Oresama Teacher, Vol. 22

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.

After the previous volume’s ups and downs, I’m pleased to say that this Oresama Teacher is back on target with a very strong entry, as we discover just who has been impersonating Super Bun. It’s not exactly a surprise, particularly once you realize the evil doppelganger is not all that evil. The rest of the volume is devoted to the graduation of the third years, including Okegawa (at last), and Hanabusa, who this volume is really all about. Because yes, spoiler, he was the Super Bun impersonator. We finally get a lot of answers in this book regarding just what he was planning to do and why the Student Council is filled with so many broken people. And throughout it all we get Mafuyu, running forward no matter what as always, showing off the qualities that make her one of my favorite shoujo heroines.

The best scenes in the volume, as I said, revolve around Hanabusa. He’s always been a somewhat ambiguous villain, and the reason for that is that he’s not really much of a villain at all. The revelation that the Student Council members, with a few exceptions (Momochi, who’s still recovering from events of the last few books, and Shinobu and Wakana, who luckily fit the bill anyway) are there to be PROTECTED rather than to be the PROTECTORS turns a lot of events in the series on their ear. It also shows how far Hanabusa himself has come, as now he feels it’s safe enough to leave his friends behind and go to school in Tokyo. The final scene in the book with Mafuyu, where he thanks her for everything she did the past year and says she’s his hero, is one of the two scenes in the book that made me choke up (the other being the ending to the hide and seek game).

As for the rest of the cast, Takaomi once again takes a back seat except to provide helpful advice. Hayasaka is also not given much to do, but that’s fine as I’m assuming that the finale, which should be in a few more volumes, will feature him heavily. Okegawa gets more focus, though, mostly as he too is moving on, though I have a feeling we’ll see more of him in future volumes than Hanabusa. His relationship with “Morse” has always been subtly different from all the others, and I felt that if this is the last we see of him, it got a good sendoff. And of course there are any number of hilarious moments here – it’s no Nozaki-kun, but it acquits itself admirably, especially with the various alternate Super-Bun masks and the over the top reactions to everything.

We don’t get this series all too often since it’s caught up in Japan, but I always enjoy each volume we do get. I have a feeling it may be wrapping up in 2-3 more volumes, but for now we have this. Go get it.

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