Best Student-Teacher Romance Japanese Dramas/Movies

Student-teacher Relationship is a very controversial genre, and not everyone will like it. We all know this relationship is wrong, but this is not real life; this is just drama. It doesn't mean a story was made that they are already glorifying or romanticizing the act. Just like other controversial stories like "infidelity dramas", "gay-themed dramas", "historical war movies" or movies that seemed they are glorifying stealing and killing, It's best to separate your morals and reasoning from a story and try to see it through neutral eyes, you don't have to agree to enjoy it.

My Teacher (2017)


Movie: My Teacher (English title) / Teacher! Is It Okay for Me to Love You? (literal title)
Romaji: Sensei! 、、、Suki ni Natte mo Ii Desuka?
Japanese: 先生! 、、、好きになってもいいですか?
Director: Takahiro Miki
Writer: Kazune Kawahara (manga), Mari Okada
Actors: Toma Ikuta, Suzu Hirose, Ryo Ryusei, Aoi Morikawa, Kentaro Ito

Plot Synopsis

Sophomore and representative of the archery club, Shimada Hibiki is a 17-year-old student who has never been in love. During her high school's entrance ceremony, she sees Kosaku Ito, her 26-year-old world history teacher, who is well known to be a stern and cold person. Hibiki, rescued by Ito after a minor incident, discovers that their teacher is compassionate towards others and starts to develop romantic feelings for him. Hibiki confesses, and her honest and young love begins to melt Ito's heart slowly.


The chemistry between Suzu Hirose and Ikuta Toma is enough reason why I should include this movie on this list. It surprised me how good they look together, given the age gap between them. I guess it has something to do with the acting. Suzu, as a student who is in love with her teacher, and Ikuta as a cold-hearted person are very natural in their roles. Not a single moment I felt cringe when they were together. I thought they indeed fell in love with each other. 

Unlike other shoujo live-action movies, this one doesn't feel rushed at all. There is a natural flow in this movie, and not just a collection of scenes crammed together to fit the movie's two-hour running time. Those scenes were only enhanced by beautiful cinematography, and my favorite is the one when Shimada confessed to her teacher. The way the sun shined through the window is magical.

Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta (2011)

Drama: You Taught Me All the Precious Things (English Title)
Romaji: Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta
Japanese: 大切なことはすべて君が教えてくれた
Director: Masaki Nishiura, Hiroki Hayama
Writer: Naoko Adachi
Actors: Erika Toda, Haruma Miura, Emi Takei

 Plot Synopsis

Toda and Miura play two teachers, Natsumi Uemura and Shuji Kashiwagi, at the same high school who are set to get married in half a year. However, the night before the school year's opening ceremony, Shuji becomes involved with the young Hikari Saeki (played by Takei), without realizing that she will be a student in his class starting the next day. As Shuji struggles to help Hikari deal with the mental complex she is suffering from, he is also torn inside by his betrayal of Natsumi. Meanwhile, Hikari attempts to get closer to Natsumi, driven by feelings of jealousy and a desire to destroy the couple's relationship.

Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta is not your ordinary romance drama that only focuses on two characters fall in love. It's about how love affects our decisions in life and helps us change and grow as a person. This drama is heavy though, so I would not advise to watch it in one sitting. It's a roller coaster full of emotions, and you'll find yourself entertained, frustrated, depressed, and happy.

The English title You Taught Me All the Important Things is very appropriate for this drama, and you couldn't think a more fitting title than this. Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta doesn't have stereotypical characters you always see in dramas what we got here are flawed characters who made mistakes and learn from them. I said the title is appropriate because not only Hikari learns and grows as a character but also Shuji and Natsumi. It's also realistic in the sense that even people with the best intentions can still hurt their loved ones. In real life, some things don't go our way.

The acting is solid. Haruma Miura and Erika Toda did well, but the standout in this drama is, without a doubt, Emi Takei. Eyes are her asset, and her stare is from another world in this drama. You could feel her love towards Shuji, and that passion is so strong that you could feel it coming out from your screen. The chemistry between Haruma Miura and Emi Takei is palpable. It's just a shame that we didn't see anything from this pairing after this show. 

Kou Kou Kyoushi 2003 (2003)


Drama: High School Teacher
Romaji: Koko Kyoshi
Japanese: 高校教師
Director: Natsuki Imai, Shin'ichi Kamoshita, Ken Yoshida
Writer: Shinji Nojima
Actors: Ueto Aya, Naohito Fujiki, Hiroki Narimiya, Yu Aoi

Plot Synopsis

Hina, a student at Nikko High School, goes out one evening with her classmate Beniko. They get split up, and Hina ends up in a strange meeting with a man named Ikumi in a game arcade. The next day, Ikumi turns up as the new teacher at her school. Ikumi doesn't seem to recognize Hina, but the wheels of fate are slowly moving to reunite them in what is a passionate story of forbidden love.

Psychological? Tearjerker? Student-Teacher romance? Would you ever think that meshing these genres in a single drama is possible? Well, the answer is Kou Kou Kyoushi 2003. It has to be the most profound thought-provoking student-teacher relationship drama I've watched as this one not only revolves around romance but also the difference between dependence and love. It is fascinating if you think of it, do you like the person because you love her or you just depend on the thought of being in love. Another theme is death, like what would you do if you know your days are numbered.

The romance is perfect. Ueto Aya and Fujiki Naohito look good together. They got great chemistry that you will root for them until the end. I can't say the same with acting though, it's mediocre at best even Fujiki Naohito is not that good. But it's nice to see Ueto Aya and Aoi Yu when they were young and how much they've grown from then acting-wise.

Chugakusei Nikki (2018)


Drama: Meet Me After School (English title)
Romaji: Chugakusei Nikki
Japanese: 中学聖日記
Director: Ayuko Tsukahara, Kentaro Takemura, Toshio Tsuboi
Writer: Junko Kawakami (manga) Arisa Kaneko
Actors: Kasumi Arimura, Kenshi Okada, Keita Machida, Yo Yoshida, Yui Natsukawa

Plot Synopsis

This drama is a love story between Akira Kuroiwa, a 15-year-old boy who knows nothing of love, and Hijiri Suenaga, his new 25-year-old homeroom teacher. One fated summer, Akira begins to realize he has feelings for Hijiri, but Hijiri has a long distance fiancee. The story follows the pair for several years.

Chugakusei Nikki reminds me of a lot of dramas in the pure love "jun-ai" era. Dramas/movies such as "Sekai no Chūshin de, Ai o Sakebu," "Be With You," "Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru," "Koizora" and the Korean "Endless Love series" are what popularize this genre. A "jun-ai" couple should also be faced by many obstacles contrived to keep them apart, only hoping for a reunion later in the story. Couples who manage to keep their feelings for each in spite of the passage of time are the appeal of "jun-ai". Fans of the genre find it the most romantic type of love.

Watching this drama is a journey I will never forget. Slow burn romance that perfectly captures the ups, downs, and complications of love, especially this one, a taboo type of love. Among the drama and movies included in this list, Chugakusei Nikki is the one that handled the subject perfectly. The drama gave us a glimpse of the consequences and what would others feel witnessing something like this blossom. Everybody around them didn't condone them for this type of relationship, which both characters suffer as a result.

Full review here

Majo no Jouken (1999) 


Native Title: 魔女の条件
Also Known As: Forbidden Love , Witch's Requirement , The Innocent Witch
Directors: Doi Nobuhiro, Katayama Osamu
Screenwriters: Yukawa Kazuhiko
Actors: Matsushima Nanako, Takizawa Hideaki

Plot Synopsis

Michi, a 26-year-old high school math teacher, tentatively accepts her boyfriend's proposal of marriage, uncertain of her love for him but feeling pressure from her father and society to do what is expected of her. Hikaru, a 17-year-old boy, frustrated by his home life with his single mother and having been expelled from many high schools for bad behavior, enters Michi's class as a new transfer student. As their relationship grows, they realize that they both feel that they have lost themselves to the pressures of those around them, and it is this common bond that draws them dangerously close. What follows is a heart-wrenching story of forbidden love where Michi must face society's judgment for corrupting a minor, abandoning her fiance, and disappointing her parents and co-workers.

When you think of the quote "Love conquers all," you think of this drama. Characters that will do anything for the sake of love and live the way they want, but life is not simple; sometimes, love was there to remind us to grow up. Both characters are impulsive at the beginning, which resulted in irresponsible decisions from both characters. This drama is kind of hard to swallow at first but addicting once you start watching the show. You will be instantly put on the characters' shoes and will make you think about what you would do if you were them.

This drama felt more 90's show than early 2000's the cinematography is gritty instead of bright, but it doesn't mean bad as those kinds of cinematography have an appeal towards a specific audience. This drama is the most daring in this list, given that this was shown in the late '90s when Japanese dramas are still showing great kisses and realistic love scenes.

The acting is the best on this list. Matsushima Nanako is a legend portraying Michi. Nanako's portrayal of someone who doesn't have control of her life is spot on. The theme song "first love" by Utada Hikaru is also legendary, and you couldn't choose a more fitting theme song for this story than that.

1 comment:

  1. I love this.
    No rating is the best
    I trust your reviews


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