A Cross Dressing Teacher?! Hibiki Amawa needs a job! If he wants to avoid being shot by his landlady, Hibiki has to get a job teaching at the local high school. Unfortunately, this high school only accepts female teachers... more »... From the creators of Hand Maid May, comes a new dramatic comedy of a man's goal to fulfill his desire to teach in conflict with a school's strict traditions and his own male image.« less
"I admit, the entire reason that I watched the first episode of this series was because of the name. I wanted to make sense of this seemingly meaningless combination of English words. After watching all 13 episodes, it doesn't make the slightest bit more sense to me than it did before. ^_^;The story is basically "Tootsie" meets "In & Out," if you're a fan of 5-second summaries. The basic premise of the show is that Hibiki Amawa is a 23-year-old college graduate with a degree in athletics who desperately wants to be a gym teacher. He has just moved into a new apartment with his dog, only to be immediately assaulted by his new landlady and told to pay his rent or get packing. He has no money, so he assures Oba-chan ("Auntie," his nickname for the landlady) that he is on his way to apply for a job at the junior high school in the town.. the catch, however (and there's always a catch) is that the principal/vice-principal of the school are essentially insane man-haters, and they will only hire female teachers (and are even working to rid of the school of male students), because they feel that men disrupt their teaching philosophy of gentleness and a loving non-competitive atmosphere.When Hibiki is rejected because of his gender, Oba-chan tells him that because she can't stand the school's principal, she will help him get revenge. Using both makeup and a clever choker that can disguise his voice, she manages to turn Hibiki into a rather attractive woman who sets out to apply for the job once more.The principals decide to test "her" ability by picking out the clumsiest student in the school, a 2nd year student named Fuuko, and telling Hibiki that if she can get the girl to run without tripping - and especially WITHOUT losing her temper - then she will have proven that she is not too 'manly' and impatient, thus filling the school's philosophy of "Love itself" and winning herself the job.Fuuko, however, besides being clumsy, has another strike against her: the girls' gym uniforms are ankle-length pleated skirts (to keep the boys from feeling any attraction to them ^_^;), which prevent her from stretching her legs and get twisted as she moves. Hibiki, determined to win, finally manages to get Fuuko to win - by tying her skirt around her waist and thus freeing her legs to run (shocking the administration). Hibiki gets the job, but Fuuko seems a little starry-eyed around her new teacher..The series progresses through suspicion about Hibiki's true nature from the vice-principal to blossoming romances among Hibiki's homeroom students to learning to accept everyone for who they are. This last bit really surprised me; I wasn't expecting much out this aspect, but the ending of the series really takes a turn for the dramatic and addresses the issues head-on, very reminiscent of the movie 'In & Out' with Kevin Kline (about a gay teacher).The teacher-student relationship dynamics also make me a little twitchy, but "at least it's not quite as bad as Cardcaptor Sakura" (where it's a FOURTH grader) is a good motto. ^_^;;;;Overall, it's a great show that deserves to be watched, with good artwork, cute characters, and an unusual story."
One of the funniest Anime ever!
Michael Valdivielso | Alexandria, VA | 07/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am totally serious. I would have to say that each of the four episodes got more laughs from me per minute than either Ranma 1/2 or even Tenchi Muyo! Not that those anime series are not funny, but this series focuses on a male gym teacher who, in order to work in a school which allows only FEMALE teachers, has to cross-dress! The problems he gets into, the conflicts among the students he has to solve and, sometimes, the gender issues he has to deal with, make this DVD nothing but a minefield of laughs and giggles. He even has to deal with the traditions of the school, which, for example, demand that females wear long skirts while in gym class. And don't forget his own male ego!
The extras, such as the art gallery and the student roll call of the males just adds to the great humor. The art work, the lack of magic or silly science, and the perfect voice selection for the characters makes sure that you have no distractions from the story itself.
100 minutes of enjoyment. While rated 13 and up, I can picture younger kids watching it as long as you trusted them to be mature enough to handle it. Sometimes there are serious scenes, dealing with relationships between males and females, as well as between friends, and of course between teacher and students. But these are topics that young people will have to deal with in real life anyway, so why try to shield them? Also, Hibiki Amawa, the teacher, learns a little about himself during this adventure.
Great cross-dressing high school comedy/drama
peter krug | portland, OR United States | 02/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, what can I say about this one that hasn't been said already? Those of you who've read the other reviews by now know the basic plot. So I'll just make the following notes:After watching the entire series, I can safely say that it has nothing to do with strawberries or eggs. I can only assume that it must be some kind of double-meaning that you'd have to speak Japanese to understand. The English dub of this show is one of the best I've ever seen. (Crispen Freeman, who was the voice of Zelgadis in SLAYERS, plays the male Hibiki.) Unless you're one of those fanatical dub-hating purists, you'll like it.The producers of this show seem to want to convince us that Fuko, the clumsy freshman who starts to fall for Hibiki even though she thinks her teacher is a woman, is the protagonist, yet the story seems to center around Hibiki.In most Pioneer videos, during the end credits they tend to show a list of the English voice actors without showing who did which character. I'm happy to say that is not the case here-in the end credits of IMMSE you're shown the specific English and Japanese voice actor for each character. (Let's hope Pioneer continues to do this in future shows they pick up.)The stand out extra feature on each DVD is a "class roll call" that is an introduction to one group of characters. Now, the
"meet-the-characters" extra on most anime DVDs never really exite me at all, as they tend to be a brief summery shown in text for that character, accompanied by a breif video clip of that character from one of the episodes. (Yawn.) However, the character introductions here are well worth watching. The characters being introducted narrate as you meet them (you can watch and listen to the introduction as presented by ether the English or the Japanese voice actors,) and is some funny stuff in there to keep it interesting. In the roll call on the first DVD, we meet the male students in Hibiki's class. In the second DVD, we meet the female students. In part 3, we learn about the residents living at Hibiki's apartment building. Finally, in the last volume, we meet the principal and vice-principal. One rather strange thing is that, during the vice-principal's introduction, we learn a fact about her that never actually is brought up in the main show itself. I don't know, maybe they felt they had to give a little more depth and sympathy to an otherwise black-and-white antagonist. Anyway, that's my review and I hope you enjoy it as much as me!"
Warm melodramatic comedy breaks stereotypes in each episode
Startide Rising | Seattle, WA USA | 08/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"IMMSE is a 13 episode series with Vol. 1 officially released on August 13 (unless you bought a fansub). My attention was first grabbed by the very odd title, but after watching the first episode, I was hooked by the quality and pacing of the content. In many anime shows, as with this one, the main characters are exhorted to go beyond their self-limitations. In IMMSE, there are no mecha, magic girls, space ships, gory fights, or large amounts of gratuitous slapstick -- just carefully scripted melodramatic moments and long character vignettes taking place over 12 episodes and concluded in episode 13.In so many things in anime (and in real life), people set limitations for themselves due to their own self-image, their own expectations of themselves, and the limitations and expectations set upon them by others. Each of these topics is carefully addressed by clever and tightly written scripts based upon the adventures of Hibiki Amawa as he interacts with the students and staff of a private junior high school. The director was careful to avoid the talking head syndrome, so even though this is a character-driven show, it keeps moving forward with events and action connecting the character vignettes. The show avoids heavy drama and uses melodrama and humour in a good balance to keep the mood positive.Okay, because the principal and vice-principal only hire female teachers (because only female teachers are capable of teaching properly), Hibiki Amawa endeavors to become a teacher. He crossdresses. Okay, this may turn off a lot of people, but this is done quite low-key and tastefully as possible. It is certainly nothing like the transgender issue in the well-known Ranma show, nor like how Ranma (and friends) behave.Hibiki proves himself as an excellent teacher who exemplifies what I feel teachers should be and what so many teachers don't seem to have in full measure (at least from what I hear from parents after PTA). The opening credits are partially customized for each episode which is something I wish more shows would do. Another plus is that many Japanese signs/images are translated by soft subtitles rather than having digital image overlays. The opening song "Dearest" is also catchy. And finally, though this disc is from Pioneer, there isn't that old tired Pioneer advertisement for their other shows in the Extras Section. A lot of care was done for the disc and you can see the final sendoff by Kuzuha if you watch past the end credits of episode 4. I will buy the other discs as well. Highly Recommended."
Ichirou Ohgami | Manila, Metro Manila Philippines | 12/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recently graduated from college, an enthusiastic and bright Amawa Hibiki aims to establish a teaching career. Unfortunately, the school he tries to apply for a job at only hires female teachers. The principal points that men can't teach here because they do not know anything about love. Daunted by the feministic principal's rejection, he swears to prove that men do know about love as women do. Listening to his story, the landlady offers him a proposal. She tells him to dress as a woman to get a teaching position. Then he reluctantly agrees. As Hibiki and the landlady perfect his womanly disguise, he returns to Seitow Sannomiya Academy academy to apply again but as a woman. The Principal gives the female Hibiki a challenge: to get a clumsy student named Kuzuha Fuuko to run 50 m dash without tripping. After several attempts and Hibiki's advice, Fuuko succeeds. That was her first 50 m dash without tripping. She was his first student ever. And Fuuko's classmates notice the female Hibiki with curiosity. Fuuko helped him get a job at Seitow Sannomiya school. Thus Hibiki's career at that school begins.
In the second episode, Fuuko starts to call the male Hibiki a "bra-man" because she saw him wearing a bra. Ironically, she was pretty scared of the male Hibiki but trusted the female Hibiki.
Hibiki has witnessed his students' self-doubts, problems and angst but counseled them to overcome their troubles and doubts. Examples:
1. Hibiki noticed that Fuuko is trying hard to finish her committee duites and no classmate could give a care about it and were too self-centered. So Hibiki decided to take action and inspired all of Fuuko's classmates to help her. Thus Fuuko was no longer the only one who wears bloomers (female gym shorts) because every girl wore bloomers.
2. Hibiki broadens the communication between the parents and students, bringing them as close-knit and loving families on "Family Day".
3. Hibiki helps the kids who were fighting with each other finally come to an understanding and encourages them to share their fears with each othe.
4. At the camp, while the vice-principal teaches the kids about the moral wrongs of male-female interaction, Hibiki butts in and opens the kids' minds and makes them realize that nothing is wrong with a male and a female together. He adds that they have nothing to be afraid when they'll be ready to reach adulthood and still interact with each other.
In the end, a 22 or 23-year old teacher Hibiki Amawa realizes he is in love with his own 14-year old student Fuuko Kuzuha who develops lesbian feeings for the female Hibiki but doesn't completely have any idea. Hibiki and Fuuko are 8 or 9 years apart. Not only they are teacher and student but also they're an adult man and an underage girl. Such a forbidden romance.
When the vice-principal doubted Hibiki's gender, she embarks on her intent to expose Hibiki. After several disastrous failures, she was able to succeed securing proof and reveal Hibiki's identity to the public. As Hibiki's gender was revealed to the public, at first Fuuko thought her feelings for Hibiki were fake. But she finally realizes she still loves Hibiki, whether it is male or female. Hibiki is the one she loves, regardless of the gender and it was no lie. Therefore, she staunchly defended Hibiki's actions by reminding everyone of Hibiki's good deeds while being a teacher and successfully rallied the students, faculty and parents to back Hibiki and oppose the school's plans of making it an all-girls school.
Fuuko runs for a desperate last time to reconcile with Hibiki but all she got was Hibiki's look at her running to reach a speeding train he is on. But Just a look at Hibiki's expression was enough to assure her that she'll meet him again someday.
The story focuses on not only teacher-student relationships but also the junior high school kids' immature attitudes towards the different roles of males and females in the society. Which was well executed with the kids' clear and broad understanding of the roles of the gender and age due to Hibiki's lectures in the end. That was a enjoyable storyline, though I didn't enjoy particular episodes. Many of the episodes, however are just decent, some are great and all of them are not terrible. Amusing actions of Mori and Toufu, the perverted residents at Hibiki-sensei's apartment as well as the landlady Ruru's actions inject a good dose of humor into storyline. Unfortunately, the guys' roles are rather cameo. However, the landlady has a major role in the story which I can appreciate.
Character development and interaction: 7/10
Mori and Toufu are hilarious and equally perverted. Ruru the Landlady is strict but spunky. Kuzuha Fuuko is clumsy and whiny but very cute. I don't really like Akira Fukae, anyway because he acts like a jerk. I felt that Fuuko's classmate, Himejima Fujio isn't to my liking. She is quite headstrong, tomboyish and kind of emotionally immature when it comes to Akira. On the other hand, her narrow-minded intolerance of men reminds me a bit of Naru. Seiko, another of Fuuko's classmates is even more wimpy than Fuuko and has a dislike of the men, But both the principal and vice-principal are even more narrow-minded and a hundred times more feministic than Fujio or Seiko. Umeda Miko, Fuuko's fourth classmate, is the most feminine of the four girls and is quite boy-crazy. Miko is my third favorite IMME character after Hibiki and Fuuko. All of the students in Hibiki's class are pretty angst-ridden and most of them have a terrible misunderstanding of the gender roles in the society. I find two horny classmates Aoki Kyosuke and Shyoichi Iwaya are not interesting enough personality-wise.
Animation is top-notch. But male Hibiki could look a bit more chiseled instead of polished. However, the character designs were neat overall. Also, I like the cute schoolgirl uniforms. This anime has little fanservice. For example you get a nice view of Fuuko-chan's panties.
Hibiki and Fuuko's relationship is the focus of the anime series. Of course, it's not only a teacher-student relationship but also one between an adult and a minor. Fuuko's very confused about her feelings. She has no idea why she likes the female Hibiki. I suspect that she sees Female Hibiki as a mother figure because "she" was very kind to her and reminds her of her late mother. Hibiki was attracted to Fuuko, but not as a woman as a man. He realized that it was the male Hibiki who fell in love with Fuuko. He felt that his hesitant attraction to his underage student was wrong but he wasn't sure it is. It was one of the most awkward romantic relationships I've seen but I can't think why it should not work at all. In fact they're a very interesting pair. "