|This post is written by Gilimandra|
Title: Denpa Kyoushi
Author: Azuma Takeshi
Year Published: 2011
Serialized in: Shounen Sunday (Shogakukan)
Licensed in English: No
Genre: Comedy Harem Romance School Life Shounen Slice of Life
Scanlation Latest Release: Chapter 41
Status in Country of Origin: 3 volumes (on-going)
Age Rating: 13+
Rating: 7.9 / 10
“Don’t think that by abiding the rules, you’ll automatically be useful to society.”
“Come here first prize!!”, late at night, a shout of joy could be heard echoing in a somewhat normal house in Japan. The source’s a bespectacled guy with brimming eyes locked at his LCD monitor. Kagami Junichiro, who’s in his early twenties and still unemployed, is overjoyed to find that his usual routine; blogging about anime and manga, has put his blog “Super Dreadnought Tales DX” at the number one position of most recommended anime review blog.
Such bliss, however, doesn’t meant to last long when Suzune, her little sister, comes in strong and threaten to destroy his figure collection if he wouldn’t accept her offer. Then Suzune hands a letter to her older brother: It’s a notification that Kagami has been accepted to work as a part-time lecturer in Eastern Shinmei High School and is in charge of Physics. Of course it’s all due to Suzune’s pulling strings behind the scene. Although trying to refuse the proposal by saying he’s suffering from ‘DC’, which stands for ‘Don’t Care’ and is a one-of-a-kind disease (because he makes it up himself) where he can’t do anything he doesn’t want to, Kagami finally gives in.
¦Suzune ‘politely’ asking her older brother to listen to her request.¦
Fast forward to the next day, Kagami is in the principal’s office. From the headmaster’s showering praises on him, it’s revealed that Kagami Junichiro is a prodigy, where at the age of seventeen had published a thesis in both “Nature” and “Science” Magazine (In this manga the two are supposedly very prestigious science publications). The groundbreaking thesis was about making a dokodemo doa (anywhere door; yes, it’s Doraemon’s most famous future item), in which Kagami says he’d managed to lay out the theoretical blueprints for its creation. It’s the sole reason why he’d indulged himself in Physics, and now that he’d satisfied his curiosity, Kagami doesn’t have the slightest interest in Science or Physics.
Halfway his discussion with the principal about procedural matters, Kagami immediately flies away from the room to the rooftop after hearing someone’s singing his favorite anime song. There he finds a girl named Minako who wants to be a voice actor and is actually very good at singing. In contrast to his earlier compliment on her, Kagami eventually criticizes Minako by saying that voice actors are gods and it’s not a thing to aim just because you’re good at singing or have a nice voice. That kind of harsh critic makes Minako angrily hits him in the cheek, resulting in the both of them getting off an awkward start.
¦Minako, stepping on a landmine. ¦
When entering the classroom to make his debut as a teacher, Kagami’s who still in low-spirits because he doesn’t want to teach suddenly thinks of a bright idea; instead of normal self-introduction, the true otaku asks the students to access a website and play a party game (a game where you can form parties) for cell-phone called “Wonder Man Battle Royale”. Kagami spices things up by saying that whoever able to beat him will get a perfect score for next week’s small test.
In a matter of minutes, the kids are having fun and the teacher, too, is able to maintain his ‘DC’ lifestyle while getting information about his pupils’ personalities, human relations and hierarchy in the class through the game. Coincidently, Kagami also finds out that Minako, who he gives nickname ‘bitch-slap woman’ to, apparently doesn’t have any friends as she plays alone while the others are busy making teams.
¦His idea of self-introduction through a game reveals the unexpected.¦
A little observation gives him insight to the heart of the problem. Minako was a famous delinquent, but somehow she had a change of heart and since then has been trying to play nice in school. This, unfortunately, doesn’t sit well with her former ‘friends’, from which one of them is actually the leading person in the class, Miho. She then proceeds to bully her constantly, to the point where she forces Minako to drink something that is harmful for her throat, making her chance to become a voice actor is close to impossible. Realizing the dark side of the high school life, what will Kagami Junichiro do?
¦A little refreshing juice for sore throat, perhaps?¦
Known for his work on “Super Dreadnought Girl 4969”, Azuma Takeshi tests his luck as he steps in to lengthen the list of famous fictional teachers with unusual teaching methods like Onizuka Eikichi from “Great Teacher Onizuka”, Kumiko of “Gokusen”, and Hachisuka Gorou from “Hammer Session!” The concept of ‘Otaku teacher’ raises an eyebrow at first, however, surprisingly enough, Azuma Takeshi manages to whittle down the criticism to a manageable length. Through often delightful out-of-the-box methods wrapped in a light, fun and sometimes heart-warming atmosphere, he’s quite successful in delivering moral values aimed at high schoolers, without sounding all high and mighty like your out-of-touch teachers with their boring moral lectures.
Portrayed as the once-in-a-lifetime-genius, a true otaku, and a NEET (not in education, employment, and training) to the core, Kagami Junichiro does have a few amusing surprises up his sleeves. To the readers, Kagami’s thought pattern, which emerges mostly from unknown combination of his extensive knowledge on games, anime and manga, is as confusing and unpredictable as his action is, but that in itself is creatively stimulating and pleasant. Not yet a great nor a memorable character, but Kagami’s attractive enough to rake in more loyal readers.
¦One of the most must-have panels in Teacher manga; a panel where the teacher is surrounded by his pupils, all smiles, all happy, and all is well with the world.¦
It’s the recurrent cheesy and somewhat unrealistic problems, and reactions from the ‘saved ones’, which disturbingly pricking on our nerves every now and then. They float rather high in the sky of imagination the readers couldn’t find a way to take the plights presented seriously, which in turn, giving us a hard time to emotionally connect and empathize with the characters.
Moreover, having characters who’re visually messy; flawed in terms of proportions with jagged outlines and roughly patched-up screen-tones, and personality-wise seem forced to be distinct and unique they actually become more comical and detached from reality, doesn’t really helpful either.
Nevertheless, up to this point, a protagonist who has firm control over the troubles surrounding him through various creative and smart means, a number of colorful cute girls for a potential harem story, and a few tidbits of fan service still have our cheers and hoots of approval. Otaku saves the day sounds exciting, and “Denpa Kyoushi” still has potential to become engrossing and breakaway work from the vicious cycle of old, recycled ideas.