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See disclaimer in first post. I'm a bit pushed for time over the next few weeks, so I'm aiming to get the series finished by next weekend. There are a few screencaps dotted here and there, just for colour, but be warned that they are quite small as I'm watching files converted for my iPod.


Gokusen 2 - Episode 09

Plot: Ryu's morning doesn't start too well. Hayato and the others give him what they think is great news - they've got a group date with some girls from Momo High, which Take set up with Maki. Tsucchi's so proud of him, aww. Hayato tells Ryu he's going too; to everyone's surprise, Ryu agrees. He usually passes, and in fact Hayato demonstrates exactly how Ryu normally says it. I guess he's getting his own back for the previous episode. Ryu's okay with just sitting there, and I suspect it's more to ensure the rest of them don't do something too stupid than for his own benefit.

Doing something stupid, I'm afraid, is inevitable. The boys are determined to get themselves girlfriends - all except Ryu, whose enthusiasm is decidedly lacking. What does he need a girlfriend for? He's got Hayato. Maybe this is why Ryu's smiling more than usual. Even his clueless homeroom teacher notices this, and oh, it's a smile worth noticing.

Today is White Day, which means Shiratori gets lots of return gifts and Yankumi daydreams about one from Kujo and refuses one from Baba. Kujo's sparkles are getting worse. I hope he's not contagious.

After the credits, Hayato, Tsucchi, Hyuuga and Take are recruiting for a group date. Sitting off to the side by himself, Ryu sensibly points out that it's impossible to take everyone. From his stricken expression, it's clear Hayato never considered this. Well, it's nice that he wants everyone to be able to go on a date, but... There are ten girls going, so they need to pick another five guys. Take looks like a female punk rocker here, by the way. Hyuuga's got a shirt Thomas Magnum would be happy to call his own. Yankumi's practically dizzy with delight when she hears about the group date, and gets carried away by her own imagination again.

Over at the takoyaki stand, Tetsu is making heart-shaped takoyaki as a return gift. A bunch of Momo High girls find this incredibly cute, and I agree with them.

Kujo's actually at Kurogin at the moment, having gone for a meeting, and now he's gone to find Yankumi in the staffroom. Could this be the moment she's been waiting for? Not really. He's just returning a volume of manga - a Gokusen lookalike... Yankumi is crushed. Baba swoops in, sensing a chance, but Yankumi's too dejected.

Don't ask me how they fit everyone in Cafe de Rovne, but 3-D are drawing straws to be allowed to go on the group date. If they get ones with little hearts on the end, they're in. Ryu watches them like he's a scientist studying some strange new lifeform. The boys get a bit carried away and eventually go out to meet the girls at karaoke. Ten girls vs. *all* of 3-D. No wonder the poor girls look intimidated. Hayato apologises; Ryu is amused. Oh, and the girls like Okuma. Who'd have thought it?

At the same time, the teachers are having a party, and have gone out for drinks. Yankumi's in a lousy mood and so is Wanibuchi after Sawatari, far from giving her a return gift, says he and his wife are thinking it's time she started thinking about marriage and it looks like they've got some prospects lined up. In fact the guy is the cop from the first season - not the one Yankumi liked but his partner!

Oh dear. Poor Tetsu. He's waiting for Yankumi to come home so he can give her the heartshaped takoyaki, but sadly her grandfather and a couple of the guys eat it. Tetsu collapses. His life is very hard.

Tsucchi has an unexpected encounter in the men's room - with Sawatari - which leads to all hell breaking loose. The 3-D students aren't in a group date in a bowling alley, as they told Yankumi, but are of course in a place that serves alcohol. Don't ask me what they're singing at karaoke but they appear to be having fun, until Tsucchi comes in with the news that they have to run. Hyuuga seems to be having the most luck with the girls, as he's actually getting an email address from one of them, but he reluctantly lets Ryu drag him out. Tsucchi's dragging Hayato by his collar.

The guys split into two groups, as do the male teachers following them. Unfortunately one of the guys from the karaoke place catches up to Hayato-tachi first - with a police officer - as they left without paying. The inevitable happens.

Down at the police station, Yankumi is not best pleased. Luckily, she can take her wayward students home, no problem, because Ryu's father stepped in to clear up the matter. Watch Ryu get uncomfortable as everyone turns to stare at him. In the corridor on the way out, Ryu's dad walks straight past him to introduce himself to Yankumi. You can tell he's not impressed, either by her or the four ruffians behind her. (C'mon, does Take look like a bad boy?) Poor Ryu just closes himself off and gets swept along by his dad. There are many pretty Kame moments this episode. It amuses me that Hayato, after they leave, says he doesn't deal well with Ryu's dad. I'm not surprised.

It's an uncomfortable ride home for Ryu. Of course his dad has a driver, so both Odagiri men sit in the back, carefully not looking at each other while Mr. Odagiri chastises his son for his poor choice of friends. Ryu keeps silent. No wonder he's so withdrawn all the time.

Next morning there's trouble for Yankumi - the superintendent wants to see her, and Mr. Odagiri is there too. Ryu's now trapped at home, in a pretty nice - if oddly shaped - bedroom. Flat-screen TV, computer, comfy-looking bed...it's a futuristic sort of room, really. Ryu angsts prettily on the bed, shirt half-undone, wistfully looking at his uniform. There's a horrible moment where his mum brings him breakfast and leaves, locking the door after her. Poor thing is a prisoner. I'm tearing up already.

Back at the school, Ryu's dad is annoyed that his son started sneaking off to school behind his back - clearly, defiance caused by his no-good friends. Most parents would be happy their child was attending school, but not this guy. Ryu's not to return to Kurogin Gakuen, and while he will be graduating, he won't be attending the ceremony - he's being sent off to Canada next month! Why Canada? To make him less defiant? First he's going to a language school, and then to college. Great plan, but not, I think, one Ryu would like to sign up to, no matter what his dad says.

They must've taken his phone away as well, because Hyuuga says he's not answering when Yankumi explains the situation to 3-D. Hayato looks all forlorn. :-( Tsucchi hits the nail right on the head when he suggests that maybe Ryu's being locked up at home. Hayato's desperate to do something, that they not leave Ryu alone. They're all going to graduate together, right? Unfortunately, Yankumi's at a loss for what to do. Everyone looks to Hayato for answers. Baby looks puzzled. Isn't there a formation for this?

That night, Yankumi angsts in her own room over Mr. Odagiri's words to her. If he thinks Yankumi's responsibility to her students ends when they graduate, he needs to talk to Kuma.

RESCUE! Oh boy, this is *good*. Under the cover of darkness, Hayato, Tsucchi, Take and Hyuuga approach the Odagiri house. Hayato's wearing sunglasses and Take's so short, he has to keep jumping to see over the wall. They climb over the wall, accidentally tripping the sensors (oops!) and interrupt Ryu in the middle of some heavy-duty angsting. I don't know if that piano is BGM or if he's listening on his cute, glowy hi-fi, but the guys make noise in the garden and Ryu goes out to his balcony to investigate.

Yes, his balcony. Nice to be rich. Ryu's surprised to see the "rescue team" (Hayato's words, not mine) and damned if this isn't Romeo and Juliet all over as Hayato asks Ryu to defy his dad and come out. Out of the house, not out of the closet, I should add. They don't want to give the man a heart attack, after all. I don't know if it's the lighting or what but Ryu's hair looks all sort of wet and spiky, and his eyes are dark and his lips are pink and he just looks inhumanly pretty as he tells his rescuers he doesn't want to get them involved. They don't care. They're prepared. Hyuuga's even brought a rope.

Watch Kame pull out every twitch in the book as Ryu agonises over what to do. But not for long. He grabs his jacket and leaps off the balcony to join his friends. (Hah! Juliet never did *that*!) Unfortunately just as he and Hayato are smiling sweetly at each other the security officers turn up with torches - that sensor must've set some alarms ringing. Hayato quickly dons the sunglasses and Hyuuga tries to cover his face with the rope, but running doesn't get them very far. One grabs Ryu; after Hayato frees himself he immediately runs over and starts hitting the guy on the head (Why? He's wearing a helmet!) to free him. In the end, Ryu's the only one who does get away, as the others urge him to save himself. It's not much of a rescue but it's all they can do. Ryu jumps over the wall, pauses to look back with one of those "I will avenge you, my fallen friends" looks, and makes a break for it.

Poor Yankumi's being called out again. Do teachers never get a moment to themselves? Hayato and co. are back at school, being done for trespassing on Odagiri property, and Mr. Odagiri is not happy that he's lost contact with his son. Perhaps he shouldn't have taken away his cellphone, then! While we watch Ryu wander the streets at night, we hear his dad complaining about how Ryu is normally a good boy and it's going to this school with such people that's turned him bad. Based on his speech, I don't think he wants a son so much as a clone, someone with no will other than his father's.

And his father's will is to file a lawsuit against Ryu's friends. Gee, what a great, warmhearted guy. He's doing it because they trespassed and fought the security officers; Hayato counters by asking if it's okay to lock your son up at home. The superintendent makes a peace offering by saying the school will expel them all. Hayato, bless him, says he's fine with expulsion but it was all his idea and they shouldn't punish the others, but they won't let him assume sole responsibility. One for all and all for one!

Knowing Ryu is out by himself, Yankumi searches for him in all the usual places. Perhaps she should've tried looking for gangs of delinquents he could possibly wind up getting in fights with, because that's exactly what he's doing. Alone, angry, and not really caring what happens to him, Ryu's spoiling for a fight, looking for someone - anyone - to help him work out some of the feelings that are bottling up inside him.

Hayato's upset too. He did this for Ryu, and look where it got them all. He and the gang are out looking for Ryu also and run into Yankumi in the arcade. Hyuuga rushes in to say he's found Ryu, and from the look on Hayato's face, you'd swear Hyuuga had said he'd found Ryu's *corpse*.

Close enough, as Ryu's being beaten up by a bunch of guys he walked into. They were prepared to leave him after knocking him down once, but he insisted on a fight, throwing the first punch, but now he's not even fighting back, beyond caring what happens to him. That's some dark mood he's in. Of course there's also the small matter of them all promising they wouldn't get in fights until graduation, but that promise doesn't seem to be working out too well...

Yankumi intervenes just as one thug is about to break Ryu's nose and they all run off. Ryu collapses to the ground, looking thoroughly chastened when he sees his friends have come for him. It's off to Cafe de Rovne to patch him up. There are *never* any other customers! Ryu's more concerned about how things went with his friends than his own injuries, but how do they tell him they're being both expelled and sued? Poor Ryu apologises for all the trouble he's caused and walks off, still keeping everything to himself, which Yankumi takes him to task over. Kizuna time! Ryu's about ten seconds away from tears when Yankumi invites him to her house. He's got nowhere else to go.

So Ryu moves from angsting in his bedroom to angsting at Yankumi's house. He stares into space, Yankumi stares at him, and everyone else in the house stares at Yankumi. Something has to be done.

Back at Ryu's house, his parents express some slight concern over his absence. Unfortunately, one of his dad's flunkies has done some research into Yankumi's background and comes up with something interesting...

The next morning Hayato takes the others to Yankumi's house to see Ryu. They are, understandably, a little surprised at her family, but are quite fascinated at the same time. They take it in turns with Ryu to try to make each other feel better, though no one really succeeds, and that goes out the window when Ryu's parents turn up.

The boys watch his dad's conversation with Yankumi through the door - they fail at hiding again - and Mr. Odagiri threatens to charge Yankumi with kidnapping his son if Ryu isn't returned to him. This guy just gets better and better, doesn't he? His threats extend to Yankumi's family, which goes down very badly with Tetsu, but ultimately he wants Yankumi to take responsibility for her students. When she says she's prepared to do this, that's enough for Ryu and he runs out to confront his dad, his friends right behind him.

Mr. Odagiri doesn't expect his son to be asking for forgiveness for his friends, which proves he doesn't know Ryu at all. Ryu will do anything to stop them being expelled, sued and the rest, even if it means he can't attend school and has to agree to everything his dad says. He bows low; behind him, his friends look heartbroken.

Yankumi doesn't subscribe to the "papa knows best" school of thought, which says Mr. Odagiri has to control every second of his son's life in order for him to succeed. She answers his question from earlier, about why the heir to a yakuza family would want to be a teacher, explaining that unlike him, her grandfather doesn't believe in forcing his way of life on his descendants. Ryu's father should listen to his son, find out what he wants to do, not tell him.

Since no one's bothered to ask Ryu what he wants to do, Yankumi finally does. It's a powerful scene; no wonder Ryu's crying silently as his teacher speaks. His friends are looking suspiciously bright-eyed too. Ryu drops to his knees and says he wants to go to school, to graduate together with his friends. Since Yankumi started he's finally begun to appreciate how much fun school is, and now he wants to make the most of the short time he has left. How can anyone not be moved by this? Oh yes, Hayato's definitely got a tear in his eye when Ryu talks about his lifelong friends. So please, can't Ryu graduate with them?

Unexpectedly, Yankumi's grandfather weighs in to offer his view on the situation, that Ryu's friends are good guys to do what they did for him. And good guys they are, as Hayato drops to his knees beside Ryu and also asks, followed by the other three. You'd have to have a heart of stone not to feel for them.

Finally, Mr. Odagiri reveals that his heart is not actually made of stone (perhaps it's made of wood instead?), and asks Yankumi to take care of his son. He's seen the light! Take and Hyuuga immediately hug each other. Delinquency: it's a snugglier way of life than you might think. Now Ryu's all happy and grateful and can confidently say to his friends that he'll see them later. Hayato's got a furtive sort of grin - I guess he'll be seeing Ryu *much* later, and probably without any company. Yankumi's grandfather gives a nod of approval. Ah, young love...

Ryu's father can smile! He's happy his son finally stood up to him properly, which is a good sign. All charges are being dropped, the expulsions are no longer required, and Ryu is going to attend school. Yankumi takes him back in the next morning, still bruised (and now late for class) and the guys have banners and everything! With hearts! Of course there is teasing and smiling and Formation H, in which Ryu has to go through the double row of students being petted and made a fuss over by everyone until he reaches the end and is hoisted up on Tsucchi's shoulders to ride back through them. Hayato, how *do* you come up with these things? (Formation H -> Formation ecchi -> Formation sex...)

But in the superintendent's office...oh dear. He knows Yankumi's background, and now Sawatari knows he knows, and Sawatari...has a paper aeroplane stuck in his hair. While Yankumi is happy with her class, the superintendent is clawing marks in the walls and determined to bring it all crashing down for his most troublesome teacher.

Obligatory Akame commentary: I like these last few episodes - there's plenty of material! Don't even get me started on the whole forbidden love affair - it's like if Juliet was a sarcastic delinquent who leaps off balconies and is both smarter and a better fighter than Romeo, whose main concerns in life are making sure his lips look glossy, planning for the babies he's going to bear Juliet, and devising ridiculous formations that, other than Formation B, don't really help in fights. (Hey, Shakespeare, why didn't you write that one?) We know Hayato and Ryu's dad don't like each other - what's Hayato done in the past to annoy him? C'mon, we want details! I figure since Hayato's dad is away a lot, Hayato would've had to stay at home at night to look after Taku so Ryu would've stayed over Hayato's place...

Best scene: I am spoilt for choice. The rescue scene is one of my favourites, because everything's so angsty yet hopeful, serious yet dorky, and it's a lovely moment for them all. Ryu looks gorgeous the entire episode, even after he's been beaten up, but my goodness, him up on that balcony, and jumping down to join his friends, that's one of the most beautiful scenes in the show. I love them all. Second place goes to Ryu standing up to his dad (albeit on his knees) in Yankumi's house, because after bottling everything up the whole time he finally lets it out and it's just so powerful and moving that I want to cry right along with him. And in third place, Formation H, because I love seeing Ryu dropping his barriers and being happy with his friends. He's so distant, most of the time, but now the entire class gets to make a fuss over him. You'd think Yankumi had brought him back from the dead, the way they treat him! (I suppose in a way, she has!)

Conclusion: Ryu needs Hayato in his life to stop him getting self-destructive, Hayato needs to learn that you shouldn't wear sunglasses at night, and the entire series is actually about Ryu and Hayato's forbidden love affair, which now has the Oedo Family seal of approval.
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mec: Photo of Fluff (Default)
Mec

May 2017

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