There were all sorts of interesting developments at the end of the previous episode of Kamen Teacher (仮面ティーチャー) – all of which I couldn’t mention because I didn’t want to give away spoilers – but they recap them at the beginning of this episode. The shockstick-wielding Ryota (Yanagi Shuntaro) attacked Kobayashi Toobee (Musaka Naomasa) – Araki (Fujigaya Taisuke)’s cafe-owning acquaintance. Ryota in turn was assaulted by a dark Kamen Teacher.
We pick up the story with Araki visiting Kobayashi at the hospital. Kobayashi tells him about the other Kamen Teacher, and how Ryota was probably also seriously injured and brought to this hospital.
And indeed, Araki finds Ryota, whose childhood traumas (the ones he had been suppressing with his cold attitude) have exploded to the surface due to the harsh beating he experienced at the hands of the dark Kamen Teacher. He’s now a panicky wreck.
At the sight of this, Araki says “kamen teacher” as if speaking about an enemy he wants revenge against.
And so it begins . . . .
As happened with Kotaro (Maeda Goki), the rest of the school seems to look at the broken Ryota as an object of pity at best.
With three members of the M4 no longer up to their dastardly activities, the rest of the students get the picture – they’d better be on their best behavior lest the Kamen Teacher decides to target them. He’s like a boogieman for teenagers.
Ichimura Miki (Omasa Aya), of course, hates seeing Ryota like this as much as Araki does, and openly questions whether the Kamen Teacher is really on the side of good.
I think Araki would rather not be a Kamen Teacher right now.
He speaks with the principal. objecting to the presence of the second Kamen Teacher, but the principal is unsympathetic because the students are finally behaving.
The picture we get is of students completely regimented – as if military recruits. That . . . sure happened quickly. Araki justifiably asks if this is the way things should be.
At this point, I had to wonder – does the Kamen Teacher have to be working at the school he (or presumably she) is active in? If so, shouldn’t the dark Kamen Teacher be working at this school, too?
The principal insists that respect begins with fear – I know a few dictators who would agree, but no teachers who would. That statement leaves Araki with quite a lot to think about.
Kobayashi’s daughter Saeko (Yamamoto Maika) broaches the subject of the attack with him, and also asks him to be careful.
This time, rather than eagerly anticipating it, he seems surprised with Kinpatsu-sensei comes on . . .
. . . and he isn’t as enthusiastic about it – not without Saeko’s father there to watch it with him, anyway.
Araki starts to wonder who the other Kamen Teacher is, too, so apparently it is the case that the Kamen Teacher has to be working at the school they get involved with.
Bon (Kyomoto Taiga) waves to him to give him more information about Ryota’s background. I don’t buy his explanation of why Ryota developed his cold exterior, but the rest fit. As expected, the dark Kamen Teacher brought back the effects of the abuse Ryota experienced at the hands of his father.
When Bon explains this, Araki says he won’t forgive the Kamen Teacher who hit Ryota.
Bon is surprised that it wasn’t Araki who hit Ryota. So, he potentially realizes that there’s a second Kamen Teacher, too. I don’t think he doubts that Araki is a Kamen Teacher – he’s certainly shown himself to be sharp and confident in his information. Bon might be my favorite character in all of this, except possible for Araki himself (though that will depend on how he comes off at the end).
Ichimura offers a more sophisticated psychological explanation for why Ryota didn’t express his feelings based on the psychology she took in school, and while she went with a different route than I did, it was a better diagnosis than Bon had offered.
But can Araki really give Ryota a sense of parental love?
Well, not when Ryota is being beaten up by the guys he robbed using the shock stick in the previous episode.
But can Araki really save him as the Kamen Teacher? That would likely scar him even further.
By all rights, this should be difficult and complicated, so it’s going to be tricky for the show to pull off this resolution.
I won’t tell you exactly how that turned out, except to say it was interesting. Whether it worked or not is tough to say – very borderline. But in this case, borderline is quite impressive.
We did get a scene with the other trouble students – Kinzo (Kikuchi Fuma), Shishimaru (Kishi Yuta), and Kusanagi (Jesse) – but it only seemed to be there to keep them in the mix and drop a vague hint.
In the end, I think this was a solid episode with no glaring flaws and a good pace. Araki had some angst, and Fujigaya-kun did a fine job portraying the character in this midst of this internal turmoil. Other than him, the acting burden was entirely on the shoulders of Yanagi Shuntaro-kun, who did an excellent job with Ryota – first giving us the stone-faced character then the nervous wreck. Otherwise, the acting was bland at best.
I like where the series is going with the dark Kamen Teacher/fear-based school situation, since that’s showing how bad the opposite pole – extreme order – can be. In a way, this series is a better successor to Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou than Bad Boys J was, because here again we have the chaotic school and the regimented school, and the need to find a middle ground between the two. The plotting is also similarly tight, and the fight scenes choreographed properly – like Bakaleya, but unlike Bad Boys J.
The only complaint I have is that we had some humor in the first two episodes, but all of that has gone away. I hope they recapture some of the early light-heartedness in some of the future episodes, because the constant angst will eventually get monotonous otherwise.