Friday, April 4, 2008

Please Teacher!

Full Title: Please Teacher!
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Science Fiction
Episodes: 12
Uploaded By: ToonstarTV
My Age Rating: PG-13 (Language, Adult Situations, Sexual Themes)

Kei Kusanagi appears to be an ordinary teen age boy. He hangs out with his tight knit group of friends and wouldn't stand out in most crowds, but unbeknownst to his pals, he's actually a couple years older than them. He suffers from a disease that literally claimed three years of his life. Whenever he is under severe emotional distress, his brain shuts his body into a dormant state known as a standstill, and the exact timespan any particular standstill will last is unknown. The story begins with Kei, after having a minor standstill by a lake in his town, awaking and seeing a strange series of phenomenon culminating in the touch down of a beautiful half-human alien by the name of Mizuho Kazami. As she lands, however, she spots him and chases him until he collapses into a standstill once more. The next morning, he awakes in his bed. Believing the events of the previous night to be a dream, he heads off to school where his teacher has mysteriously been replaced by a beautiful young woman. Later, after learning that this new teacher lives next door, meeting her, and helping her move into her new house, he discovers that she is the creature from the night before. Soon after, she learns of his illness. A series of mishaps later, they end up marrying to preserve each others secrets, but that is only the beginning of their problems.

This anime is an interesting story. It's a straight dose of romance, so if that isn't your thing, steer clear. However, if you enjoy that particular genre of anime, chances are you'll love Onegai Sensei (as it's called in Japan). Another thing you may want to do is suspend your disbelief for the first 1 and 1/2 episodes because forcing the two main characters into a marriage situation takes some dramatic leaps of faith. Get past that, however, and what you have is one of the most honest looks at love I think I've ever encountered in an anime series. The show makes very clear that true love takes commitment, passion, and is never satisfied with half efforts. No "happily-ever-afters" here, this series wants to portray realism (sort of) in its approach. If one thing bothers you, it'll probably be the seemingly sex obsessed mother Mizuho has...

The production of this anime is, for the most part, fairly decent. The characters are original, well drawn, and vibrant, but the background is fairly dull. The animation sequences are good enough for a romance, and the music for this series is also par for this genre. The opening sequence is a bit boring, despite the high pitched, energetic song, and the ending credits are a downright snooze fest. The voice acting can go over the top sometimes, but for the most part it stays right on course and is fairly pleasing. The dialog is pretty good, but there are one or two times when the cheese factor creeped in a little too strongly and forced a visible cringe to cross my face. At first this may seem like a shallow anime, but rest assured it's not. It presents a surprisingly deep and almost chilling back story about Kei and his illness. The ending may seem like a bit of a stretch to you, but if you really think about it, the answer to why he remembers her becomes quite clear, (hint: it has almost nothing to do with the box). Despite its obvious faults, this show is an all around fun watch. I highly recommend it if you enjoy romance stories of any sort.

My Rating: 7.5/10 (Very Good)

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