Kinpachi-sensei is the story of an 3rd year junior high school class in Japan; its teacher is Kinpachi Sakamoto (坂本金八 Sakamoto Kinpachi), played by Tetsuya Takeda. Kinpachi-sensei has a lot of social commentary on issues such as homosexuality, gender identity disorder, and psychological pregnancy--as well as bullying (of both students and teachers), teenage pregnancy, teenage suicide, hikikomori, and the extreme pressure to do well in school.
The series began in 1979, a pivotal year when issues such as delinquency and on campus violence reached a fever-pitch amongst the educational spectrum; "Kinpachi Sensei," portrayed by former singer Tetsuya Takeda of Kaientai fame, attempts to resolve such problems using a blend of charisma, honesty, and humor and wit.
In 2001, the series helped to rocket Aya Ueto to greater national attention after she portrayed a student with gender identity disorder; Kinpachi made it his mission to teach the class about issues relating to gender identity so as to stop Ueto's character from feeling consistently alienated from her peers.
Part of Kinpachi sensei's enduring appeal is the fact that the character's energy and dynamism help to steer him through all of life's difficulties; there never seems to be a single time in the show's history in which Kinpachi is not beset by a host of social or personal problems: teen bullying, Kinpachi's son developing cancer, violence directed against teachers.