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ROOKIES [ルーキーズ]


Drama Details
Telecast:2008-04-19 to 2008-07-26
Season:Spring 2008

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TV Station:TBS
Duration:11 Episodes

Koichi Kawato 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. 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.

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Soundtrack and Theme Songs (1)
1. Kiseki [GreeeeN]

Actor/Actress Cast (52)
Sato Ryuta
Kawato Koichi
Ichihara Hayato
Aniya Yabu
Koide Keisuke
Mikoshiba Toru
Shirota Yu
Shinjo Kei
Nakao Akiyoshi
Sekikawa Shuta
Takaoka Sousuke
Wakana Tomochika
Kiritani Kenta
Hiratsuka Taira
Sato Takeru
Okada Yuya
Igarashi Shunji
Yufune Tetsuro
Kawamura Yosuke
Hiyama Kiyooki
Onoue Hiroyuki
Imaoka Shinobu
Murakawa Eri
Yagi Toko
Amano Hiroyuki
Kakefu Mitsuhide
Asano Kazuyuki
Ikebe Shunsaku
Fukiishi Kazue
Mayumi Rie
Osugi Ren
Fujimura Akihiro
Ibu Masato
Murayama Yoshio
Hamada Masatoshi
(ep. 1)
Ayase Haruka
Mikoshiba Kyoko (ep. 1)
Moriyama Mirai
Harimoto Takumi (ep. 1-2)
Matsumoto Hiroya
(ep. 1-3)
Kiguchi Aya
Naomi (ep. 1-3)
(ep. 1, 3, 8-9)
Moriyama Yonetsugu
(ep. 1-4, 6, 9-11)
Kamiji Yusuke
Enatsu Hayato (ep. 1, 6-8, 10-11)
Ishibashi Anna
Hoshino Akira (ep. 1-6, 9-11)
Takayama Miyako
(ep. 1-10)
Hirayama Hiroyuki
Shimano Ukyo (ep. 1-11)
Nose Anna
Fujita Kaoru (ep. 1-11)
Yoshida Kakeru
(ep. 2)
Yamamoto Ryuji
Mizuhara (ep. 4,9-10)
Asari Yosuke
Katori (ep. 4-6)
Yamane Kazuma
Kuroe (ep. 4)
Taguchi Hiromasa
Kunimatsu (ep. 5-6, 9-10)
Hoshii Nanase
Matsunaga Ayako (ep. 6)
Hayashi Tsuyoshi
Awaguchi Hidetomo (ep. 6-8, 10-11)
Tajima Ryo
Shibata Koji (ep. 6-8, 10-11)
Matsuda Madoka
Ishimine Miho (ep. 6)
Orimoto Junkichi
Sawamura (ep. 7-8, 11)
Abe Ryohei
Kono Takuya (ep. 7-8, 10-11)
Kaku Tomohiro
Kobayashi (ep. 8-9)
Hojo Takahiro
(ep. 9-11)
Endo Kaname
(ep. 9-11)
Toba Jun
(ep. 10-11)
Hankai Kazuaki
(ep. 10-11)
Takahashi Tsutomu
(ep. 10-11)
Koyanagi Yu
(ep. 10-11)
Fukami Motoki
(ep. 10-11)
Watabe Atsuro
(ep. 10-11)
Furuya Ikko
(ep. 10-11)
Sunaga Kei
(ep. 11)
Hiraizumi Sei
(ep. 11)

Related Links (1)
1. Official Site

Drama Reviews (8)
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!

1. Baseball lovers must-see. [Rating: 7/10]
This series was really corny and Satou Ryuuta's acting so horrible, but I found myself coming to tears after watching episode 1, and a little in ep 2. I don't think baseball-lovers can resist :P

The following episodes were less impressive for me, but overall, I really enjoyed this series.

Satou Ryuuta's acting was so pathetic though. Even if the character was based on a manga character, he could've been much more convincing. He is still not ready for lead roles, as expected. However, he did show enough passion to get by.
Fortunately, the students in the series were really well-casted. The only exception were the Nya~ guy (character flaw, not the actor's fault), and Shinjou, that half-Japanese guy is hopeless stiff in every single series.

I've seen Ichihara Hayato in quite a few movies and he's never made a big impression on me before, but I was very impressed this time around. I thought this was a perfect role for him (although his character overused his signature lines :roll: )
Koide Keisuke was also excellent as usual... The difference between movie and dorama actors are staggering. These two were more than enough to compensate for the unconvincing acting by adult actors in this series.

Despite all the manga corniness, I think it was a pretty good series. The only thing that really bothered me was that they used "sequential face close-up" of everyone like every 10 minutes. It's an inevitably corny filming technique that's not meant to be overused...
Reviewed by 8thSin on 2 August 2008
2. GTO meets H2 [Rating: 8/10]
At last! God has transcended and given the underrated Sato Ryuta a lead role. After years of hard work (see Ikebukuro WGP, Utahime, or Cats Eye to understand what I mean) it was great to find him in a spotlight with a role that suits him as the overtly dorky yet kind-hearted and inspiring teacher. YES, the idea of a teacher inspiring delinquent students is not new - in fact, it deserves a rest. But I think his character is more realistic than any before in that he is totally fallible - for example, he does not beat up 20 students in a warehouse every week and inexplicably get a way with it (Shame on you Gokusen!). My hat goes off to the very accomplished cast - Hayato at first struggled but I think there was obvious improvement as he progressed through the story. Other standouts were Kiritani Kenta (see him in Crows Zero) who provided some well-needed comic relief and Koide Keisuke who is also much improved. Let-downs included the overuse of flashbacks and that annoying background music (and I hate it when the have to show individual head-shots of everyone everytime Kawato says something, anyone else hate that?! Such a time filler!), and a script which struggled at times. But most of all, it was incredibly frustrating to have the drama delayed for weeks at a time (and for volleyball at that!), meaning important plots points would dissolve once I returned. But a good, promising drama.
Reviewed by dekatrain on 1 August 2008
3. An excellent drama [Rating: 9/10]
This drama takes an old cliche-- about a bunch of bad, rebel schoolboys, and their meeting up with a teacher who inspires them to stop being bad. The difference between this and other such dramas (such as Gokusen 3) is that this drama has been very well-scripted, with exceptionally fine acting and also very good direction. The story is not your typical, run-of-the-mill teacher-wins-over-students.

The major characters are well-rounded out and these schoolboys are not pretty boys-- they are the bad, bad ones I remember reading about in Slam Dunk. Their teacher is hilarious, more than anything else, although he comes equipped with an infectious smile. The script is tight, the story is fast-paced with enough turns, and best of all, the story has a grittiness and reality about it that hits pretty hard.

I strongly recommend watching this.
Reviewed by Tiane on 31 May 2008
4. Hmm [Rating: ?/10]
I'm currently watching this. Haven't finished the first episode yet, but the storyline's old, been there, done that already: a teacher inspiring a group of underachieving and troublesome students. I'll reserve judgment until I see two or three more episodes.
Reviewed by whatever0024 on 14 May 2008
5. Like the students [Rating: 8/10]
Not better than GTO & Gokusen, too naive teacher I think. But I like this because of the student's characters, they're all funny esp aniya, mikoshiba and hiratsuka.
Reviewed by ester_grace on 23 December 2010
6. Finished In 14 hours [Rating: 9/10]
i finished this whole drama in 14hours . i love the characters, aniya, sensei, shinjo and all of em .. def worth watching
Reviewed by jitpunkia on 5 May 2009
7. At last.... [Rating: ?/10]
At last, Sato-san is leading. I've been watching him on Pride and Umizaru - very funny...

Keep up the good work!!!
Reviewed by cathwaiyee on 13 April 2009
8. crap [Rating: 4/10]
this show's crap... i watched it after h2... rookies is seriously lacking in plot and is painfully predictable...
Reviewed by yufan on 2 July 2010

Comments From Users (79)
This section may contain spoilers! Do not proceed if you
do not want to read about this drama's endings and plots!

1. Comments by dekatrain [Rating: 8/10]
At last! God has transcended and given the underrated Sato Ryuta a lead role. After years of hard work (see Ikebukuro WGP, Utahime, or Cats Eye to understand what I mean) it was great to find him in a spotlight with a role that suits him as the overtly dorky yet kind-hearted and inspiring teacher. YES, the idea of a teacher inspiring delinquent students is not new - in fact, it deserves a rest. But I think his character is more realistic than any before in that he is totally fallible - for example, he does not beat up 20 students in a warehouse every week and inexplicably get a way with it (Shame on you Gokusen!). My hat goes off to the very accomplished cast - Hayato at first struggled but I think there was obvious improvement as he progressed through the story.
2. Comments by aiscess [Rating: 8/10]
This series focuses on a suspended baseball team and a teacher(not really a coach) helps them to play again to achieve their dream of going to Koshien and their struggles along the way. It doesn't have the 'teacher saves all' format at the end of each episodes but it has the 'teacher wins their trust' theme and it has more reality/drama in it. Acting wise - Koide, Takaoka, Nakao(ep1), Kawamura(towards the end) & Kiritani(for comic relief) did a good job. I wasn't really convince with Hayato's acting and as for Sato Ryuta, a little bit of improvement is needed. I didn't like the ending theme at first but I guess it just grows on you after 11 episodes. Overall, the only letdown for me was there were less baseball games than I expected.
3. Comments by Oba-chan [Rating: 8/10]
This series have a potential to be a great drama, but unfortunately they didn't. This drama did their job really well in the beginning, but then their ruined the mood with too much Flashback and random Close up scene for each character. I yawned too much at the end of series, Just watch it and you will understand what i feels. I'm surprise Sato ryuta can act like Onizuka, and of course Hayato also did his job really well to becoming a Yakuza Student like that, even his age was actually 21. The cast maybe good, but i prefer a young cast. Just look Takaoka Sousuke, Kiritani kenta, Kawamura yosuke, even Abe ryohei (The enemy catcher) are about 27 age, They are already oji-chan for me..hahahaaa.
Soundtrack: Kiseki [GreeeeN]: 8
4. Comments by EstherM [Rating: 7/10]
There are better sports dramas about baseball (H2), there are funnier dramas with baseball (Kisarazu�Ls Cats Eyes), there are better highschool dramas (GTO), there are funnier dramas about rogue students (Gokusen 1) but once you have watched all those Rookies might be the next best thing. Better than Gokusen 2, 3, Seito Shokun, Regatta etc. it�Ls tries to be quite realistic and it has a few excellent young actors in it. Usually Japanese casting respects the age of the actors, oddly almost all of them are in their twenties so playing highschool students is a bit pushing it too far. A big minus is the stereotyped ex-Yakusa idealist trainer/teacher - the scriptwriters should have developed a more nuanced persona.
5. Comments by Sorata [Rating: 9/10]
One of my favorite doramas, the same kind of GTO and Gokusen, i rate it above Gokusen and below GTO, but it got something that the other two don�Lt have: GTO has a good teacher but crappy students; Gokusen has good students and a crappy teacher but ROOKIES has good teacher and students.
I�Lm a big fan of yankee storys and the Rookies manga, and i have to say that Sato Ryuta played a great Kawato. Ichihara Hayato was the worst of the students since he doesn�Lt resemble Hanya at all and the best of the students were Takaoka Sousuke(the best one) as Wakana and Nakao Akiyoshi as Sekikawa. But overall all the cast was good.
If you like sports, deliquents and a good drama, then Rookies is your thing.
6. Comments by Inujun [Rating: 8/10]
Basically like every sports manga out there, a lot of scenes get overdramatized and cheesy. Yes a usual its a hot blooded teacher in charge of a group of delinquents and takes time to convert them one by one. I've never really noticed Satou Ryuta before but he did really good in this role, plus his students gave exceptional performances. The problem with this drama though, was that it really dragged near the end with close up scenes on each characters faces after seemingly touching speeches. Of course it was touching most of the time though since this theme had been used numerous times, its no longer special. Still nonetheless, a pretty good sports drama.
7. Comments by ginger ale [Rating: 10/10]
I love Kawato sensei. He's always over the top and an emo when it comes to his students. It takes just one person in this world who can give unconditional love to make these delinquents bloom to their potential. Loving the first baseball themed jdorama I've ever watched. It helps that its like ikemen paradise part 2 in this series. And I adore Ichihara Hayato. I've watchedmost of his films and dramas and he is one of the most incredible Japanese actors of his generation.
8. Comments by romi510 [Rating: 8/10]
Finally finished watching this series. It's re-visit to an old and much worn story line of a bunch of bad students meeting a really dedicated teacher who steer them to the right path and practically change their lives. However, the script is very well written and the story is tight, so over all I really enjoyed watching it. Worth mentioning is the good acting from the main cast too. Recommended.
9. Comments by Susan [Rating: 4/10]
I dropped this series but in the end decided to finish it. Is it just me, or did the actors all look so much older than teenagers? I'm not a fan of sports series and originally picked this up because I love Satou Takeru and Satou Ryuta. But the series itself was so irritating and boring. I didn't feel like rooting for the team at all and it was just exciting.
10. Comments by nishishi [Rating: 5/10]
My comment... hummm... go watch wonderful life instead of this one. Rookies has no main plot whatsoever.... Its just about deliquents aiming for Koshien.
I only gave a 5 out of 10 for this dorama because of the baseball scenes. I mean... i gotta say that they r much better than wonderful life or H2... but still... they could work a lil more on the plot....
11. Comments by Nermal [Rating: 8/10]
Since I love Sato Ryuta, I was bound to be watching this.

A Nice story about hardships and friendships through high school. Lots of it is over exaggerated (trust me there are no problems like THAT in Japanese schools) but it was still something to look forward to each week, especially since they were taping it 5 minutes away from my house! ^_^
12. Comments by stardope [Rating: 8/10]
probably the best teacher-students dorama I watched...the story kinda different from the original manga,,,but that's okayyy... It's not unforgiveable...really like Ihihara hayato's and Sato Ryuta's acting in here... for me the weak point is the crying scene...it happens soo many times... can't wait to see the sp or the movie...
13. Comments by rikastar [Rating: 8/10]
Sometimes it's cheesy as hell, but it is still so fun and enjoyable to watch, even if I could care less about baseball. The enthusiasm of the guys is infectious and their silliness is adorable. They seem to equate shouting to yankee, sometimes it gets excessive and annoying. Koide gives a excellent understated performance.
14. Comments by pinkokoro [Rating: ?/10]
in the middle of watching. from 6 episodes I've watched, this can be said to be one of my fav of this season. Teacher-student drama is old, but this come out really likable and awesome. I didn't expect to like it so much. I hope it'll progress even better because I really want to give it a 9.
15. Comments by hisashi [Rating: 7/10]
Interesting plot although not the 1st about a hot blooded teacher trying to change a group a bad student to chase their dream. Lots of exaggerating scenes and over doing of facial close up and flashback. But still a heartwarming and motivating drama. A well selection of casts.
16. Comments by Jhvx [Rating: 10/10]
From my point of view this one deserves the title of my best dorama of 2008, insert song by Greeeen is great, Kiseki!! ^^ Ryuta Sato role as bakaa sensei is so funny, and plot is very interesting. Finally a good sports dorama!!! Looking forward for the SP and the Movie :D
17. Comments by aoi_dolphine [Rating: 10/10]
Seriously love this drama and just becos I am a sports theme addict person. However having said that I fall right in love with the whole cast and the plot. The theme song is a right fit to this drama too. There's a Special and Movie followed by this drama.
18. Comments by chibichan [Rating: 9/10]
keep dreaming ! thats what Kawato keep saying to his student. a bunch of delinquents kids then realising that there's nothing wrong to working hard, sweating to aiming the dreams.

I wish i have teacher like Kawato, who always believe in his students
19. Comments by v1olet [Rating: 8/10]
A High School Dorama about persistant "yakuza" teacher Kawato and 10 deliquent students in a baseball team chasing their dreams to Koshien. A must see dorama to those who love sport dorama and high school dorama. Nice theme song, Kiseki by GReeeeN.
20. Comments by nickylynn [Rating: 8/10]
So happy to see Sato Ryuta in a lead role. He did it so well. There needs to be more coaches out there like him. A heartwarming sports drama with a good cast. Notably Ichihara Hayato and Takaoka Sousuke have stand out performances.
21. Comments by docalion [Rating: 10/10]
Woooohhh!!!! Ichiharo Hayato is something you need to look out for in this one, well, seconded by Koide Keisuke. Although cheesy at times, it will surely knock you out. Very entertaining!! And super GREAT theme song by GReeeeN!
22. Comments by aoiharu [Rating: 10/10]
not a single johnnys' in it and it's already an ikemen troupe ^^
started watching initially for ichihara (one helluva good and young actor) and baseball... well, ended <3ing the rest of it.
good adaptation from manga imho.
23. Comments by loveaomori [Rating: 7/10]
entertaining but it has nothing special compare to other baseball high school doramas. Kawato is very noisy, and too optimistic, it sometimes got on my nerves. Anyway, good theme song and you'll enjoy it for sure!
24. Comments by esabell [Rating: 10/10]
sato ryuta is da best teacher ever..iwish at my school have a teacher like him in da rookies!drama....ot makes me wants to play softball everyday,makes my luv to softball become more and more...
25. Comments by norani [Rating: 10/10]
Hayato Ichira as Aniya --- Fantastic actor Hayato great screen prescence and he delivers. When he is on screen all the other players seem to fade. Hope to see more of him in other dramas.
26. Comments by Swedish_Japan_Lover [Rating: 8/10]
Goodlooking boys, nice story, and pretty good developed... too many slowmotion and dramatic scenes, but recommendable!
And GReeeeN's Kiseki did play a huge role to make this interesting!
27. Comments by dbesthair23 [Rating: 8/10]
This show was a bit slow, but it picks up real fast and stays on course. The casts really build up their position in the show and at the end lets you wanting for more of them.
28. Comments by mmyy [Rating: 9/10]
A more down-to-earth series of its genre, the idea of punks meeting baseball offers something new for a change, with a lot of hearty laughs and touching moments.
29. Comments by flamethunder85 [Rating: 8/10]
I don't know why (in spite of others' review), I thought I love this one more than Gokusen. The story is so simple, but touching, imho. The main theme is a plus.
30. Comments by Patazilla [Rating: 9/10]
This might not be very original, but nevertheless it is worth seeing! The cast does a great job, I grew to love all the characters and also the plot and acting.

Read all 79 comments from users

Users who voted for this drama (18)
1. asugar2
loved this drama (Another Bad News Bears type story) but with a idealistic goofy teacher/coach reaching out to violent high school juvenile delinquents (ala Gokusen) & turning them into baseball champions who try to reach Koshien to play their rival. pretty intense.
2. uchijin
Its your typical every-drama storyline of a teacher and some delinquents, but this drama made it seem different. Maybe it was baseball, maybe it was the acting, but this drama was amazing for such a overused storyline.
3. docalion
There is no reason why you shouldn't watch this. Koide Keisuke and Ichihara Hayato are already enough!!! Learn to appreciate baseball and GReeeeN!
4. disenchanted
great drama. sato ryuta has a big and uplifting smile (in a non gay way). it's also good to see so many of the cast from crows zero in this :)
5. Patazilla
Very nice sports dorama, I enjoyed it very much, it has some cool characters. |3 Definitely exceeded my expectations.
6. karin-chan
move over Yankumi.. Kawato Koichi is here! LOL. What a nice highschool drama + baseball suspense combined
7. Rodrigo Imai
It's very funny.
Please watch the movie too.
8. Sorata
Personal Rating: 8th
9. compaqmac321
10. judochick
11. Jhvx
12. dollie511
13. teks
14. Aysha
15. chibiladychoi
16. brenda307
17. chikatetsu
18. Fukakyon_Fan