Hammer Session

One of my favourite Japanese TV genres has got to be the tough love teaching genre. You know, like Dangerous Minds but with teachers who have a background other than teaching that always comes to the surface at the worst possible time. Gokusen had a female teacher who was the grand daughter of a Yakuza boss, Misaki Number 1 featured a hostess turned teacher, and Onizuka-sensei of GTO fame (my all-time favourite show in this genre) was a yankee/bad-ass biker who wanted to be a teacher so he could get with high school girls.

In Hammer Session our fish out of water is a convicted con man who escapes from a transport vehicle and is found hiding on the grounds of a high school. In exchange for the principal not turning him and his fellow escapee over to the authorities, Otowa Yonko (played by Mokomichi Hayama) must assume the identity of a new teacher and help get the students on the right track. Otowa becomes Hatchisuka Goro, using his skills to help his troubled students.

But like all good teacher dramas, the secret won’t last forever. The principal’s daughter, who works side by side with “Hatchisuka-sensei” is suspicious, as is one of his students, Kaede Tachibana (Shida Mirai from 14sai no Haha), a spunky girl who just so happens to be the daughter of the police detective out to capture him.

While most of the situations the students find themselves in have been rehashed time and time again in other teaching-based comedies, Mokomichi’s humourous delivery and frequent shirtless moments slathering on suntan lotion make it more memorable than it would have been if another actor had taken on the role.

Starring: Mokomichi Hayama, Shida Mirai, Higa Manami, Kohinata Fumiyo
Original Air Dates July 10 to Sept 18, 2010
Number of Episodes: 11
Genre: High School Comedy
Broadcast Network: TBS

Based on the Manga Written By: Yamato Koganemaru & Namoshiro Tanahashi

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