Screenplay by Yosuke Kuroda
Directed by Yasunori Ide
Character Design by Taraku Uon and Hiroaki Gohda
Starring the Voices of Souichi Hoshi, Kikuko Inoue, Dave Wittenberg, Bridget Hoffman, and Wendee Lee
- Promo clip
- Episode 1 preview/ad
- Design gallery
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Amazing jubblies
- Conveniently avoided underage lovin’
- Teacher-student love
- Sexual humor and potential situations
Released by: Bandai.
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Get it.
Please Teacher (aka Onegai Teacher) sounds like one of the most perverted, puerile, and just plain silly titles of the year: a tenth grade student out by himself in the woods sees a UFO land and produce a beautiful glowing alien. The alien, realizing that she has been seen, chases him, but he escapes. The next day, Our Hero, Kei Kusanagi, discovers that his new teacher is the same alien in disguise–sent to observe the Earth–and only he knows the truth. Through various plot twists, Kei and Ms. Mizuho are forced into a secret marriage, uniting the hot teacher everyone has a crush on to the young, clueless, but more-than-he-seems Kusanagi.
Luckily for viewers, however, the show does not wallow in silliness or a teenage boy’s more… ahem… active bits of imagination. Instead, it is fresh, clever, funny, and even sweet, as Kusanagi struggles to come to terms with his rapidly changing world, as well as his own maturity. The characters are explored so well that viewers come to understand the choices that lie before both characters and why they do what they do.
The convenient fact that Kusanagi suffers from “standstills” where he falls into a coma-like state preventing his body from aging means that he is actually eighteen years old–and a legal boyfriend for the very adult alien, Mizuho. The authors thus sidestep the idea of an adult being romantically and potentially sexually involved with an underage person, though there still remains the fact that she is his teacher, and as such is in too much of a position of power over him to consider a relationship. Moral questions aside, however, their relationship manages to be both sweet and funny, exploring how we are all clueless aliens at heart when we fall in love.
The audio and video quality is top-notch here, with excellent art that conveys perfectly expression, emotion, and personality. The style is colorful and mainstream… not the misty, artsy style of titles like Last Exile or Jin-Roh, more like the cheerful, saturated look of Ranma 1/2 or Ceres. The look of the show matches the content beautifully. The sound is equally good. The voice actors, both English and Japanese, who bring Kusanagi to life do a particularly good job of showing his personality, halfway between boy and man, conflicted with the feelings he’s having for his teacher, an alien, as well as afraid of not moving forward due to his standstills.
The idea of “moving forward” is central to the show, and could easily be seen as the show’s theme. Stagnation and/or comfortable ruts are anathema to the characters, and people are exhorted not to allow themselves to give up. Characters who have problems are helped to move on and choose life over sleepwalking or death.
The star of the features list is the design gallery that shows off a bit of how the characters evolved and the way artists use costuming, poses, and so forth to help show personality and emotion. The sketches are solid and a good bonus for fans of the show’s look.
Please Teacher is, in short, a great show with a clever premise. If you like science fiction and don’t mind a touch of romance, then you’ll like this one. It’s also a shoo-in for anyone who likes high school tales or character-driven dramas. If you like any genre of anime, definitely see this one, if for the good-looking art alone.
- Buy it from Amazon.
- Buy the official fanbook from Amazon.
- Buy other Please Teacher stuff from Amazon.