In Kamen Teacher (仮面ティーチャー), Araki (Fujigaya Taisuke) has now more or less dealt with the trouble students we were introduced in the first episode . . .
. . . which leaves the writers with a bit of a quandary. They probably don’t want to go too far into the dark Kamen Teacher plot – not unless this series is going to be shorter than the previous dramas in this time slot.
So, they need something new. But since they already hyped up those specific students as being the real problem with the school, will what they come up with next feel equally important?
Interestingly, what we get first is Ichimura (Omasa Aya) remembering how, when she was a student, a teacher said she believed in her and asked for the same trust in return.
In class (and this is not Araki’s class), it seems like things haven’t improved at all, despite Araki pacifying the M-4 and all the talk that fear of the dark Kamen Teacher had put everyone on notice. Just a couple of episodes ago, they had shown us a class with this teacher being totally regimented and orderly – what happened? Instead of anything resembling that scene, Kanako (Taketomi Seika) sees that a totally new bunch of students we haven’t met before are messing around. Where did these people even come from? Are other schools sending their bad students over to this one, or something?
Well, suddenly Kanako seems like she might have a part to play, but I’m still confused by the way the class seems to be a throwback to the pre-Dark Kamen Teacher days. It’s like this episode should have come between episodes three and four or something.
I also found Kanako’s really-serious-looks unconvincing. On the bright side, an unexpected person came to her rescue as one of the bad students threw a mechanical pencil at her with the pointy end threatening injury.
And . . . it’s a bit early for spoilers . . . let me put it this way – certain guesses about a certain character being a certain other character just became a near certainty.
Oh, heck, it was Kusanagi Keigo (Jesse), okay? And after he dealt with the bully, he also choked the teacher for turning a blind-eye to what was happening. This becomes the talk of the office afterward, but the teachers are confused because he’s been a good student.
When one of them suggests that the Kamen Teacher should deal with Keigo, Ichimura objects, saying that there must have been a reason. Unfortunately, the teacher who received Keigo’s rage doesn’t see things that way.
Outside, Kanako approaches Araki and Ichimura to tell them what really happened – valuable in this case since, without her explanation, the only person likely to say anything about it was the teacher who was assaulted (I get the strange feeling that Keigo’s not going to speak up for himself).
Her behavior here ended up going all weird, though.
But she’s not the only one who saw what happened. Kinzo (Kikuchi Fuma) noticed Keigo’s dark eyes and asks what happened to Keigo to produce so much hate. From the reply, it sounds like Keigo is out with a vendetta against delinquent students.
Araki continues to be the only customer at his favorite café, and his friend the owner is getting desperate for a change in fortune.
And suddenly . . .
. . . a new customer appears! And kudos to Yamamoto Maika-chan for doing a good job making Saeko just the right amount of jealous.
This calls for a special episode of Kinpatsu-sensei:
Araki is the only one watching, but Ichimura relates the lesson to the situation for Keigo’s mother – the same teacher who said she believed in Ichimura.
Keigo’s mother was the idealistic sort . . .
. . . but she ended up committing suicide. Bullies in her classroom caused so much trouble that parents and the administration came to conclude that she was a useless teacher who couldn’t control her class. She was suspended, but that only made the situation in the class worse to the point that a student committed suicide and she blamed herself for it.
This was a way too easy a revelation for what is irking Keigo. I was hoping the reveal would be a bit more involved, but here Ichimura just gave away pretty much everything, unless this was not the only reason why Keigo has issues. Given what Keigo said earlier to Kinzo, though, I think it must be the reason. No wonder Ichimura was defending Keigo in the office – she must have already known what was up with him.
Ichimura and Araki are still hanging out together as night falls . . .
. . . and they see Keigo dealing with a drunken customer. Odd for an underaged student acting as a bouncer, isn’t it? Or is he just pretending to be underaged?
Well, these two are now officially on his case. Trying to shoo them off, Keigo does the deep Dark Kamen Teacher voice, so . . . maybe he’s just trying to fool us into thinking he’s the Dark Kamen Teacher? Otherwise, it’s getting rather obvious.
Araki says he won’t tell the school about Keigo’s job, but Keigo doesn’t seem to think there’s an issue. Then Araki probably went a bridge too far by trying to talk to Keigo about his mother . . .
. . . to which Keigo said that they – teachers in general – watched his mother die without doing anything. So, he pretty much blames all teachers and all delinquent students for what happened to his mother. Well, I guess Kanako’s safe, at least, but she’s probably the only character we’ve met who is.
Jesse-kun was wonderfully intimidating here. I think he did an entirely good job of this scene – probably the best I’ve seen from him in anything (and I’ve seen him in a surprising number of roles).
But Keigo seems to have a soft spot in the form of a younger brother. At this point, I’m going to break away from the summary except to say that we get to see some of Keigo’s domestic life . . .
. . . and we also get more with that new group of delinquents.
You can be sure that the delinquents are going to want revenge against Keigo, but Keigo’s the revenge master. What’s going to happen?
For most of the episode, I was skeptical about the new characters, and thought the episode was mainly saved by the character of Keigo and Jesse-kun’s acting. Closer to the end, though, the writers gave us a better sense of where they were coming from with the new characters, and I think I now approve of their inclusion.
Plot-wise, I think the writers made this episode compelling by telling the story of Keigo and setting up future conflict. In retrospect, giving the whole story of Keigo’s mother to Ichimura was forgivable since they explained how she knew it and because it allowed us to get through more story in this episode.