From 10.00 p.m., Fridays, 13 January 2017
A droll man with the gift of the gab, Sakurai Shinichi was a bit of a delinquent in the past and came out to work after junior high school. In fact, the Sakurais have been junior high graduates for generations. Shinichi married his cute wife Kanako who is also a junior high graduate, and is now a salesman at a real estate company. Their daughter Kaori is in fifth grade in elementary school. Even though the family does not have much academic qualifications and money, they have good humour and are happy. One day, Kaori’s results in the national test for elementary school students is delivered to the Sakurais. Shinichi had wished that his daughter would be outstanding despite her ordinary parents, but those hopes are shattered when he sees her horrible score of 41. At work the next morning, he is introduced by his boss to a new employee Nirasaki Tetsuya. Shinichi adopts a patronising tone with the mild-mannered Nirasaki, but he ends up being robbed of the high-end property clients that he is in charge of by Nirasaki without warning. This seems to be because Nirasaki is a graduate of a prestigious university. Realising how academic background can influence the future, Shinichi considers making Kaori take a test at a private preparatory school but Kanako violently objects. Kaori’s test results are the worst and she is recommended the bottom class. To make things worse, Shinichi is told that it is too late to try to get into a good university given her grade and academic ability. He worries that Kaori will become a junior high school graduate too. On the way home, he sees how dejected she is. Determined not to let Kaori suffer like him, Shinichi recklessly decides to teach her himself. So, father and daughter begin preparing for the upcoming junior high school entrance exam together with their sights set on the most difficult school. Shinichi, the junior high school graduate, starts to bring about a miracle … …
Abe Sadao as Sakurai Shinichi
A former delinquent and junior high graduate. Sakurai Kaori’s father. Although his junior high school qualifications has got in the way many times and he has hit numerous “invisible ceilings” after he started working, he lives positively even though he does not have much money. He works hard at his job in a real estate company so that his beloved family will not have a hard time. He will not lose to anyone in energy and love for his daughter. Although he believes that Kaori is smart, he gets a shock when she receives a horrible score in the national test. Determined not to let his daughter be a junior high school graduate and have the same life as him, he makes the big decision to get Kaori to take the junior high school entrance exam and sets their sights on the most difficult school.
Fukada Kyoko as Sakurai Kanako
Sakurai Shinichi’s wife who is junior high graduate just like her husband and a former follower of the gyaru style. A housewife who is always cheerful and good at economising. She is happy as long as she is with her family. She is an optimist who is content with living happily and harmoniously. Even though she gets pushed around by her husband who acts on his ideas, she is the sun of the family. She strongly objects to the entrance exam because she thinks friends are important for Kaori now. Her philosophy is to laugh and enjoy.
Yamada Miku as Sakurai Kaori
The only daughter of Sakurai Shinichi and Kanako. A cheerful, lively fifth grade elementary school student who hates to lose. She thinks that she is good at studies, but unexpectedly gets a horrible score of 41 in the national test for elementary school students. She learns that she has fallen behind and is shocked. Her father’s persuasiveness convinces her to take the junior high school entrance exam. Despite the agony, father and daughter set their sights on the most difficult school, Sakuraba Gakuen which requires a score of 72.
Kaname Jun as Tokugawa Naoyasu
A second-generation president of a major construction company and a graduate of Tokyo University. He is divorced and has taken custody of his daughter Maria. Because he is a workaholic, and also does not care about his family, his relationship with his daughter is frosty. He greatest worry is how to make her open up to him.
Kazama Shunsuke as Nirasaki Tetsuya
A new employee who has changed jobs and joined Sakurai Shinichi’s company. He is a graduate of a top university but he is a simple young man who admires Shinichi. He becomes a confidant to Shinichi who has decided to take the junior high school entrance exam because he has been through it.
Tezuka Toru as Hasegawa
A manager in Sakurai Shinichi’s company. He places sales over everything else. When targets cannot be achieved, he will get very caustic.
Kobayashi Kaoru as Sakurai Kazuo
Sakurai Shinichi’s father. He is a carpenter. He has a foul mouth but a kind heart. An old man who was born and raised in the traditional working class neighbourhood. He brought up his son on his own after his wife passed away. He dotes on his daughter-in-law and granddaughter more than Shinichi. As someone who is a self-made man, he is dismissive of academic background and the entrance exam.
Morosawa Kazuyuki (Keibuho Sugiyama Shintaro, Shiawase ni Naritai, Nurse no Oshigoto Series)
Gekokujo Juken by Sakurai Shinichi
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