23 December 2014

ごめんね青春! Gomen ne Seishun!

Title: ごめんね青春! Gomen ne Seishun!
English Title:
  • Regret from My School Days!
  • Sorry, Youth!
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2014
Episode: 10
  • 満島ひかり Mitsushima Hikari
  • 錦戸亮 Nishikido Ryo
  • 重岡大毅 Shigeoka Daiki
  • 永山絢斗 Nagayama Kento
  • トリンドル玲奈 Triendl Reina
  • 鈴木貴之 Suzuki Takayuki
  • 久松 郁実 Hisamatsu Ikumi
  • 森川葵 Morikawa Aoi
  • 竜星涼 Ryusei Ryo
  • 中村静香 Nakamura Shizuka
  • 坂井真紀 Sakai Maki
  • 植木夏十 Ueki Natto
  • 宍戸美和公 Shishido Miwako
  • 生瀬勝久 Namase Katsuhisa
  • 緋田康人 Kazama Morio
  • 緋田康人 Hida Yasuhito
  • 斉藤由貴 Saito Yuki
  • 森下愛子 Morishita Aiko
  • えなりかずき Enari Kazuki

In Mishima city in Shizuoka prefecture, there are three private high schools. The prestigious Sunzu West High School is a co-educational preparatory school, and it is also known as Nishikō. The St. Mishima Girls High School is a dignified Catholic school exclusively for girls, and it is also known as Sanjo. The Mishima High School is an Buddhist school for boys, and it is called Tonkō to differentiate it frorm Nishikō.

Because of dwindling enrollment rates and financial troubles, there is a proposal to merge the Mishima High School and the St. Mishima Girls High School. As an experiment, the seniors from both schools will be mixed into two co-educational classes to properly assess the advantages and disadvantages of such a merger.

Hara Heisuke is an alum of Mishima High School and he currently works as a teacher in his alma mater. He was the one who came up with the experimental mixed class idea, and he is going to St. Mishima High School to teach there.

Hachiya Risa studied in St. Mishima Girls High School and she now works there as a guidance counselor. Although she's against the merger and the proposed experimental class, she is assigned by the principal to transfer to Mishima High School for the remaining academic year.

Gomen ne Seishun! is an entertaining drama about youth. I enjoyed watching it because I like many of its life lessons, and that's saying a lot because I can't really get over a few of its flaws.

I know productions should be given some creative license but I think it is important to present things properly. I mean, it's not necessary to show things as accurately as possible, but it is crucial to at least get the essentials right.

I went to Catholic schools my whole life so I think I know more than the average person how Catholic schools are like. It is critical to note that there are differences with the religious denominations, which in turn manage the Catholic schools. Some orders and schools are strict when it comes to following the Bible teachings, while some are more progressive and modern.

However, Catholic schools are rooted in the Roman Catholic religion, and there are some critical mistakes that the drama committed that I just can't ignore. Confession is a sacrament that can only be administered by ordained priests, and believers confess their sins and ask for forgiveness during confession.

In the drama, students and teachers are discussing their issues with the principal in a confessional box, which is wrong in many ways. For one, nuns cannot hear confessions. For another, sins are immoral acts considered to be a transgression against divine law. Students who are not following school rules are wrong, but that doesn't mean that they are committing a sin.

In addition, a saint is someone who has been recognized officially by the church for having an exceptional degree of holiness. Some Catholic schools are named after patron saints, such as St. Scholastica College. Unlike in the drama, the term is not randomly used for places or schools just to denote that it is holy or sacred.

Anyway, I studied in co-educational schools but I have a lot of friends who went to exclusive schools either for boys or for girls. My friends and I discussed our school lives at length to satisfy our curiosities.

There are many advantages and disadvantages to attending a co-educational school, the same way that there are many advantages and disadvantages to attending an exclusive school.

When it comes to exclusive schools though, it is not true that their students don't have any contact with the opposite sex. Generally, an exclusive school for girls would be affiliated with an exclusive school for boys in the same city or province. Students from both schools would have regular school activities together such as mixers, tutorials, competitions, sports events, and dances.

Gomen ne Seishun! has a side story involving Hara Heisuke with his crush Hachiya Yuko and his best friend Tsutaya Satoshi that started when they were teenagers fourteen years ago. Incidentally, Yuko is the older sister of Heisuke's colleague Hachiya Risa.

It's not clear but it was heavily implied that Heisuke accidentally caused a fire when he was younger, and Satoshi and Yuko were falsely accused of the crime. Because the crime wasn't solved at the time and the statue of limitations for uninhabited building arson is ten years, Heisuke was not made accountable for his actions when he confessed after fourteen years.

I appreciate that the drama made me think about punishment in a more concrete way. Although I think it's unfair that Heisuke was not punished for his mistake and his silence, it seems futile to insist that he must still be punished considering that the law has basically given him a reprieve.

Heisuke was a great teacher and I'm sure he's also a good person, but do all his good deeds cancel out his one major transgression in his life so far? Should he quit being a teacher because of his shady past, or should he be allowed to continue teaching professionally despite it? I don't really have any definite answers to all these questions, but I like that I'm being given a chance to assess my personal views on these matters.

ごめんね青春! Gomen ne Seishun