The Gokusen

The Gokusen is an anime series in the Gokusen franchise
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Shirokin High is renowned for the delinquency of its pupils, and Kumiko Yamaguchi, a teacher fresh out of training, draws the short straw and gets the worst class. Her colleagues feel sorry for her but if they knew her background they might be more worried for the juvenile troublemakers, for she is the heiress of the dreaded Oedo yakuza family and currently acting as clan head. Linguists should note that her name in Japanese order is a pun on Yamaguchi-gumi, the largest crime syndicate in Japan, and that her pupils soon start calling her Yankumi, a bad-girl reference equivalent to Sukeban Deka, with which Gokusen has some similarities. The title is a contraction of Gokudo Sensei, literally "Gangster Teacher."

The only person who suspects there's anything out of the ordinary about the new teacher is Shin Sawada, ringleader of her class of troublemakers, but he can't uncover her secret despite organizing a class boycott and trying to force her to fight him. Nobody knows that the school's chairman of the board of trustees is looking for an excuse to shut the place down and redevelop the land for a huge profit (a plot device so common in live-action TV as to be its equivalent of anime's boy-gets-robot), but when the vice principal learns about Kumiko's background it gives the superintendent an excuse to act. Determined to save the school she's come to love, Yankumi resigns; her class believe she's abandoned them, but soon rally round when her other life catches up with her and she is kidnapped.

Gokusen (see alsoDE) began as a 2002 manga in You Comics by Kozueko Morimoto, a female-oriented pastiche of GTO that began just as Kinpachi Sensei (*DE), one of Japan's most enduring teacher-pupil series, came to the end of its sixth season. The Gokusen manga was snapped up the same year for live-action TV for its handy combination of the omnipresent school subgenre with the postmodern gangsters of The Sopranos (1999). As with GTO, Gokusen was then kept on-air by its parent channel in an anime adaptation that kept the look and feel of the series, without the need to pay for its live-action star Yukie Nakama, who was replaced by voice actress Risa Hayamizu for the anime. Both seasons of the live-action TV serial (a second came after the anime) have also been broadcast in America on KSCI. Another orphaned female gangster boss would appear in the following year's Kill Bill: The Origin of O-Ren. LNV
Series Credits
Person Name Episode Count
Masao Maruyama
Yoshinori Kanemori
Kozueko Morimoto
Tomoki Hasegawa

To edit the cast, go to an episode page.

Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name The Gokusen
Name: ごくせん
Romaji: Gokusen
Publisher Madhouse Studios
Start Year 2004
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