The Queen’s Classroom was the first Japanese series that got me interested in JDrama. It was over ten years ago that I finally watched Japanese programs, outside of anime, that got me interested in Japanese culture. Before 2012, I really had little interest in moving to Japan.
I found the series by accident on YouTube while watching an old Shadow Warriors series. I noticed the Queen’s Classroom appearing as a recommended video. So I watched it.
What intrigued me about the Queen’s Classroom was that it took place in a middle school. It was a show I could relate to as a teacher. I also really liked the character, Kazumi Kanda, played by Mirai Shida. She really draws you into the story.
The plot revolves around Maya Akutsu, Kazumi’s grade 3 teacher, and her harsh, unorthodox methods of pushing her students. Each week, there is a focus on one particular student of the class. You really grow to hate Maya Akutsu’s character, but in the end, you respect her. The last scene in the last episode will bring tears to your eyes as the students show their final respect to their teacher. They sing a popular song to their favorite teacher.
This was the first time I watched an entire season of one Japanese show as an adult.
Since I enjoyed watching Mirai Shida’s character, I watched her other shows as well. And I watched her age fast too. She was 12 years old in the Queen’s Classroom, but already was 19 years old by the time I saw the show in real life. My next favorite drama with her staring was Seigi no Mikata. A great comedy.
I think I watched every show and movie Mirai Shida starred in from 2005 to 2008. Then I watched other Japanese dramas until being hooked on asadoras and taigas. I try to watch at least one Japanese show each day. Yes, with subtitles, but I realized each day I am learning new Japanese words.
I sometimes think that if I had not watched the Queen’s Classroom by chance, I may never have become interested in my motherland.