At the end of the last episode of Kamen Teacher (仮面ティーチャー), Kusanagi Keigo (Jesse) hinted that he knew that Araki Gota (Fujigaya Taisuke) was the Kamen Teacher, but he didn’t make it conclusive. With the continuation of that conversation at the start of this half-hour, there’s some reason to believe Kusanagi will only state what he knows if he finds some clear advantage in it – perhaps to blackmail Araki. You see, if a Kamen Teacher’s identity is exposed, that’s the end of their role in the program – they’re basically fired.

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That’s not the only problem on Araki’s mind. Last time, we thought he had set Kotaro (Maeda Goki) straight, but it might have been too straight, since Kotaro now doesn’t fight back when his former followers beat him up. Those followers certainly have a reason to be unhappy after what Kotaro did to them, but why doesn’t he fight back?

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In the staff room, there’s no indication at all that Kotaro is being assaulted by fellow students – the teachers simply say that the Kamen Teacher is taking care of Kotaro. Have I mentioned that Araki has to do something to fix this faculty, too?

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Bon (Kyomoto Taiga) is the one who gives Araki the details about what’s really happening with Kotaro, and that makes Araki feel guilty about the whole thing. Where did he go wrong?

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Incidentally, Bon is turning out to be a great sidekick for Araki – much better than the annoying Kondo Kanako (Taketomi Seika) is.

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I especially liked the detail about him witnessing Kotaro getting beaten up on his way back from the arcade after winning all the stuffed toys. Just a reminder – he’s got as much money as he could want, and now that he’s not spending it arranging fights, I suppose he can use it on other pursuits.

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Araki has a conversation about Kotaro with the principal, but this conversation goes nowhere.

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Araki has his normal “using force is not the way” sort of line, but the principal asks him to solve the problems in a well-grounded (read, non-idealistic) way.

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Araki tries to approach Kotaro, but that doesn’t work at all.

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As in the previous episode, Shishimaru (Kishi Yuta) is worried about what’s happening with Kotaro, too, but also as in the previous conversation between him and Takehara Kinzo (Kikuchi Fuma), Kinzo is totally unsympathetic. Shishimaru really needs to talk to someone else about these things.

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Having no luck getting advice from the principal, Araki turns to his favorite program – Kinpatsu-sensei (Tsukada Ryoichi).

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While Kinpatsu-sensei offers his normal acrobatics, his words don’t seem to strike any chord with Araki.

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As a last resort, he tells the café owner Kobayashi and his daughter about the trouble with Kotaro.

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Kobayashi decides that Araki has done all he can for Kotaro. From here on, Kotaro has to fix himself and no one else can do it for him. That’s fair enough, though it doesn’t seem reasonable for anyone to say that about a person without knowing the person and their problems first. There is such a thing as depression.

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But let’s just say that the Kotaro situation really will resolve itself. In that case, it’s a good thing another one of the M4 students, Ryota (Yanagi Shuntaro), is causing mayhem. He deliberately bumps into some tough guys and they decided to try to punish him for it.

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Unfortunately for them, this is all according to his plan as he brings out a shock stick . . .

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. . . and robs them.

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Ichimura (Omasa Aya) happens to be passing by, and sees him do this.

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He tells her not to tell anyone on pain of death . . .

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. . . but to her credit she doesn’t take that threat seriously at all. She goes to Araki for advice and proposes to go to the police with what she saw.

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And she must really not be worried about the threat, because apparently she was talking loud enough for the whole school to hear. At least, Kanako heard every detail . . .

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. . . and rushed down to tell them that Ryota needed the money because he was living alone and had to pay for the apartment. Still – what a way to get the money! Are high schoolers not allowed to get part-time jobs?

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Showing how useless Kanako is, Araki goes to Bon to confirm the information and get the full story. It seems Ryota is actively hunting adults.

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So, how is Araki going to deal with Ryota? Surely going right up to the troubled lad with the information isn’t the best idea he’s had. Kamen Teacher Ep 03 059Kamen Teacher Ep 03 060

It leads to some shocking results . . .

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. . . and there’s also that matter of the threat to Ichimura.

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Can Araki really reach the icy Ryota who seems to lack all emotion?

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Will becoming Kamen Teacher help?

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And what about the Kotaro situation? Can Kotaro really figure it out on his own?

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The two plots of this episode – Kotaro’s and Ryota’s – were both out-of-the-ordinary. Ryota’s shock stick methods were an interesting twist to things and I definitely didn’t see that sort of thing coming. Has a shock-stick-wielding student ever appeared as a character in this sort of drama?

Kotaro’s situation was good because it didn’t feel like things were really resolved with him at the end of the last episode, and this presented some better closure for him – and the nature of the closure made sense in light of the previous episode.

As usual, the episode was well-paced, though there were some parts I felt were less than engaging. The office scene between Araki and the Principal in particular could have been cut out completely. We’ve already established the aspects of Araki’s characters dealt with there, and the principal didn’t contribute to the issue Araki came to see him about.

The ending was excellent – not in terms of concluding the plot because it didn’t, but because it executed its purpose well. You’ll have to watch to understand what I mean on that.

So, no serious problems with this series so far. On to episode four!