Kei Kusanagi is no stranger to keeping secrets; thanks to a medical condition that causes him to ‘stand still’ in time, he is an 18 year old in the body of someone three years younger- a fact that none of his friends are aware of. Still, his life becomes that much more complex when he learns that his sexy new teacher Mizuho is an alien! Worse yet, this revelation triggers a series of events that results in him having to marry her in order to help her keep both her secret and her job. Now Kei must conceal his marriage and his teacher’s true identity, but with ‘standstills’ still an issue whenever he gets stressed, life is going to be anything but easy.
At first glance, Onegai Teacher is just another entry in the not inconsiderable genre of harem shows, featuring an unremarkable lead surrounded by beautiful women, some of whom just happen to be aliens. Fortunately, there is more to it than that- it may not be the most remarkable series to ever be animated, but it still has enough personality to differentiate it from the crowd.
Where other series are happy to maintain a status quo and play it for cheap quotes, Onegai Teacher is actually brave enough to advance the relationships between the characters. Where Kei and Mizuho’s relationship starts out as a marriage of convenience, over the course of the series it develops into something more, forcing them both to overcome insecurities and grow into each other. And this sort of progression isn’t just limited to the main characters; many of the supporting personalities have their own issues to work through- everything from illness to unrequited feelings.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Onegai Teacher is a procession of seriousness- there are plenty of lighter moments and anime staples such as the universal beach episode to lighten everything up. Whilst some of this inevitably strays into the realms of anime cliché, overall the series manages to be entertaining rather than tired.
Visually, Onegai Teacher is always pleasing on the eye, with solid production values and beautiful character designs- in fact, it was an artbook that helped cement my desire to watch the series in the first place. Background music is standard fare, and not particularly memorable in the long term.
Although not worthy of the top ranks, Onegai Teacher is nonetheless a solid series that manages to avoid being another clichéd harem series by actually letting its characters grow and develop over the course of the series. If you want light entertainment that stretches itself a little beyond the standard model, then this is the series to go for.