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September 23, 2013

Bento Bako Weekly: Oresama Teacher volumes 13-14

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Written by: Kristin
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oresamateacher13Title: Oresama Teacher
Author: Izumi Tsubaki
Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Volume: Volumes 13-14, $9.99 each
Vintage: 2012 by Hakusensha, March and July 2013 by Viz Media
Genre: School comedy

It’s time for the next Student Council member to launch their attack. This time it’s the man-hating Kanon Nonoguchi. Well, maybe not exactly man-hating; that’s a bit much. Nonoguchi is an extremely independent young woman who believes that a girl should never wait for her prince to save her, but should always save herself. Her goal is to identify and draw out the Public Morals Club’s two secret members – Super Bun and Natsuo. She starts a rumor that girls from class G (an all girls class) are being harassed by Kiyama students. Of course Mafuyu wants to check it out, so new club member Aki Shibuya helps disguise her up at Natsuo. The rumors, of course, are a trap, and Nonoguchi is waiting for them. When she gets into an actual confrontation with Kiyama boys, “Natsuo” comes to the rescue. Unfortunately, Nonoguchi leaves the encounter with Mafuyu’s phone. She then demands to meet with both Natsuo and Super Bun, which is obviously impossible, to Mafuyu and Takaomi enlist Aki’s aid and disguise him as Super Bun. Meanwhile, Hayasaka and Yui do their own investigation, and learn that Kiyama’s bancho has ordered Nonoguchi’s capture. Natsuo and Okegawa rush to help Nonoguchi, only to discover that she has lost both her own and Mafuyu’s phone. They search the area, but find nothing. While the rain traps them, Nonoguchi reveals her connection with the Student Council president. Nonoguchi was once obsessed with a fairy tale about a princess rescued by a prince, and truly believed that one day she would meet a prince who would protect her. That was until a group of boys in her class bullied her and destroyed her book, and she beat the crap out of them. After that incident, she attended an all girls school, until her grandfather enrolled her in Midorigaoka, where she met Miyabi. Soon the entire Public Morals Club meets and exchanges information, then they try calling Mafuyu’s phone to see who might have it. A text follows a few strange and short conversations that invites the group to come to Kiyama and rescue Nonoguchi. Okegawa arrives and arranges for everyone to sneak in wearing Kiyama uniforms. He even (temporarily) joins the club so he can tag along to help.

oresamateacher14Once at Kiyama, the gang finds themselves up against the entire school, but a secret weapon has tagged along with them. Reito Ayabe arrives just in time, trusty broom at his side, and an absolutely filthy school to get him excited. Unfortunately, Kiyama’s bancho figures out their trick, and lets his goons know Midorigaoka students are running around in Kiyama uniforms. Mafuyu and her friends are quickly surrounded. They split up so they can move forward. With Hayasaka and Yui staying behind, and Mafuyu and Okegawa charging onward. The thugs keep coming, though, so they must split up again, this time with Mafuyu heading out to find Kiyama’s bancho on her own. Despite all the odds, Mafuyu (as Natsuo) finally finds the bancho and Nonoguchi, and the prince rescues the princess. The bancho gives up a bit too easily, though, and soon reveals he’s actually Kento Nogami, a former classmate of Nonoguchi’s and one of the boys that used to pick on her. This time the flashback is told from Nogami’s point of view – classic story of a boy who likes a girl but doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings, so he picks on her instead. But then the sweet little girl turns into a monster. Nogami has long blamed himself, and was using his position as bancho to get to her. With everything straightened out, the gang returns to Midorigaoka for the upcoming three-day weekend. Takaomi, who has a wedding to attend, offers to take Mafuyu back home with him, and Aki is brought along as well. Unfortunately, while Midorigaoka had a day off, their friends are still in school, so they entertain themselves with a scavenger hunt at East High. Supposedly a treasure is hidden there, but only East High delinquents would understand the clues. Which means it was perfectly designed for Mafuyu. The ‘treasure’ is rather unexpected, however. After, Mafuyu runs into a drunken Takaomi, who takes her on a journey around town to revisit memories of their time together growing up, which Mafuyu seems to have forgotten.

This series continues to entertain in all the best ways. Namely the ones that can make you laugh yourself off the furniture. It sounds action packed and dramatic, but it never gets too heavy handed. Tsubaki keeps things light and moving fast. When things need to be serious, she treats the story accordingly, but segments like that are usually followed up with a heavy dose of comedy. Chief of note here is when one person after another (Aki, Okegawa, Maizono, and Kohei) see through Mafuyu’s disguises. And, of course, Hayasaka remains forever clueless. There’s a lot of flashbacks in these two volumes. Nonoguchi, Nogami, and Takaomi/Mafuyu all have a good solid chapter devoted to their life stories. Nonoguchi’s and Nogami’s parts are rather more serious in tone than Takaomi/Mafuyu’s, which essentially consists of a tiny Mafuyu following Takaomi all over town and insisting he play “house” with her. Which is when Tsubaki points out that Mafuyu’s imagination here is fueled by the soap operas she watches, so they’re all scenarios about cheating spouses and the like. Also amusing is watching “Natsuo” become Nonoguchi’s prince, as she gets increasingly more embarrassed in dealing with him. As usual, Tsubaki provides some extra laughs with her four-panel gag strips, highlighting the main cast as well as the students from the other schools. This series always puts a smile on my face, and I’ll always recommend it.

Kris
kristin@comicattack.net
@girlg33k_kris

Review copies provided by Viz Media.

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