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Who thought that baseball could be so touching?

P   L   O   T

Koichi Kawato (Sato Ryuta) is the new Japanese Literature teacher at the ill-famed Futakotamagawa high school, whose baseball club is composed of thugs and bullies who have been suspended for a year from all school competitions, for causing a brawl during an official match. The newly appointed teacher finds that the club members left are only interested in women, smoking and doing nothing until, under Kawato’s guidance, they discover their dream of going to the Koshien high school baseball tournament. However, the road to Koshien is far from easy as many obstacles await them (source: dramawiki)

T  H  O  U  G  H  T  S

If you like dramas that involve delinquents, watch this.

If you’re into dramas involving sports (esp. baseball), see this.

If you’re into dramas + delinquents + sports, you should definitely see Rookies.

At first, I thought Rookies will be just like any other drama involving delinquent students and a yakuza teacher who’ll reform them by the end of the series (i.e. Gokusen, GTO, etc), and during the first episode, I felt that way. Hence my half paid attention on episode 1. I was disheartened and confused on whether I should continue watching it or not but my drama crazed self gave in.

Eventually, I discovered that what awaited me was a series so good that it made my heart ache.

Sato Ryuta as Kawatou sensei. Initially, I found him not to my liking. I dunno, but I guess I’m more used to female teachers as the lead (Yankumi can never be replaced). However, as the series moved on, I liked him better. My initial prejudiced against him disappeared, and later on I realized that Rookies will not be Rookies without him.

I want to have a teacher like him. A teacher who would do anything for his students. A teacher who would always smile despite the circumstances. A teacher who is always optimistic. Yeah that’s him, and for that he’s become one of my favorite sensei 🙂

On to the students.

Mikoshiba – Sekikawa – Aniya

Mikoshiba (K. Keisuke) is the team’s captain. He used to only pick up balls when he was in his lower years but his passion for baseball took him to where he is now. At the start of the drama he is bullied by the rest of the team, but still it is through him that the baseball team were revived. Though the team captain, I don’t like Mikoshiba’s character much ‘coz he’s easily disheartened (but it’s all in the plot), however Keisuke portrayed his role well, and most of his important scenes were the “powerful and highly emotional ones” and I can’t help but be awed on the intensity of his acting.

Sekikawa (N.Akiyoshi) is my favorite character since the start. I don’t know but I really like his character and he reminded me of Daesung (haha). I guess he stood out because of his mohawk hair, and the fact that he’s the best runner (haha, sorry I have a thing for runners, lol).

Aniya (I. Hayato) is the team’s pitcher and star player. So he’s the leader. At the start (episode 1), I don’t like him, I find him unfit to act as a lead (more of I find it weird? or that I’m just not used to him yet) and he sorta look beastly (hahaha, don’t you agree? it’s his eyes), so I said to myself “you’ll never like him and you’ll never be attracted.” As expected of me, it changed. Given his attitude + his skills + his animalistic appeal (wth?!) I started to like him <3. If Sekikawa is my fav. character, Aniya is my most loved character. Oh Jeez. See him for yourself. You should!

Wakana – Yufune – Okada

Wakana (T. Sousuke) is the team’s catcher and mood maker. I personally think he’s one of the handsomest in the team.

Yufune (I. Shunji), I adore this kid. Mr. Nya! haha. As in I want to bring him home and take care of him xD

Okada (S. Takeru) will forever hold a spot in my heart. Though his character lacked exposure but still I can’t help but to always look at him. Maybe it’s because of Sato Takeru, I’ve seen a few dramas of his and idk but the boy is inching closer to my heart (yeah fangirl me). Even though his hair is hideous but still (I was expecting he’ll change it, haha)..

Hiratsuka – Hiyama – Imaoka – Shinjo (oops, no pic, sorry)

The other four. Think of me as bad but they’re the most unnoticeable in this drama (still they have their moments too, it’s just me, hehe). You may wonder why include Shinjo? Forgive me to say but I don’t like him and his character . I am annoyed at Shinjo, ever since episode 1 (though it decreased after) and not even pretty boy Shirota Yu can help that. On the other hand, I think Hiratsuka’s more adept as the mood maker, ‘coz he’s too hilarious.

Why do I love Rookies?

Being a drama with the same plot as others may seem a reason enough to not consider this drama, but I tell you this is one of the best (if not the best) drama ever.

I found myself tearing up (and crying  to some extent) at almost all the episodes (except episode 1). This only proves how great this drama is, right? I mean why cry at baseball (once is okay, but countless of times?)?. It’s acceptable if I play baseball (it makes it more realistic) but no, I’m just a regular being.

Rookies has so much intensity and emotion. You would not cry because someone died, you’ll cry because of the characters, their struggle to achieve their dreams and the difficulties they encountered. And the background song only intensified one’s emotions. Kiseki by Greeen is one of the most touching songs ever. In each episode, towards the end, Kiseki will play and that is where I found myself crying (the thought itself makes me want to cry again).

Rookies does not only concentrate on a few characters, if there’s one thing I learned from this drama, it’s TEAMWORK. I may have favorites on the team, but after watching the series, I knew then that what I liked best about Rookies is the guys’ teamwork. Being centered around baseball I was expecting that they’ll win but seeing their teamwork makes the thought of winning matter less, all I yearned for is seeing them happy, seeing them play and do their best, it does not matter if they’ll lose or not.

And they lose a great deal, the show does not provide us with what we expected (that they’ll always win), instead it’s the other way around. There was too much drama on the last few episodes, but still if it’s the Futakotamagawa team we’re talking about then I’m willing to endure and cry. The drama stick to what is most realistically possible (almost) and I like that fact.

The SP’s more on the flashback thing (it’s all flashbacks, haha), and I’ll watch the movie soon (they say it will left you crying nonstop, after which I wonder what will be left of me).

I LOVE ROOKIES. .Hence, the super long review. It’s one of the most touching shows ever.If ever you decide to watch it, please do so whole heartedly, with no distractions, I think it’s the best way to better absorb the emotions.