Synopsis: Fresh out of college, Mako Domon gets a job as a teacher in a local high school. Being a teacher would mean no overtime, long summer and winter breaks, and cute students... or so she thought. Mako finds herself designated to the most notorious class in school, with a whole bunch of unruly and hormonal teenage boys who can't wait to see what kind of panties she's wearing. To top things off, she's also been appointed as the adviser of the rugby club. Mako's dream job is going to become a nightmare unless she does something about it!
Review: Madonna. No, we're not talking about the material girl... nor are we referring to a religious figure. Madonna is the title of this amusing and mildly funny anime which is like something of a cross between the Hollywood films "Dangerous Minds" (only less serious) and "A League of Their Own" (only this one's an all-boy rugby team).
Mako is a new teacher in a run-down school that doesn't really get too much respect from people. She's assigned to class 2-D -- which consists of hard-headed male students who smoke, pick fights, etc. No teacher has been able to work with them successfully so far, being something of societal misfits with no direction (now you know why I said "Dangerous Minds"). Now the principal has always dreamed of reviving the rugby club (he was a star rugby player in his day), and Mako somehow becomes the club adviser. This is where "A League of Their Own" comes in. Mako's notorious students sign up for the club, and they find themselves clawing their way through rugby games with other schools. And almost all these boys (as well as Mako herself) don't even know the first thing about rugby.
I liked Madonna. I really did. It's mainly about developing teamwork and finding your place, which I think are very good themes -- especially in this day and age. Madonna gets its message across with humor and mischief, not with corny or mushy friendship clichés. Mako is a very likeable heroine to boot. What didn't sit well with me were the crude, unattractive character designs. I can actually draw characters better than that, and I'm not even a manga artist / animator by any measure. I'm surprised Toei Animation would release something this roughly drawn.
If not for its mediocre visuals, Madonna would certainly have gotten a higher rating.
Miscellanies: For some reason, an airplane always zooms past during scene transitions.