©2018 Shiho TAKASE/SHOGAKUKAN
These days, about 70% of students who take middle school entrance exams fail to get into their top choice. In the most competitive areas of Tokyo, 1 child out of every 4 takes a middle school entrance exam, but only 1 in 10 gets accepted into the finest. Ohka Seminar is a mid-tier cram school that manages to place students in highly-selective academic institutions, but its track record is mediocre at best.
Next door to it is the largest cram school whose graduates make up 60% of the student body of Tokyo's top middle schools. It favors its most talented students and expels the low-scorers.
At Ohka Seminar, meanwhile, each child is taught in a way that suits them best. This year, however, not a single kid got into the top three middle schools--a colossal failure that led to the search for a new principal who can turn it around. That's where Kurodo Kuroki steps in.
Kuroki formerly taught at the most prominent cram school. Why would such a legendary teacher from an elite institution accept a position at the run-of-the-mill Ohka Seminar?! As if everyone wasn't flabbergasted enough, Kuroki makes a shocking statement soon after joining. "Crams schools are here to sell children their future. Students are lucrative sources of income and their parents are the sponsors."
To the students, he promises, "I will make sure everyone here gets into their top choice."
To the astonished teachers, he asks, "What are the most important factors in making sure a kid passes?"
It's all about how much money the father has and how insane the mother is," he declares.
Just how will Kuroki lead the students to success? Will he really get every single kid to pass? And when all is said and done, what lies in store for him?
"Pay to Ace" realistically depicts the middle school entrance exam process while highlighting modern-day family and educational problems that are rampant in society. Not your ordinary entrance exam story, "Pay to Ace" is a drama about winning in life that features kids fighting to get into their dream middle school. What do we need to teach our children today so they can sail through the future?