(マジすか学園, lit. Serious School
) is a Japanese drama by the idol group AKB48
and was broadcasted first in 2010 on TV Tokyo. The cast mostly consists of members of AKB48
or their numerous sister groups.
Two transfer students, Atsuko Maeda and Onizuka Daruma arrive at Majisuka Gakuen, an all-girls yankee
school where fights and violence are common. While Daruma is eager to prove her strength to the strongest group in school, Rappapa, Atsuko does not care about fighting. Soon enough, the Majisuka students learn about Atsuko's true power and force her to fight them.
The series was renewed for two other seasons: Majisuka Gakuen 2
, set in the same school but a year after the original, and Majisuka Gakuen 3
that is set in the future on a prison for young girls and features a new cast of characters.
New main character is now Paru, the newest convict in Hope Prison, a girls' prison built Twenty Minutes into the Future
after the Juvenile Deliquency Law is passed. Paru will have to survive in a harsh enviroment full of fights and crime.
A fourth season has been greenlighted and started airing in 2015: the action returns to Majisuka Gakuen where a new group of girls has become the Rapappa, and yet another transfer student (this time Sakura Miwayaki) will confront the Rappapa leader, Salt (played by Haruka Shimazaki, who played Docchi and Paru in former seasons)
This series contains examples of:
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council - The strongest group - the wind instrument club Rappapa - is feared by everyone and de facto considered the top of the school.
- Action Girl: Any character who is not an action girl is a rare exception.
- Adults Are Useless - Whereas all students possess fighting skills, the school staff seems to be mostly made of average humans not affecting the plot at all.
- Affably Evil: Yuko
- A Friend in Need: Why many of the characters have deep connections, underneath their cool exteriors.
- Antagonist in Mourning: After Yuko's death, everyone mourns her, including those who stood against her.
- Ax-Crazy: Shibuya
- Back-to-Back Badasses - Used several times throughout the series, most notably with Atsuko and Sado (and Atsuko and Minami in a flasback) in the first season, then with Center and Nezumi in the second.
- Backup Twin: Played with and lampshaded as Yuko's actress returns. Not as a twin, but as the two surviving triplets.
- The Bechdel Test: Passed almost every minute.
- Berserk Button - Unlike most students, Atsuko is reluctant to any fighting. Until you ask her whether she is serious.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Maeda.
- Bloodier and Gorier - For a drama based on an idol group, one would think that it'll be something light and happy, right? Definitely wrong.
- And then, there is the Gekikara episode, which is much gorier and more cruel than everything else until this point.
- Combat Commentator: Team Hormone. Hilariously lampshaded by Daruma when Kokabuki commentates during Atsuko's fight with Ookabuki.
- Combat Sadomasochist - Gekikara does not care about winning or losing but takes and throws punches alike just for the sake of violence while giggling like a maniac.
- Sado's nickname is a shortening of the word "sadist". Seeing as Yuko gave it to her after seeing her fight it makes a lot of sense.
- Coordinated Clothes: Kabuki Twins
- Custom Uniform - Atsuko is pretty much the only person in the school who wears her uniform correctly.
- Dark Action Girl: Several have shaded of this, but Gekikara in Season 1 most of all.
- Defeat Means Friendship - After Atsuko beats Team Hormone, the latter becomes relatively amiable towards her.
- Also the case with the Kabuki Sisters, Gakuran, and Choukoku, out of whom the first two actually fight for her.
- Sado is another case, seeing as she not only became Yuko's second-in-command, but one of her fiercest defenders, after Yuko beat her senseless the first time they fought.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: All the opening and ending songs are sung by AKB members.
- Domestic Abuse: Nezumi tried to protect her mother from this
- The Dragon: Sado to Yuko
- Explaining Your Power to the Enemy - Happens with the Kabuki Sisters. Daruma even comments on this: "Are you a commentator?"
- Fire-Forged Friends: Sado and Maeda
- Flash Step - Black's specialty.
- Flawless Victory: Maeda VS Shibuya, surprisingly.
- Friendly Enemy: Yuko to Maeda
- Headphones Equal Isolation: Nezumi combines this with In the Hood.
- Held Back In School: Shibuya is a bit of a strange one. She has already graduated, started working, but then volunteerily goes back to third year, of a rival school.
- Hellhole Prison: The girls live in one in the third season.
- Honor Before Reason: Happens a lot with people not shying away from challenging whole crowds of opponents. The Kabuki Twins come to mind, with one fighting a whole bunch of girls, while the other challenges Shibuya.
- Ill Girl - Yuuko.
- In Name Only: The third season is set in a prison instead of a school, and features a new set of characters.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Happens to Daruma a lot.
- Lady of War: Maeda Atsuko
- Loads and Loads of Characters - The first season alone features at least 30 girls from AKB48 or their sister groups. Even more are added on latter seasons.
- Lured Into a Trap: Center by Nezumi. Subversion in that she knew Nezumi was betraying her and still showed up
- Meaningful Name - There are several, justified for a few of the characters as they are nicknames.
- Daruma shares her name with a type of good luck charm in Buddhism that is able to always get up when it's knocked down. This is even lampshaded by the Sanshou Sisters who start saying lines of the game "Daruma-san fell down" (akin to "Red light green light") while fighting with her and Atsuko.
- Given to her by Yuko after their fight, "Sado" is a shortform for "Sadist", which is... strangely appropriate once you see her fight.
- Shibuya dresses in kogal fashion and shares her name with a district in Tokyo where kogals are known to hang out.
- "Nezumi" means "mouse." Guess who is The Mole and Manipulative Bastard trying to quietly orchestrate all of the events of the series?
- Even the name of the school, "Majisuka", contains the word "maji" that is a homonym for "serious."
- Mismatched Eyes: Nobunaga in the third season.
- Missing Mom - Atsuko's mother is also a yankee who travels a lot. She does come back to visit pretty early in the series.
- Mr. Exposition: Team Hormone are usually the ones that explain (either to each other or to Daruma) other girls' characteristics and fighting styles.
- Morality Pet: Center to Nezumi
- New Transfer Student - The first episode starts with two transfer students, Atsuko and Daruma, joining Majisuka Gakuen.
- In the fourth season, the same happens with Sakura.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Atsuko is the only one that wears the proper uniform, everyone else wears longer skirts, extra jackets, no ribbons, etc. Gakuran doesn't even wear the girls' uniform, wearing a boys' one instead.
- The Notable Numeral: The Four Heavenly Queens
- One Steve Limit - Minami the Student Council President is not to be confused with Minami, Atsuko's deceased friend.
- Also in season 4 Sakura frequents a diner owned by a woman named Minami
- Plucky Girl - Every single student could qualify for this, but especially Atsuko, Daruma, and Yuuko.
- Sailor Fuku: The school's uniform qualifies.
- School Of Hard Knocks: Majisuka Academy.
- Second Year Protagonist
- Sequel Hook: A girl walks up to challenge Maeda at the end of Season 1. Her response? Any time, freshman
- She-Fu: Thankfully averted.
- Significant Double Casting: Some of the girls that played characters in the two first seasons play new characters in the third. For example, Matsui Jurina (who played Center) plays Nobunaga, Kumi Yagami (who played Dance) plays Komimi and Shimazaki Haruka (who played Docchi) plays Paru, the main character. Same goes for the fourth season, despite being set in the same place as the first two.
- Stalker with a Crush
- The Glasses Come Off - When Atsuko gets serious, she always takes off her glasses.
- Lampshaded in episode 11 when before a fight with Sado she removes them dramatically... to clean a lens.
- Her dad does this, too.
- Averted in the second series, as she gets contacts.
- Troubled Backstory Flashback: Nezumi remembers her father hitting her as she tried to protect her mother from his beatings and then her mother leaving.
- True Companions
- Two-Teacher School: Somewhat justified since nobody seems to do any learning anyway. Apart from Maeda that is, but she still learns from a book that is not on the curriculum.
- Use Your Head - Daruma's signature move. She explains that it's because when she was in Shibuya's gal circle, she would be headbutted as punishment.
- Because of this, Atsuko uses one to beat Shibuya.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment - How Chokoku carries her 100 Poems by 100 Poets cards.
- Villainous Friendship: Sado and Yuko
- Worthy Opponent: Maeda grows into this for Rappapa as they keep hearing about more of her victories