Hot for Teacher
Voltage Inc. are giving us a whole slew of stories for free this month, and one of them is from the After School Affairs series. I’ve actually read a few stories from that continuum, and while I’m not overly fond of teacher-student relationships, teacher-teacher stuff is fine by me. Also, the stories of this series like to tackle sometimes profound social issues. I find most of the characters interesting, even if the power balance is very obviously off in the beginning.
What’s the Story?
The MC is a homeroom teacher at Kasuga High School, an all-boys school with a bit of a reputation. While the students are known for their athletic prowess, they rarely score above 70% on their standardised tests. Also, they are often referred to as “delinquents” by the prestigious all-girls school next door, Seika Ladies’ Academy.
In fact, the MC is called to retrieve one of her students from SLA after class, since he was caught sexually assaulting girls over there. Granted, they call it “peeping on girls”, but I really need everybody to understand that it can be the first step in an escalating pattern of behaviour. When the MC goes to retrieve the boy, she is faced by Mr. Kigari, head teacher of Seika Ladies’ Academy. He gives her a dressing down as if she were the malfeasant.
The next day is moving day for the MC. She is transferred from an old building that the school owns to a newer, more modern one. While lugging one of her boxes, she is almost run over by a guy on a motorbike. Instead of apologising for driving recklessly, he tells her to get off the road, but mitigates first impressions a little bit by carrying her box upstairs for her. Since that was the last box, she decides to go around and introduce herself to the new neighbours, offering them the customary soba noodles. Since she already met Rikiya, she goes to the next door, where she is almost struck down by a wooden sword upon entering. The door and the sword belong to Kiyonori, who is, apparently, a history buff, and a kendo enthusiast. After extracting herself from his impromptu lesson about Edo period Japan, she knocks on yet another door. She is greeted by a disheveled looking individual, that still seems oddly familiar. The man accepts the noodles and slams the door in her face. The last tenant on the floor is the polar opposite: friendly, with an air of refinement and class. Curiously, he shares a last name with the MC’s favourite translator. Could they be related?
But her housing is not all that changes in this dramatic week: the next morning, they are called into a conference in school, to hear the devastating news that Kasuga High School has to close for financial reasons. To make sure that the boys can still graduate, it was decided that KSH merges with SLA to form the new Seisha High School. In order to streamline the process, both students and teachers need to step up their game: the teachers will all have to take a test to prove that they’re up to SLA’s standards, and the male students will be brought up to the level of the female students over the course of the next months. Those who fail will have to leave.
In order to avoid further interpersonal trouble, there is an additional rule: in this first phase, both students and teachers are forbidden to date…
- Kagari Shinichi, the Head Teacher is a very organised, tidy, and strict individual. Or so it seems. As exact as he is exacting, he is the epitome of a man who is in control of the situation. Whatever the situation. He demands the best, because he delivers the best.
- Mononobe Rikiya, the cool guy on the motorbike. Gruff on the outside, secretely nice on the inside. There are rumours that his past was… adventurous. He’s well liked by the students.
- Taishi Kiyonori, the nerd. Once you get him started on the subject of history, there’s no stopping him. Carries a wooden sword at all times.
- Sera Hidetaka, the exceedingly handsome gentlemen who, while born in Japan, was raised mostly in England. His easy smile and elegant mannerisms are almost too good to be true.
- Yasukawa Kenzo, the school nurse. Known specifically for being laid back. He keeps chickens in the infirmary, and a stash of good alcohol.
Why would I date you?
Oh, I love school settings. I prefer them when the entanglements happen between teachers, rather than teachers and students. The characters look interesting. I don’t think the “no dating” premise is needed (or makes sense, really), but it didn’t bother me all that much.
I choose you!
Curiously, I read Rikiya’s story first, because that one, too, was free at some point. And it was an excellent story, I should revisit it. Adventure, danger and intrigue, it had it all! Shinichiri’s story was a bit more pedestrian, but I loved the chemistry between the characters. Hidetaka’s story was solid: the plot was involved, people’s motives were complex. Where it fell a little flat, however, is in giving the couple palpable love. I’m mildly intrigued by Kenzo, but will probably steer clear of Kiyonori.