Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun is a Japanese BL series about a high school teacher and a delinquent student. The main character used to be an unruly troublemaker who skips classes and starts fights. A new teacher inspires him to take his studies seriously again. They spend meaningful time together, engaging in sincere discussions. The protagonist learns to be more mature. He also develops a secret crush on his mentor and struggles with his feelings.
Everything about Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun irks me. Firstly, a romance between a teacher and his teenage student is a red flag. The story glosses over the age gap without addressing the problematic power dynamics. Secondly, the relationship scenes are shallow and vapid. I still don't understand why the characters are attracted to each other. And thirdly, none of the plots are compelling. The writing is juvenile and lacks sophistication.
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun Summary
High school romance
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun is a nice & heartwarming BL drama.
Toki is a teenage delinquent with an infamous reputation. He smokes, skips classes, and starts brawls. All the other students and staff view him as an unruly troublemaker, while Toki lazes around without believing in himself. However, a new teacher's arrival changes his trajectory.
Mr. Sahara is a young high school teacher starting his first day on the job. Due to his handsome looks and easygoing personality, he becomes popular with the students. Unlike most, Mr. Sahara approaches Toki with genuine concern. He doesn't dismiss the rebellious teen as a lost cause. Instead, he motivates Toki and encourages him to take his studies seriously.
Inspired by his mentor, Toki starts showing up for classes. He befriends Rise, one of the students sitting beside him. Toki's grades are terrible. He's at risk of failing his exams. Mr. Sahara introduces him to Todo, a senior student who is intelligent and popular. Todo helps him study. Despite learning a lot, Toki is disappointed. He assumed Mr. Sahara would be giving him private tutoring lessons instead.
Mr. Sahara is close with all his students. He maintains a warm relationship with Toki and helps him settle in class. Toki develops a secret schoolboy crush on his kind-hearted teacher. He always hopes they can spend alone time together. However, Toki gets nervous and struggles with his feelings. Despite his friendliness, Mr. Sahara doesn't show any romantic signals.
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun Trailer
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun Cast
Rintaro Hachimura (柴田啓佑)
Toki is a second-year high school student with an infamous reputation. He used to be a teenage delinquent who skipped classes and started fights. However, Mr. Sahara encourages Toki to take his studies seriously. Thanks to the teacher's positive influence, Toki improves his habits and attitude around school. He also develops a secret crush on Mr. Sahara.
Takumi Kizu (岐洲匠)
Mr. Sahara is Toki's new homeroom teacher. He is popular with the students due to his handsome looks and easygoing personality. Unlike the other staff, Mr. Sahara shows genuine concern toward Toki. He motivates the delinquent teen to take school more seriously. Before his teaching job, Mr. Sahara was a swimmer and achieved considerable success in his career.
Hiroki Matsumoto (松本大輝)
Takumi Momose (百瀬拓実)
Shunta Sono (曽野舜太)
Kaito Hori (堀海登)
Ayane Kinoshita (木下彩音)
Yota Kawase (川瀬陽太)
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun Review
Drama Review Score: 4.5
Let's begin the Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun review by addressing the elephant in the room. A romance between a schoolteacher and his student is highly problematic. The age difference between an adult and his teenage love interest raises many red flags. To make matters worse, a teacher should be a trusted figure for vulnerable youths. Mr. Sahara misuses his authority by taking advantage of his influence over Toki. He should know better than to entertain an unethical relationship with a troubling power dynamic.
Despite the insidious nature of the romance, Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun downplays the scandal. The characters behave obliviously, never consider the repercussions, and even encourage the hookup. The series excludes parental figures or opposing voices who may object to the inappropriate relationship. Instead, it pretends to be a carefree, cheerful high school drama while promoting dangerous ideas. Also, the story lacks complexity since it avoids sensitive topics. Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun seems ignorant for not addressing the real-life risks of a teacher-student couple.
At least Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun is written coherently. I can follow the straightforward narrative without confusion. It's faint praise, but other BL shows struggle to meet the bare minimum. With that said, the storylines are dull and unoriginal. Like a lifeless high school drama, it relies on tired tropes that offer little surprise or substance. Besides lots of pointless fluff, even the serious plots feel juvenile due to the unsophisticated writing. The series approaches the topics shallowly without nuanced themes. Every episode resembles a corny, childish after-school special.
Mr. Sahara's actor (Takumi Kizu) looks so handsome. Casting such a dreamboat as the leading man is a massive win for BL fans. Unfortunately, the bland role doesn't showcase his charisma. He has no personality besides being a mentor with a pretty face. I also condemn Mr. Sahara's creepiness toward a student, but he's too dull to hate passionately. His costar (Rintaro Hachimura) is guilty of overacting. The series includes over-the-top moments, like comical scenarios ripped from a manga. Yet, the performer exaggerates too much and can't execute the humour.
The series has a superficial understanding of how to write a love story. It only focuses on cliched relationship drama like confessions, secret crushes, or love triangles. The uninspiring plots don't illustrate why the leads are attracted to each other. Toki becomes lovestruck in the first episode, even though he barely knows his teacher. Meanwhile, Mr. Sahara shows no signs of returning his feelings. Yet, a romance springs up anyway without much justification. The couple also shares zero chemistry. This drama pretends otherwise, but there's no desire in the passionless scenes.
Although a secondary pair exists, their romance is underdeveloped. The characters vanish during the story's second half instead of highlighting their bond. The last few episodes also introduce a pesky rival. I rooted for Nekoto since he's an age-appropriate love interest. That said, his relationship drama occupies too much time without achieving anything. The focus should have shifted to relevant plots. From the icky couple to the iffy writing, everything about Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun feels vapid. If not for the sake of doing a review, I'd never want to watch this lousy BL series.
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun tells a dull story with unoriginal tropes. Besides the pointless fluff, even the serious plots feel juvenile due to unsophisticated writing. It resembles a childish after-school special.
The high school teacher and his teenage love interest have a problematic romance. Besides all the red flags, the dull relationship scenes don't explain why the leads are attracted to each other.
Mr. Sahara's actor (Takumi Kizu) may be a handsome dreamboat, but the bland character doesn't showcase his charisma. His costar (Rintaro Hachimura) overacts and exaggerates too much.
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun has a happy ending where the schoolteacher and student confirm their feelings. Toki also gains direction in his life. The final scene includes a moment of affection between them.
The series is decently filmed and produced. The visuals have a warm, cozy hue, especially in the outdoor scenes. However, some of the interior settings around the school don't look as sharp.
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun glorifies a problematic romance between a high school teacher and his student. The vapid relationship scenes, shallow plots, and uninspired performances fail to impress.
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun Episodes
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun has a total of 8 episodes. Each episode is around 24 minutes long. It is a medium-length BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 3 hours. Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun started on December 1, 2023 and ended its last episode on February 2, 2024.
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun is an adaptation. The original story is a Japanese manga by Ko Toriya (鳥谷コウ).
Whoa, the actor playing Mr. Sahara is super cute~ I have a crush on him! I don't like the optics of the teacher squatting over his student in that odd position. Are their butts touching?
Toki's actor (Rintaro Hachimura) is overacting and exaggerates too much. The drama tries to emulate the comedic tone of a manga, but the cartoonishness doesn't work in a live-action format.
Yawn! These storylines are boring. The school play is an unoriginal plot. Shouldn't a female student take over the role instead of the teacher? The blood on the lips is a funny image, haha.
Why call each other 'brothers' when they aren't related? Let's stop using this confusing label. The romances have zero depth. The story doesn't explain why the characters are attracted to each other.
The scar reveal is like something out of a manga panel lol. I don't sense any chemistry between Sahara & Toki, not to mention the gross power dynamic. I'd rather watch the secondary couple instead.
Whoa, putting your head on your student's crotch is outrageous! I should hate Mr. Sahara for being an inappropriate creep, but his character is too bland to inspire emotion.
I ship Mr. Sahara and Nekoto more than the teacher-student romance. At least this relationship has a history, whereas I don't understand why Mr. Sahara is attracted to Toki.
This series has sucked from start to finish. Besides the inappropriate power dynamic, Mr. Sahara and Toki's relationship scenes are vapid. The writing seems juvenile and lacks depth.
Mr. Sahara & Toki-kun Information
Tunku (トゥンク) is a Japanese BL studio. It began a project called Tunku Shower in 2022, which releases numerous BL dramas on the Japanese channel MBS. Tunku has made Mr. Unlucky Has No Choice But to Kiss (2022), Senpai, This Can't Be Love (2022), and Takara-kun & Amagi-kun (2022). It also created Eternal Yesterday (2022), Candy Color Paradox (2022), Jack Frost (2023), Tokyo in April is… (2023), and My Personal Weatherman (2023).