[Review] – Sensei
Author: Kawahara Kazune
Category: Drama, School life, Shoujo, Romance, Comedy
It’s the story of a high-school girl, Hibiki, who falls in love with one of her teachers. The two start dating, but run into a lot of trouble. Hibiki’s friends cover for her, and part of the story is also about them.
I found ‘Sensei’ while looking up for mangas that have similar themes with Hirunaka no Ryuusei out of despair. You know, because I could not bare with HnR’s ending…But wow Sensei is a really healing shoujo for me in that aspect. It’s fun, light, and it’s gonna warm yo heart. Fun fact: Sensei made its debut in 1996! Never thought that old age mangas could make me feeling so hyped!
Sensei tells the story of Shimata’s pursuit of love for Itou – a teacher in her highschool. Shimata developes feelings for this man because he is very gentle towards people but with a low-key manner. Itou seems isolated in his world and has this hard-to-approach vibe. For certain reasons in the past, he also rejects to welcome any women into his life.
First thing, some of you might be put off by the art style of the manga. Comparing to current shoujo drawing styles, Sensei does give off this old-ish vibe. But I easily get used to it and actually find Kawahara Kazune’s drawing really smooth and delicate. Besides the drawing styles, Sensei is different in other aspects too. It is not really fast-paced – dramas does not just come rushing one after another. Maybe that’s why the manga seems more aligned with reality and thus easier to connect with readers. Shimata has to go through dilemmas and constant rethinkings in regard of her feelings for Itou. It’s when you know you really like someone who you should not develop affection for. The manga goes with a natural pace of how things appear and how each of the characters deal with their own emotional crisis. Making the timeline a bit slower allows readers to look more into Shimata and Itou’s perspectives, too!
In Sensei, people make mistakes and reconcile, like typical mistakeful humans ( yes I think I just made up a word). Shimata is courageous and mentally strong. I admire her for confessing straightforwardly to Itou when she realize it’s not just a fleeting crush. But the pressure of handling such a difficult relationship does have some weight on her. Shimata through time has matured into a fine young adult who knew to think for others and did so considerately. The troubles and problems she has to deal with while being with Itou help her realize many things about herself. Itou on the other hand also learns from Shibata to treasure life and what he has been neglecting, missing the whole time. They kind of complete each other, of course through together overcoming various obstacles. And the fact that they actually overcome them all say a lot about their mutual trust for each other.
The side characters make up a nice touch to Shimata as a character. They somehow manages to convey other aspects of the controversial teacher-student relationship, hinting at other possible endings for such relationships. Sensei is concentrated and well-invested in its theme that way. Finishing the manga gives me a sense of completeness in emotions, which is a good thing (not a lot of mangas managed to do this to me)
Reading Sensei! is definitely a different experience than when I read Hirunaka no Ryuusei. Although they both makes my heart throb while following the main girl’s pursuit of love, they approach it differently. If you want to a well-written and well-drawn manga about student-teacher relationship then I would definitely recommend Sensei! There are a lot of chapters for a not so well known manga, but Sensei is the type of shoujo that you get so absorbed you have to continue reading it even in the midnight of the night. Give it a try, really ❤