Keito Okamoto cast in Kinpachi Sensei finale
Long-running Japanese drama Kinpachi Sensei to star Hey! Say! JUMP's Keito Okamoto
by Lauren Pang
Date Published: 02/08/2011
Keito Okamoto. Photo courtesy of Okamotokeito.wordpress.com
This March, the long-running Japanese school series 3 Nen B Gumi Kinpachi Sensei will come to an end, 32 years after its first airing. Lead actor Tetsuya Takeda will be reprising his role as Kinpachi Sensei in the drama's final special episode. Keito Okamoto (of Johnny's Entertainment group Hey! Say! JUMP) will act as one of Kinpachi's main students, a delinquent student who has transferred through many schools.
Since its original run in 1979, Kinpachi Sensei has aired 8 seasons and 11 special episodes. Each season follows Kinpachi Sakamoto, a junior high school teacher, and his homeroom class, dealing with various problems faced by real life teens, such as drug abuse, bullying, and gender identity crises. Over the years, the show has featured many young actors such as Aya Ueto and Kazuya Kamenashi; these roles were the starting points for many of these actors' acting careers.
The final episode will mark Kinpachi Sensei's in-show retirement, as well as Tetsuya Takeda's retirement from the role of Kinpachi Sensei. The special will also be Keito Okamoto's debut as an actor. Fellow bandmates Kota Yabu and Hikaru Yaotome previously starred in the 2004-2005 season, and Okamoto's father, Kenichi Okamoto, played a role in one of the series' drama specials in 1985.
Details of the story and other cast members have yet to be revealed, but many are hoping to see the return of some of Kinpachi's former students. Learn more about the special, set to air by the end of March, at the series' official site.