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Loving the alien

Please Teacher is an odd series...from the packaging, you'd think it was a hentai series catering to teenage boys lusting after their young lady teachers, but it turns out to be a bittersweet romance that only occasionally veers off into comedic territory. I finally finished the series Saturday night after missing it at MinneTokyo. So what's it like?

Spoilers follow.

Basically, it's a story about the relationship between Kei, a small-town high-school student living with his aunt and uncle, and Mizuho, his homeroom teacher. Kei is subject to "standstills", which are catatonic /comatose states induced by depression or illness, so while he's biologically (and scholastically) fifteen, he's legally eighteen. This allows him to get hitched to Mizuho, whose real job is observer for the Galactic Federation. Mizuho is half-human; her father was one of the astronauts on the ill-fated mission to Mars, and she's always wanted to see Earth. Unfortunately for her, her mission is compromised when Kei sees her materializing late one night near the lake by his home town, and things get even more complicated when Kei accidentally damages Marie, Mizuho's little AI familiar that serves her as sort of a universal remote, while trying to avoid getting his brain wiped. They become trapped in the school's storeroom overnight as a result, and decide that the only sensible thing is to get married. Unfortunately, to avoid scandal, they need to keep that a secret, which is where most of the comedy in the series ensues - as well as a lot of the sadness.

Kei may be 18 in the eyes of the law, but he's really only 15, and is being chased after by his persistent classmate Koishi Herikawa, who is aided and abetted by fellow classmate Ichigo Morino. Ichigo acts creepily mature and serious, for reasons that become apparent toward the end of the series, and her late-blooming friendship with Kei puts some serious strains on the marriage. Other sources of stress are Hatzuho, Mizuho's randy mother (who spends most of her screen time teasing and embarrassing her daughter and her son-in-law by playfully seducing Kei) and Mizuho's little sister Maho, who is violently against the marriage at first but becomes convinced that Kei really does love her older sister.

Things seemingly come to an end when Mizuho uses Galactic technology to pull Kei out of a standstill and is punished by exile from Earth and the loss of her husband - not only Kei but his classmates and family get their memories of Mizuho wiped. Kei knows something is missing...and when a new teacher arrives at the end of spring break, he thinks he might have found that something.

Please Teacher is a very good series. The art is excellent, the story is compelling, and the last episode, which involves Hatzuho dragging Kei off to a love hotel, starts off hilarious, segues into a nice, romantic scene, and ends on a humorous note that's just right. Highly recommended.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
basilpsyche
Nov. 15th, 2004 07:02 pm (UTC)
Oooh, sounds even better now! I just got Steel Angel Kurumi today (also looks like hentai from the cover...), but I'll definitely keep this in mind. Especially since they're releasing a convenient Please Teacher box set soon. ^^ Have you read the manga?
wombat_socho
Nov. 16th, 2004 04:43 am (UTC)
The Please Teacher manga? No...and I'm not about to take another look at the Kurumi manga. That's one show that's a definite improvement on the manga. *shudders*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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