Sunday, August 4, 2002

Onegai Teacher (Please Teacher)

Genre: Romance / Comedy / Sci-Fi
Parental Guidance Recommended
2002 Yasunori Ide (series director) Bandai Visual, DOOM, Genco, WOWOW

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Skysenshi's Description:
There is something extraordinary about the new teacher that has arrived at Kei Kusanagi's high school. Mizuho Kazami, the new instructor, is kindhearted, young, pretty, and deliciously endowed. But that's not what makes her strangely different. It doesn't take a whole day for Kei to realize that Mizuho is actually the beautiful alien he had encountered the night before. Unfortunately, what other secrets he needs to learn from her, he has to learn the hard way. And it doesn't help that he finds himself falling in love in the process.

(13 episodes)

Nearly dismissed this as just another booby show. >>> by skysenshi (08.04.2002)
An opening sequence showing a high school student on the verge of having a relationship with his teacher can make anyone uneasy, so it doesn't come as a surprise that my initial impression of Onegai Teacher is that of an ickier version of Boys Be or Love Hina. True enough, Onegai Teacher features high school students experiencing angst, love, and other post-pubescent concerns. But that's where the similarity with the previously mentioned titles stop. While Onegai Teacher 's humor puts Kei Kusanagi in nearly the same position as Keitaro of Love Hina (or Tenchi Masaki of Tenchi Muyo) -- where you rip your hair out trying to understand why every female falls for him -- this anime is far more serious and unabashed when it comes to touching sensitive matters such as illicit love affairs and other non-kiddie responsibilities.

Onegai Teacher is much more adult-oriented than any normal teenybopper show. It does not skate around the subject of sexuality and maturity, but actually embraces these concepts without being lewd or hentai. Each teenager is faced with life-altering decisions that aren't as shallow as selecting what dress to wear at a prom.or as simple as choosing an extraterrestrial girlfriend over a human one. While the first scene made me think, "Oh goodness sakes! Not another one of those boyish fantasies about getting it on with an older woman!" or, "I sure hope this is not something I would have to stash in the dark side of the Fridge," it was a pleasant bolt from the blue to find that there is substance beyond first impressions. Events happen at a fast pace. Early on in the series, one of the characters finds himself in a compromising position that leads to the sudden change of his civil status. Somewhere in the middle, another character discovers that having sex at age 15 would have repercussions that could cost him his life's dream. And somewhere near the end, another figure learns that being too selfless can sometimes be a selfish act too. The deeply imbedded conflict in Onegai Teacher, however, is not the fact that Kei's love interest is an alien from outer space, but that Kei is actually afflicted with a disease that could do more damage to their relationship than the forbidden nature of their love. These themes are not too heavily delivered, though. There's just enough lightness in there for the humor to still seep into a viewer's consciousness.

Onegai Teacher boasts of beautiful artwork and animation. The imagery can remind anyone of CLAMP art, but they have their own distinct spice that speaks a clear message: newer anime titles have become much more refined. Onegai Teacher is highly recommended for romance fanatics who are looking for a different flavor. At least, it proves that anime can be cute, serious and mature without crossing over to the borders of perversion.

Individual Rating: Art: 9; Story & Plot: 8; Characters: 9; Sounds: 7

Ooh... kinky. >>> by MarkPoa (02.25.2004)
With a title like that, visions of ecchi images dance through the mind.

And the image is not wrong either. Mizuho-sensei is a feast to the eyes (and with Kikoku Inoue's voice, a pleasure to the ears as well) and exudes a good balance of sexiness and quirky cute charm (what with her Pocky addiction). The other females in the cast are no slouches in the cuteness department either.

As with most anime romantic comedies, Onegai Sensei follows a strange premise: Boy meets girl... boy marries girl... boy falls in love with girl... in that order. Add the mix of supporting characters, each bringing their own problems and subplots into the package, and you get your romantic comedy.

I initially thought this would be like Oh, My Goddess. There were enough similarities even. Mizuho is almost as perfect as Belldandy, though more quirky and human. Her cute sister Maho and sexy mother provide the Skuld and Urd for this series. The main hero, Kei, even seems like the short good guy type Keiichi is known for.

There are differences though. As mentioned, Mizuho is more quirky than Belldandy. In addition, Kei is afflicted with an illness that made him an eighteen year old stuck in a fifteen year old's world. The characters here are more complex and not entirely as innocent as in Oh, My Goddess.

Despite that, I found it hard to continue watching the series past the first few episodes. It just wasn't interesting enough... that is, until the ninth episode and so. That was when things picked up for me with regards to the series. The series takes a more serious turn around this episode and it was definitely more interesting than merely showing cleavage shots every other scene or so.

(For those who find that more interesting, don't worry. There are still more than enough to satisfy you. And if those are not enough, find the Onegai Sensei OAV episode. That ought to satisfy you.)

Sounds and music are nothing special. Not that it's anything bad, but there's nothing memorable in the beginning or ending themes. The background music are appropriate but nothing ground-breaking. I don't think I'd look for the soundtrack of this series anytime soon.

Overall, Onegai Sensei is worth a look-and-see. Give it a chance until the ninth episode, at least. The last four episodes more than make up for a semi-lackluster first eight episodes.

Sadly, it's not top priority.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation Art: 9; Story & Plot: 7; Characters: 8; Sounds: 5

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