This episode of Kuro no Onna Kyoushi (黒の女教師) begins with Fujii-sensei (Kobayashi Satomi) returning to her love of art, realizing after the events of the last episode that she had been wrong to abandon it.

Back to Basics

Shadowy student Toda Toshio (Matsumura Hokuto) looks on, staring in silence as usual. After six episodes of this, I wonder how he can have so much time on his hands. He needs to join a club or find a hobby or something. This whole standing around and staring at people thing doesn’t accomplish anything – especially in terms of moving the story forward.

Shadow Boy 1Shadow Boy 2

Dark teacher leader Takakura (Eikura Nana) visits Fujii.

Takakura 1

Toda seems to have disappeared, but Fujii mentions that he was around. Takakura doesn’t seem to happy about this:

He Was Here 1He Was Here 2

In the next scene, we get signs of a budding romance between Mochizuki Ryohei (Chiba Yudai) and Saeki Eika (Hirose Alice).

Saeki and Mochizuki 1Saeki and Mochizuki 2Saeki and Mochizuki 3

Mochizuki then spots fellow student Kikuchi (Fujiwara Kaoru) getting hustled by a tougher looking guy. Mochizuki intervenes, then recognizes the guy as Iizuka Naotatsu – an old classmate.

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They seem to be friendly, but Iizuka quickly recalls an injury to his arm which he blames on Mochizuki.

The Past is Prologue

Considering Iizuka has a habit of blaming people for things they weren’t responsible for in order to gain the upper hand over them, it’s an open question whether Mochizuki was really responsible. It’s especially suspicious when Iizuka uses the injury as an excuse to ask for 100,000 yen (approx. $1250).

Serious Compensation 1Serious Compensation 2

Iizuka actually writes down his account number for Mochizuki (who hasn’t said a word). Can he actually get away with this?

Serious Compensation 3Serious Compensation 4

Apparently, yes. What a sleaze. Back in class, it’s time to make arrangements for the cultural festival, and particularly the jobs nobody wants. They pick the planning leader/store manager by lottery, and guess who gets picked:

Cultural Festival 1

Why does everybody look like they know this is a bad idea?

Mochizuki decides to fill the other positions by lottery as well, and all the students already mentioned – Saeki, Kikuchi, and Toda – get picked.

Cultural Festival 3

The teachers in the office are wary of Mochizuki, seeing him as intelligent, scary, and able to get a class in order.

About Mochizuki About Mochizuki 2

He also tries his best to avoid moving the muscles in his face, leading to a very solemn atmosphere in the cultural festival planning committee which is usually stocked with a very different kind of student.

Stone-faced

After school, Mochizuki hands over the money to Iizuka.

Payoff

This leads Mochizuki to think back to his ball-playing days, when he was evidently prone to fights. He promised to stop fighting when Saeki distributed these little baubles:

These are very important

While he reminisces, Takakura lurks.

Takakura Lurking

Why is she hovering over Mochizuki like a vulture? Well, maybe it’s because Iizuka is more than just a smooth operator – he’s part of a major operation:

Major Organization 1Major Organization 2Major Organization 3

With that insight into the conflict of this episode, we catch the dark teachers eating their customary dinner, fueling up for the fight to come.

Dinner Time 1Dinner Time 2Dinner Time 3

The next day, Iizuka prepares to extort more money out of his “friend.”

The Return of Iizuka 1The Return of Iizuka 2

But things get nastier. This time, he uses a new guilt-trip – one involving Saeki – and he threatens Mochizuki for a cool 1,000,000 yen ($12,500), suggesting that he’ll do something unpleasant with regard to her.

The Return of Iizuka 3

Umm . . . that’s a lot of money, isn’t it? I mean, it’s a lot for an adult, much less a high-schooler.

The Return of Iizuka 4

That night, Takakura pays a visit to the Nagashima house (again), but is turned away (again).

Nagashima House Again 1

It seemed like, at this point, we had the plot down with three young people at the center of it. But then, we got an unusual scene with Toda doing something other than staring. Alongside Saeki, he was doing his part to prepare for the cultural festival.

Toda and Saeki 1Toda and Saeki 2

Then, when a box slipped from Saeki’s grasp, he shielded her from the contents:

Toda and Saeki 3

What’s going to happen between them?

Toda and Saeki 4Toda and Saeki 5

The days fly by as Takakura once again tries her luck at the Nagashima house, but this time there are violent sounds inside the house, and a fight going on upstairs.

Nagashima 2Nagashima 3

We actually see Takakura enter the house for the first time. What will she find there?

It looks like some of the overarching plots are finally getting developed, but Toda still spends most of the episode standing and staring.

Still Toda 2

The cultural festival begins the next day . . .

Cultural Festival 4Cultural Festival 5Cultural Festival 6

. . . and Iizuka and Saeki bump into each other.

Iizuka and Saeki 1Iizuka and Saeki 2

Does Iizuka have something nasty planned because Mochizuki didn’t pay up?

That takes us about halfway into the episode. The premise was pretty basic, but very well executed. The writers really carried the simple idea of blackmail to exquisite lengths, creating a mountain of tension.

Chiba Yudai-kun showed a side of his acting I haven’t seen before, playing a serious role expertly without going over the top. I regret not catching the name of the actor who played Iizuka, since he was a brilliant fair-faced villain.

Who ends up going to the dark teacher to pay for their services was also a nice touch, fully reinforcing the main theme of friendship.

As for the resolution, it followed the same pattern as always, and seemed a bit tame compared to past episodes. Thanks to the good pacing of the episode, though, it worked well enough. The episode’s highlights were mostly in the body of the hour, and not at the beginning or the end.

From the preview, it looks like the next episode should be interesting, as well. I already have the subtitles, so I’ll try to post that review soon.

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