Animation: Weak
Depth: Fair
Design: Weak
Characters: Weak
Story: Weak

Type: OVA   (2 episodes)

Vintage: 1998


» drama
» comedy


Sugar and spice and Everything Nice... That's not what Aya is made of
Verdict: Reviews @ Archen's Anime Page

Very Private Lesson

Summary: >

Oraku is a teacher at one of the roughest schools around. The only good thing about his school is his beautiful fellow teacher Satsuki. Oraku and Satsuki have gotten pretty close lately, so good things seem destined to happen when she invites him to her place after they eat dinner. On the way home the two encounter a teenage girl named Aya smoking a cigarette. Oraku decides it's his duty to scold the her. She doesn't doesn't make much of a fuss, but demands he take her home. Oraku agrees, but gets a little freaked out by her forward behavior.

The next day he finds Aya has transferred to his school. She also happens to be the daughter of a mob boss who demands she stay with him until she graduates. If anything should happen to her... well, it won't be pretty. If Satsuki finds this beautiful pupil is living in his apartment, their relationship is doomed and he'll lose his job. But if he wants to live, he has to try to make this work.

Thoughts: >

Very Private Lesson (aka Jailbait: The animation) looks like a hentai title, or at least like a sleazy anime skin flick disaster. I was surprised to find that the title had a fairly light atmosphere and isn't as bad as I expected... although it has a lot of problems.

One big problem I had was that the setup was WAY beyond believable. Aya adores Oraku, puts his hand on her chest so he can "see how a 16 year old body feels", and gives him her first kiss. And that's all on the day they meet. Then there's her father. As a rich Yakuza boss I'd be perfectly happy to send my academically gifted daughter to a slum school. Sure! But hey why stop there? "Yes Mr. 23 year old single teacher, please take my attractive voluptuous 16 year old daughter and have her stay with you in your one room apartment until she graduates." Yeah, that's believable. Oraku sees the danger of this and refuses, but then the guy offers him 10 million yen and even I would have to pause at that one. Eventually he's just forced at gunpoint. Aya herself doesn't make much sense either, but that's probably the only way this title could have worked, so while she's not believable, her teasing personality is cute at times.

Her interactions with Oraku are about the only saving grace of the title - which is good since that's mostly what it deals with. Oraku seems to freak out every 30 seconds, but often it's because Aya does something that warrants it. He grated on me after a while. I kept thinking "jeez dude, be a man!". Not in the "he should jump Aya's bones" kind of way (although he might as well since it's doubtful he'll live long enough to go to jail at the rate he's going) but because he's just so spineless. The only way Oraku can work up his courage to save Aya, who always ends up in bad situations; is to down a bottle of booze and come to her rescue wasted. Honestly that's amusing enough that I just couldn't hate the guy.

I didn't exactly love Very Private Lesson, but I didn't hate it either. From outward appearances both by the concept and they way it was marketed, I expected it to be sleazy and lecherous, but instead found it surprisingly cheerful and upbeat - especially considering all the drama with high school delinquents. The characters are a big help keeping the light atmosphere. Aya isn't pure, but she's not a tramp either, and Oraku actually has morals. A quirky love triangle forms where Oraku and fellow teacher Satsuki are very interested each other, but Aya intentionally gets in the way. Satsuki their relatinoship as Oraku being a good teacher, and is slightly jealous of his dedication to his students. And she's not suspicious of anything else going on there. *cough*

The execution isn't good enough, and it's dull in places. It also gets repetitive with the same formula. Aya ends up in situations where she's destined to be assaulted and Oraku has to save her. With only two episodes, it doesn't to get repetitive, but only because it never got that far. That's another problem. This is only two OVAs and it drops everything in the middle. It had potential and sad to say I thought the concept was interesting, but this is a title that's probably better to skip.

Very Private Lesson goes by a few other titles. The Japanese title is "Kyokasho ni Nai!" (not in the textbook). There is also a live action TV series in Korea called "I am Sam".

Quote: >

Oraku: I hope you'll begin the journey to being a better person.

Ken: I don't need a lecture from a guy with panties on his head.

Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2010