is a manga series by Kozueko Morimoto. The story follows Kumiko Yamaguchi, the granddaughter of a Yakuza boss and teacher at an all-male private high school.
In 2002, the manga was adapted into a television drama with Yukie Nakama in the title role. A second series was produced in 2005. An animated adaptation ran in Nippon Television from 6 January 2004 to 30 March 2004.
The third season of the series was aired as Nippon Television's 55th Anniversary Program in 2008.
The plot involves Kumiko Yamaguchi, the granddaughter of a Yakuza
boss, Kuroda of the Kuroda Ikka. Her parents died when she was younger, and her grandfather has no other descendants, so Kumiko is next in line to head the family business with the title of Ojou. However, her lifelong dream has been to become a teacher. While her grandfather approves of her choice, others in the family want her to become the next boss.
Kumiko (known by her students as "Yankumi") becomes a teacher at an all-boys private high school. Her class is full of delinquents, but she tries her hardest to teach them not just about academics (her subject is Mathematics), but about lessons of life, much like any "dedicated teacher" story. Though she's forced to keep her family a secret from the public, her Yakuza upbringing gives her the strength and the experience to reach out to her students, while also providing comedic relief.
- She is a 23-year-old university graduate, and is newly hired at Shirokin Gakuen. She is very idealistic, and wants to inspire her students and help them graduate high school. Since the age of 7, when her parents died, Kumiko has been living with her grandfather, who is the head of an influential Tokyo Yakuza group. Despite this strange upbringing, and the bizarre mannerisms she has picked up from it, Kumiko is a good-hearted girl who has a strong faith in her students, even when they think the world is against them. Her belief in them and her combat skills help her earn their respect. They give her the nickname "Yankumi". It is also revealed that she is attracted to men in a fundoshi; going into a trance when she saw Shin in one.
Shirokin High School
- in the drama, he is portrayed by matsumoto jun.
- 18 year old Shin is the leader of class 3-D (17 year old leader of 2-4 in the manga). He is cool, level-headed, smart, and somewhat introverted. Everyone in the class looks up to him. Shin is feared because of an incident back in middle school, where he punched out a teacher. He knows right away that something is not normal about their new teacher and keeps an eye on her. He's the first one who found out Kumiko's true identity and later confesses to her [in the manga's last chapter] that he is in love with her. In the manga, he is given the alias of "Young Master Red Lion" from Kyou. Shin's father is a high ranking police official. In the drama, his father is a senator. An amusing aspect of this series is that whenever he thinks he's on a mission to save Kumiko, he always gets beaten up & she continuously has to come to his rescue.
- He is one of Shin's friends. He always gets into fights, like everyone else. He had a fight with Ichiro Tsuruta, and was beaten by him. Minami is the tough guy of the group. In the Anime and Manga he is often seen with Noda, indicating a close friendship. In the Drama he was a ladies man, but in the Anime/Manga he was considered the ugliest.
- He is the guy with a weird purple hairstyle. In the drama, he has long hair that he bleached blonde. He's also one of Shin's friends. He was lost in Okinawa when they had a trip there and he gave Kumiko and Shin a lot of problems during that time. When they finally found him, Kumiko smacked him until his face was swollen. Uchi in the Drama seemed very much like Minami from the Anime/Manga. In the Drama he is a tough guy with a soft spot for his mother. His nickname is Ucchi.
- Large and tough, Kumai (called "Kuma", or "Bear" by everyone) always seems to be getting into trouble. He's either getting into fights, or being accused of theft, or being attacked by a rival school. Kuma and Shin are best friends. They grew up together, and Kuma calls Shin "Shin-chan". He is also the only former student of YanKumi's shown in the drama version's sequel.
- He is also one of Shin's friends. He was the one who thought of giving Kumiko "Yankumi" as her nickname. Takeshi Noda is a member of class 2-4. Although not typically a main cast member, in one episode(in the drama), he becomes obsessed with the teacher Shizuka Fujiyama. Hurt when she threw away a present he gave her, Noda takes a picture of her at her secret second job: hostess of a bar. He then sends the picture to the head teacher and almost gets Shizuka put on probation for a week, to be fired if the class 3-d does not get at least a 30 on their english mid-finals. In the manga, he is the first of his classmates to figure out that Shin likes Yankumi and gets Shin to admit so. Also in the manga, he is much more involved then in the Anime or Drama.He is also much smarter in the Manga, like one instance when Ms. Fujiyama was being stalked, Noda made many suggestions as how the stalker could follow Ms. Fujiyama.One thing he has in common with Drama counter part is his sense in fashion, as demonstrated in the chapter of the Manga "Protect our F-cup" he dresses Yamaguchi in his sister's clothing in which Uchiyama and the others (first in disgust) found that the outfit worked well with her. He is often seen with Minami in the Anime and Manga, indicating a friendship between them, possibly best friends. In the Anime and Manga he is accused as being a thief (similar to Uchi's situation in the Drama).
- Shizuka Fujiyama is another female teacher hired by Shirokin Gakuen at the same time as YanKumi. In the drama, Fujiyama teaches English. In the anime she teaches music. One of her students before attempted suicide and she learned a lesson because of that incident. She started a choir club in school. In the drama, Fujiyama wears her normal clothes all the time, but in the anime and manga she wears a tracksuit like Yankumi does. Fujiyama used to teach middle school students, and is very happy to be teaching at a high school. She jokes about which boys are cute, and whom she would sleep with.
- The School's Vice-Principal is Yankumi's main nemesis amongst the school staff. In episode 13 he was the 3rd person to find out about Yankumi's secret only to realize that she resigned. Also he tried to use a camera when he witnessed a fight only to be caught by Kyo. He is only majorly featured in the drama and anime. In the drama, despite initially antagonistic towards Yankumi and her class, he was undeniably portrayed as more benevolent than his anime incarnation. His state of benevolence was shown to be more prominent in Gokusen 2, where among the last few episodes, deliberately informed Yankumi that her class attempted to boycott their graduation unless she calls off her resignation. It would seem that the drama-version Sawatori has grown to respect the headstrong and dignified educator that Yankumi is, despite knowing that he also risked getting fired in the process (he was poised for promotion). He was later seen a month later after graduation, apparently assigned to another school (claiming to have resigned from the last one). He has a wife in the drama who runs a arranged marriage business.
- The School's Principal. He does have a great knack for popping up suddenly at unusual times to point out useful information. In the manga and anime, the Koucho is this happy little bald guy who likes to wear bow ties.
Kuroda Family/Ooedo Clan
- Kumiko's grandfather. He is a kindly, wise old man who loves Kumiko very much, and is always there to support her and give advice. He took Kumiko in after her parents died.
- Kyo is a tough-looking member of the Yakuza, but he is very close with Kumiko. When he was younger, and Kumiko was a little girl, he taught her how to fight and defend herself when she was being bullied in school and teased because of her Yakuza connections. He later figures out that Shin is in love with Kumiko and wishes him the best of luck.
- The young head assistance of the Kuroda family and the only one of the group that is married.
- Along with Tetsu, Minoru is a member of Kumiko's Yakuza group, and is one of her loyal followers. He and Tetsu watch over Kumiko and worry about her. Minoru and Tetsu can occasionally be seen running a takoyaki stand near Kumiko's school where they can be near her if needed. Sometimes their enthusiasm in serving her almost betrays her secret, but all they want to do is help.
- Tetsu is one of Kumiko's lackeys. He is a member of the Yakuza group, and is very devoted and protective of her. He and Minoru always keep an eye on Kumiko and do their best to help her when they can. In the drama, Tetsu seems to like Kumiko, but unfortunately he doesn't seem to have very good chances of getting romantically involved with her, as she considers him to be like family.
- He is Kumiko's old dog. He narrates the preview for the next episode. He is very loyal to Kumiko. He talks most of the time in the anime even though nobody can hear him (however Shin seems to be able to know what Fuji is thinking). Anime and manga character only.
- In the manga and anime, Shinohara is the lawyer that works for Kumiko's Yakuza group. He's handsome and cool. Kumiko's grandfather helped Shinohara back when he was a law student, and Shinohara works for the Yakuza to repay the favor. Kumiko has had a crush on him for a long time.
- A former student at Shirokin Gakuin. He was a senior there until he was kicked out. He met Kumiko during her first week of school, when he tried to beat up Kuma. Then Kumiko, when she found Kudoh and his gang, gave them a worse beating. He joins the Nekomata Group and tries to frame the Oedo Clan to get back at Kumiko. Back at Shirokin Gakuin he and the other seniors use to beat up the juniors whenever they could. By the end of the anime he kidnapped Kumiko in hopes of bringing down the Oedo Clan, only to be beaten by Shin and the rest of the class from 2-4.
- Tsuruta is known to be the strongest pupil in the school. He and Kudoh were the bullies to the juniors, and Tsuruta was eventually kicked out. He returns to school in Episode 9, for the festival thanks to the Vice-principal. The seniors basically used him to start fights with the juniors, until he and Kumiko secretly had a fight. Kumiko won and in return had Tsuruta stop being a bully and start hitting the books. Tsuruta may seem tough but he's actually a kind person and a good cook. He also shows up in episode 11 of the anime, to try and help the guys get Shin out.
- A boy who goes Shirokin Gakuin. A good kid who being bullied by his so called friends. Ms. Fujiyama wanted him to join the choir club because she thought he was cute and to get him away from his bad friends. Mainly because he reminded her of a student she had in middle school who tried to commit suicide. He almost did commit suicide, if not for Kumiko and Shin who grabbed him in time before he fell off the roof. He's later shown in Ms. Fujiyama's choir club.
The drama aired on Nippon TV from April 1 2002 to July 3 2002. The series consisted of 12 episodes. Nippon TV began airing a second season on January 15 2005, with several returning cast members (including Yukie Nakama). It lasted 10 episodes. There is also a special episode titled Gokusen Special: Sayonara 3-nen D-gumi (Goodbye 3rd year Class D), it's a sequel to the first season and the prequel to the second season. The drama also was the highest-rated in its time slot when it was shown in the Philippines by the GMA Network, and was popular enough that the network decided to re-run it, and continued to be the highest-rated show in its time slot. In the Philippines, the series ended with the Gokusen special.
The third season of Gokusen began airing on April 19th, 2008 in Japan. Yukie Nakama reprises her role as Yankumi, Katsuhisa Namase as Sawatari, and the rest of the cast that makes up Yankumi's Yakuza family returns as well.
Note: The Ooedo Family cast members remain the same throughout all three seasons of Gokusen.
Season 1 Cast
Shirokin High School
- Koutaro Tanaka as Watanabe (student of Ara High School, episode 2)
- Keiko Inoue (井上佳子) (thief victim, episode 3)
- Mayumi Asaka as Sayuri Uchiyama (Uchi's mother, episode 3)
- Uchuu Fujima (藤間宇宙) as Yuuichi Teradomari (Class 3A, episode 3)
- Youko Ooshima (Teradomari's mother, episode 3)
- Riko Kurita (栗田梨子) as Ami Morisaki (Momoyuri Girls High School, episode 5)
- Eiji Wentz (ウエンツ瑛士) as Masato Yuki (27th student of Class 3D, episode 6)
- Yoshie Otsuka (大塚良重) (Masato Yuki's mother, episode 6)
- Tatsuya Isaka (伊阪達也) as 3C student (basketball player of class 3C, episode 6)
- Senjuu Sunaga (須永千重) as Kumai Masako (Kuma's mother, episodes 7&11)
- Tokuma Nishioka as Shoutarou Sawada (Shin's father, episode 7)
- Yui Ichikawa as Natsumi Sawada (Shin's little sister, episode 7)
- Shishi Yamaguchi (山口詩史) as (Kenichi Mouri's mother, episode 7)
- Takashi Tsukamoto as Yuuji Kurosaki (former Shirokin student, episode 9)
- Natsuko Akiyama as Sachiko Sawatari (Sawatari's wife, episode 10)
- Kouji Higuchi (樋口浩二) as Toshihiko Ijuuin (teacher in Ei Shou Gakuen, episode 10)
- Kei Tanaka as Ono (student of Ei Shou Gakuen, episode 10)
- Naomasa Musaka (六平直政) as Kazuo Kumai (Kuma's father, episode 11)
- Saki Yoshihara (吉原沙貴) (Kuma's little sister, episode 11)
- Shinichi Fukumoto as Tachibana (writer of "Shuukan Wednesday", episode 12)
- Yasushi Kimura (木村靖司) as Itou (photographer of "Shuukan Wednesday, episode 12)
- Sei Hiraizumi as Kentarou Sawatari (Shirokin's director & Sawatari's father, episode 12)
- Rio Matsumoto as Wakaba (Hot Springs attendant, special)
- Akio Kaneda (Uchi's future boss, special)
Season 2 Cast
Kurogin High School
- Imai Yuki as Daisuke (ep1)
- Kobayashi Katsuya as Kudo (Former student of Kurogin, ep3&10)
- Takasugi Ko as Onijima (Police Officer, ep3&10)
- Yamazaki Hajime as Ishikawa (Tsuchiya's former Junior High Teacher, ep4)
- Akimoto Miri as Miyazaki Nao (Junior high student, ep4)
- Wakatsuki Chinatsu as Mizushima Maki (Momo Girls High School, ep5)
- Takasugi Mizuho as Okudera (Sokei University, ep5)
- Tezuka Satomi as Hyuuga Haruyo (Hyuuga Kosuke's mother, ep6)
- Ogi Shigemitsu as Tatsumi (Gambling bar owner, ep6)
- Namioka Kazuki as Tanabe (ep7)
- Ogawa Naoya (小川直也) as Tanabe (Tadoroki High School, ep7)
- Naitou Takashi as Yabuki Hirofumi (Hayato's father, ep8)
- Ishiguro Hideo as Yabuki Taku (Hayato's brother, ep8)
- Sunaga Chie (須永千重) as Kumai Masako (Kuma's mother, ep8)
- Uemura Miki (植村美紀) as Kumai Aya (Kuma's younger sister, ep8)
- Ogawa Tomonaga (小川智永) as Kumai Haruo (Kuma's younger brother, ep8)
- Takuma Shin as Odagiri Shinya (Odagiri Ryu's father, ep9)
- Nagano Satomi (長野里美) as Odagiri Yuriko (Odagiri Ryu's mother, ep9)
- Sakata Tadashi as Kashiwagi Yutaka (Police Officer from Gokusen, only his picture in ep9)
Season 3 Cast
Akadou High School
The theme songs for the anime are:
- "Hontou no Kotoba" - "My Real World" by Foot Stamp (Opening)
- "Onore Michi" - "On My Road" by Aki Yashiro (Ending)
The theme songs for the drama is:
- Noticeably, most of the members of Class 3-D retained the first names of their actors. However in Season 3, all members of Class 3-D but the main 6 members, retain the last names of the past Prime Ministers of Japan.
- Much of the cast (specifically the "students") later on appeared in various tokusatsu shows. Many of them became Kamen Riders.
- Kumiko Yamaguchi's name evokes her family business. "Kumiko" (久美子) is a partial homophone to "kumi" and "gumi" (組=group), the usual suffix for crime syndicates (and class groups); it also sounds similar to kumicho, the Japanese equivalent for "crime boss". The Yamaguchi-gumi (based in Kobe) is the largest and most notorious criminal organization in Japan. Her nickname "Yankumi" is the abbreviated of her full name- "Ya" in Yamaguchi and "Kumi" from Kumiko. Her nickname also evokes the word "Yankee", a word used to refer to delinquent youngsters of the bike gang type, especially women (like Arisa Uotani in Fruits Basket).
- KSCI LA-18 in Los Angeles, CA, broadcast the first season drama untranslated. Season 2 had English subtitles.
- Shun Oguri, the actor who played Haruhiko Uchiyama, also played as Noboru Yoshikawa in Great Teacher Onizuka. In Gokusen, he is one of the bullies but in GTO, he is the one being bullied.
- Jun Matsumoto and Shun Oguri later worked together again in the live-action drama Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers).
- In the drama, Noda was much different personality wise compared to his Anime/Manga counter-part.
- In the drama, Uchi is accused of being the purse thief while in the Anime/Manga Noda was accused.
- Minami replaced Uchi in the fight against Tsuruta in the Anime.
- Noda's hair style is different in the anime than in the drama.
- Noda's sister was revealed in the manga as dating Minoru
- Many of the English voice actors for Gokusen voice acted for Samurai Deeper Kyo
- The font used for the title is the same as the font for the cover of The Godfather.
- The Kuroda Ikka and Ooedo Family was based on The Yamaguchi-gumi (based in Kobe) is the largest and most notorious criminal organization in Japan.
- All high schools Gokusen were set in have names that are a combination of a color and metal: Shirokin means "white gold"; Kurogin means "black silver"; Akadou means "red copper".