No Dropping Out- back to School at 35
The sermon in today's morning service was very meaningful to me. The Bible account of how Esau blamed his brother and parents for his own shortcomings and troubles for some reason reminded me of a Japanese TV series from 2013 called No Dropping Out- back to School at 35. In this series, a 35 year old high school dropout named Ayako Baba goes back to her old high school to complete her degree program where she left off. She is by far the oldest student in a class of teenagers. She dropped out of school because of persistent bullying, for which she blamed her mother. her mother had told her to always stick up for others, and ,taking her advice , she stood up to bullies who were abusing one of her classmates. The bullies then switched targets to Baba, abusing her mercilessly, with increasing frequency over time. Baba blamed her mother for giving her the advice and Baba becomes abusive to her mother and also totally rejects her. In dismay, Baba's mother tries to commit suicide by jumping off a roof. Although the jump was not fatal, she does lose much of her memory and begins to live in a fantasy world. The mother writes a "diary" which tells about events and activities her "fictional" daughter does each day at school. It is a highly idealistic accounting, making her daughter a high school hero and a very popular leader. When the mother finally dies, Baba sets out to try to make the diary come true by becoming the girl her mother writes about. With the help of the school system superintendent , she returns to her old school.
Upon arriving at school, Baba finds that the bullying at the school is worse than ever. There is a class ranking system called the caste system which seems to be controlled by the school's "big deal" students, in which every student has assigned roles to play, from leaders to peons. - Abusers and abuses. The meanest student seems to be a boy named Masamitsu, but is he the one behind the system? Many things happen through the course of this TV series, but Baba slowly becomes the leader/ good friend/ supporter that her mother envisioned her to be. Unfortunately, she becomes accused of being a spy for the school system superintendent and in a dramatic event in which she is accidently stabbed, she leaves and no one knows her whereabouts. This event causes needed changes to be made , as everyone grieves and misses Baba. The series does have a happy ending however and I greatly recommend this series to everyone. The moral seems to be that we shouldn't blame others for our shortcomings or events, but should take responsibility for what we do and become. Although not a Christian show per se, it is a good thought provoking series with good moral values, as well as being entertaining and interesting.
Richard Cerruti -- 4/27/2017