Oresama Teacher, Vol. 4

By Izumi Tsubaki. Released in Japan by Hakusensha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Hana to Yume. Released in North America by Viz.

We are perhaps in a golden age of strong, spunky shoujo heroines. Minako from Sailor Moon is back in the spotlight. Iku from Library Wars is beating up those who would dare censor books. And now we have Mafuyu from Oresama teacher, who may have to dress up like a guy due to circumstance, but has shown that she is the one to bet on in a fight over anyone. Heck, I think she could take out Ichigo from Bleach if she tried.

It is entirely possible that this is not someone’s brand of humor, but it just happens to be mine. Mafuyu is wonderful. The way that she finds herself thinking like a thug in order to solve problems. And even better, the fact that she’s still learning as she goes, where she finds for the first time what it means to have someone you like injured because of you. And then, of course, there’s pretending to be a gay boy rather than a girl in order to fool the easily fooled Hayasaka. And any interactions she has with Takaomi are fantastic, if only as he can still wrap her around his finger without even trying.

There’s an awful lot of fighting in this manga, so much so that I wonder if it might be better marketed to Jump fans. Even better, as with last volume we see that Tsubaki is actually training her readers on the mechanics of being in a fight. Last time it was escaping from being tied up, here it’s how to dodge and parry, something that poor Hayasaka and his straight-ahead mind have simply never learned to do. Mafuyu’s actually quite a good teacher, but she’s up against a formidable opponent here, and I hope Hayasaka starts taking her lessons to heart before he dies.

I particularly enjoy seeing all the characters that you think are there to be goofball and comic show their inner badass. Maizono, Mafuyu’s masochistic third in command from her old gang, shows up to bring her a present. He never finds her (a given, since he asks the two guys who don’t know she’s a fighter), but we get a good chance to see that while he’s a goofball in front of her, he can fight like a demon when pressed. In fact, it’s notable how Mafuyu’s big problem in her new school is that she DOESN’T have a gang yet. Her old friends were trained fighters who all knew each other’s best strengths and weaknesses. Here she only has Hayasaka, who refuses to duck.

And lest we think that Mafuyu has it all together and isn’t an idiot as well, there’s that final chapter, where she completely forgets that she can’t swim. There’s a bit of romantic tease in it (really the only tease in the whole volume), but it’s second to simply laughing at everyone. There are no subtle characters here. Oresama Teacher is in-your-face gags about a girl who simply cannot stop being a delinquent fighter. And that’s why we love it.

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  1. I like Oresama Teacher. It is not a favorite of mine but it makes me laugh and I like the characters. I love Mafuyu as a heroine and the other two main characters, Takaomi and Hayasaka. Hope we will see more interaction between Takaomi and Mafuyu in the upcoming volumes.


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