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Dragon Zakura [ドラゴン桜]


Drama Details
Title:Dragon Zakura
Telecast:2005-07-08 to 2005-09-16
Season:Summer 2005

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TV Station:TBS
Duration:11 Episodes

Sakuragi Kenji is a destitute lawyer and one-time member of a motorcyle gang trying to guide failing high school students with an average score of 36 into Japan's most prestigious educational institution, Todai.
"If you want to change your life, get into Todai!"
For no other reason than Sakuragi's personal ambition, he has advertised his intention to produce 100 successful Todai applicants from the students of a nearly bankrupt failure of a school.
"If you want to change your life, get into Todai!" He will get them from this lowest of all schools into Japan's number one!!

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Soundtrack and Theme Songs (1)
1. Realize [Melody]

Actor/Actress Cast (22)
Abe Hiroshi
Sakuragi Kenji
Hasegawa Kyoko
Ino Mamako�@
Yamashita Tomohisa
Tajima Yuusuke
Nagasawa Masami
Mizuno Naomi�@
Koike Teppei
Ogata Hideki�@
Aragaki Yui
Kousaka Yoshino�@
Nakao Akiyoshi
Okuno Ichirou�@
Kobayashi Maki�@
Nogiwa Yoko
Tatsuno Yuriko�@
Saito Yosuke
Vice-Principal Kondou
David Ito
Teacher Ochiai Masanao
Andou Ryouji
Tsukiyama Mayumi
Ishino Mako
Mrs. Yajima
Miho Jun
Mrs. Mizuno
Mizutani Momosuke
Okuno Jirou
Kaneda Akio
Teacher Kawaguchi Hiroshi
Kobayashi Susumu
Teacher Ain Shuutarou
Yazawa Shin
Yamamoto Nozomi
Karahashi Mitsuru
Sawamatsu Yasushi
Kitamura Eiki
Guest student in Todai
Hirota Masahiro
広田 雅裕
Shuumeikan Student

Related Links (1)
1. Official Website

Drama Reviews (38)
The review section may contain spoilers! Please understand
that you may find out about this drama's endings and plots!

1. UNKNOWN RATING.. it's hard to decide! [Rating: ?/10]
The beginning of the drama was good, because the problem was eyecatching. However, the episodes moved slowly and now that I think back none of them are very defining (that is, except for the beginning and end of course) because each episode was pretty much the same with the same levels of excitement. I would've stopped watching this drama maybe halfway through if I wasn't curious about the results, or wasn't a Yamapi & Teppei fangirl..
The ending was an okay, except I think because the episodes went on slowly the ending was a bit rushed to get to a conclusion.
As for the parts where romance were hinted, it was really fruitless because it was never solved. Mizuno and Yajima seemed to have something going on and also not at the same time; and Yajima didn't really seem to love Yoshino at all - but even when Yoshino stated that she pretended it didn't matter when Yajima got worked up over Mizuno's problems but she was actually bothered by it there was no solution and her statement was brushed off quickly and without emotion. I am still confused as to whether Yajima likes anyone at all and what of the two girls' feelings?
For Sakuragi, his speech, to me, was powerful at the beginning - but then it became that there were too many speeches throughout per episode and I even got tired of listening. When he was recruiting his students, besides Yajima the rest seemed to have just popped out of no where and suddenly felt like joining when it was obvious the whole school was really enraged by Sakuragi's proposal. I'm still asking "What changed the others' minds?" Their reasons on why they wanted to join the class were very vague, and I find it a rough edge that didn't let the story move smoothly and logically.
Furthermore the conflict between the twins wasn't solved and was pretty much left hanging because the fact that Jiro failed Todai and his brother didn't did not serve as a satisfying ending. I mean, WHAT ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS AND RELATIONSHIP? What HAPPENED?
I was also astounded at the fact as to why Maki and Ogata were the ones to fail the entrance exam. Maki had all the best scores in the training class throughout the year! Why did Yajima make it? He didn't have very good scores and nor did he improve as much as the others. He even had a broken arm when he was writing! And didn't Ichirou suffer so badly during the exam from the stomach ache that he could barely write?
Anyway, the good thing about this drama was that when the characters were happy, I was happy; when they were about to take the exams I was apprehensive for them.. these were feelings that also had me clinging on to the characters. The music was good too.
Reviewed by xkizoku on 25 September 2006
2. Too Over the Top and Absurd [Rating: 5/10]
This drama screams the word ridiculous. From annoying minor characters to ludacris teaching methods to the over the top "bad school."

To start with, I found Abe Hiroshi's character to be a preachy douchbag. He tried to install tough love and discipline into his students but his constant preaching and bickering to the students was way over the top. Instead, he comes off as an ego-driven character who thinks he's some big hot shot. The discipline factor here is not as well done as movies like Gridiron Gang or Coach Carter.

Furthermore I found most of the minor characters annoying, especially the teachers at the school (except for Hagesawa Kyoko's character), and the extremely whiney principal. Not to mention the extremely over the top teachers that Abe's character brung in, who came off as Gandalf the Math teacher, an Albert Einstein rip-off for a Physics teacher, and a break-dancing bar owner as an English teacher. I also felt that even the worst school to be "full of idiots" was also too over the top and unrealistic for my taste.

The student characters themselves were ok, and somewhat redeemed the show for me. I was initially drawn in by Gakky, but I found her character somewhat problematic. At first she iritated me with her constant jealousy and her extreme reliance on Yamapi's character. However, she changed a bit over the course of the series so I didn't mind her as much towards the end. Yamapi's character I was a bit mixed on. He was the driving force of the students in the special class, but his acting in this drama just comes off as boring. He's pretty good in Code Blue but here he's just a flake. I did like Maki, Hideki, and Ichiro, and could sympathize with all of them due to their struggles. However, the one character I really did like was Nagasawa Masami's character, Naomi. With her struggles with her mom at first doubting her then later getting sick and becoming hospitalized. Plus she felt like the one legitimate character that wasn't over the top to begin with. I was really dissapointed when she fell short at the end and wasn't able to complete her exam.

Overall, there are some good things about this drama. I feel the storyline could have worked, but all the over the top ludacrisy really drags it down. I give it 5.5/10.
Reviewed by mrsmith10 on 28 May 2011
3. Average [Rating: 6/10]
I thought that this drama reflected how much emphasis Japan places on education. Unfortunately, I can't agree less with the way this drama has made it seem that getting into Tokyo Uni is the key to everyone's success. And the fact that they just want to get into the uni, never mind what course they're going to study and whether they will like it or not, gets a thumbs down from me. Thumbs up though, for the creative studying techniques employed.

I found Hiroshi Abe's character to be a cross between GTO and Gokusen. He acted the character well, but I do not like the character himself. Half the time I did not agree with his speeches, and the other half I had no idea what he was trying to preach about. Hasegawa Kyoko's character is very much like Yamaguchi Kumiko of Gokusen in the sense that she loves her students too much, but minus the kick-ass attitude. The six students acted well though I found Yamapi to be a bit of a bore. Saeko and Koike were my favourites because of their energy and cheer. I hated the rest of the annoying teachers and the irritating Principal; they were probably put in for comedy but their antics were a big turn off.

I actually thought the ending was good because it was realistic. And although the final speech contrasted to the whole idea of 'Todai = success', I appreciated that they emphasized too that life isn't all about studying, and that other options are available.
Reviewed by Limes on 6 November 2007
4. YAY [Rating: 10/10]
well, i've seen a lot of school-dramas until now but none of them struck me leit d.z. did. In most doramas I missed the link to reality... most seemed really fake. but here you have a nice view into japanese society and into the educational system. The system of my homecountry (germany) is very different from the japanese so I cannot compare anything. I just can say that those "entrance exams" seem to be very important in japan and that the right choice of school is so important that it affects your whole future life. in germany its not at all like that. everyone who finishes highschool and passes the final exams can go to university 8ok, there are limits in terms of which grades you have, but its not as strict as in japan).

I really think it is a well-made drama, with good links to reality. the ending can be seen as disappointing, but those who have seen it must know - as i do - that it had to be link that, otherwise it wouldn't have been realistic.

another point ist: good-looking guys :D I only want to mention yamapi :D:D interesting role, he had the right age when he war starring in this drama. and teppei ... gosh nice hairstyle ;)
Reviewed by MintCeres on 10 September 2008
5. Your Typical School Drama [Rating: 7/10]
Here we have another school drama that focuses on reforming �gbad�h kids, but unlike the more popular Gokusen and GTO series, this one deals with the reality that is life. In a very harsh, yet effective way, Sakuragi Kenji (played by Abe Hiroshi) reminds the six students of his special class that idiots are cheated every step of the way, and because they�fre idiots there is nothing they can do about it.

The storyline deals with the system of society in which the most educated, no matter socially impaired, are cherished, and the stupid, no matter how kind, are frowned upon. As a teacher myself, I found Sakuragi-sensei�fs style of teaching really interesting�c and at times absurd. It�fs fun to watch the cause/effects in this drama.

I was disappointed in the end. The two students who failed were the two I wanted most to pass. It seems that the powers that be wanted to stay away from the cliche�L ending where everyone succeeds and lives happily ever after, but I thought, after watching their suffering, that perhaps this cliche�L would suffice. Guess not.
Reviewed by Wynter on 6 November 2006
6. Dragon Zakura: Review! [Rating: 9/10]
Alrighty, honestly, I thought that Dragon Zakura was a pretty good drama. Yet, again, there are similiarities from other dramas, but I never base my reviews on similarities with dramas that I've already watched. Dragon Zakura has an interesting beginning. It's just so much of a coincidence that something from the beginning of the drama is repeated at the end. It's testing your memory, so beware XD

As far as the development of the plot...I thought that a lot of problems that happened was pretty odd. I understand the poverty part. Tokyo University seem to be emphasized a lot in this drama. It teaches you a lesson, too. If you do not like society's rules, create your own laws [that are still justified and right in your opinion].

Yamapi is the main reason why I wanted to watch it, then Koike Teppei caught my eyes...and also, Saeko was really cute XDD I thought that the lawyer was enjoyable to watch~ I reccommend it! Well, to those that don't mind similiarities from other dramas and wants to watch something pretty touching.
Reviewed by aeri on 18 October 2005
7. Pretty new perspectives about education and teachi [Rating: 9/10]
Well, I never expected this school drama would go so deep into the reality about education and hierachy system in the society. Just like others, I expected another replica of variety show like setting and a pleasing ending to make everybody happy. That's why it's such a great surprise to see Abe tortured the students recklessly.

I used to be kinda optimist, probably influenced by GTO, teacher should always comfort the students and compliment them. But it is proven to be just as extreme as purely discipline and punishment. Especially when students are in higher grades, it is a must to let them taste the real life other than isolating them with just beautiful dreams and ideology. We still have to face the reality some day, no matter how great our dreams are.

That's why I appreciate nearly all Abe said in the drama, especially this one:

Reviewed by Gabinwong on 17 November 2005
8. Average [Rating: 5/10]
Nagazawa Masami and Abe Hiroshi are the two more welcome aspects of this light drama, which follows in the huge footsteps of GTO and Gokusen. But while the latter are among the most successful dramas ever, expectations are high.

I liked Abe Hiroshi's over-the-top performance as a lawyer who tries to revive a dying, under-achieving high school - really, the perfect actor for the role. Nagasawa is always charming, but especially so as a mediocre student destined for a no-future life. But the writing isn't as sharp or clever than it might be, the situations not as dramatic. Several of the incidents impel one to use the fast-forward button more than usual. It's not surprising that Dragon Zakura didn't get any sequels or specials.
Reviewed by jdoramadotcom on 27 March 2010
9. High School Story: Not Abe's Best, but Can Still M [Rating: 7/10]
I wouldn't say this was one of his best roles, but it was still an OK drama. Yamashita plays another quiet cool guy, Koike is peppy and the rest are also trying to get into Tokyo University. The concept seemed good, but it had some flaws with the acting and the story actually having a grip on the audience. It's a nice suttle drama, but not one of Abe's best. Shame because Abe Hiroshi is dang tall, dang funny, and has talent that can sore so far!
Some of the episodes were good though, like the way they learned things with each other, and the high expert teachers, but having that small love traingle and not so dramatic yet too serene ending was a draw back. The tale is a little predictable but nice as a quiet drama to watch.
Reviewed by Kirari Ililah on 14 April 2006
10. Falls Short [Rating: 5/10]
Typical drama where a teacher inspires students to work hard and be successful in school and life. It was refreshing to see Abe Hiroshi tell them about the harsh reality instead of the usual "inspiring words/be positive" routine which is usually seen in most of these kind of dramas. Because what he says in the drama reflects what it happening in the real world. However, it does get boring after a while. First few episodes were interesting but halfway through the drama, ended up fast forwading most it. Disappointing ending too. For a more satisfying drama, go for Gokusen or GTO. Watch this if you're a Abe Hiroshi, Yamashita Tomoshia or Koike Teppei fan.
Reviewed by doublemask on 6 October 2008
11. Not as convincing as it wants to be... [Rating: 2/10]
I hated Abe Hiroshi's character in this drama. Its not because he was always giving "tough love" to his students, but because he wasnt very good at it. He would just end up preaching to his students, and most of his self righteous speeches were either annoying or not convincing at all. I guess it could be attributed to poor writing. Without spoiling the ending, I'd have to say that it was one of the worst endings ever. The whole story didnt feel like it had a climactic conclusion and made you feel like you just wasted nearly 11 hours of your life by watching this. Avoid this show at all cost. I just wish someone told me those words sooner.
Reviewed by Grim Eyes on 26 April 2006
12. Real School Drama [Rating: 10/10]
Of all school dramas I've seen, this by far, is the only drama that gives you real information about school, which is studying techniques. And it sticks so much to realism, even sometimes you think it's down to pessimism, that this is the kind of advice one really needs to survive life. What people might call painful reality. But of course, this drama is also full of hope. Unlike false hopes other school dramas portray. Excellent drama. I can't wait to read its manga.
Abe Hiroshi was great as Sakuragi. And the actors as the 6 students were as great. I hope they create a sequel. But I don't think they'll do that.
Reviewed by moeru_h on 1 June 2007
13. Yikes! o_O [Rating: 7/10]
As an educator, this program was excruciating to watch at times. Listening to adults berate and insult teenagers in order to make them work harder is painful -- teachers in my country would be subject to dismissal for like conduct -- and yet here in America we coddle and baby our teens to an extent that academically we are a world-wide laughing-stock. I'm torn. This wasn't a lot of fun for me, but at the same time it was difficult to turn away. I'm a Nakao Akiyoshi fan, so I stuck with it. I think that others will appreciate the drama, also.
Reviewed by toykimura on 3 December 2006
14. One of the better dramas Ive watched [Rating: 9/10]
I didn't have high expectations for this drama actually (maybe thats why it came out expectantly better). Currently having a 2 years break from school, so kind of missed the studying and exam environment. This drama kind of remind me of such times... and it is a very unique drama. I wouldnt think it as something like GTO or Gokusen (Gokusen 1 & 2 are disappointing). And i do not really think that there are much exam tips from the drama, so don't bother if u are just looking to score well...
Reviewed by l0nEr on 16 March 2007
15. Like the learning methods! [Rating: 7/10]
Abe Hiroshi just carries this show through brilliantly! With all the quirky teachers and nice effective learning techniques (not necessarily new but unusual for this aspect of 'education' to be portrayed), this show was nicely built around a more specific plot compared with other typical teacher-helps-each-student-in-the-class dramas with far more realism than usual. All-in-all, a pretty decent drama with a good performance put up by the rest of the cast.
Reviewed by Shindou on 13 March 2006
16. If you study hard, you can get into Todai [Rating: 10/10]
It's a really great drama. I like the act of Yamapi and the others. Although the drama is like a mix of GTO and Gokusen, but not really that. I think the lawyer-idea was perfect and Abe Hiroshi played Sakuragi-sensei very well.

And it is true: There isn't a stupid student, only if they believe they are stupid.
And I don't understand, why parents thought they are stupid. They weren't only they believed it.
Reviewed by Andro on 21 May 2006
17. Funny [Rating: 8/10]
Basically this is a comedy drama. I find it very funny. Maybe many of you will say that this is just GTO part 2, but this has its own charm i think. and maybe better than GTO in some way. And Abe just the right actor to play the main role. I've seen a lot of his drama lately and I like the way he intreprete the character.
Reviewed by ando_aja on 13 September 2006
18. ...::::: Dragon Zakura ::::..... [Rating: 6/10]
Another learning and teaching base dorama...
quite interesting...but somehow it started to become slow...
however, it is useful for those who wants to prepare for their coming examination...haha~~
besides, many great caster~!
probably not one of my best Jdrama...huhu
very dissappointed with the ending....ARGGGHH~~!!
Reviewed by afiqwitri on 19 September 2007
19. ~Pretty GoOd~~~ [Rating: 10/10]
That's a very nice dorama....................The cast, performance, thier ways of acting is pretty nice, i LOVE it so much............In addition, this drama also taught me many many things, including plenty ways of studying............................Watch THIS, guys!!!!!U won't be regret!!!!!!(I assure!!!).....
Reviewed by echo-Shan on 19 October 2005
20. Zakura drags on [Rating: 5/10]
An ill-conceived high school drama in which teachers act like asylum patients and students suffer an epidemic of bad hairdos. The endless lectures are taken right out of the Idiot's Guide to Tokyo-U Entrance Exam, and if they succeed in activating an idiot's brain, they're more likely to deactivate yours.
Reviewed by shari on 11 September 2007
21. THAT DAMN TRUMPET PLAYER. [Rating: 7/10]
I think Abe Hiroshi is one of the best JDrama actors out there so it always pleases me to see him in something. This is a slightly inspirational tale if a bit weighed down by some of the students. Particularly that annoying trumpet player. He brings down everything he's in.
Reviewed by ninjavsself on 30 May 2007
22. too slow, boring and... it's bad [Rating: 4/10]
dorama about some students who're trying to enter japan no 1 university (Todai) is an attractive theme. But... when I watch this dorama, it's like watching GTO in different version.

I give rating : 4 because Yamapi's on it.
Reviewed by andra mega on 27 March 2006
23. fun [Rating: 10/10]
I have a weakness for high school dramas, or , actually, school dramas in general. I think the advice given in this drama is very good and it focuses on friendship and working together. cute drama. liked it very much.
Reviewed by noodlefreak on 10 August 2006
24. abe hiroshi. best actor ever [Rating: 10/10]
almost every drama dat has abe hiroshi is amazing. he makes u laugh all da time even if hes in a serious mood, plus dragon zakura definately makes me want to study harder now! esp wif those tricks they teach u there!!
Reviewed by >anca< on 3 September 2006
25. Sequel? [Rating: 10/10]
I enjoy watching this and hope there is a sequel. Would like to see if the three who didn't make it to Todai what happens to them and the one who didn't go becomes a lawyer.
Reviewed by Keone on 11 July 2006
26. �h���S���� Dragon Zakura [Rating: 8/10]
It actually..kinda..gives you more feeling and more force on studying more..keke..The actors/actresses were cool,so was the setting and the plot line~
Reviewed by saru92 on 5 October 2007
27. amazing [Rating: ?/10]
This drama is very good, its inspirational, informative and heartwarming.. abe hiroshi-san is a very good actor and that role suited him best.
Reviewed by mikomiko123 on 17 July 2007
28. interesting [Rating: 9/10]
especially if you are still in high school or even in school and you need motivation, watching this drama is pretty motivational
Reviewed by mr_dreamboy on 27 November 2008
29. Disappointing [Rating: 4/10]
this drama is very disappointing...doesn't have a good ending...hope they'll make an SP for this to justify the theme...
Reviewed by kurtzky on 1 December 2008
30. Fun method of study [Rating: 9/10]
It's fun if we can use the same method of study like them, we never get bored and will become easier to understand.
Reviewed by ester_grace on 28 November 2010

Read all 38 reviews from users

Comments From Users (390)
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 Kitsuchi [Rating: 9/10]
This dorama is much likely as many others, but one shouldn't compare. One should see this as a dorama by itself.

However, I really enjoyed watching it. I agree that there were alot of gaps in the dorama. It ended weirdly, almost just as it started. It left you with alot of questions wanting answers and some stuff haven't even been solved. Like the romance, the relations between people and also problems relating their families.. "What happened to them? What were they planning to do afterwards?".. Questions like that.

Also, there were alot that happened just like that, without showing us from were it came. Like Naomi entering the class again out of nowhere. How come she changed her mind?
Also, the fact that everyone didn't manage to admit Todai.. At least, choose the "right" persons to fail, because those two who failed were those who did the best out of the class. How could they possibly fail and the others manage the exam? It was quite shocking..

Well, although that, I enjoyed the dorama until the last episode.. honestly. I don't regret watching it. The casts were after all great and you got to learn some things yourself too while watching Sakuragi-sensei teach the students. So it wasn't a waste of time at all - noway.

I recommend you watching this dorama. I think it has a meaning behind it. Even if something right in front of you looks so impossible; if you try real hard, the impossible can turn into possible. Show the world what one can do right intheirfaces. After all, it's only two letters - imPOSSIBLE can so easily turn into POSSIBLE (just to erase, right?).

Watch ^_^! (There are also hot guys and girls in this dorama - how can you miss this? ;P)
2. Comments by littleindigo [Rating: 10/10]
For me, this was a very interesting drama to watch. Most of the dramas I've seen out there have been about nothing but problems that people have in the area of love. However, Dragonzakura brought a fresh new approach to both high-school and civil-service types of dramas.

Rather than dealing with the conflict of people in love, this drama dealt with conflicts of people's dreams, determination, and the obstacles that come from both inside themselves and outside. While at times it may have seemed 'boring' and 'fruitless', the drama overall has a great sense of wholeness if viewed once more.

Not to mention the methods of studying can truly be applied to real life. If the storyline doesn't attract you, you should at least watch for the lessons they teach that can be used for both inside the classroom and outside in real life nowadays.

"Too often we are forced to grow up when disasterous events occur around us. We are forced to grow, forced to change, forced to adapt to a new persona of which we are not ready for. It is at that time we lose sight of our hopes and dreams and continue down the lonely path that is set before us. But once you find the goal that you want in life, hold onto it, and don't let go - it may be your last chance in life to turn yourself into a whole new path of opportunities..."
3. Comments by poopiefish [Rating: 6/10]
Perhaps I've been numbed by the large amounts of jdrama that I watch, I didn't find Dragon Zakura too much different from usual school dramas. The ideas that the teacher advocate are not as unconventional as I had expected (from reading the reviews). There's just... nothing too memorable about this series. The characters were not developed well (or maybe I'm just biased against Yamapi and Masami) that the audience were not able to emotionally connect to any of them, and honestly, the US education system is way too different from this that it is difficult to relate. The idea that as long as you work hard, you will be able to achieve something is too idealistic to be something coming out from a teacher who teaches the students to so-called "face the reality". I'm not saying you shouldn't work hard, it's just that... for those who have lived life, they know that reality is even harsher than what happens in Dragon Zakura. So it was kinda hard to understand why the students felt so appalled about the teacher's words...
There's probably nothing wrong with the series... it's just that, American audiences would probably find it a bit difficult to relate.
4. Comments by aeri [Rating: 9/10]
Alrighty, honestly, I thought that Dragon Zakura was a pretty good drama. Yet, again, there are similiarities from other dramas, but I never base my reviews on similarities with dramas that I've already watched. Dragon Zakura has an interesting beginning. It's just so much of a coincidence that something from the beginning of the drama is repeated at the end. It's testing your memory, so beware XD

As far as the development of the plot...I thought that a lot of problems that happened was pretty odd. I understand the poverty part. Tokyo University seem to be emphasized a lot in this drama. It teaches you a lesson, too. If you do not like society's rules, create your own laws [that are still justified and right in your opinion].

Yamapi is the main reason why I wanted to watch it, then Koike Teppei caught my eyes...and also, Saeko was really cute XDD I thought that the lawyer was enjoyable to watch~ I reccommend it! Well, to those that don't mind similiarities from other dramas and wants to watch something pretty touching.
5. Comments by geezbee [Rating: 9/10]
Another teacher drama! No..not Gokusen or GTO...but Dragon..Zakura!! I really enjoyed this drama as well. The difference between this drama and other similar dramas as mentioned b4 is that..there is no "violence". Yes "violence" as demonstrated by the Gangster Teacher (Takeshi) in GTO and the successor of a Yakuza Clan (Nakama Yukie) I almost thought that it was going to follow in the footsteps of these dramas when the 1st ep aired...when Abe Hiroshi's character approached the gangsters (who wanted to beat up Yamapi) Before you guess that he was going to beat the hell out of the gangsters, he was actually seeking directions instead! Haha..this scene really made me laugh..this was sort of done deliberately I suppose. :)

So what is this drama abt? Basically it teaches pple how to study and go to the most prestigious university in Japan..Todai!! Ok, so I guess I enjoyed this drama...but you wouldn't understand much unless u are in japan rite??
6. Comments by hummer [Rating: 8/10]
A pretty interesting drama. It got a point off for the unoriginal idea, but even though this idea has been a little overused in jdoramas, it managed to retain a little bit of original flavor. A small problem with the cast is that sometimes the girls looked too similar. Yes, I realize that they can't help how they look, but they could have at least tried a little more to give them different styles of dress. Also, another thing that bothered me immensely was Hiroshi's expressions, or lack thereof. He had a grand total of three expressions: The most used one was his bemused slight smirk that he kept on throughout the drama, the second was his angry face which is him frowning a little, and the last I can't recall, but there must have been another one. Otherwise, this drama was actually pretty good and had its touching moments and it was actually pretty fun watching them studying and taking all those tests.. X3
7. Comments by icebaby028 [Rating: 6/10]
I never really liked Abe Hiroshi but I have to admit that he is a pretty good actor. I think he did a good job in this drama however, I don't like the drama itself. It started off being a good story but it ended up being really boring and repetitive by like the 4th episode. The only good thing about this drama was YamaP but I felt like he needed a sidekick and Koike Teppei really wasn't the one to do it. He's not strong enough as an actor and definiately didn't do much for the drama itself. I liked Hasegawa Kyoko in My Madonna with Tackey but she was so annoying in this one. I guess it's also just her character. I'd say that with the whole school thing...I still like Gokusen 2 the best.
8. Comments by ReD [Rating: 10/10]
Mengkisahkan seorang peguam harta bagi sebuah sekolah.sekolah tersebut di penuhi pelajar-pelajar bodoh dan bermasalah yang mengakibatkan sekolah itu kerugian besar kerana tiada siapa nak gi sekolah tersebut.sekolah itu nak kena tutup...so lawyer ni( abe hiroshi ) bagi cadangan yang dia nak buat kelas khas yang mana tujuannya untuk menempatkan 4 pelajar ke UNIVERSITI OF TOKYO.dengan cara itu sekolah itu akan famous dan untung balik sebab universiti tokyo adalah impian semua ibubapa terhadap anaknya.so lawyer tu ajar diorang...gempak gila skill belajar yang dipapar dan dicadangkan...Kesimpulannya cerita ni best gila...aku suka
9. Comments by ScrappedShinigami [Rating: 7/10]
This show suprisedme. I had put off watching it for so long, but finally caved because YamaPi is in it, so I gave it a chance and I found myself REALLY enjoying it! I thought it would be another GTO but it wasn't it was different and interesting. I loved all the characters and their growth and I liked how the ending wasn't predictable right until the last second I did not know what was going to happen, but I was happy with what did very happy.
I loved the relationship between Pi's character and his childhood friend that was VERY sweet.
Anyway a very enjoyable show I'll probably sit though it again some time soon <3
10. Comments by Sorata [Rating: 8/10]
The main theme of this dorama is awesome, and this is the first dorama i watched with Abe Hiroshi and he was great, he made this dorama an above average story imo.
I love Hasegawa Kyoko but her character here is just useless, i was a bit dispointed because of that.
The cast for the students was really good but they had no chemestry what so ever, Mizuno and Yajima were really boring characters.
Anyway i loved the way Sakuragi handled the students and all his speechs were very touching and most important meaningful.
Great dorama with a great character in Sakuragi Kenji.
11. Comments by MRStakahisa [Rating: 7/10]
To some people (like my aunt), this show might be kinda boring. BUT it conveys a good message for people who look down on themselves, or despise other people. Another one of the "You will do it if you try" type of drama, just that not EVERYBODY will see good results. Those who've watched will know what I'm talking about... Those who're taking their exams soon, WATCH IT!

-People from NEWS-
Yamashita Tomohisa:
He acts as a rebellion in the early part of the show, but because of certain circumstances, he was being "sold" to Zakura-sensei. He's cool. =)
12. Comments by Fight-oh [Rating: 10/10]
This show is soo super... It's about a teacher name Sakurugi who is trying to get at least 5 kids from the idiot school Ryuzan High to get into the smart school Toudai. When he meets these students he tells them you can get into Toudai if you study hard and dont let anything put you down... Instead of 5 students, 6 students join the special prep class he makes and hope to get in to the smart school Toudai before the end of next year...Can Sakuragi get his students to study hard enough to get into Toudai? Well yu'll have to see the drama to find out!
13. Comments by SayaOtonashi [Rating: 8/10]
At first I thought it was another dorama like GTO, Gokusen or Koukou Kyoushi about a bunch of bad students, but from the beggining it was clear that this dorama was going to be different. I could not stop watching it until the end, and I always feared the ending was going to be predictable but finally it wasn't.
Really good dorama with great Hiroshi Abe. I don't like Yamapi very much but this was one of his best interpretations.
Highly recommended if you like school doramas but you are looking for something quite different.
14. Comments by nishishi [Rating: 7/10]
It starst really slow... (it takes 2 episodes for one to understand how this dorama is going to be...) and by the end it gets really boring.. (they really show the students taking the exams...)
But the plot is very original... i must say that it has nothing to do with Gokusen or GTO except the fact it's also 'bout high school life...
Well... imo its a good dorama...

I really like the ending... Very different... i mean... i dont know y all high-school life doramas have to end just like Gokusen and GTO!!!
15. Comments by ReDxFred4 [Rating: 10/10]
MY FAVORITE DRAMA EVER! This drama shows just how hard you must work in order to achieve what you want to be in life and how you want to live your life. The students of Ryuzan High School must go through hell to get into Toudai (a university) but have fun along the way as they learn different school subjects. "If you want to change your life, get into Toudai.!"
There are many awesome young stars in here..as well as Kyoko Hasegawa and Abe, the main protaginist. This drama is one that cannot be misssed!
16. Comments by dreamer10231 [Rating: 9/10]
it really inspires (someone) to work hard...although the story revolves around students, i believe that the lesson can be applied even for those who are non-students...although i believe that the story can be improved by establishing the characters further; nonetheless, i enjoyed watching it...i suppose that many of the lines of abe hiroshi are something to be pondered about...from others pov, the story is similar to gokusen....i cannot comment anything about it since i haven't watched gokusen...
17. Comments by strawberrynkiwi [Rating: 9/10]
There was so many bad reviews about this drama, so I wasn't sure if I should watch. REVIEWS ARE WRONG! Dragonzakura BLEW me away!!!! I was so surprise b/c it was so different from GTO, Gokusen, Gachibaka. It was amazing. The whole concept made a lot of sense to me. The ending did kinda suck b/c everyone likes happy endings. Reality is reality. Education is extremely important as well as friendship/feelings/family etc. The students was such eye candies too... especially YAMAPI&TEPPEI =)
18. Comments by rikastar [Rating: 9/10]
Interesting plot~ I feel like I really learn something new, not so much about what they studied, but about the university system ,especially Todai's, in Japan. This is the first time I like Abe Hiroshi in a dorama, he was really cool in this show. All 6 students were pretty spunky/cute in their own way. My favourites are Naobu (Masami) and Hideki (Teppei)~ ^_^ This is nothing like Gokusen imo, the only common things they have is probably the school room setting and Johnny's members. :P
19. Comments by carina4 [Rating: 8/10]
Okay can it get even better than this?? I mean what a story and acters! it's so different, yet so normal=D Love Abe Hiroshi, Yamapi, the girl, koike Teppei<3 all of the students are so sweet^-^ I love how they learn, and it's so realistic to. Even I get motivated to study harder, you get inspired of their hard effort and NOT bored cause they're like having fun while their learning, it's a lot different than gokusen but have the same feeling. You can really feel their good friendship<3
20. Comments by zhirong [Rating: 9/10]
Nice drama! Abe Hiroshi looks really cool! Basically a school drama about A lawyer who intend to help out a school by producing 5 candidates for Tokyo University. I really like how they apply cool teaching/learning methods which really does work. Anyway there's some great acting by the casts as well. You can't go wrong with Yamapi, Gakky, Nagasawa Masami and of coz, Abe Hiroshi. I personally like Saeko in this drama. She's so cute with her pissed face and her voice is..... haha.
21. Comments by EstherM [Rating: 6/10]
Mildly interesting - good to pick up tips on how to study better. The message given though is not acceptable: get into Todai no matter what. Don't look at your skills, talents and preferences just attend the right college otherwise you'll be a loser. Admittingly the working class kids in this show wouldn't have stood a chance and didn't have many options anyway. But in real life one would expect that there is more choice when it comes to the Japanese higher education system.
22. Comments by animefreak101 [Rating: 8/10]
I didnt watch all the episodes because i started watching this at like 3am with my cousin (whom i am in the process of turning into a japan addict too) and she kept on watching the drama but i was sleep so i fell asleep and she watched it...so when i woke up she explained the episodes i didnt watch and i watched from ep 7-11 and i must say that i wish i hadnt slep through the other eps because yamapi looks so cute in this drama!!!!! and so does teppei!!! *dies* :)
23. Comments by ABINTRA [Rating: 7/10]
Entertaining drama, but not the freshest thing ever and the teacher is kind of a dick/the drama has questionable messages. Also I have to say that although I like Yamashita Tomohisa and Koike Teppei, I didn't think their acting was very good in this drama, lol. But that aside, watching this was still a good way to kill some time, and it wasn't bad by any means. A nice, light, fluffy drama if you are in the mood for that sort of thing.
24. Comments by michiru3 [Rating: 3/10]
Watched ep.1-6. Abe is still emotionless, just like he was in Antique & My Little Chef. Teachers are the MOST annoying of all the dramas I've watched. Only okay part are the students. YamaP & Teppei are interesting to watch. Even though they tried to make the story "real", it felt fake and I feel it's sending the wrong message. By ep. 6, the teachers have annoyed me so much that I can't stand to watch another episode.
25. Comments by dekatrain [Rating: 7/10]
Another school drama with a unique storyline about students wishing to excel in their last school year. I didn't really enjoy hiroshi abe as the teacher although his methods were intriguing and definitely adaptable into real-life situations. I loved masami in her role as yamapi's best friend and was relieved after being dissapointed in her portrayal of aki in "sekachuu" the movie. Stumbles in parts, but overall, worth a watch...
26. Comments by bigfire [Rating: 8/10]
While it was a very inspirational tale for me, I just couldn't help but be rather irritated with Hasegawa Kyoko's character. Yeah, she's hot and I know that her role was to balance her personality against Abe Hiroshi's, but D@MN! Anyway... Even with her nagging and whining I'd still watch it again. For me, the special teachers were enormously entertaining and they just made me want to study again. Go figure...
27. Comments by atheon [Rating: 9/10]
Sept 2005: Im goin to hv my final yr exam while watching this drama, thats why this drama grabbed my attention. This show is completely different from those other typical school dramas, the teacher dont have to solve gang fights, drugs, problem students etc etc (only plays a samll part), his only main goal is to send his students to Todai. This show really inspired me to study harder for my exam....well......
28. Comments by IniQx [Rating: 8/10]
I thought it was one of those typical school-themed dramas again, but I was wrong! This drama's not about rebellious students (although somewhere near), but on a lawyer's attempt to bring 6 students from one of Japan's lousiest high school to Japan's top university - Todai. The drama went into details about Todai's entry requirements, exam tactics etc. Ahhh! It makes me wanna go back to school all over again!
29. Comments by hurh. [Rating: 7/10]
I was expecting something more lighthearted, but it ended up being pretty serious (but with enough entertainment to keep it interesting). I don't think it's really -that- similar to other school dramas, because they tend to be more idealistic. I think in that sense, this one is from a completely different viewpoint.
I enjoyed the cast and characters a lot. I think that is what I like best about this drama.
30. Comments by yamada_taro [Rating: 10/10]
Most realistic school drama I've seen. Sakurai sensei gives some great advice on studying and life itself. The students are very well characterized, and I've become rather attached to Yajima and Mizuno. ^^; Not one episode I've been bored, so this is a definite recommendation. The message that they're trying to give us is to 'ganbare' on your goals and I must say, I feel inspired to do so now.

Read all 390 comments from users

Users who voted for this drama (148)
1. l0nEr
I just thought that the drama is kind of unique. It doesnt really feel like GTO type or nobuta wo produce type of school drama. At least, it doesnt have 1 major event happening per episode. It probably isnt that funny compared to the other dramas (I dun really remember laughing much). But, the lessons are probably more meaningful than the others. After all, we do live in a elitist world. And yes, i do think that if u do not achieve 100%, u failed the test. (ive failed many). But its kind of strange the idea was never upheld pass the first few episodes...
2. venusling
This drama is different from GTO and Gokusen. The teacher Sakuragi Kenji is really teaching the students academically. Unlike those 2 dramas. I found this drama is really useful for people who is still study. One thing that I learn from this Dragon Zakura is we must follow the society rules in order to be successful in your life!
3. strawberrynkiwi
Dragonzakura BLEW me away!!!! I was so surprise b/c it was so different from GTO, Gokusen, Gachibaka. It was amazing. The whole concept made a lot of sense to me. Reality is reality. Education is extremely important as well as friendship/feelings/family etc. The students was such eye candies too... especially YAMAPI&TEPPEI =)
4. Fight-oh
While watching this show it is about a teacher Sakarugi who tries to get kids from the idiot school Ryuzan into the smart school known as Toudai. In order to accomplish this goal he makes a special prep class and asks the students if they will join him in order to get the school Toudai
5. ReDxFred4
One of the best dramas I have ever seen! Teaches one person how hard he or she must work to make something of he or she in life and be actually part of society! Lots of fun and laughter including many young starts ..staring Abe Hiroshi..Kyoko Hasegawa, Koike Teppei, and many more~!
6. cutina124
This drama was amazing and really made me want to become something. IT IS inspiring and also was well developed. Favorite reason for loving this drama is it isn't some cheap romance story, romance is barely even there.
7. hitomi #1
As far as High School dramas go, this is the tops, much better than the over-rated GTO. DZ has one of the strongest casts, Abe is super duper, just wish Kyoko's role was bigger, highly recommended.
8. extravale
High school horray! love it love it love it! yamapixteppei. abe hiroshi. great cast all over and a simple pretest to broadcast another high school drama, yokatta. because it's so good.
9. muffy_mui
basically watched it cuz of yamapi, but i think that the plot was quite interesting~ i think that it's actually quite funny, esp when the lawyer is always betting with ino senseii~
10. kenjilina
initially watched it for hasekyo but discovered two other stars in abe hiroshi(cool dude) and nagasawa masami(another beauty). i schooled in japan so it brings back fond memories.
11. pokester08
This drama unlike a lot of school dramas actually had some teaching in it. You'll wonder why Gokusen and GTO are so highly rated after watching this one. Yes, it's that good.
12. Andro
It's a fantastic drama! I love it! I love Yamapi's and the other's acting. The drama is almost like a mix about GTO and Gokusen, but not really that. It's a must-seen drama!
13. polarp
anyone who wants to get some extra motivation for studying should definitely watch this. the story ended a little too fast, but the ending was unexpeted and satisfying
14. wanderingfish7
It is nice and fun to watch. The casts did a really good job. Even though the ending is not exactly the same as I expected, the whole story is smooth and enjoyable.
15. Majide
This drama is seriously kick ass~Love Teppei's role and Nakao's it's just awesome! Love the story line, the characters, EVERYTHING!~ *goes crazy* XD Love love love
16. akasagi
another great drama with yamapi....thought this is one of the better school drama i've watched....really enjoyable....can even pick up some studying tips.
17. UetoAyaFanboy
Breathtaking performance of Abe Hiroshi. His first speech about Todai is one of the most galvanizing speech I've ever heard. I want to go to Todai now...
18. favug
Best speech ever to get kids motivated.
I believe this isn't a drama, but a documentary on how learning should take place and a very good one at that.
19. k2_the_aoru
wow, so this has to be one of the best doramas ever. it made me actually believe in going to "toudai" (haha) koike teppei rocked. yamapi- was awesome.
20. krazeealiens
excellent actors/actress... funny storyline funny, and it shows dat any school good or bad rich or not if u can do it u can go to todai... lol
21. *Sayaka*
Fun series to watch. Not to mention, it presents very interesting studying tips for the viewers. Yamapi and the rest of the cast were great.
22. odhie
hahha,, isnt it nonsense to get smart that fast?.. haha,, but i still vote this drama,, coz its so hilarious.. like this drama too!!!
23. docalion
The finest classroom drama, with regards of attending your future. This will always be a must watch especially to baby addicts.
24. Sevenz
Great show! Very inspiring and entertaining. I actually become very motivated to study after watching this dorama! hahaha
25. taibabi
nice!! if u wanna go to todai, u definitely have to watch this drama! and I <3 cute gal.. like kobayashi and kohsaka~~
26. berryjuice
A very nice and somewhat motivative drama. ^-^ Has some touching parts, but overall a funny and nice drama.
27. Yamapifans
Yamapi as Yuusuke attracts me to this drama. And the teaching of those "weird" teachers are soooo funny!!
28. kacang
this drama mae want to study more n more n more!!!!! like japan says(BEN-KYO)
29. arnett
good story bout friendship,,it touched me,,^_^
supported by good actors,,,esp Yamapi,,,
30. viet_la_amour
This drama is GREAT. It's full of inspiration and has very original lines!! Much better than Gokusen.

Read all 148 votes from users