Title: Otona no Jikan (Adult Time)
Author: YAMADA Komomo
Flower Comics, 2005
What’s this?! A YAMADA Komomo manga I haven’t talked about yet? A teacher-student series? And me with a whole “Teacher-Student” section on this site? Silly me, I how could I have neglected to talk about this series yet? It’s a fairly popular teacher-student series that managed to last for a good 7 volumes total. I think that’s a pretty good length- enough time to develop the characters, but not too long that it drags on or the story goes in circles. I have talked about a bunch of other Komomo series, including Private Lesson, which is another teacher-student series, but that one is more like a prototype or test-run for this series. As with most teacher-student series, this one covers the usual plot points – the taboo, the difficulty to keep the secret, the age difference, love rivals in the form of past lovers, etc. But all the usual cliches are lovingly presented here in a tasty guilty-pleasure dish that I admit that I enjoyed. But again, remember, I have very low standards when it comes to shoujo manga, I am easily pleased ^_^
This series focuses on a 17 year-old high school girl named TACHIBANA Mitsuka. She is tall and pretty, and generally has a mature aura around her. Everyone at school thinks she is the type that dates guys and quickly dumps them. But the truth is that it’s all just an image. In reality, she doesn’t have much experience with guys, and her reluctance to do anything gets her dumped by guys instead of the other way around. However, Mitsuka doesn’t exactly do much to correct her image, allowing others to think she is much cooler than she is.
However, one person happens to witness Mitsuka getting dumped outside of a hotel in the nightlife district in town. It’s Kaga-sensei, Mitsuka’s teacher and school counselor! Oh no! What is he doing here? And why is he looking at her with an expression nothing like the cheerful happy expression he wears at school? Kaga-sensei surprises Mitsuka by speaking cooly and suggestively to her. It’s late, the last train has gone, and it’s about to rain. Hey Mitsuka, what are you planning to do? Before Mitsuka can answer Kaga’s shocking question, he drags her into a nearby hotel and secures a private room for them! No way, KAga is a teacher! Sure, he may be 25 years-old, hot, and all the other girls at school drool over him, but still, he is a TEACHER! What is he thinking?
Ahh, turns out that Kaga’s intentions are not as dangerous as Mitsuka thought, though the situation is still certainly improper. Kaga reveals that along with being a teacher, he is also a published novelist. And can you guess what kind of novels? The only kind of novels that people in shoujo manga seem to write — erotic novels of course! (seriously, is everyone in Japan an erotic novelist?) He has trapped Mitsuka in this hotel room in order to interview her! You see, he is writing a novel with a high school character, and he would like some insight on how high school girls think. This unusual situation is the perfect opportunity for him to ask his questions! Besides, if Mitsuka refuses to answer, he can always just let people know that a student was out alone late at night in the hotel district… blackmail! What a scoundrel!
As Mitsuka and Kaga get to know each other better, Mitsuka realizes that while he does enjoy teasing her a lot, Kaga-sensei is actually very caring. At school he is entirely professional (in ‘business-mode’) but when they are alone, he loosens up and is playful. Naturally, Mitsuka begins to fall for him, but she recognizes that he is not someone she can loudly proclaim her love to. It’s a doomed, forbidden love that she must keep to herself. As for Kaga-sensei, he is charmed by Mitsuka’s bluster as she tries to get away with her cool, aloof image at school. He knows she is really not as suave as she tries to seem. She is not an ice queen, she is an emotional and insecure person.
Kaga can see she is suffering, but it is obvious that he is determined to keep Mitsuka at arm’s length. They must remain teacher-student. It’s the only answer. Well, obviously not, or we wouldn’t have 7 volumes worth of story to read 🙂 How long will Kaga-sensei resist temptation? And how can a teacher-student relationship possibly work out, what with all the things stacked against them? There is a question of ethics and the need for secrecy. To date a student would require overcoming so many hurdles. Can Kaga-sensei and Mitsuka find true love?
Obviously, this series is very silly and unrealistic. Mitsuka’s thoughts are always very melodramatic and drastic. She is a very emotional girl, with every problem overwrought with tension and angst. She places huge importance on little things, which only leads her into more drama-spirals. The dialog at times can be sappy. Kaga is slightly better, and he tries to do the right thing, but his resistance sure is weak. But he can also be very cute, and I don’t think he is ever really outright mean or cruel. He can be a little evil with his teasing though. Something I like a lot is how at the end of many volumes, there is a tiny chapter that is from Kaga-sensei’s point of view. We do get some of his thoughts during the main series, but the little end-pages are entirely his. They are adorable. Sometimes he is not so confident as he appears 🙂