By Izumi Tsubaki. Released in Japan by Hakusensha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Hana to Yume. Released in North America by Viz.
Another volume of Oresama Teacher, the antithesis of a cute and fluffy romance manga. There’s no romance here (beyond the implication that one of Mafuyu’s old classmates had a crush on her), but there’s plenty of laughs and action.
The majority of the third volume is about Mafuyu, who has discovered she has run out of food at her apartment, deciding to return home to mooch off her mother for the weekend. No sooner is she there, however, then she runs into the old turf war that she used to be deep in the middle of, as her old school is about to have a rumble with their rivals of West High. And what’s worse, she gets captured along with the current leaders! What’s a sweet young thing to do?
Good thing Mafuyu is not a sweet young thing. The two-page guide on how to escape as somebody is tying you up is not only genuinely useful, but is also hysterically funny. All of Mafuyu’s interaction with her two lieutenants is also comedy gold, as they manage to be stupider than she is, quite a feat if you’ve read the two previous volumes of this manga. Things are not helped by her being mocked by the bancho in charge of West High… who is, in the end, the only one sympathizing with her as well.
In the end, Mafuyu’s brief trip back home can only be just that, and she’s firmly told by her old crew that she’s not needed there any more. Naturally, she initially gets upset by this, but it’s for the traditional manga reasons of ‘it’s not your fight’ and needing to prove themselves without her… along with a big helping of having a crush, so wanting to protect her. Mafuyu doesn’t really need the protection (her punches can still knock guys out cold), but she’s thankful for this nevertheless.
A quick chapter follows showing her getting locked out of her apartment, and having to spend the night with Takaomi. Unfortunately, Takaomi is a very restless sleeper. If nothing else, this chapter may show us the most blood loss from an open head wound we’ve seen in a shoujo heroine – well, except maybe in Sukeban Deka. It’s a good thing this *is* a broad comedy, as the constant head injuries to Mafuyu, as well as her memory loss of even the most basic past events, might actually be tragic in any other context.
The final chapter seems more of a teaser for the next arc to begin in Volume 4, as we meet the Student Council and their charismatic leader Hanabusa. And when I say charismatic, this time I’m not just being descriptive, as his chief weapon is a charisma that borders on mind control. This chapter does see the welcome return of Hayasaka, who is mostly absent from this volume, and sees the two of them interacting like it’s old times. I look forward to seeing where this is going.
It’s fun seeing Tsubaki’s manga skills continue to improve as we move from the early volumes of The Magic Touch to the early volumes of Oresama Teacher. There’s less messy plotting and a more vibrant, modern Hana to Yume style heroine. But overall, the best reason to read this manga is still that it’s pure fun. Recommended.