Now, I like a goofy show as much as the next person, but it bothers me when they break in into a ‘half-and-half’, so the first grouping of episodes are an exhilarating ride and when the ‘serious’ ones make their appearance, it gets somber and introspective, losing some of the charm that got you here in the first place. Such is the case with “Ultimate Otaku Teacher” (“Denpa Kyōshi” or “Electromagnetic-wave Teacher”, subtitled “He Is an Ultimate Teacher”). We have Jun’ichirō Kagami, 24, who is a genuine genius. He published a paper at 17, talking about a teleportation device. Despite that majestic early splash, he would rather spend his time playing video games and being a real NEET (but not necessarily a hihikimori). His sister, Suzune, feels that his talents are being wasted on his anime blog (What?!!? Wasting time with an anime blog? Is she nuts?) and he needs to get a job. No, let me rephrase that. GET A JOB OR I’LL BEAT YOUR BRAIN IN! (She is batting .545 with an on-base plus average nearing 1.000).
So, he reluctantly applies for a job at Higashi Shinmei High School, but he is as lackluster and sluggish as his students. Now, he talks quite often about YD, that which you Yearn to Do and how you should follow that goal. In one sense, he is like GTO (“Great Teacher Onizuka” and if you haven’t seen that one, you should), but not as brutal in his approach in getting these people motivated. We see how his otaku nature assists him well in being a good teacher. But we get to the second half and things get mature, when he is courted by a top grade lab to help with their experiments to actually make his ‘Anywhere Door’.
The first portion is where all the grace and appeal lies with this series. He is bad at names, so he calls adults and students by nicknames that reflect an aspect of their personality. Just as that is irregular, so are his teaching methods, which not only get the students fired up, but compels them towards this YD factor and challenges them to success. Even efforts to discredit him fail and he becomes a beloved teacher (please note the two cooing schoolgirls in the background.).
In the second half, we meet Tim Bernards Lynn, and that happens to be a woman. She works at CERM and has been trying for years to disprove the ‘Anywhere Door’ theory, even though she was told by him that it could not be built until the 22nd Century. As long as we stick with the stories about him and his students, the tales work well, despite how bizarre they manage to turn (the ‘Street Girl’ three-episode arc is a stunning example of this). It’s just the whole thing regarding the ‘Anywhere Door’ tales, as few in number as they are, fall apart as Jun’ichirō isn’t really allowed to be Jun’ichirō and the series-ending crises could be seen happening from a mile off.
But I did enjoy the series. It is a breeze to watch, especially when it appears Jun’ichirō has painted himself into a corner, only to break through with some divergent thinking and come up smelling like roses. I feel sorry for Suzune, who has to move heaven and earth for Jun’ichirō to do anything, but she is not grasping the “YD” concept. Look, he’ll do anything for a LE Figurine or an ultra-rare playing card, so she should go that way, rather than using the Mizuno bat as ‘motivation’. I do want to comment about the alternate title. In Japan, they use ‘electromagnetic-wave’ the same way we would use ‘aluminum hat’ to describe someone who is a little on the strange side. In any case, enroll for these sessions.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (It works for what it needs)
Plot 7 (Bogged down by the ‘mature’ tales)
Pacing 8 (Brisk and breezy)
Effectiveness 7 (A little too fantastic)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 7 (It needed to choose between silly and serious, but didn’t)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I do what I yearn to do.