Aw yeah, as usual, I return to the same cliched plot type that is my guilty pleasure — teacher-student series ^_^; I KNOW they are generally awful and all pretty much the same, but I just can’t keep away! As far as I can tell, this manga is based on a cellphone novel. This seems to be pretty popular these days! I don’t know if that makes this story better or worse than a regular manga, but it is an interesting trend. This is a one-shot volume, with the main story taking up about 3/4 of it, and a Christmas-themed story rounding out the book at the end. The artwork is average and uneven. There are some scenes that look really cute, and others where there are some freaky things happening to body proportions and faces. I mean, just look at the size of his face and head and body on the cover here. Kinda freakish 🙂 It also falls into the middle ground in terms of scratchiness of the lines. I am not so fond of series where the lines aren’t strong and deliberate, where the art looks like it was clumsily sketched and they didn’t have enough time to finish it. In this book the lines are sort of strong, but then sometimes they aren’t ^_^ Wow, I am totally making sense here! Don’t get me wrong, I liked this book, happy cliche that it is, but it is not perfect. Oh yes, I should mention that there is a bit of smut in this book!
Our heroine is a 3rd-year high school girl named YAZAWA Nao. As the story begins, she already has a crush on ARAGAKI-sensei, a teacher at her school. He is her homeroom teacher and is also the P.E. teacher. One day while Nao and a classmate are sitting out of their P.E. swimming class (it’s that time of the month, or so they claim), Nao passes out from the heat. She sleeps through most of the day, but Aragaki is there when she wakes up, and he offers to drive her home. Nao loves Aragaki-sensei s much. She considers him to be like a Superman. Being around him makes her feel happy.
When they reach Nao’s house, Aragaki becomes worried, because it is obvious that Nao does not want to get out of his car. It is not because she is acting all clingy to be with him, but because she dreads what she will find when she walks through the door. She really doesn’t want to go home. As it turns out, Nao has a really bad home life. This is why the happiness that Aragaki brings her is so important. Nao lives with her mother and older sister, and they just do NOT get along. It is at the point where violence is common, and the house looks trashed inside. Seeing her unhappy expression, Aragaki agrees to drive her around some more, and he later offers her a shoulder to cry on. Is he just being a caring teacher, or is there something more?
One thing I like about Nao is that she does have a glimmering of common sense sometimes. This can be rare in shoujo manga, I admit 🙂 She knows at the beginning that her crush on her teacher is pointless and foolish, and doesn’t expect anything to ever actually come out of it. She does her best to hide her feelings from him and to not cause him trouble. Unable to be completely silent, she does write a small secret love confession on the roller ball of his computer mouse, a place he will surely never find it. But as her feelings for him grow, it becomes harder to contain herself. She ends up confessing to him again, but this time it is while he is asleep. They are in his car again, parked near some water, and he is reclining in his seat, napping. Thinking that he will not hear her, Nao confesses again. But naturally, you know what is going to happen here. Aragaki is awake, and has heard her confession! Nao is mortified, and is not shocked by his sensible reaction. At first, it seems like he accepts her confession, and he even kisses her! But soon, after further thought, reality comes crashing down, and he tries to put up the teacher-student barrier again.
Yet in spite of his words, he does seem to care about Nao, and her horrible home life does stir sympathetic feelings in him. He is drawn to her, and he does his best to help her situation. But can Mao break down the student-teacher wall between them? They would have to face the usual obstacles- the difference in age, hiding the relationship from friends and school… can they do it? Most of this story is told from Nao’s point of view, but we do get the occasional cute thought and reaction from Aragaki.
The other story in this book is a cute Christmas tale. Miu is a girl who goes to a high school with an interesting tradition called the Love Tree. It goes something like this — Every year around Christmas time, the girls will write/embroider on a Christmas stocking the name of the boy they like and give it to him. If the boy likes the girl back, he will put a present in the stocking and place it on (or under?) the school’s Love Tree (which looks like a standard Christmas tree). Miu would like to participate and get a boyfriend (she even has a boy in mind) but her wistful plans are interrupted when she finds herself selected to be on the committee running the event. Miu is in charge of decorating the tree. Also on the committee is the popular Takano-kun. He is the guy that Miu has been thinking about!
Unfortunately, Takano is not thrilled to be selected for the committee, and he is very rude to Miu. In fact, he displays classic Tsundere behavior, acting all cold and unfriendly.But when Miu sees Takano at home with his little brother, Miu realizes that there is more to Takano than meets the eye. Can she gather the courage to give him the Christmas stocking? And what about the other popular guy who seems to be interested in Miu?
I think I like the artwork a bit more in the 2nd story, though there are some proportion and profile issues there, too. Still, this is an interesting book, and if you like teacher-student series, you should check it out 🙂