Gokusen (Comedy) by Kozueko Morimoto. Rating – 8/10
Synopsis: Gokusen is a fanciful tale of a girl following her somewhat clichéd childhood dream despite all obstacles. The girl, Kumiko Yamaguchi, has long been determined to be an inspirational and uplifting high school teacher, carefully guiding her students into maturity with a firm-yet-gentle hand and an empathic shoulder to cry upon, as that is her vision of an ideal teacher…
However, she finds herself assigned to the delinquents of the all-male Gakuen Academy, where the teachers walk in perpetual fear of the students and have adopted a uniform of protective gear and running shoes. Unperturbed by this turn of events, the apparently frail Yamaguchi dives headfirst into her role of math teacher despite the ridicule and disrespect of the students, avoiding their overly violent pranks with what appears to be naïve clumsiness.
Little do her students know that she is the granddaughter and sole heiress to one of the most feared Yakuza groups in the city, The Kuroda Ikka, and that she is slowly being forced to take over the reins of the family business as her grandfather ages. In a hilarious blend of action and comedy Gokusen details her everyday life as she tries to balance being a high school teacher and a Yakuza boss without the two ever clashing.
Filled with slightly perverse humour and some deeply moralistic views of honour, this manga introduces you to the world of the Yakuza and school life in a refreshing way. The manga is populated by genuinely memorable characters, each with their own side stories and personal dilemmas that add layers of believability not often seen in most protagonist-centric manga.
Artwork: The artwork, while painfully simplistic at first, gets exponentially better as the first time mangaka hones his artistic talents. The somewhat older feel of the artwork, and the attention to specific detail in certain areas (yakuza tattoos of rank), gives the manga a lighthearted yet immersive feel that leads you to be quite thoroughly entertained.
As a very selective manga reader, I highly recommend this for anyone that is looking for a casual yet entertaining manga.
*Warning*: You may be afflicted with Gokusentitis. Symptoms: Reading entire manga in one night and subsequently missing class/work the next day.
Age Rating: 13+
Status:156 chapters – Completed.
Purchase the manga volumes you cheap bastards.
DISCLAIMER: Artwork and manga copyright © Kozueko Morimoto. We don’t own it and if you sue us, good luck to you because we’re all pretty broke.