Onegai Teacher (Complete Series)

Onegai Teacher (known more commonly in America as Please Teacher) is one of those weird little animes that does way more than the initial promise would suggest. From the outset the viewer is presented with several improbable occurrences which require the viewer to suspend all kinds of belief:

1) The main character is 18, even though he looks 15, due to a super rare illness.
2) An alien whom he saw land on Earth starts teaching at his school.
3) Said alien moves next door.
4) Upon being found in a compromising situation, the only “logical” solution is for his parents to pass them off as already married… and to then make said marriage happen.

It is a situation that preys upon the same erotic fantasies that pervades online erotic fiction: it touches upon the student/teacher taboo and the older woman/younger man taboo (all the while trying to sidestep any moral issues by calling him 18). It is, honestly, a show that just should not work. Period.

And yet, despite this cheap lit premise, the writers manage to breathe life into the story by making it one of the most realistic portrayals of the ups and downs and absolute awkwardness of a relationship that I have seen. Sure, in most of the world these days you don’t get married and then get to know each other (although in the days of arranged marriages it certainly wasn’t a foreign concept), but the growing pains don’t feel idealized. Kusanagi Kei, the kid, had friends beforehand and he can’t just ditch them when the secret marriage takes place. These friends include females, one whom has open interest in Kusanagi Kei, and the Sensei gets jealous. Perhaps what most gives the show a credible air is how they don’t just jump into bed with each other. No, they both have to figure out that they love each other and that they want the relationship to work long-term.

In the end, though, this show works beyond the sum of its parts. The creators managed to capture something that can’t be quantified and bottled. And that is hardly a bad thing.

Title: Onegai Teacher or Please Teacher
US Distribution: Bandai
Number of Episodes: 12 (plus an OAV on certain DVD releases)
Availability: Quite readily available both new and used as singles or a set.
Links: ANN Encyclopedia
Rating: 85

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