Manga turned Dorama. You better be interested~
Heya all, Ness here and yes, as you can tell.. I’ll be covering some dorama series and even movies. After some thought, I figured that I’d start with a dorama related to a manga that most of you might recognize. Yoshikawa Miki’s Yankee-kun to Megane-chan. For those of you who wouldn’t know, yankee is Japanese for a delinquent and megane is in referring to someone wearing glasses. Another name for the manga is Flunk Punk Rumble by a Singapore company that recently licensed the manga. Another thing to note is that I have yet to read the manga, but I skimmed through the first few chapters of it. Now then, since this is an already complete dorama, I’ll be covering at least 2-3 episodes at a time and they won’t be as detailed compared to my anime reviews. Keep in mind, one dorama episode is about an hour, so the length of this post will be quite different compared to anime. So, let’s begin!
A flashback memory starts us off, Shinagawa Daichi (Narimiya Hiroku – Gokusen, Orange Days, Innocent Love etc) is greeted by a gang as he devours an onigiri. As they rush at him, Daichi cooly throws the onigiri into the air and takes them on and of course he wins; he catches the onigiri. Following that, Daichi receives a call from his friend asking for help. When Daichi arrives, the gang leader points into his direction saying “Why… is it.. Hurricane Ada..” and they all collapse. Flash back ends.
It’s the start of a new school year and Daichi is already planning to skip class. Before getting anywhere, Daichi is tackled from behind by a girl. Claiming that her ankle is sprained, Daichi ends up giving the girl a piggyback to school and drops her off then leaves. Wow, he’s skipping class already, typical yankee-kun. On the roof, Daichi wakes up to see the girl hovering over him and she introduces herself as Adachi Hana (Naka Risa – Ninkyo Helper and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time played the main character in anime and live action). Hana irritates him into going to class so he can put his vote in for class rep who of course will be Hana.
After school, Daichi goes home only to be terrorized by his older sister and an old man. Being subdued by an old man, how weak of you Daichi but its cute that onee-san put those dots on his face. Daichi’s family treats him like a hopeless idiot and through his trauma and misunderstandings at school became labelled as a yankee. Poor Daichi, misunderstood and abused.
Yepp, onee-san is wearing the same clothes as a child
The class works on a mural and Hana keeps trying to get Daichi to help. One day a gang looking for Daichi shows up and starts a fight. Suspended from school after the fight, Daichi keeps getting pestered at home by Hana to go apologize to the teacher. The guy can’t even properly read his manga or even use the toilet without being bothered. After wasted effort, Hana tries to get the gang to apologize to Daichi so he’ll go to school. Daichi’s comes to her rescue only to be saved by Hana who is forced to identify herself as Hurricane Ada (Ada is short for Adachi), the legendary yankee. In the flashback from the beginning of the episode, the person that the gang leader was pointing at was behind Daichi.
Daichi: Uso! She’s stronger than me
Episode two: Daichi is hanging out with his best friend Sei (seen in episode one) and they discuss that Hana might like Daichi because she keeps on bothering him. Daichi agrees to the assumption but says to himself that they should become friends first.
On the school roof, Daichi is doing his usual lazing around until Hana shows up bothering him to go with her to visit a classmate named Chiba. Hana blames Daichi for the reason Chiba isn’t going to school anymore and guilts him into going along. At Chiba’s house (rich, big house sheesh), Daichi and Hana is greeted by Chiba’s mother. I don’t see the mother that beautiful for a high schooler like Daichi to fall for but he did! Anyways, Hana tries to talk to Chiba through his door while Daichi just complains until they get a note from under the door to leave.
Lets play a game, guess where Chiba-kun lives~
During roll call at school, Chiba is still absent so Hana pesters Daichi again to go with her to Chiba’s house. Hana smoothly gets Daichi to go with a picture of Chiba’s mom holding apple pie. Outside of Chiba’s room, Hana tries to survey Chiba using a love compatibility book. Chiba doesn’t give any answers so Daichi just tells Hana to write ‘I don’t know’ in the survey. In the end, Hana’s results is that Daichi and Chiba’s love compatibility is 80%. Poor Hana, I think we can just say that she’s kind of dense even though she looks smart but she’s so funny for it.
Chiba x Daichi love compatibility 80% vs Hana x Daichi love compatibility 3%
The next day Hana visits Chiba alone with class notes from Izumi (the class’ smart guy who thinks he’s cool). Hana somehow gets him to give a response to her and decides to visit the next day again only to be turned down by Chiba’s mother. Actually at the time, some guys are already visiting which cause Chiba to just hide under his blankets. Guess we can figure out now that Chiba locked himself away in his room because of these guys. Maybe they’re bullies? Back at school Daichi finds Hana being depressed for being turned away from Chiba’s house. Hana ends up going on about how Chiba will end up being held back a year and mistakingly ends up using the word ‘I’ when explaining the horrors of it. Daichi just laughs in her face causing Hana to leave angry. Later that night, Hana at home talks with her grandfather about giving up. We then get a flash back on how Hana’s grandfather worked hard to get yankee-Hana to change her ways and go live with him.
The next day as Hana is going to press doorbell of Chiba’s house, Daichi from behind does it for her. They’re both turned away by Chiba’s mom and Hana decides she won’t give up but will come again. Awwe, its good to see that Hana and Daichi are finally getting along. When at school, Hana is given a note with a website address by Izumi and tries to look it up in the dictionary. Guess Hana doesn’t know about the internet that Daichi has to do it for her hah. The website is to Chiba’s blog with posts of his problems. Chiba thought he made friends but they were just gold diggers who eventually even invaded his home. Later, Chiba receives a comment on his blog from someone stating that they understand him. Chiba goes on about explaining his problems and the commenter tries to encourage Chiba to stand up and make friends who accept him. Chiba yells out asking if those people even exist and Daichi (to our surprise) answers from behind the door. Daichi responds to Chiba, getting him to open the door and behold – we get a tall, dried lip Chiba.
Nuuuuu don’t step into the light
On their way home, Daichi and Hana are stopped by the yankee from the previous episode. The yankee stops Hana and taunts her into spinning back kicking him. The next day at school, Chiba is stopped by the three gold diggers. Chiba stands up to them, joining Hana and Daichi who are now his new friends. Ending the episode, a girl who appears to be a yankee, breaks down the door to the class and calls out for Adachi Hana.
Lets be friends forever…
Just don’t come between me and my pie or you’ll end up like the dude above.
Episode three continues off from the end of the previous one. The yankee girl knocked down the classroom door and calls out for Hana who pretends not to know the girl. As the girl walks towards Hana, all the classmate backs away except Daichi who gets back handed when the girl throws away the book Hana was reading. Hana tells the girl to leave because she’s disrupting class and surprising enough, the girl obediently leaves the class room (while breaking down the other door). On the roof, Hana is greeted by an annoyed Daichi who had to fix the broken down doors. He inquires about the girl but Hana just tells Daichi to mind his open business and in return Daichi taunts Hana into a spinning back kick. Daichi calls the girl weird and Hana answers saying Rinka isn’t weird.
Hana: “They’re tomatoes”
That night Daichi’s father comes home drunk with Hana’s grandfather (Daichi doesn’t know they’re related) and a cabaret girl.. Rinka! When Daichi’s mother comes out the guys lie saying that Rinka is Daichi’s friend. Rinka ends up staying the night because she doesn’t have a place to go. In the middle of the night Daichi wakes up to Rinka hovering over him (seems similar to Hana’s hovering but scarier) and it almost looks like she’s going to rape him but Rinka just wants to know Hana and Daichi’s relationship. We then find out that Rinka used to be Hana’s disciple before Hana disappeared from the yankee world. In the morning, Daichi is harassed by his sister who states that he probably touched Rinka which caused her to leave the house. Daichi’s mother tells him to take responsibility or no dinner! Its sad that Daichi’s family picks on him. Oh Daichi, misunderstood.
At school the teacher hands out fliers for a student council election and we see Hana all interested in it. During a break Daichi talks to Hana, telling her to do something about Rinka. Hana just ignores Daichi, not wanting to do anything with it. We then see Rinka going to work and confronted by Daichi who wants to have a talk. But as they leave, a guy (the one who got Rinka the job) tries to stop them only to be caught by the boss who Daichi tells that Rinka lied about her age. Daichi brings Rinka to a cafe where Hana is studying with Chiba who was asked by Daichi to set her up there to meet Rinka. Before anything happens, we see Sei enter the cafe but leaves after seeing Daichi. When Daichi tells Rinka to tell Hana her feelings, Rinka gives Daichi away about staying at his house. Somehow this causes a serious moment and Hana ends up leaving only to be stopped by Rinka who yells about Hana changing and being the worst.
That night Hana confides in her grandpa about the past and her hopes Rinka would go home if Hana left. Hana then learns from her grandfather that Rinka is adopted and that Rinka felt she belonged when with Hana. Meanwhile Daichi is with Rinka and they have a discussion about change. There’s a reference about Sei that he left the cafe not wanting to bother Daichi who now lives in a different world.
Saeki: “I don’t want Daichi to see me these high schoolers who are actually 30 years old”
At school, Hana is trying to get nominated for student council president but Daichi refuses to sign the nomination paper. So Hana does the next best thing, writes Daichi’s name and just grabs his hand to stamp the paper. Daichi gets upset at Hana for not caring about Rinka but Hana just ignores it saying she has nothing to do with it because she’s not a yankee anymore. Daichi later confides with Sei about his problems. I think Sei is one of those good friends who has good advice even though his life isn’t as great. As Daichi leaves he is confronted by the cabaret worker that tried to pull Rinka off as a 16 year old. The guy blames Daichi for getting fired and ends up getting head butted.
You messing with me?
Rinka receives a invitation from Hana to watch the student council election speeches but Rinka tears up the paper. At school, Daichi is stopped by Chiba as he’s about to leave during the speeches and finds out that Hana wrote her speech for Rinka. So Daichi takes it upon himself to go fetch Rinka, he borrows Sei’s bike and when he leaves, Sei is confronted by the fired cabaret worker from earlier. As Daichi and Rinka are leaving to school, Daichi gets a call from the cabaret guy who has a gang with him and wants Daichi to come over. Sei takes the phone and tells Daichi not to bother. Sei goes on about them being from different worlds, its all similar to what Rinka and Hana are going through. I think Sei is the coolest character so far in the series. He’s just walking, talking and kicking the guys around him. After Sei hangs up, Daichi heads over to the rescue and they work things out like how bros should.
Inspired by the guys friendship, Rinka has Daichi rush her to see Hana’s speech. Rinka arrived on her own bike, I didn’t see a point for her to have Daichi take her. Hana’s special speech basically covers about having a place to belong and how school has helped her. You’d have to actually watch this but the whole speech reminds me of Naruto and Yukimaru’s discussion on where you belong haha. Anyway, at the end of the speech the teacher asks if anybody has any questions and Rinka raises her hand that she wants to be with Hana. In response, Hana agrees and Chiba claps which causes everyone to as well. To end the episode, Izumi steps up next, calls Hana’s statements ridiculous and reveals that he’s the other student council president candidate.
Oooo pick me, pick me!
End Thoughts: I find that summarizing three hours of life situations, good humor and action is quite gruesome. Nevertheless, I enjoy covering this dorama and hope that you readers will too. My thoughts on the first episode is that it was well laid out. The episode focused more on introducing Daichi and Hana’s effects on him. I think that throughout the series we’ll see Daichi change more and more away from being just a yankee. The second episode introduced Chiba, a support character who’s problems help bring Hana and Daichi together. By episode three, we already have a Daichi who is caring for others compared to the first episode. Or it could have been just the threat his mother gave him to take responsibility or no food. As well, I like the whole coverage on Hana and Rinka’s past. In relation to that, Daichi and Sei go through the same thing in a different way.
Compared to the manga, I think that the dorama brings more anticipation for things. From what I skimmed through in the manga, it would have been funny if the dorama covered Hana bugging Daichi when he’s on the toilet throughout the first few chapters. But the introduction of Hurricane Ada is portrayed more better in the dorama because in the manga there isn’t as much anticipation for who Ada is.
I think that the acting in this dorama was pretty good. Narimiya Hiroku who plays Daichi does a good job at expressing the reactions that he gets. Sometimes though its a bit much but very amusing to see. Narimiya is almost 30 years old! But lets ignore that throughout the series hehe. I think this role for him must have been a revisit to when he played a delinquent in the series Gokusen (based off of a manga and also made into an anime). As for Naka Riisa who plays Hana, this is my second time watching a show with her in it. I was surprised though to find out that she plays the seiyu for the main character in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. And as for her acting, just as good and her portrayal of megane-chan feels right.
Preview: Izumi is running for student council president and he’s against yankees especially Daichi in particular. Hana, Chiba and Rinka start a campaign… for Daichi?!
Hana: “How come my glasses don’t do that?!”
For those interested in watching the dorama, you can find it subbed from TimeLesSub.