Oresama Teacher 1-2 by Izumi Tsubaki

Sometimes, one just wants to read a silly, goodhearted comedy. And on that front, Oresama Teacher delivers admirably.

Mafuyu Kurosaki used to be the bancho of her school (though she didn’t realize it at the time) until she got nabbed by the cops and expelled. Her mother finds a school in the country that will accept Mafuyu, and ships her off for a fresh start. Although Mafuyu is a skilled and savvy fighter, the allure of life as a normal girl is appealing, and she embraces the opportunity to start over, full of self-assurance developed from her days as a gang leader.

Alas, she soon encounters her childhood first love (Tamaoki Saeki), who was responsible for steering her toward the path of delinquency in the first place. Worse, he’s now her homeroom teacher, and embroils Mafuyu and her lone-wolf classmate Hayasaka (another brawler) in his wager with the principal that he can boost the school’s enrollment by quelling the disciplinary issues arising from the lax admittance policy. Mafuyu and Hayasaka are the muscle to keep the other delinquents in line, essentially. Mafuyu is not very keen on this, especially because she’s enjoying how Hayasaka treats her like an ordinary girl, so masquerades as a couple of other people (a boy called Natsuo and Super Bun, a rabbit-mask-wearing girl whom Hayasaka idolizes) when administering the necessary smackdowns.

I almost wrote “hilarity ensues” at the end of the prior paragraph, because that’s just what one does after detailing a suitably wacky premise like this one, but the thing is… Oresama Teacher really is funny, and that’s got everything to do with the characters. I don’t care much for Saeki—mangaka Izumi Tsubaki resists the temptation to endow him with redeeming qualities—but he works as the instigator of over-the-top situations, and some of his interactions with Mafuyu are very amusing (like the scene in which they discover that neither of them can cook).

More to my liking is the relationship between Mafuyu and Hayasaka, which persists despite both of them frequently misunderstanding the other’s motivations. When she tries to find out more information about Saeki (in order to confirm he really is the same boy who used to live next door), for example, Hayasaka assumes she’s looking for material with which to blackmail him. At first, Hayasaka resists the idea that they are friends, but his prickly attitude gradually starts to dissipate. He’s incredibly dense and easy to fool with lame disguises, but Mafuyu, used to being looked up to by her followers/friends, likes the way he treats her as an equal. At one point, he begins to suspect that she is his idol, Super Bun, forcing Mafuyu to dissuade him of the notion just so he’ll stop looking at her all dreamy-like. It’s lonely being revered.

I never did read Tsubaki’s other Shojo Beat series, The Magic Touch, as general consensus seemed to be that it wasn’t that great, but I’m exceedingly glad I didn’t let that stop me from checking out Oresama Teacher, which is a genuinely entertaining read. Tsubaki herself doesn’t seem all that keen on the story—she makes several references in her author’s notes to the fact that various elements of the series were dictated by her editors—but you can’t tell while reading it. And anything that makes me snicker as much as these two volumes did is definitely a keeper.

Review copies provided by the publisher.

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Comments

  1. I found this series quite charming, myself. And genuinely funny. I laughed a lot reading both volumes. I’m certainly looking forward to more of it, and will likely buy out of my own pocket any volumes Viz doesn’t send me for review. It seems so ridiculous at first; just describing the story is a little hard to do with a straight face, but I have a good time reading it.

    • I’m glad for the company in recommending it! :) I laughed at both volumes, too, and it’s actually pretty hard to make me laugh. So I have been told, at any rate.

  2. Nice! I’ll totally check it out. Thanks for writing about it.

  3. I did read Izumi Tsubaki’s The Magic Touch but didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. For this reason, I was a bit hesitant at first about getting Oresama Teacher but I am glad that I did as I ended up enjoying the first two volumes a lot.

    Mafuyu and Takaomi are awesome. I like how Mafuyu is trying so hard to be a good girl and how she cannot steer clear of that path. It is actually sad but so funny at the same time. I like Hayasaka too and his friendship with Mafuyu. I just hope that Mafuyu ends up with Takaomi at the end, though. :P

    Got volume 3 a couple of days ago but have yet to read it.

    • My copy of volume three is on its way, and I plan to read it soon.

      I also like that Mafuyu is really embracing the opportunity to change. :) I think it’s already pretty clear that she’ll be paired off with Takaomi, but I’m actually not a huge fan of that pairing. He has yet to win me over. Hayasaka probably wouldn’t work either, though, because if she were fully honest with him about her awesomeness, then he’d just become a starry-eyed fanboy.

      • That’s a good way to put it. Hayasaka would just be like all the others who have followed her around like little puppy dogs. I’m not a big fan of a Mafuyu/Takaomi pairing either, but I think he may be the only one who can handle her.

      • I am actually a fan of Mafuyu/Takaomi pairing and would be happy if they ended up together. The age gap is a bit too much but I tend to like older guys and I think it would be so typical if she ended up with Hayasaka.

        I just hope the mangaka doesn’t shift the attention to the other characters as she did with The Magic Touch. The main characters weren’t the main focus in that series in the later volumes, which was not good.

  4. Just finished reading volume 3 the other day and I have to say that it is the best so far. I laughed a lot while reading it. The two new characters that appeared in this volume are so lovable and hilarious. Not much Takaomi in this volume but the other two characters made up for it. I just hope the mangaka doesn’t shift her attention to the supporting characters and neglect the main ones as she did in The Magic Touch, though.


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