Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins

Genre: Harem drama / Romance
Length: 13 episodes each
Rating: 15 for nudity and sexual references
Score: Good

Onegai Teacher: Mizuho is Kei’s new teacher. But when he finds out that she’s an alien, there’s only one solution: they must get married but keep it a secret.
Onegai Twins: Three orphans arrive at the same house looking for their past: Mike, Karen and Mina. Which, if either, of the two girls is Mike’s sister?

These two series both have outrageous premises, straight from the silly love comedies of 90s anime; but they both play it entirely straight, aiming for emotional impact instead, and are oddly successful. They both skirt on taboo questions – teacher-student relationships in the first, and incest in the second.

Onegai Teacher opens with a fast and frantic episode in which the premise gets continually wierder, culminating in a random wedding of convenience. But from then on, rather than the romantic comedy we’ve been led to expect, the series is an exploration of the ups and downs of a marriage; in fact, it transplants into the modern era the situation of an arranged marriage. It’s also slow and moody, which may not be to everybody’s taste.

Onegai Twins is set in the same school two years later, and a number of characters recur in the background, but the focus is on the three new characters. Again the premise sounds like a typical harem comedy with plenty of loli, but it’s actually about people who’ve always been alone learning to trust each other. And it’s also slow and moody.

Fanservice levels are high and unpredictable. For example, the two girls in Twins have many plotful and important conversations in the bath. At least in Teacher, sex and the complications associated with it play a real part in the story. The last episode of each series is a straight-to-DVD extra that has the levels cranked up a little.

The setting is quite close to where Mr Teatime is stationed. I discovered, watching them again after all this time, that they actually have a decent dub, particularly Twins.