Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 59.98
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Please Teacher
Please Teacher Vol. #1: Hot For Teacher Collectors Box
By Chris Beveridge
May 16, 2003
Release Date: May 06, 2003
Please Teacher Vol. #1: Hot For Teacher Collectors Box
What They Say
© Bandai Entertainment
Kei Kusanagi isn’t your typical 15 year old high school student. He’s actually an 18 year old with a rare disorder that puts him into what he calls, a “standstill”. When he was younger, this disorder left him in a deep coma which stunted his growth for the next three years! Mizuho Kazami isn’t your typical teacher either. She’s actually an alien sent by the Galaxy Federation to observe the Earth! As the sole human being with knowledge of Ms. Kazumi’s secret, Kei must…marry the alien?! Homework, dating, and a gorgeous wife – going to school has never been quite this fun!The Review!
Bandai makes another move away from the giant robot genre by going into the romantic comedy genre again, this time with an amusing dash of science fiction to it. And to top it off, they made it a limited edition release!Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show has a good stereo mix to it with a solid use of dialogue across the forward soundstage. There’s a bit of nice depth to it and some well placed directionality. The music comes across very good as well with no noticeable dropouts or distortions during regular playback.Video:
Originally airing in early 2001 on satellite, Please Teacher features yet another one of the many pristine and simply gorgeous looking transfers that have been coming over lately. The colors are very rich looking, particularly when it comes to the sky blues or Mizuho’s hair coloring. Cross coloration is completely absent during regular playback here as well as aliasing during panning sequences. This was an extremely pleasant transfer to watch.Packaging:
Using the cover artwork from the first Japanese DVD release (without the mail aspect to it, as each DVD was treated as a letter”), we get a really nice image of Mizuho in her teachers outfit set against a pillow with the painted image of the school behind her. Volume numbering appears on both the front cover and the spine, and Bandai goes the additional distance of listing the episode numbers and titles on the back cover. The back cover is nicely laid out as part of a school notebook with a smattering of images in different layouts. There’s a decent summary of the premise and a good listing of the discs features and extras as well as the basic production staff. The cover for this release is also reversible, with that side featuring a different image of Mizuho, this time a really nice close up with her “Pochy”. The back cover is the same, but the front and the spine both have the original Japanese logo on it, a really nice plus. The insert replicates the art from the English front cover and opens up to a three panel fold-out mini poster of Mizuho, while one of the reverse side panels lists the full production and cast lists.
With this being a limited edition release, that means the packaging is a bit more than usual! Done up in a hard box, it’s quite red, giving homage to the Pocky boxes which are the treat of choice for this show. One side has a nice piece of artwork of Mizuho using her pointer in a moment of teaching, complete with the dead sexy glasses. The other side has a close up of her in the same outfit but with a piece of Pocky in her hand as she takes a bite out of it. The spine pays real homage to Pocky with the shows logo and several sticks of it there.
Inside the box we get some more goodies too. The first is a mini manga, which is about eight pages out of the full graphic novel that’s being released around the same time. A set of three postcards are also included inside of a logo’d paper sleeve, each of the cards containing some very nice looking non-fanservicey artwork. The main extra goodie here that appealed to me is the inclusion of the first soundtrack to the series. This one contains a lot of the background music the TV sized versions of the openings and endings. My only real problem with it is that it was in a slim CD case. Considering the price of the set, the illusion of the normal jewel case being more valuable does indeed work, as the slim case simply feels cheap. But the soundtrack is very much worth it if you like listening to such things away from the show itself.Menu:
The menus here are nice and simple with the image of Mizuho set against a chalkboard and the chalky text selections to do the usual bits and pieces. The end song plays throughout the main menu here while submenus are typically quiet. Access times are nice and fast and the basic layout is pretty standard.Extras:
This first volume has some nice small extras included with it. The biggest one we get to start with is the eight minute “trailer” that provides a really interesting mix of artwork styles to promote the show as well as a lot of text, and thankfully it’s subtitled this time unlike some past extras. The promo clip and commercials bring more short elements of the shows actual animation style to play and showcases the early advertising that went on for this “Thursday 6:30 PM” show. There’s also the episode one preview that runs for about 30 seconds. The design gallery for this release goes a bit beyond the norm by providing some really gorgeous full color character artwork as well as the conceptual pieces.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Please Teacher becomes another series where I’ve managed to start reading the manga before seeing the anime. It continues to be interesting to see how that colors my perceptions of the anime, though I will avoid making any direct comparisons between the two. The anime must stand on its own after all.
Please Teacher takes the tried and true story of a school romance of some sort and adds a dash of science fiction fun to it. The series opens up with a quick flit through space as we follow a spaceship that ends up landing on Earth and settling into a lake in a quite country town. This arrival doesn’t go completely unnoticed though, as we see young Kei Kusanagi sitting alongside the lake when it all happens. When a gorgeous woman materializes on the shore near him, he panics and bolts, though she does give chase. He eventually loses her, though he passes out and mysteriously finds his way back home.
The arrival of this ship, which is all the talk in his 10th grade class, also brings about the departure of Kei’s classes teacher and the arrival of a new one. The class is all a flutter over it, as the old man is gone and rumor has it the new teacher is a hot woman. So when the very attractive if awkward Mizuho Kazami finally does show up, it’s a fun time to be a boy in that class. All the boys begin to fall in love with her, though plenty of the girls naturally take less than a pleasant view of her.
For Kei, it gets worse. She ends up moving into the apartment complex next door to the clinic where he lives with his relatives. Due to a mysterious illness he’s had for years, which he terms “Stillness”, he’s had to live in the more serene and calmer region of Japan to keep from being depressed and falling into another deep Stillness. So he lives with his relatives here, the town doctor Minoru and his ever pleasant wife Konoha. This is a great couple, with Minoru always talking about the various women that come into his life while Konoha manages to, well, manage him properly each time. It’s a dynamic that keeps Kei awake at the least.
But with Mizuho moving in next door, Kei offers to help her out, even though he’s got that nagging feeling that she’s the same alien he saw land last night. The two get along well during the move-in phase, but when Kei accidentally stumbles on a portal that sends him to Mizuho’s ship, everything goes off from there. Mizuho tries to deal with Kei as an intruder, but Kei’s own misadventures in the ship causes him to smack the ships avatar, which has sent its programming off fairly well. The cute and funny Marie now doesn’t do everything Mizuho tells her to do, which results in some awkward positions.
The end result is that Kei, now knowing the truth about Mizuho, finds himself actually living as opposed to just getting by. He terms his life as accelerating now, something that helps fight against the Stillness episodes he’s had. With an agreement with Mizuho, he agrees not to reveal her secrets and the two begin a very nice and soft relationship. Naturally, it expands in various ways as these episodes progress, including one area that I found very amusing, especially since it was something that Kei’s relatives decided to suggest.
The show does go in some predictable ways, as we see the relationship between student and teacher expand all while his friends, and potential love interest such as Koishi, come close to discovering the things that are going on. A lot of it plays predictable, but it also plays well. There were enough scenes where you knew what was going to happen next, but we still found ourselves laughing plenty during it, and for us that’s a good sign of something that we’re definitely enjoying.
The character designs for the show really make out well here with the above average animation. The big draw of course comes from Mizuho herself, which is one of the best looking female anime characters I’ve seen in some time, especially with the purple hair color of hers. She naturally finds herself in a lot of revealing positions and wears a number of very revealing outfits and lingerie, but I’m not complaining in the slightest. There’s very few characters that you think, “Now that’s someone I’d like to see in real life”, but she hits that mark for me. Mizuho fits into the category of a really nice character and the positive energy that she’s imbued with really shines through here in both the (Japanese) acting and the animation itself.
I can see this being something of a seen-it-been-there show for a lot of people, but there’s a lot of fun twists and quirks that help this to really stand above the average. With almost any scene with Marie in it being a great scene, it’s also got one of the best “cute creature sidekicks” in awhile as well. With twelve episodes in the first season (and a second season in the works in Japan already), this looks to be a short but very fun series. I can’t wait to see the next volume.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Original Trailer,Commercials,Episode 1 Preview,Design Gallery,Promo Clip,Mini Manga,Postcards,Soundtrack CD
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.