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November 23, 2015

Bento Bako Weekly: Oresama Teacher vols 15-16

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Written by: Kristin
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Title: Oresama Teacher
Author: Izumi Tsubaki
Publisher: Viz Media (Shojo Beat)
Volume: Volumes 15 and 16, $9.99
Vintage: 2012, 2013 by Hakusensha; November 2013 and March 2014 by Viz Media
Genre: Comedy

[Volumes 13-14 review.]

oresamateacher15It’s time for the school field trip! Mafuyu is ready for a few days of completely normal activities with her classmates. Of course she pairs off with Hayasaka, as well as Yui, despite the fact that he’s in a different class. Yui begins taking photos immediately, by order of the Student Council President, although he also seems to be enjoying it. After an exciting day at the aquarium, everyone settles into their hotel rooms. But a restless Mafuyu ends up wandering around, and right into Sakurada, West High’s Bancho. West High’s field trip is the same as Midorigaoka’s, so Mafuyu stresses about Sakurada revealing her true identity, but Takaomi fixes that problem quickly. Everyone has carefree fun after that during their free time by visiting a local amusement park. Back at Midorigaoka, Akki is keeping an eye on things. However, because he’s the only (official) member of the Public Morals Club who stayed behind, he’s vulnerable to the Student Council Members who are also still at the school. Specifically Komari Yukioka, a cute, doll-like girl who doesn’t talk, but instead communicates through expression and gestures. Akki is usually good with women, but he finds himself at a loss with Komari. She’s entirely too obvious and outright demanding about what she wants, even without saying a word, but there’s something off about her personality he can’t quite pin down. Komari’s goal is to seduce Akki and make him join the Student Council, but it backfires as Akki is too afraid to go near her. Komari has personal motivations, too – Akki is exactly her type. This quiet, cute girl actually has the mind of a dirty old man, and is constantly spying on her male classmates, especially the ones with cute butts. In her desperation to get Akki’s attention, they both end up locked in a store room, where Akki passes out. Komari screams for help, and is there when Akki wakes up, ready to explain everything with her real voice.

oresamateacher16Everyone comes back from the school trip to discover Akki’s problems with Komari. He wants to talk things out with her, find out what the heck is going on, and she wants to talk to him, too. Unfortunately, since she’s so unused to verbal communication, she doesn’t know how to start the conversation she wants to have. Once Komari is dealt with, the Public Morals Club decides they should go on the offensive, and Mafuyu decides to check out the Student Council room for information. Unfortunately, one by one, the Student Council members arrive, and Mafuyu ends up trapped behind some boxes. She’s discovered by Runa Momochi, who explains the nature of the Student Council before Ayabe helps her escape. The next day, things start rapidly changing. Okegawa tender his resignation to the Public Morals Club. Almost immediately after, Akki does the same, followed soon by Yui, leaving only Mafuyu and Hayasaka. If they lose one more member, the club will be shut down. Mafuyu receives a letter, blackmailing her to quit the Public Morals Club, or her two secret identities (Super Bun and Natsuo) and her past will be revealed. Realizing the Student Council is out to dismantle their club, Takaomi begins following them around to make sure no one comes after the two remaining members. That’s how all three end up locked in a reference room, right before an important faculty meeting. Letters of resignation are forged for Mafuyu and Hayasaka, and hand delivered to the faculty by Yui, who has rejoined the Student Council fully. Some quick thinking by Hayasaka saves the day, and the group starts approaching the other members to find out what sort of blackmail they received, so they can help.

Oh, Yui, you sweet boy. There are some changes slowly happening within him. Surprisingly, he’s the most dense member of the Student Council. After their run-ins with the Public Morals Club, most of the other members have cooled down. Ayabe in particular, who’s actually (sort of) friends with Mafuyu now. But Yui is fiercely loyal to Miyabi, despite the fun he clearly has with Mafuyu and Hayasaka. It’s hard to read Miyabi, though, and I’m still unclear what his motivations really are. Did he give Yui the camera so he could capture his own memories of the school trip? Or, like Yui believes, was he given the camera to document Mafuyu and Hayasaka? When Yui loses his camera, he is sick with anguish that he might have failed in his mission, but before that he spends a fun day with his friends without even realizing he left the camera behind. Then, at the end of volume 16, he appears to be feeling guilt over trying to ruin two people who genuinely care about and trust him. Or maybe he’s being blackmailed somehow, too? Runa says she wants to act next, but we never see her actually do anything, which is suspicious. Tsubaki isn’t usually that misleading, so I think Runa is involved somehow. Along with Ayabe, Komari probably has the most distinctive change thanks to her interactions with the Public Morals Club. She’s learning to talk again, after being discouraged from speaking as a child. She’s very blunt and speaks oddly, though it doesn’t come across well in the English translation. (Mostly she just frankly announces her attraction to hot guys and talks about their butts, which is hilarious, but doesn’t really indicate anything.) There’s a note from Tsubaki about making sure her accent is correct, but there’s no evidence of an accent in the English version, so I have no idea what it’s supposed to coincide to in Japanese. The point is that she’s opening up and finding acceptance, specifically from Akki, who finds her way of speaking very cute. These two volumes are rather meatier than others, with a lot of development and plot, but they’re no less hilarious, which long time readers will know is what I adore most about this series – its ability to nearly make me laugh myself off the furniture.


Review copies provided by Viz Media.



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