Oresama Teacher Volume 1 introduces Mafuyu Kurosaki, a girl who had led a high school gang and was expelled for being a delinquent. Her mother is so fed up with Mafuyu’s behavior that she sends her to Midorigaoka Academy, an isolated school off in the country. Mafuyu intends to turn over a new leaf.
Oresama Teacher Volume 1
Written by: Izumi Tsubaki
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Unfortunately for Mafuyu, her resolve to turn over a new leaf is destroyed before she even makes it to her first day of class at her new school. She sees a man being attacked and her impulse to fight gets the better of her. But it turns out the man she has rescued is her new homeroom teacher, Takaomi Saeki. And to top it all off, Mafuyu discovers that she actually knew Takaomi when they were younger, and had a crush on him back in the second grade. He’s also the one who ultimately trained Mafuyu how to fight and become the delinquent that she turned into.
Poor Mafuyu had the cards stacked against her when she headed off to Midorigaoka Academy to try and turn over a new leaf. The person who influenced her in her formative years to become a delinquent is now her teacher again, so it makes her resolve that much harder to maintain. Even though Mafuyu may have had a crush on Takaomi when she was a kid, she doesn’t think nearly as much of him now with the interactions she’s had with him in Volume 1. But I suspect that this dynamic will probably change over the course of the series and that Takaomi will become a potential love interest at some point down the line.
On her first day in class, Mafuyu is assigned to sit next to Hayasaka, a lone wolf type of character who also happens to be a delinquent. When she first enters the classroom, Hayasaka can sense a bloodlust coming from her but has no idea why. When Hayasaka is being ganged up on, Mafuyu tries to intervene while he’s unconscious. She’s knocked out before he awakens, so he has no idea she was involved with the fight. Mafuyu decides that the two of them are friends, even though he doesn’t seem like he reciprocates the idea. Later, when Hayasaka is attacked, Mafuyu dons a mask and is able to take down all the guys bothering him. Hayasaka appears to be oblivious that this was Mafuyu, and he seems to be developing a crush on the girl who saved him.
I think it’s safe to say that Hayasaka is being developed to become another potential love interest for Mafuyu. Even though Hayasaka doesn’t realize that the girl in the bunny mask was Mafuyu, he’s still falling for her. Mafuyu refers to Hayasaka as her friend, but there are times near the end of the volume where it comes across that Mafuyu may think of him as more than a friend. Any way you look at it, it appears that the prerequisite love triangle that needs to appear in a shojo manga is being established in Oresama Teacher Volume 1. But at this point in the story, I can honestly say I’m not rooting for Takaomi to get together with Mafuyu. Not only is he older and a teacher, he isn’t exactly nice to her very much. I’m not entirely sure I can root for a Hayasaka and Mafuyu pairing at this point, either. With Hayasaka being a delinquent, he could potentially be a bad influence on Mafuyu, who wants to change her behavior. Hopefully future volumes can develop Hayasaka more so I can feel like I can root for a Hayasaka and Mafuyu shipping.
When it comes to the art in Oresama Teacher Volume 1, I have to admit that there’s not much here to help distinguish it from other shojo manga series. However, the main thing that stood out to me in this volume were the strength of some of the “speed lines” that appear, especially when they are in a panel with Hayasaka. I thought this helped to emphasize the delinquent nature of his character. There are also some impressive close-up panels for Hayasaka and Takaomi, where it’s obvious that Tsubaki spent time to make sure there was more detail in these panels compared to many of the panels that appear in the volume.
Even with the average art, I think that Tsubaki has done a competent job of establishing the characters, the world they inhabit, and their relationships. Oresama Teacher Volume 1 lays a strong foundation for the series, and hopefully future volumes will be able to build off of that foundation and continue to tell a strong story.
I would recommend Oresama Teacher Volume 1 to readers who enjoy shojo manga that feature a high school protagonist dealing with delinquents and a potential love triangle.
The reviewer read a copy that she checked out through the King County Library System
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