Mania Grade: B-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B-
- Extras Rating: C+
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Bandai Visual
- MSRP: ¥5500
- Running time: 52
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Please Teacher
Onegai Teacher #2
By Paul Grisham
August 04, 2002
Release Date: May 25, 2002
Onegai Teacher #2
What They SayThe Review!
© Bandai Visual
Kei is settling in to married life with buxom alien/teacher Mizuho, a situation that should be every fanboy?s dream. Why then, is Kei finding happiness so hard to come by?Audio & Video:
The show continues to look and sound great. This is a brand-spanking new show, and even though it was originally a TV series, the technical production values are quite nice. The show settles into a much more dialogue-driven show than the hijinks the previous volume, so a slightly under-performing stereo mix doesn?t detract from the show.Packaging:
Unlike volume 1?s Memories Special, this is a pretty standard keepcase release utilizing the attractive aero post style from the first volume. This time around, we get Mizuho on the front, showing off her new wedding band. The set also comes with another production booklet full of interesting information, and first press editions come with a photo postcard of Mizuho in her wedding gown for the Memories binder.Menus:
Menus are identical to the previous volume, and share all the strengths and weaknesses with that release. Although R2 releases seem to have excellent audio and video technical quality, I haven?t been able to figure out why they always seem to come up short with regard to menus.Extras:
The only real extra on the disc is a music video set to the full-length version of the opening song. It?s an excellent song, and it?s fun to hear it in all its glory along with some of the highlights from the first few episodes, but it?s not something I expect to have a lot of replay value.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)Onegai Teacher
got off to a somewhat uninspired start last time that left me cold. It was mainly the rather trashy way the show ogled its female cast members even at the risk of destroying the story?s innate comedy and drama that turned me off. I assumed at that time that as the foundation for the show got established and the show gained some confidence that things would get better. With the sham marriage between Kei and Mizuho now official, things finally get underway in earnest.
Though neither of them wants to be married, at least not yet, Kei and Mizuho are learning to open up to each other, to trust each other, to live with each other, and to protect each other?s vital secrets. As Kei puts it, ?Marriage is about discovering things about the other person that you couldn?t see before.? Unfortunately, their newfound closeness has forced them into a sudden intimacy that neither of them was prepared for. Thanks to the meddling of Kei?s uncle, Kei is kicked out of his own bedroom and into Mizuho?s apartment. Things get complicated when Kei?s classmates swing by for a visit, and Kei is forced to hide, while Mizuho explains why there are two toothbrushes and two cups in the bathroom. It?s good for a few laughs, but it is hard to escape the implausibility of the whole situation.
The next episode gets the story moving forward much better. The marriage continues to be little more than a convenient illusion ? Kei and Mizuho have yet to even kiss ? but they are already simultaneously comfortable and annoyed with each other most of the time. In effect, it?s slowly becoming a real relationship, albeit one without passion. Meanwhile, Kei?s classmate, Koishi, continues to carry the secret torch for Kei. For a while, Kei has either been oblivious to her feelings, or has intentionally rejected them because of his fear of what might happen if she learned the terrible secret of his illness. Her feelings are pretty much obvious to the rest of the class, and Ichigo takes on the role of matchmaker, setting Kei and Koishi on a surprise date.
Interestingly, Mizuho suddenly becomes jealous that Koishi might steal away her husband, regardless of how phony the marriage actually is. In a way, it?s nice to see Kei and Koishi together, because we could easily believe that if circumstances were different, the two of them could be quite happy together. Mizuho, though, becomes completely obsessed, following Kei and Koishi around, snooping on them. Perhaps it is general pride that drives her to such extremes, but I?d like to think that Mizuho is just lonely, and senses that she is in real danger of losing the only person on Earth who knows her for who she really is. For as honest as the two of them have been up to now, they cannot seem to be honest with each other about their real feelings toward each other and about their relationship. As a result they suffer through their first serious fight as newlyweds.
From a show that originally turned me off because of its shallowness and cheap thrills, the finale of the second episode here shows real development. Even though the relationship is secret, and somewhat contrived, it?s a real relationship, and our characters are learning that it isn?t our relationships that define us, but how we live within them, how we grow them that define us. Kei becomes afraid of becoming stuck, unable to grow, to develop, just as he was during his coma. He decides that moving forward is important. Life doesn?t always give us what we want when we want it, but we have to be true to those who are important to us, and be willing to risk everything to gain love.
Okay, so maybe the show isn?t quite that deep, but it has grown into a much sweeter, and much more honest, romantic comedy. The whole alien and science-fiction aspect really doesn?t come into play in either of these episodes, and that might be part of the reason things seem to play out much better here than before. As the characters become more fleshed out, and the situation gets more established, there?s a lot more to like about the way this series is developing. After a rough start, I?m looking forward to more.
Japanese Language,Shooting Star Music Video (Full Size), Production Booklet,First Press Special Bonus Feature: Memories Diary Postcard
Panasonic Panablack TV, Codefree Panasonic RP56 DVD player, Sony ProLogic receiver, Yamaha and Pioneer speakers, Monster cable. (Secondary equipment, Pioneer 105s DVD-ROM, ATi Rage Fury Pro, ViewSonic A90f, PowerDVD 3.0)