In real life, if ever the time comes that Maeda graduates, who do you think should become the new center of AKB? Yuko is relevantly older than Maeda, so whenever Maeda graduates, Yuko will be too old to have the torch passed to her, even more so for Shinoda who would be next in line in terms of popularity. Tomochin and Takamina are about the same age as Maeda, and logically, it would be best for AKB to replace her with someone much younger than her since her successor would likely stay center for a few more years. So who would be top on that list? Jurina and Mayuyu. Which among them would be the best choice? Well, Jurina’s biggest stumbling block is that she is in SKE, then again, by the time Maeda graduates, Jurina will probably be old enough to be able to find a place and leave her family in Nagoya to live in Tokyo, and it wouldn’t be a big surprise for me anymore if Aki-P decides to transfer Jurina to AKB at that point. Of course, the very lovable Mayuyu, the youngest among the Skirt Hirari 7 (top 7 senbatsus), whose personality has much similarities with Maeda, is already in AKB, and has been the center of her Team, Team B, for years now, and the fact that she is still relevantly younger than Maeda and the rest of Skirt Hirari 7, and is still more popular than Jurina, makes her a top candidate. Jurina’s advantage over Mayuyu is that she is still relevantly younger than Mayuyu. So if ever Maeda does graduate, I really believe one of them will take Maeda’s place (unless a new girl will pop up who will become wildly popular, like possibly Yui[?]). Which one of them will it be, I really don’t know, it really depends on how things will go when it actually happens, but limiting it to what we have right now, they are the best options.


Surprisingly having only a small role in Season 1, Season 2 is set to make up for it.

When the real Jurina Matsui came on the scene as SKE48’s wonder girl, she was catapulted to the limelight by immediately cocentering her first single with the face of AKB, Maeda Atsuko. She started slow in the first Senbastu election, but reaching #10 in the next one. Her character in the show hardly mattered in Season 1, but she is set for a major role in Season 2. In her confrontation with Maeda at Rappapa’s room, she specifically said she was aiming to be “center,” actually using the English word “center” (which is used in Japanese anyway). Being years younger than Maeda, and having already been thrust within the center of AKB, Jurina is in prime position to replace Maeda as center someday. In the series, she is known for her prowess at fighting. In real life, Jurina is not only known for her beauty, but also for her prowess in dancing.

What I would like to see in Season 2 is Jurina leading a pack of SKE girls to the fray. Jurina is still the most popular girl in SKE and since there was hardly any SKE in Season 1, and Season 2 needs more new characters, seeing so many AKB girls were already used in Season 1 and for some of them, will likely not recur, SKE being used makes a lot of sense, especially since SKE’s popularity has been climbing since last year, and a lot of the individual girls are gaining much more fans. A whole new faction of SKE girls in the series is something I would love to see. It would be interesting how Gekikara/Amakuchi/Rena would handle it though, being SKE herself. More interestingly, how about Kumi? How would her character develop from Dance, Shibuya’s underling from last season? Whatever, I wanna see SKE in this!


Nezumi means mouse, maybe because Mayuyu was mousy cute when she was younger, or maybe because she was the mouse in Team B’s revival of Ame no Doubutsuen. Mayuyu portrays a smart girl who always actually has everything planned out, which is very close to who she is in real life. Mayuyu often plays the sweet, innocent, fun-loving girl, but considering she’s my #1 favorite AKB girl, so I observe as much about her as I can, I pretty much see how smart and calculated many of the things she does are. Of course, she’s so lovable, many wouldn’t notice this, but this girl is a smart one. I think Aki-P sees this as well, so Mayuyu’s role is perfect for her. In the series, she plays a master manipulator who has people in the palm of her hands, but in real life, I can’t imagine her needing to manipulate anyone, as I imagine anyone would just love to cater to Mayuyu, making her the center. As what really happens from what I see.

Such a beautiful smile. I love how Mayuyu interacted with her friends and fellow original Team B teammates, with the goal of recruiting them. It was like she was really happy to do this with her actual friends. And Mayuyu loves her friends.

Although I prefer the orange hoodie from Season 1, I just love Nezumi! I love that Mayuyu’s playing such an ambitious, calculating character, and I just love the character herself! Oh, and the person portraying that character too!

Another thing I love about Nezumi is that so far she has shown that she avoids getting in the physical fight herself as much as possible, as when she was first attacked by the Rappapa foursome, her’s was an evasive, defensive tactic where she easily avoided all attacks. But look out, when she was left with no choice but to fight, just when we thought Nezumi is probably a weakling, she shows us her well-orchestrated, elegant moves and smarts to the tune of classical music she listens to, wiping out the four girls on her own. And I love serious, mean Mayuyu’s stare. She ain’t no weakling, she won’t take you on herself if she doesn’t have to, she has people that can do that for her, but when she really needs to, don’t mess with her, she’ll deal with you!

Nezumi’s angered speech for the Rappapa foursome again reflected reality, when she said that if they maintained the attitude they have, they will always be underlings and always be stuck behind other people, as again the four needs to come out and shine to increase their popularity and take spots at front and center. Coming from someone like Mayuyu, the speech becomes palatable to them.

The main protoganists


What would an all-star AKB show be without the current #1 girl Yuko Oshima? If there’s a ghost Yuko, ghost Takamina better be back too. (Episode 2 shows that Aki-P went with a cop-out, but at least put an interesting twist, so instead, I expect Takamina to be part of quintuplets.)

I love how Maeda refers to Yuko as the center, especially considering how Yuko ended up taking the #1 spot from Maeda in the previous Senbatsu elections.


Yeah, I know her first name is Atsuko, it’s just that a lot of people refer to her as Maeda. Again, Maeda is disturbed by the death of a beloved friend. Making her Vice President of Rappapa instead of President was a great twist though. And she’s wearing contacts this time, so I don’t know if we’ll eventually see Maeda taking off her glasses again. It was also interesting how Jurina called Maeda “cute as always,” using the word kyuuto instead of kawaii for cute, in reference to her great drama that I just loved that ended a few months ago, Q10 (pronounced Kyuuto), where Maeda played the title character.


I told myself I’d limit this to episode 1, but since episode 2 has come out by the time I post this, I wanted to point out that it still mirrors many events in real life: Ucchi taking the top spot via Janken in both AKB and the series; Kikuchi as Comeback in the series was expelled and came back, mirroring the fact that she was dismissed from AKB and has come back; Team Under chastising Team Hormone by saying if they hadn’t been promoted, they would be the ones running the show, which is a reflection of what has happened with AKB, with Team Under, although being senior members, taking a backseat to popular new members such as the members of Team Hormone; the what should have been eagerly expected fight between Jurina Matsui and Rena Matsui mirroring their fight for the top spot of SKE (with Jurina narrowly beating Rena last Senbatsu election, and what should be an interesting battle this upcoming election); and Tomochin becoming one of Maeda’s top threats, which is also true in real life, with the relevant leap in her rank last Senbatsu election, and a very successful solo debut single, Tomochin is now a viable threat to take the #1 spot from both Maeda and Yuko.

Many times, a season 2 does not live up to how great a season 1 was, but this is off to a very good start! I’m excited to finish this series!