AMV and I discussed this when we did our opinion clash last article and decided we AGREED on Chugakusei Nikki (CN) but I wanted to do a comparison article, so I had AMV watch Majo No Jouken. I can hear some of you now "OAL you always push these older dramas, I only watch stuff from 2015 or newer". My Answer: Your choice, but you are missing out. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So here are the main contrasts:
The Male Lead
as Kurosawa Hikaru (MNJ)
as Kuroiwa Akira (CN)
AMV: Personally, I felt like I was looking at a 5-year-old kid instead of a teenager in Chugakusei Nikki. Boy! He is an emotional wreck! It's just his luck that he's ikemen! His face is so serious that even if someone told him that he won a million dollars, he would be like :| .
Meanwhile, ML in Majo No Jouken was much matured and caring. Let's ask OAL of what she thinks about that, shall we?
OAL: I had the opposite feeling about Okada Kenshi, he never LOOKED 15, and him trying to pass as one was almost as bad as Gackt playing an 18-year-old. (Yes, that's a thing.). Emotionally, this kid was not ready for any relationship and eventually became a stalker and obsessed (not as bad as in Love & Fortune but still). If she had moved on, he eventually would have moved on too.
Kurosawa Hikaru was a bad boy with money, parental Issues and able to make adult decisions due to his looney mom and the fact that he is alone a lot. Age does not always equal maturity, depending on what kind of life the child has had. This was shown in this drama. When the chips were down, he evaluated the situation and made the best choice based on his small span of experience.
The Female Lead
as Hirose Michi (MNJ)
as Suenaga Hijiri (CN)
AMV: Seriously, the first thought I saw after seeing CN's poster was: " Ugh! Another stupid teenage girl falling in love with her teacher". Little did I know that it was the gender-bent version of that. I'm like, "How can you like someone else when you already have a fiancee? What is this? Black magic?" Throughout the series, she actually behaved like a teenager, crying over trivial stuff, being confused about whom she actually like... Oh, come on! We all did that back in the day! Right of me to think she was the teenager in the poster huh!
Go on OAL, tell them how Matsushima Nanako pulled it off perfectly!
OAL: LOL! Well, she did. She was confused about her place in life, just drifting, letting everyone around her make decisions for her. Her father got her the job, she went to the school he chose, basically nothing was ever chosen by her. So when she found herself obsessed over a student, the confusion was real. This also indicated her own maturity had been stunted, never having to think for herself... just follow the dotted line daddy drew. She tried to talk herself out of it. Once they were together and gave in despite themselves and societal rules, they found peace in each other. Not once did she waver in her feelings for him, about the morality, yes, but the relationship not one single time.
Families of Both Parties
as Kurosawa Kyoko (MNJ)
as Kuroiwa Aiko (CN)
AMV: God! Like mother, like son.
ML: Mom! I like...
His mom: No!
This was always the case. She would just not let him do whatever he wanted. In both CN and MNJ, their moms would go to great lengths to keep the leads away.
FL: He did very good on his tests!
ML's mom: What? Are you pregnant???
Their moms hated it that much, and so did we (hate the moms).
The FL's father in MNJ was a part two of her mother, giving emotional attacks in medium doses whenever he felt sick.
OAL: In CN, the ML's mom did everything a good mom should for her son. I really had no problem with her at all. (Speaking as a mother of 2 sons.)
The FL's mom, on the other hand, does not trust her daughter one bit, acts like she is supporting her, then BAM! Sucker punches her at ML's house with a "We take all responsibility" line.
MNJ ML's mom: But son you were supposed to take over for your dead father in ALL things. This woman had an Electra Complex and really never realized it. She was JEALOUS of the female lead as a female rival. <shiver>.
MNJ FL's father: This is the plan, if you don't stick to it, I am going to disown you.
Parental figures in MNJ were just failures at their job thus can be accredited with confused and broken children. CN parents were normal parents. None of the "blame" could be placed on them.
AMV: The story is pretty much the same. Two people fall in love. Their parents oppose it. Emotional drama. More emotional drama. Tissues. One bucket of tears. Breakup. Lots of ice cream. "Loving him was the worst decision of my life." "He's not so bad actually. I really love him!" Patch up. Parents still refuse. Beg. Plead. Fall at their feet. They finally agree. Happy.
The drama is much more intense in MNJ because there were a lot of hospital visits by the FL and ML. (If you know what I mean! >:) ) The only thing that is different from other cliche rom-com is older FL, younger ML, a teenager at that. How do you like these kinds of stories OAL?
OAL: The story in MNJ is typical early Jdrama DRAMA! And the story in CN seemed to whitewash it a bit, removing some of the more controversial, thus compelling parts of the story. Compared to other age gap dramas these were more complete in the fact that the whole family was involved. If you had swapped the genders, the stories would have been different and that's what makes both stories intriguing in themselves. It's just that MNJ did it better in my opinion.
AMV: If you like the lead guy to be stupid and slap the heroine instead of telling her he likes her, you will like CN. If you like age gap dramas, with a lot of emotional stuff, or you want to watch something after a breakup, curling up in your bed, crying, eating lots of junk and reminiscing about your ex, watch this. Else, don't even bother to type the C in CN in the search bar. Even the search bar will be like: "Not CN again! I'm bored. So I display no results!" Lol!
Personally, I'm not much into this genre. CN Is highly overrated. MNJ was good for the actors it had, and the good old times back then. What? I'm a 90's kid alright. :P
Chugakusei Nikki: Guess who's the teenager! 1/10
Majo No Joken: Ah some real stuff! 6.5/10
I'm sure OAL agrees to this! (No, I didn't type her dialogue, too, okay? Don't be like "Aye, I see what you did there.")
OAL: I actually watch a lot of Age Gap dramas, Proof here, but MNJ stands out because I really felt the organic way the relationship played out. I wanted them together, I needed them together. With CN, I did not care if they were together or not. One of the things I ask of a drama is can it make me emote? If not, it's a fail. MNJ made me cry a lot, worry a lot, and made me angry at times. Thank you drama for putting a spark into my dead soul. (lol)
Chugakusei Nikki: 6.5 - It was watchable but not great, did not trigger the emotion meter.
Majo no Jouken: 9.5 - I loved it.
Do you also think Chugakusei Nikki lost it? Wait, you disagree? Whatever your opinions are, we'd love to hear them! Thank you for being with us guys!
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