Mr. Sato sparks some changes to our office attire.

Otoko Juku translates to “Man School,” and that’s a very fitting title for the anime/manga series. First published in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1985, with an anime TV series and movie coming not long after, Otoko Juku follows its cast of young lads as they enter a spartan academy that will teach them how to become the manliest of men, which generally leads to the putting their pride and honor on the line in various rumbles, duels, and showdowns.

▼ Some collected volumes of the Otoko Juku manga, with protagonist Momotaro Tsurugi on the cover

Our ace reporter Mr. Sato is a big fan of Otoko Juku, but there’s something that’s always struck him as strange about its artwork: Momotaro and his classmates don’t look anything like high school students. Sure, their standard outfits are gakuran, the straight-collared jackets often worn as boys’ school uniforms in Japan. Many members of the Otoko Juku cast, though, have  heavily lined faces and ample facial hair, things not usually associated with still-growing teen boys.

In Mr. Sato’s eyes, a lot of them look like full-grown, middle-aged adult men. So he wondered, if he, a full-grown, middle-aged, adult man, were to put on a gakuran, would he look like an Otoko Juku character?

His inquisitive mind had to know the answer. Since Mr. Sato is now too old to enroll in real-world high school and be issued a gakuran, instead he dashed off to the nearest branch of Japanese discount retailer Don Quijote to grab a facsimile from their cosplay corner.

Once back at SoraNews24 headquarters, he slipped out of his clothes and into his gakuran.

Hmm…not bad, but not quite the critical mass of testosterone he’d been hoping for.

Something was missing, but what? As a man (otoko in Japanese), had he not totally nailed the otoko part of Otoko Juku?

That’s when it dawned on him. No matter how manly he may be, no man, by himself, is a whole school. To really get the Otoko Juku atmosphere going, he’d need a crew of similarly manly classmates.

So lucky for him a macho-man classmate was on the way.

“Yeah, kept ya waitin’, but I’m here now, dude.”


Stepping through the door was fellow reporter Seiji Nakazawa, and he wouldn’t be the last applicant looking to enroll in Mr. Sato’s Otoko Juku.

“You got room for one more, right bros?”


Masanuki was the next to stride in, cutting a dashing figure in his choran (long-length gakuran).

“Hey, you ditzes aint forgotten about me, have ya?”


P.K. also opted for the choran style, which just oozes old-school ruggedness.

“Is it OK if I join too?”


With his smooth skin and babyface features, Ahiru Neko didn’t look so much like an Otokojuku character as he did an actual current high school student. Still, he’s a loving father, which is about the manliest thing a guy can be, so he too was admitted to Mr. Sato’s Man School.

Though the original Otoko Juku manga ended in 1991, various spinoffs and video games have kept the franchise alive. There was even a live-action movie adaptation in 2008, and Mr. Sato is sure the producers will be calling to offer him and his gakuran brothers starring roles in a sequel any moment now.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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