The Honeymoon's Over!
The third volume of the Please Teacher series brings much of the same to the table as the previous two releases. Though the DVD is virtually identical to its previous incarnations, the series seems to be shaping up quite nicely, making some much-needed improvements to the plot and character development.
Facts of the Case
Please Teacher—The Honeymoon's Over (Vol. 3) continues right off where the second volume ends—summer is over, the honeymoon is over, and everyone is back to school!
Kei and Mizuho find their new secret matrimonial relationship difficult to maintain in the classroom, and tensions begin to run high. Worse, jealousy rears its ugly head, as Kei gets pulled closer and closer towards Koishi and her advances, while Mizuho herself gets pulled closer towards Matagu.
After a dramatic altercation with Ichigo, Kei realizes that his relationship with Mizuho is causing pain in the lives of others, and decides to take decisive action. But can he truly make everyone in his life happy, at the expense of his own happiness?
It would be too much to say that the story has "improved" in Please Teacher; really, it's just more of the same. But this time around, it feels a bit stronger, a bit more developed, and a bit more interesting. There is more genuine interest in character development and plot than simple gags and incredibly lame sexual innuendos.
Perhaps, at this point, more sympathy is generated toward the characters. The development of Ichigo's character, previously ignored, helps round out the show in a much-needed way. Whatever the change, it was a much-needed one, and manages to propel the show forward through another three episodes successfully.
One of the more interesting aspects of the show involves the notion of momentum; Kei is obsessed with the notion of constantly moving forward and never standing still in his life. This manifests dramatically through his "standstills"—the rare disease that puts Kei into a coma whenever he becomes excessively stressed or depressed, which is a genuinely intriguing concept. The characters have a constant desire to move forward, never stopping, never wanting to "stand still"—even at the expense of their own feelings—and it develops into the center philosophy of Please Teacher. This centralized theme is an improvement from the goofy aimlessness of the previous episodes.
Even the subtitles seem to make a bit more sense this time around. They are now back up to a respectable level, compared to the previous offering, and, in an appropriate twist of irony, the coherency of the English dub went into the tank. Frankly, the English dub sucks on this DVD. Avoid it.
Technically, this disc is virtually identical to the previous Please Teacher DVD. The visual quality is quite excellent, and despite a persistent blurring and softness to the image—which seems to be native to the entire series so far—the colors are vibrant, the animation is sharp, and the overall visual effect is very good.
Similarly, the audio on Please Teacher—The Honeymoon's Over (Vol. 3) is virtually identical to the previous discs. The sound is pleasingly mixed, with both English and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks sounding quite well balanced. The music makes excellent use of the two channels and sounds quite full and developed. The English dub sounds a bit punchier and stronger as with the previous discs, but this is forgivable. There are no audio problems at all to speak of.
The Please Teacher series include a fairly pleasing offering of extras, including a music clip, textless openings and endings, and a design gallery; which, for an anime release, is pretty good. Problem is, this offering is virtually identical to the previous Please Teacher release. If you are renting the series, this presents no significant problem. But, if you collecting them, getting sold the same thing over and over would be aggravating to the pocketbook. If you are going to shell out premium prices for non-bootlegged anime, you should get more bang for your buck. Bandai can do better than this.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
There's even less action and comedy this time around, which is a waste of a good premise, if you ask me. I have the same gripe as I had on the second DVD. Sure, the focus has shifted completely onto a reflective, pensive romantic anime, and that's fine. But, the dude's married to an alien! You would think something interesting would come from that.
It seems the Please Teacher series is shaping up quite nicely in this, the third DVD release. Hopefully, the fourth and final release can maintain the momentum displayed here and end the series on a high note.
Hesitate not to purchase Please Teacher—The Honeymoon's Over (Vol. 3) if you have the first two (duh!), and if you are curious about the quality of the show before getting into it, from this point, the show seems to be worth a look. Here's hoping the fourth disc can do something special to end the show with a bang.
The court recognizes the improvements put forth in the third DVD of the Please Teacher series—better subtitles, improved story and character development, and a much needed cohesiveness.
Would Bandai have only included more quality supplementary material throughout the DVD series, these discs would be of greater value. Ah well—we can only hope, in the fourth release…
The court awaits the fourth volume with slightly more interest than previously before. Until then, court is adjourned.
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Scales of Justice
• Music Clip #2
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