35 Sai no Koukousei (35 years old high schooler) is a Jdrama about a mysterious 35 years old woman named Baba Ayako who entered a high school as a student. During her schooling, she dealt with many problems like bullying, attempted suicide, and such, gained friends along the way and even managed to deal with her own dark past.
I'm not an avid Jdrama viewer (or any other dramas), so it was a surprise even for myself that I actually finished this drama yesterday. Then again, this drama only ran for eleven episodes so it was not that hard to finish. This drama was centered on a middle aged woman who went to a high school filled with teenagers angst and delinquency. It was kinda hard for me to get around the fact that she could actually befriended these angsty teenagers despite being way mature for any of their craps. If it were me, I would slapped them around and tell them life's suck, deal with it. Lol. Yes, I've been told I am cold and unfeeling at some point in my life.
This drama is the same with any other dramas; over-dramatic and ridiculous. However, it was very entertaining and it even managed to get me spill some tears. Some of the issues here like bullying, isolation and depression touched me deeply. It may be because I used to be isolated during high school, and had dealt with mild depression. Being a teacher right now, seeing and dealing with bullies among my students as best as I can, the incidents in the drama just rang true with my heart. Furthermore, this drama also dealt with stress among teachers, something not always talked about in tv. You always see this vision of super teachers and people expect us to act like we are going to sacrifice our own blood for our students, but they were never made to understand the amount of stress teachers had to deal with students, parents and educational policies.
I admired the way Japanese teachers take their students as very precious, and did everything for the sake of their students even when their efforts were never appreciated. Although it was sad that this drama played up the ridiculousness by making all adults except Baba to be very incompetent, because despite how I loved my students, I would never let them play me around like that. No students of mine are going to humiliate me or tell lies about me without consequences; I loved my students but I am not going to excuse their terrible behaviors. Heheh. I saw a Korean movie once where the teacher hit and kick students, and I just want to say that is not the way to deal with kids as well. Violence is no way to deal with things, nor does being a complete passive when students demean you but I digress.
The message of friendship here is prevalence as with any other Jdrama I've ever watched. It was heartwarming as well as goofy. All the actors did amazing jobs, and the comedy balanced out the angst. That was why this drama managed to capture my attention. It may be ridiculous, but it delivered its message well, and the drama was effective. I would recommend this to those who liked watching comedy and teen angst.