In a small1 town of Midorioka2 lies Midorioka Kougaku3, a local public high school known throughout the Japanese educational system for its excelling academics and athletics. Though a very small and very low key to the general public, what also sets Midorioka High from the rest of the other high-ranking public high schools was its award-winning peer support club, where members of the club take some time off, an hour or two, after school to help and aid fellow students who are in trouble academically and even with their ongoing personal problems at home, from family to peer pressure to even dealing with young love. The parents of students who joined the school’s peer support program highly praised the student tutors of the club that they demanded the school board to encourage more students to fund the club so they would be able to purchase the latest technology that the club needs for their tutoring program as well as the rest of their programs. Eventually, the community and even outside corporate sponsors began funding the peer support club through donations that the school board even had enough funds to build its own building in the Midorioka High School campus specifically for the club.
The Midorioka High Peer Support and Tutoring Club, simply shortened as peer support club, was established by the second chairman of the Midorioka School Board, who felt that each young individual would not be able to grown maturely and be prepared for the real world without proper interaction and support from their fellow peers. He also understood that guidance counselors would not be able to aid each student simultaneously as the situations can be on a case by case basis and that the only way for students to be able to cope through their troubles was to gain aid from their fellow students. Like any other school club, the peer support club has its own student leadership with the school’s guidance counselors as their faculty advisers.
This year’s peer support club is headed by 17-year-old Junichiro “Nich” Irie, currently the candidate for becoming his class’s Valedictorian when the time for them to graduate arrives, and also the president of the club. Not only that he had the highest grades in school, but he also excelled in athletics, most notably in baseball and Kendo, as well as in music, where he is an accomplished songwriter and a drummer of a local teen rock band. Last year as a first-year student and a brand-new peer counselor and tutor in the club, he did so well that he earned the admiration and respect by the students he counseled and tutored and by his fellow tutors and club members that he was nominated to be the next president of the club. Before the school year ended, Nich was voted unanimously by the club to be the new president as the previous president was on his last year of high school and was graduating that year. Just before the last day of school, Nich’s first task as the new president was to choose and nominate certain fellow members to be the next vice president, secretary, treasurer and public relations officer under his leadership, where the club voted once more. Eventually, his two best friends, 17-year-old Dori “D” Kanzaki and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Umiko “O.C. (Ocean Child)4” Hanazawa, became respectively the vice president and secretary, with senior students 18-year-old Katsumi “K-Dog” Endo and 18-year-old Masami “Sam” Yanagisawa as the treasurer and public relations officer. On the week before the first day of the new school year, the peer support club opened their booth on the second day of the first-year students orientation week to recruit new members among the new students. The club gained quite a good number of first-year students interested in becoming tutors and peer counselors, which also included Nich’s younger sister, 16-year-old Kazue “Cass” Irie, who is equally as smart and athletic and well-liked by her peers as he is. During their first initiation meeting, Nich required each new member to come up with a nickname to keep the anonymity of their identities when they provide counseling and support over the phone lines and through their interactive website with students who choose to remain anonymous.
The first two months of the new school year at Midorioka High became successful as a club, in which the increase of students doing well in academics doubled compared to the results last year. The faculty even considered having Nich become the next student council president if he were to be interested in taking a higher position for the entire student body rather than sticking to the club. On academic quiz shows and other contests, Midorioka High have been winning almost every tournament that many elite-leveled high schools became curious of the small public high school’s academic successes and secrets. The students who participated would simply reply “it’s because we have awesome peer support!” whenever others ask them regarding the secrets of their successes. Little did the curious know that the participants were referring to their peer support club, not necessarily the entire Midorioka High student body.
When the third month of the school came, tragedy struck. The entire Midorioka High School campus was mysteriously burned to the ground including the peer support club building. According to early investigation reports, the burning was suspected to be an act of arson, but no suspects were named. Luckily, there were no casualties as the entire school was vacant at the time the burning occured, however, the school was a huge loss for the small town of Midorioka and the students and their families. With this huge tragic loss, neighboring high schools and even a few elite-leveled high schools offered their doors to house Midorioka High students and become their own temporary students for the time being at no cost for their families until Midorioka High is rebuilt again.
Among those elite-leveled high schools interested in taking in select Midorioka High students is the very highly-selective elite-leveled high school, Takahoshi Gakuen5. To the public, Takahoshi High is known as “the high school of the stars,” in which its students are celebrity kids, kids of celebrities, kids of famous high profile public figures and even kids of employees who work at that school including the principal and the teachers. In addition, the academics and athletics levels of Takahoshi High is pretty much equal to Midorioka’s academic and athletics levels. This would be the first time that Takahoshi High would be admitting students who are not high-profile kids or children of high-profile figures and Takahoshi High employees.
Because they are highly selective, Takahoshi only selected 15 out of the 300 student population of Midorioka High. Evidently, those selected 15 students happened to be the entire Midorioka High Peer Support Club. There were actually students who had better grades than Nich and his club officers in Midorioka High, however it was the peer support club members’ positive and open character and attitude towards their fellow peers that attracted the Takahoshi High administration, feeling that their personalities and outlook would greatly help their high-profile students improve their social skills with the general public and their fellow peers.
There was another reason why Takahoshi High wanted to admit the entire Midorioka High Peer Support Club to their campus. The popular in-crowd of Takahoshi High led by award-winning accomplished teen idol actor and son of Takahoshi High’s principal, 17-year-old Takuma Masamune, had wanted to open their own peer support club to provide tutoring and support their fellow stars and high-profile teens on academics and social skills. Due to their busy schedules with their showbiz careers and some troubles getting along with their fellow schoolmates, their hopes of Takahoshi High having their own peer support club isn’t even close to reality. Concerned of his son’s goals both as an actor and a student, principal and former actor Ryunosuke Masamune had been doing his own research on select high schools’ peer support clubs and so far he became a fan of the Midorioka High Peer Support Club. In addition, he discovered an undisclosed discovery that also desired him to have Nich and sister Cass be admitted to Takahoshi High, even if they were students of his school for only one school year. When this tragic news reached him and the administration, this was his only chance to reach out to the Irie Siblings and the Midorioka High Peer Support Club to have them admitted to Takahoshi High.
For the Iries and the Midorioka Peer Support Club, they did have a choice of high school that they wanted to attend, however for the sake of their club’s unity, they decided to accept the open admissions that Takahoshi High offered them. The administration even admitted that among the elite-leveled high schools in the country that they were the only ones who did not have a proper, solid peer support club, which to the eyes of the national education department, endangers the well-being of their students as proper individuals. The club members felt that it would be a lot easier for them to continue their work with their fellow peers if they attend a school that has no peer support club of their own. Along with this decision, the club members are also aware that they will be dealing with high-profile names among the youth of today, and should not underestimate their individual personalities unlike their fellow youth in Midorioka, which they were somewhat predictable to them. The Iries though had a bit of trouble with this decision, as their widowed mother, professional baker Mari Irie, was against their decision for attending Takahoshi High, but with some convincing from friends and other family members, she finally decided to let her kids attend the new school.
What challenges lie ahead for the Iries and the Midorioka Peer Support Club once they step foot for the first time at the elite-leveled “high school of the stars”? How would a Takahoshi High Peer Support Club benefit the youth on a higher, different level from the common youth population? Will the peer support club be able to earn and gain respect and admiration from their new schoolmates? Why is the aristocratic Masamune Family Clan, most notably the Takahoshi High principal Ryunosuke Masamune, so fascinated with the Iries?
This is Tutors, a story of youth and the happiness of youth in all shapes, forms and backgrounds! Slice-of-life romantic comedy at its best.