The j-drama I couldn’t handle: 高校教師

After hearing the plot basics of the 1993 j-drama 高校教師 (High School Teacher), I really wanted to watch it. For mainly two reasons: to see (a) how this teacher-student romance (a j-drama/anime archetype right up there with step-siblings getting together) would be treated and (b) 90s Japan (which I have some peculiarly idealistic nostalgia for despite never having been in Japan in the 90s). To my wondrous delight, I found the series available via d-addicts. After a night of torrenting, I had the DVD-ripped episodes ready for bouts of procrastination of the emotional-rollercoaster variety. But it was a ride I didn’t have the stomach for.

Although the series has many classic elements:

  • Adorable characters, some of whom
  • wait for each other in the rain
  • Broken promises of marriage
  • Love polygons with at least three vertices
  • Pushing loved ones away (when actually both parties want to be close) because that’s for the best
  • Constrictive social norms and conformity

there were at least several unsettling situations instigated by deranged characters. I don’t want to give away too much (about both the series and my emotion sensitivities), so I’ll just say despite tender, endearing moments like the scene above, the difficulties the characters had to endure were difficult for me to bear with. Yes, these are fictional characters, of course, but what makes dramas often so compelling is that we can relate to and become attached these characters; additionally, their experiences allude to real-life circumstances.

Maybe I’ll come back to 高校教師 later when I’m in a fitting mindset for it.

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