a.k.a. Please Teacher
Kusanagi Kei is just a normal high school student living in Hokkaido, Japan, until one night when he spots a UFO landing near his house. The next day, some strange things start to happen: his new teacher at school looks just like the girl he saw near the space ship, and when he gets home, he sees that she is also his new neighbor. From then on, things are never the same for Kei and his new teacher.
summary by Keitaro
Highs: Art; music; creative yet realistic and deep characters; gripping story
Lows: Main characters are bland compared to the rest of the cast; story a little too farfetched at points
Oh boy, Onegai Teacher is really something special. When I first read what it was about, I was very skeptical about how it would turn out. It’s not easy to make a story about an alien coming to earth and falling in love with a human a gripping one. Still, I went ahead and checked it out, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only were they able to pull it off and make a compelling love story, but it was done almost flawlessly.
The art in this anime is excellent. The music is some of the best I have heard and the seiyuu cast is as good as one could ask for. Don’t think that the great things are only on the surface, though: characters are very deep and, for the most part, develop immensely as the story progresses. You will begin to really feel for them because they just seem so real. The actual actions and behaviors of fifteen-year-old high school kids are really captured here. The length seems right and the episodes don’t drag at all (at the same time do not move too quickly, either). Finally, I was extremely happy with the ending. Lately I have been finding myself let down by endings, but Onegai Teacher ended just right. I couldn’t have been more satisfied.
While it is very difficult to think of things wrong with it, Onegai Teacher is not perfect. There are just a few little details that could have been better. While most of the characters were developed well, I would have liked to see the relationship between Kei and his classmate, Herikawa Koishi, grow. Things between them came to a halt in one episode. Also, one of the main characters, Mizuho, was just boring compared to the rest of the cast. This reminded me of Ah! My Goddess. Besides that, there aren’t any other complaints worth mentioning.
I recommend Onegai Teacher to everyone. While a new anime, it is still destined for greatness. Watching this should be your saio sen jiko yo! Top priority!
Highs: Amazingly rich characters; second half finishes very strong
Lows: A few side characters outlive their usefulness; final episode actually a worse ending than previous episode
I’m sitting here, trying to think of a way of expressing how I feel about Onegai Teacher without making elaborate comparisons with the plethora of high school romance anime that have come before it. I don’t think it is possible, because this anime makes no apologies about lifting certain scenes and characters straight from the likes of Ah! My Goddess, I My Me!, Strawberry Eggs and other assorted anime in the same genre… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Onegai Teacher doesn’t have much wrong with it, but those faults, few as they are, are pretty glaring. My first quibble is the side characters that are given an abundance of screen time that doesn’t match their importance in the grand scheme of things. For such a short series, I felt more of the focus should have been on characters like Herikawa and Morino who absolutely carry the plot. My other peeve is the wasted twelfth episode which goes for cheap sentimentality and irrevocably takes the focus away from the real reason behind the story: not the romance between Kei and Mizuho, but escapism as a means to handle the real world. This anime should’ve ended at eleven episodes, and no arguments will sway me from this opinion.
The parts that make Onegai Teacher an anime worth watching, however, are some of the best you will likely find in the genre. The deep, real characters and an involving story that invites the viewer to take a participatory role make the latter six episodes truly mesmerizing. The depths of which the characters bear their souls left me making a strong emotional connection with them, and I really cared how their futures would turn out.
Hey look, I managed to not make any comparisons with other anime after all.
Onegai Teacher (series & OVA together) can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.