According to Soompi, actor Jang Dong Gun, who is forty three, is going back to university after twenty years. Apparently back in ’94, he enrolled but never completed his degree. It happens, especially when you’re an actor and live a busy life.
After reading this, I thought it was awesome of him to go back and learn something new. I think some of us, who are younger feel like once school is over then it’s over, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Learning never ends and if you want to go back to school, and have the money for it, then you should go back…..as long as you have the money for it.
In honour of this news, here are three jdramas that fully embrace going back to school when you are older. Why jdramas when Jang Dong Gun is a Korean actor? Simple, because I’ve been talking about kdramas way too much here and I’ve actually watched these dramas so….
35 sai no Koukousei (2013)
Baba Ayako, played by the wonderful Yonekura Ryoko, never finished high school due to the bullying that she endured in school. Fast forward into the future and now she’s 35 and decides to go back to school so she can finally graduate. Things are different now and while bullying still happens, it’s changed too. Through Baba’s influence, she helps the students grow and mature. But more importantly, they help her get over her trauma and grow as well.
It’s a typical high school jdrama, so don’t be surprised by some of the stories here. But I have a soft spot for Ryoko, so I enjoyed this. It also reminded me of a show (which for the life of me I can’t remember) that was on KBSWorld and it showcased an old man who decided to go back to school. I think he was playing soccer with one of his fellow students. It was touching that he was able to go back and finish something he always wanted, but also make friends as well.
Anyways, bullying in school is a big problem and for it to cause someone to drop out and run away from it is a sad thing. Baba clearly has some scars that she has to overcome, even though she’s been living a pretty amazing lifestyle. It is interesting to see that while the school dynamics have changed over the years, the bullying still stays the same. It’s sad, but I guess it shows how this isn’t something that’s going to go away just like that. If only!
37-sai de Isha ni Natta Boku ~Kenshui Junjo Monogatari~ (2012)
This is actually based on a true story, so that’s awesome!
Konno Yuta, played by Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, is thirty seven and in a job that leaves him stressed and depressed. Even though he’s somewhat successful at the food company that he works for, he doesn’t feel happy and wants a change. So he quits his job, and the salaryman lifestyle, and decides to become a doctor. The show follows his journey as a medical intern, where he not only has to deal with being the older than the residences, but being in a different environment too.
I haven’t finished this one yet, but I do remember enjoying it even if it was a bit slow. I think it’s inspiring in a way, because things like this don’t usually happen. I mean, leaving a good job for one that takes a lot of time and effort to get is almost unheard of, especially when you’re older. Sadly, and this is what teachers don’t tell you in university, but getting a job in your field and one that you like and love is very small. The economy just doesn’t allow that anymore and it’s more likely that you’ll work in a desk job that you don’t really like (or hate) instead of something that inspires you to do something more in your life.
Despite that, the majority of people would rather work in a job that they love, even if the pay isn’t much, than one that they hate that pays well. But! You won’t see many people jumping ship and changing their entire life to do this. The fact that he was able to do this and accomplish his goals is something that I definitely admire.
My Boss, My Hero (2006)
Twenty-seven year old Sakaki Makio, played by the funny Nagase Tomoya, is stupid. I mean, he’s really stupid. I’m not even being mean, it’s true and the synopsis calls him dumb so…. Anyways, he’s a high school drop out, but enjoys his days and nights being a part of his father’s yakuza group and getting up to no good. His father doesn’t want his son to continue being dumb, since Makio might become the head and you don’t want a stupid boss leading a yakuza group, so he does something drastic. He forces Makio to spend his days in high school, where he’ll get his diploma, and then let him spend his nights being a regular ol’ gang member. If he doesn’t graduate, then Mikio, Makio’s younger and smarter brother, will become the next boss.
Unlike the previous two dramas, Makio has to pretend that he’s 17 and not 27, even though he definitely looks 27. (Ah, I’m getting flashbacks of Oguri Shun trying to act like a teenager in Nobunaga Concerto.) Everyone remarks that he looks old and he really stands out, which adds to the humour of the show. If Makio’s cover is blown, then the whole operation is done and Mikio wins. Through going back to school, Makio grows as a person and helps his classmates too.
I haven’t finished this one either, even though I really liked it. I think the video player wouldn’t load properly and I got annoyed and quit. I really should get back to this, since I want to see what happens in the end.
And there you have it, three jdramas about how it’s never too late to go back to school.
All the best to Jang Dong Gun and his school endeavours. It may not be as exciting as these shows, but at least you’re going back to do what you want and that’s an awesome thing!