By Izumi Tsubaki. Released in Japan by Hakusensha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Hana to Yume. Released in North America by Viz. Translated by JN Productions.
Last time I reviewed Oresama teacher I thought that it might be wrapping up in 2-3 volumes. Well, perhaps I was being a bit hasty. The cover art has all the feel of a “Next stage!” sort of deal, and indeed we now begin the new year with a new bunch of first years and Mafuyu getting to be a sempai. The rest of the volume is also content to roll out new subplots, as we get not one but TWO new villains to contend with. That said, it is starting to feel a little overextended, especially given how monstrous this cast has become, and especially because, despite graduating last volume and moving on to college, Miyabi and Okegawa both end up coming back to help the Public Morals Club out. Which is probably for the best, because Mafuyu and company are finding themselves in over their heads, and Takaomi is not around to save them.
The main villain, as it turns out, is the next wave of Hanabusas. Miyabi’s sister Toko has surprised everyone by not going to school in Tokyo to be near him, but instead enrolling at Mafuyu’s school to… well, cause trouble, it seems. She’s not there to help her father, or so she says, but she’s certainly doing a good job of it anyway. That says, she does bring up a good point regarding why Miyabi went there, as he’s graduated with all the people he was trying to protect still there. Now, I suspect Miyabi feels that they’re strong enough to carry on without him, but they’re already going through withdrawal pangs. That said, Miyabi feels a lot like Momochi, there to be a potentially bad villain who will be converted by the power of Mafuyu’s shininess.
The other villain is less obvious, but I have a feeling will be a lot more trouble. Mafuyu and Hayasaka are rather surprised at first that Takaomi is NOT their homeroom teacher for their third year. In fact, he’s teaching the first years, including Toko… at first. Instead, the new third year homeroom teacher is Mr. Maki, who is seemingly nice but airheaded… but his airheadedness is actually destroying the public morals club twenty times faster than actually standing against it would do. With new attacks both direct and indirect, Mafuyu and Hayasaka have things looking bad for them right away.
Of course, it’s not all drama – this is still a series written by Izumi Tsubaki. There’s loads of laughs here to be found, particularly once you realize what actually happened to Takaomi. We also get Hayasaka’s unfortunate summer break, Yui once again breaking out the world’s worst ninja skills, and (as always) the entire conversation between Mafuyu and Okegawa. But there’s a lot more serious here than usual, the most we’ve seen since Hayasaka’s brainwashing, and I have a feeling that when Vol. 24 rolls around things are going to get worse before they get better. That said, for fans of Oresama Teacher this is still an essential volume.