Yankumi: The Bad-Ass Teacher with a Big Heart

30-DAY ANIME CHALLENGE
< Day 3 | Day 5 >
Day 4:  Favourite Female Anime Character

yankumi-gokusen-anime-1Unlike Day 3 of this anime challenge where I found it difficult to choose my favourite male anime character, Day 4 isn’t very hard for me.  So my favourite female anime character is Yamaguchi Kumiko or more known as Yankumi from the series Gokusen (ごくせん) by mangaka Morimoto Kozueko (森本梢子).  

Yankumi isn’t pretty, nor is she sexy.  In fact, the plainness of her appearance is constantly emphasized throughout the series.  Nevertheless, I love her character.  She is very strong, not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.  She is one of those rare manga/anime characters that I want to emulate.

I find her lack of sexual appeal very refreshing, especially with the current trend in the anime/manga industry to portray overly sexual female characters with flawless beauty and, ahem, big, bouncy boobs. (I still love you Nami & Robin! – ONE PIECE)

Yankumi is the heiress of a Yakuza family, but she doesn’t want to be the successor.  Instead, she wants to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher.  The series revolves around her often hilarious struggle to conceal her Yakuza identity.

Her character is such a paradox of what you’ll expect from a member of the Yakuza.  She is technically the second highest in the Yakuza hierarchy in the series, yet she wants to pursue a “mundane” job as a teacher (I apologize to all my teachers!).  She is surprisingly innocent, especially when it comes to matters of men and love.  However, what struck me the most are her dedication as a teacher and her genuine desire to help her delinquent students.  Although sometimes I find her dedication too much, bordering on foolishness, but still it’s admirable.

yankumi-nakama
Nakama Yukie as Yamaguchi Kumiko

I love the manga and the anime, but I think the drama starring Nakama Yukie (仲間 由紀恵) delved into the characters and the story deeper.  I watched all 3 seasons and all films.  And until now, it remains as one of my most favourite J-Dramas.

Nakama Yukie as Yankumi
Nakama Yukie as Yankumi

Finally, what I love about her the most is her strength, specifically her physical strength.  I wish I have the same ability to beat up a huge group of violent guys by myself.  Hey, I’m a woman.  I believe all women should have the ability to defend themselves.  Although I train in self-defense regularly, thank God that I’ve never had the need to use my skills yet.  I hope that it never comes to that.

So now you know that Yankumi of Gokusen is my favourite female anime character.  How about you?  Who’s your favourite female anime character?

Links:
Gokusen Anime Official Website at NTV (Japanese)
Gokusen Drama Official Website at NTV (Japanese)
Nakama Yukie Profile at Productions Ogi (Japanese)


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34 thoughts on “Yankumi: The Bad-Ass Teacher with a Big Heart”

    1. Oh my gosh. Ilang taon ko rin naging crush ‘yang si Jun Matsumoto na ‘yan. Buti natanggal din. Ako rin, paborito ko ‘yong Season 1 ng “Gokusen”. Doon nakilala talaga bilang aktor si Jun eh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oo, siya ‘yong bida doon sa “Hana Yori Dango”. Pero mas cool siya as Sawada Shin kaysa ‘yong character niya doon sa “Hana Yori Dango”. Medyo matagal ko rin siyang naging crush dati. Leche. Haha! Pero I’m over that phase, thank goodness. Ewan ko ba. May tsismis na kasal daw siya with his co-star doon sa “Hana Yori Dango” pero ewan ko. Hindi ko alam, and I really don’t care much kasi hindi ko na siya crush. Haha.

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  1. Nakama Yukie is a fantastic actress. I’ve only seen one episode of this, but haven’t had the chance to finish it.

    You mentioning her made me think that after the anime challenge, we should do a drama challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, she’s a fantastic actress. I actually just heard that she got married to another fantastic actor last month. Oh well. I guess it’s time.

      Oh gosh! That’s a great idea! But well, we have to finish this anime challenge first. 😉

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  2. The live action was aired on local TV n years ago. I saw some clips, but never really got to watch the entire series. And I’ve been meaning to watch the anime as well! Hmmm. Thanks for the reminder! My platter is so full of to-watch series. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really good. My favourite of the live-action adaptation is still the first season, but the rest are still really good. Well, I think that you should still prioritize the first titles on your “to-watch” list. The Gokusen anime is good, but I still prefer the drama over it. But have fun when you get to it, Miha-chan!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha. Of course. But to be honest, I don’t have a priority list, except that I can just always watch first which I’ve already downloaded. Hahaha. 😀 Yes, I’m really getting the feeling that I’ll really enjoy Gokusen live action and anime. 😀 And Gokusen live action is more popular, I think, so I’ll definitely not miss it (among Jdoramas).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ahaha! Open your arms and I’ll throw them at you. 1, 2, 3. . .CATCH!!! Did you get them yet? XD

        I’m fortunate that I live fairly close to an Asian mall where they sell a lot of anime & Asian drama DVD’s. Lots of anime merchandise, too. Although sometimes, it’s cheaper to buy them online. Oh well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s great! 😉
        Unfortunately, I don’t really collect anime merchandise, but I like admiring them. I have some posters and plushies, but nothing really major. Yes, I try to buy the original ones, especially that of my favourite titles.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. ONE PIECE posters, of course! Some Pokemon, too. I have one Fushigi Yuugi, I think, and a Sailor Moon. For the plushies, I have a Chopper, Pikachu, Jigglypuff & Snorlax. Donated the Snorlax long ago though, since it’s big. Oh well.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’d rather have plushies than figures, since you can cuddle them. XD
        But some figures are really well-made. Oh well.

        Oh, I really hope so. I wonder if someone already got my Snorlax. Hmmmm.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. This made me laugh. I know that there are many dakimakura out there, but whenever I hear this word, all I could think of are the big-boobed anime girls printed on them, so that male otaku could pretend they have a girlfriend. Of course, these are just stereotypes, but still. . . .XD

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Hahaha. While I was typing that word, the first image that popped in my mind was the dakimakura captain Levi–doing that standard dakimakura-a-la-undress-me pose. XD

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  3. ” her lack of sexual appeal”? Speak for yourself.

    And you can use your Karate skills in tournaments, not just life or death situations. Maybe you can post photos of “things you have kicked into pieces” on your Pinterest page : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha! I’ll let that slide.

      It’s not really karate, but TaeKwon-Do. Hmmmm. No, I don’t think I want to have a “Things I have Kicked into Pieces” Board, as that would take me forever to complete. XD

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  4. I watched the first film recently of Gokusen, and it reminded me of GTO (teaching) meeting High School Debut (innocent tomboy) meeting Oresama Teacher (physically strong female). My favorite female anime character is Clare from Claymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I watched GTO, as well. In fact, I like it, too. But as a female, I think I related more to Yankumi than to Onizuka. I also read the manga HS Debut, and I see what you mean. Clare. . .hmmm. . . nice. I like her, too.

      Liked by 1 person

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