Gokusen

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Name: Gokusen (ごくせん)
Abbreviation(s):
Creator: Kozueko Morimoto
Date(s): August 23, 2000 – February 2007 (manga), 2002 (J-Drama), 2004 (anime)
Medium: manga, J-Drama, anime
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: Official site (drama) (Japanese)
Official site (anime) (Japanese)
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Gokusen is the story of Kumiko Yamaguchi, a yakuza heiress who hides her family background in order to become a teacher. Her class is full of delinquent boys who nickname her "Yankumi." Despite their initial distrust, Kumiko wins over her students with a mixture of dorky enthusiasm, dedication, and combat skills that put her students to shame.

The 13-episode anime follows the early volumes of the manga faithfully. The drama (starring popular actor and singer Jun Matsumoto of Arashi) departs from the manga's storyline significantly; little but the original concept links the manga and drama. The drama was followed by two more seasons (Gokusen 2, and Gokusen 3).

The Fandom

Gokusen's fandom is a small one (it qualified for Yuletide 2008). Most fan fiction is based on the J-Drama, although some authors incorporate elements from the manga into drama canon. The fandom is heavily het-based, the primary pairing being Yankumi/Sawada Shin ("Shinkumi").

There is a slight slash presence, especially centered around Gokusen 2 and Gokusen 3. Femslash is (almost?) nonexistent in the Gokusen fandom.

Trends and Themes in "Shinkumi" Fanfic

Sawada Shin's romantic interest in Kumiko is canon in the manga and J-Drama, and implied in the anime. Shin faces three main obstacles in pursing a romantic relationship with Yankumi:

  1. She is his teacher,
  2. She is oblivious to his feelings, and,
  3. She has a crush on another man (Shinohara, a yakuza lawyer in the manga, and a cop in the drama).

A great many Gokusen writers are interested in addressing, and solving, these issues. In some stories, Shin struggles with his distrust of teachers (and adults in general), and his gradual and ever-growing feelings for Yankumi. If Shin has already accepted his feelings for Yankumi, he is left with the dilemma of how to make her see him as more than a student. Sometimes, Shin succeeds in confessing to Yankumi, and the two embark on a romantic relationship. Just as often, the story is left open-ended: Yankumi still (mostly) oblivious to Shin's feelings, while he vows to wait until graduation, and a time when their roles as teacher and student are no longer a barrier between them.

he's her precious student, and at first, just that was enough to make her love him. [1]
And she had no clue. Not a one. The next day she was normal and bouncy and teaching math like he was just another student.
That hurt more. That was more important. Because to Yankumi, he was just that.
Her student. [2]

Many fan writers embrace Yankumi's open dorkiness, and Shin's more subtle dorkiness. Yankumi can often be found dreaming up wild schemes, or going off on strange tangents. Shin may attempt to maintain his aura of cool, but always succumbs (eventually, with greater or lesser amounts of grumbling).

Sawada Shin’s biggest, most embarrassing secret isn’t his crush on Yankumi. It’s not his family issues, or his extracurricular activities or his training with Kyou.
It’s his incredibly nerdy urges. [3]
Those things only happen once in a while. Once or twice a week, at the most. So it's not like Shin needs to be concerned with his image.
Except..he finds himself doing the dorkiest things at the strangest times imaginable, lately. [4]

Gokusen 2

Yankumi's role is very much reduced in fanfic dealing with the second series. Most Gokusen 2 fanfic deals with the relationship between best friends Ryu and Hayato (played by KAT-TUN's Kazuya Kamenashi and Jin Akanishi, respectively). The actors are a popular RPF pairing in the KAT-TUN fandom, and there appears to be crossover appeal in Gokusen 2 for fans of the pairing.

Gokusen 3

This article or section needs expansion.

Resources

Notes

  1. 5 ways yankumi loves shin. by aoimidori. (Accessed April 17, 2009)
  2. Feminine Mystique, by MK. (Accessed April 17, 2009)
  3. Five Dorky Things Shin Did at Graduation, by MK. (Accessed April 17, 2009)
  4. Dumb and Tragic, by alianora. (Accessed April 17, 2009)