Okay, what I’m about to write may shock some of you, possibly offend others, and probably confuse the rest of you.
So, here goes... (Takes deep breath)
I like Onegai teacher.
There, I said it.
And now, for the confused, an explanation….
Onegai teacher was a fourteen part manga series written by Please! (real name unknown) and drawn by Shizuru Hayashya. It was originally released in two paperback books in 2002 by ComicsOne. The series has since been animated by Bandai (which resulted in two sequels), and two novelisations. However here I’ll be discussing the original series that spawned them all...
The series tells the story of Kai Kusanagi, your stereotypical Japanese schoolboy who, despite suffering a rare condition that causes him to go into a vegetative state for long periods of time, leads a pretty ordinary life.
That is until the arrival of his new teacher – Mizuho Kazami – who shakes up Kei’s world in more ways than one…
For one thing she isn’t even from his world!
Add to this the complications that lead to Kei and Mizuho becoming married, Kazumi’s ship becoming damaged, and thus stranding her on Earth, an over-amorous mother, an over-protective younger sister, a high school relationship chart more complex than the wiring of an ICBM missile….Oh, and did I forget to mention that Kei’s married to his teacher?
And as you can see the result is hardly your average manga series.
All in all the series, which sadly ended after only fourteen chapters, had the potential to be much greater, however (and here I have to be brutally honest) the series suffers from a major flaw that probably prevented this - namely the artwork.
The artist, Shizuru Hayashya, admitted that this was his first attempt at drawing romance manga, having come from a background of drawing more violent, bloody serials – and it shows, with the artwork looking too cramped together, with little time for background details, which for me detracted from the story.
However, take heart. If you are willing to see past these flaws, you will find a series which both captivates and at times will mercilessly pull at your heartstrings – from Kei’s first meeting with kazami’s assistant noh, to the series’ tearjerker ending.
Buy it – this is a priority one!