Doki Doki School Hours

August 27, 2010

How would you react if your class teacher is as petite as a little girl? Would you take her lessons seriously? It would be a great challenge for the teacher rather than the students. That’s right. Ask 27 year old still-single teacher, Mika Suzuki. She may nearly be reaching 30 years old but her physique and size is that of a little girl. I wonder if she drank milk during her growing years. This doesn’t help when her personality doesn’t reflect her age. Sometimes acting like a little girl, childish and immature. I know she may look cute but is it hard to wonder why her students don’t take her seriously? I guess in her case, you could say being a teacher is tough. Very.
 
Doki Doki School Hours is another one of those high school comedy themes and those who are into such genres should have a look at this title. Also known as Sensei No Ojikan, Mika’s case may remind us of several other animes in terms of teachers who are smaller and younger than their students. Such as in the case of Rebecca of Pani Poni Dash, Yui from Hani Hani Operation Sanctuary, Negima in Mahou Sensei Negima series and Komoe in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun. Who wouldn’t love their teachers to be cute little darlings, would they? A recipe for success or disaster? Who knows?
 
So in episode 1, Okitsu High School has just finished its opening ceremony and Mika is the homeroom teacher for Class 2A. She makes a first day blunder by getting lost in the crowd of students. Blame her small size? This episode also seeks to introduce the wacky students of her class. They are Kobayashi: the money-minded and diet freak but always giving in to her temptations in the end. She’s feeling hard to stay awake right after spring break and her part time job which pays but blows it by breaking expensive plates; Suetake: the athletic one and ‘failure in everything non-sports related’ who spots a large sports bag that can literally fit Mika in (in which he does!); Nakamura: nicknamed ‘oyaji’ (old man) because he does old man habits and in turn is mistaken to be one too outside school; Seki: a good looking but vain narcissist guy who wears make-up. Also tries asking the girls out but gets rejected. Oh, did I mention he’s a frequent cross-dresser too?; Iinchou: an intelligent and obsessed fan of a pop group and its main singer Koro-chan. She became a class rep because her idol says it’s cool being one and lives her life for him!; Kudo the gay and seems to like Suetake but the latter is oblivious. He is also to nose bleed king for instance he undergoes one while helping Suetake to study when the latter mispronounces a word "dig into someone’s butt"; Tominaga: in-your-face honest girl doesn’t like the weirdo boys in her class and is a horror fan (applying it to her cooking?); Kitagawa: tall and well endowed loves little people like Mika and because of that enjoys teasing her to death and gets excited just about any reaction poor Mika does; Watabe: a good artist so much so he draws on any paper he gets and is the only member of the manga club. Back home, Mika’s sharp tongue Mom reprimands her for not acting like an adult but Mika thinks otherwise and softy Dad is okay with it. Next morning, Mika wakes up late and blames Mom for not waking her up so she shoots back at her about being an adult. Thankfully Dad offers to drive her to school as they make their morning rush.
 
It’s the physical examination in episode 2 so Kobayashi thinks dieting for today will give her desirable results. School nurse Matsumoto is taking the measurements so Kobayashi thinks of postponing it till tomorrow. No go. Kobayashi tries to hold her breath while her breast size is being measure (1 minute 21 seconds is as long she can hold). And her weight, let’s just say she’s screaming after stepping on the scales. After that she becomes depressed so Seki tries to cheer her up by saying he can only wear A-cup bras?! Mika takes her measurements too and based on Matsumoto’s conclusion, she thinks she is shrinking! That’s got to be bad, right? Then the sports festival, Mika seems to be the reserve basketball judge. However she starts panicking when the real judge falls ill so she has to replace him as she knows nothing about the sport. She regrets not heeding Dad’s words to learn basketball rules earlier on because she thinks she’s just a reserve. Thankfully Dad secretly slips a "Basketball Made Easy" scroll for her so she gets by. At the end of the match, she feels dizzy. Too strenuous for a little girl, eh? Then they go watch other sports. Seki plays volleyball and returns the ball with his ballerina moves. He’s in a tutu! WTF?! Nakamura blushes while watching Iinchou play so Kobayashi teases him but he like those bouncy stuff causing her to misinterpret boobs in actual fact what he meant was her hair. Seki reprimands Tominaga for wearing shorts instead of a skirt in her tennis match. The final match is baseball so Seki (in a cheerleading outfit) has the girls put in effort to cheer for their class. Suetake wins via homerun and in the end Class 2A becomes the champion of the sports festival. Two days later, Mika visits the infirmary due to muscle and backache pains. Not fit…
 
The students are in their summer uniforms in episode 3. Seki is dressed in a girl’s uniform! The class talks about what kind of swimsuits they can wear for the pool class. In the end, it’s the typical school swimsuits. Mika and Matsumoto relief Class 2A for pool lessons. While busty Matsumoto looks good, Mika looks like a kid. Mika is reluctant to swim till Kitagawa mentions she’s a hammer, did she dive and start doing some strokes. But she tires out so soon so much so Kitagawa thinks of giving CPR! Three days later, she has muscle cram and Mom is nursing her. Not fit… The final exam is here and some of Class 2A aren’t giving much thought about studying. Mika gets embarrassed when Iinchou seems more knowledgeable than her in English. Last minute studying didn’t help either. Like Kobayashi who is giving up while Watabe is carrying on for his manga event. Mika tries to scare them by saying if they fail, they’ll have to return for supplementary classes during summer. The exam begins and Mika notices some of her students not doing what they’re supposed to do. Watabe drawing manga on his answer sheet, Kudo staring at Suetake, Kobayashi determining which answer based on Mika’s reaction and Kitagawa writing her love for Mika in each answer space. Mika got bored and starts dozing off and dreamt her class passed with flying colours. Her drooling and squealing is creeping her students out. She marks their papers and to her horror, some failed! There goes her summer vacation. Some failed on purpose like Kitagawa (just to be with Mika) and Kudo (to be with Suetake). But the latter’s plan backfired because Suetake passed! During summer class, Mika does pool lessons for her class. Three days later, she has muscle cram and Mom is nursing her once more. Are we going to see this pattern every episode?
 
On a day off without supplementary class in episode 4, Mika lazes around the house like a bum till the air-cond breaks down and she has no choice but to follow Dad out shopping. On her way she sees her students like Kobayashi working part time at a fast food joint, Watabe depressed over his ruined manga work and Seki at a make-up store putting on some. After Mika and Dad had their fun and food at the mall, she got separated and was embarrassedly reunited with Dad like a lost child while her passing by students watch on. Mika and her students turn up for the festival (Seki in a yukata?!). Except for Nakamura who is vacationing at some warm sandy beach. They try their hand at goldfish scooping but Mika was absolutely clumsy. Mika initially didn’t want to participate in the other games but I guess her ego and child side took over and made her join in. For the shooting game, Kitagawa shoots at Mika because she’s the thing she wants. Then everyone gathers to watch the fireworks. For the record, considering this is an old school anime, the fireworks display looks so-so.
 
Summer break is over in episode 5. Some of the students are tanned like Suetake due to club activities and Kobayashi because of her part time job. The rest think Nakamura’s tan is due to his construction job but actually it was from the Southern Island vacation. Seki comes to class in a girl’s uniform. If you think that’s disgusting, wait till you see he’s also wearing a bra! Mika wants the class to hand in their homework when Kobayashi ‘hijacks’ and wants everyone to tell their summer vacation memories. All so typical based on their personalities. From Kudo’s gay fantasy to Watabe’s manga drawing. Kobayashi then feints summer heat weariness but Mika still has everyone to turn in their work. Seki feels unfair that teachers don’t have homework but Mika disagrees. Then it hit her that she has forgotten to do her homework. That is, to set test questions. Good news for the class? Mika wants her class to read but they have other books in mind like Watabe’s planned manga work and Kobayashi’s "How To Lose Weight". At the library, Mika gets engrossed reading a manga suggested by Suetake. Then Kitagawa continues to give her a book she really wanted. Mika continues reading it back home and stayed up late even if Mom warns her about being late for tomorrow’s sketching competition, which she scoffs off. True enough, she gets tired the next day and all part of Kitagawa’s infatuation to see her cute reactions. The usual antics from the gang trying to sketch scenery. Kitagawa whispers nice thoughts to Mika when she couldn’t find a good view to sketch so much so she fell asleep on her lap. She wakes up at the end of the day feeling guilty Kitagawa couldn’t complete her sketch. But she did sketch a cute and embarrassing sleeping face of Mika. Back at school, Mika laments her fate of grading endless summer break homework. That’s what being a teacher is all about, isn’t it?
 
Watabe is addressing his manga club members to have a doujin sale at the school cultural festival to recruit members in episode 6. Remember he’s the only member? So he’s addressing to an empty class. Crazy. A junior girl from 1C, Chinatsu Nakayama, watches him from afar in awe. Mika discusses with her class what to do for the school festival and as usual sick ideas based on their personalities. Finally a Snow White play is decided because the other plays are just sick twisted adapted stories-turned-fantasies of you-know-who. The crew and cast are decided via lottery. No second chance, you get what you get. Kudo gets disheartened when he gets the Snow White role but vows to do his best when Suetake is going to play the Prince. During practice between Kudo and Suetake, a group of girls are watching in excitement. Yaoi fujoshi fans! They’re going wild and screaming at the sight! Seki, who is playing the evil Queen, gets jealous when he sees Kudo quite pretty in make-up (good for the play, bad for real life comparison). During the festival, the play goes well without a hitch. I’m not sure if both guys kissed but Kudo garnered lots of female fans, in which he isn’t too happy. As for Seki, he’s still jealous. With that over, everyone goes to see how Watabe is going with his doujin sales but he is depressed that not 1 doujin work was sold and no one joined the club. Who wants to be an otaku? Nakayama nervously comes in and introduces herself, claiming to be his biggest fan and owns every doujin work Watabe does. She passes her manga work for him to check but everyone gets shock to find how horrible it is. Worse than children’s doodles! "Dou?" (How?). "Doheta!" (Terrible!). Anyway she joins the manga club. Headache for Watabe…
 
In episode 7, Watabe is extremely upset that Nakayama is a ‘manga destroyer’. She can’t do anything right with them and in the end it gets destroyed. But for the manga club’s future sake, he gives her a chance as they’ll both sell manga during the weekend. However she beats him in terms of sales because she dressed up as a cute reindeer. Christmas is around the corner. Seki and Kobayashi get jealous to see Watabe and Nakayama close together since they themselves are girlfriend/boyfriend-less. Everyone is invited to Tominaga’s house for Christmas party and the usual gift exchange and Mika eating lots of sweet cakes. She ate so much that she has stomach discomfort. But Dad and Mom has got a big cake back home and are confident Mika will finish it. Meanwhile Matsumoto bumps into and dates a handsome hunk on the streets but gets disheartened when she learns he already has a kid. New Year’s Day as Mika dresses in her kimono and visits the shrine with her students. By now, you should’ve expected to see Seki in a kimono. The place is crowded and Mika gets lost but was found and comforted by Kitagawa (part of her plan?). As for Matsumoto, she’s drowning her disappointments in sake and vows to move on. The gang prays at the shrine as Mika wishes not only to be taller but for everyone to have high spirits and a good year. Then it hit her that she’s nearly 30 years old and goes into shock mode.
 
A cold winter morning in episode 8 as Mika goes to school, she becomes klutzy and ends up in embarrassing poses in front of her students. Mika and her students make snowman and have snowball fights. Then Valentine’s Day, Kitagawa teases Mika by not handing chocolates she made for her and then dropping it on purpose only to reveal it was fake. Kudo tries to give his to Suetake but the latter thinks Kudo got it from some girl, breaking his heart. Kobayashi gives her obligation chocolates to the guys because she wants them to repay her on White Day. Tominaga gives Seki a cake but it tastes awful. Nakayama gives Watabe chocolates and though the decoration looks one kind, it tastes good. Kobayashi gives Mika chocolates in hopes that every woman in the world will become fat except her. Kitagawa feeds Mika chocolates and keeps going when she says they are good for wrinkles. Tominaga and Kobayashi ask Mika if she has chocolates to give and she answers yes. Her Dad, that is. That guy got real emotional. On White Day, Kobayashi is disappointed the guys forgot about their repayment except for Nakamura who gave her a rubbish bin. As for Seki, he dresses in a samba carnival outfit. S&M? Mika gets a car with her name as her White Day present and Dad as her chauffeur. Sometimes you have to spoil your daughter once in a while. Wait a minute. She’s spoiled most of the time…
 
Graduation day brings melancholic memories for Mika in episode 9 because she didn’t manage to enter university. Mika is depressed because she is chosen to emcee the graduation ceremony. To help overcome her nervousness, her students suggest outrageous ideas including making her practice her speech out in the cold. Next day, she got hay fever but the day after she got better but dreads the fact she still has to emcee the ceremony. Mika’s emcee goes well thanks to Dad’s secret scroll of emcee duties. Iinchou gives her class rep speech and breaks down in tears. Everyone is moved and applause her heartfelt speech. Actually, she had to miss a special exclusive broadcast of Koro-chan Live. Haha. After the ceremony, the seniors gather outside to give away their shirt buttons (a girl wanted to give Seki her skirt!), seniors lining up to have their picture taken with Mika as memories and a bunch of senior girls weeping (actually they got hay fever and was lining up to the infirmary). Iinchou dreads the falling sakura petals like as though they’re symbolizing death but in actual fact it’s her turn for sweeping duties. At the end of the day, Mika can’t hold back her tears and starts crying. This prompts her students to plan and flunk their students so they can repeat their year and be with her, much to her dismay. Can you call this a noble intention?
 
Class 2A goes on a field trip to Kyoto in episode 10 Kobayashi is made the group leader-cum-tour guide since Iinchou thinks she needs to take some responsibility for arriving late. They visit several historical sites but some places do not live up to Kobayashi’s expectations via their names so she gets disappointed. Seki tries to beat the beauty of the places (by dressing up?) but eventually succumbs to its natural attraction. Suddenly Seki and Iinchou are missing so Kobayashi plays Sherlock Holmes and concludes that they have eloped. The next scene turns into a police investigation scene with Class 2A students playing the police conducting their search for clues of the duo’s whereabouts while blur Mika gets dragged along. In the end, they find them at the cliff and it’s revealed Iinchou wanted a hologram sticker of Koro-chan. To get it, she has to fulfil a requirement and has Seki rented a kimono which he wanted to wear so much also. So it’s a win-win situation. I don’t know why but only Seki gets arrested and taken away. Mika is still blur on what’s going on (so am I). That night at the inn, the guys pay a visit to the girls’ room but the girls want to sleep. I don’t know how but Nakayama manages to run all the way to Kyoto to show Watabe her new manga. Still sucks by the way. Next morning, Kitagawa plays a prank on Mika that she overslept and this prompts Mika to note how she hates field trips.
 
The gang hates rainy days in episode 11 because it spoils their plan especially Mika who can’t do anything on her day off (as if she does anything if it isn’t raining). Class 2A gets an intern teacher for 2 weeks, Hatoko Hori, and will be supervised by Mika. They wonder what kind of person she is, especially Nakayama who fears she and Watabe may get romantically close due to some manga fantasizing of hers. They get a surprise to learn Hori is Suetake’s second cousin, much to Kudo’s horror. Now he’s got a rival. She starts her lesson but Mika fell asleep! Mind you, Hori’s lesson isn’t boring. Nakayama’s fears come true when Hori compliments Watabe’s drawing so she ‘interrogates’ her at the gym what she likes about Watabe by giving manga materials as an excuse. As she continues to teach and make friends with her students, Kitagawa seems to take a liking for Hori! Should Mika feel happy or sad? Her final day arrives and both teacher and students have good words for each other before she leaves. I don’t know why but Nakayama seeks Matsumoto’s advice on the different types of loves. Does she have the experience looks? Well, maybe.
 
Mika is happy that her class passed their tests in episode 12 and this means no summer classes. Even dumb Kobayashi gets 70% and the class average is 90%! It’s revealed Mika set her questions too easy and got scolding from the principal. To Mika’s dismay, she is forced to supervise the football, manga and cooking club for the summer break. However Iinchou cautions them of a curse she just heard called Okitsu Curse. The only known thing about it is a terrible fate will befall on the supervising teacher during the summer. How convenient. Iinchou thinks a clue relating to the curse is an unopened door since its inception. While Mika cowers in fear, her students eagerly open the door and find a very long toilet bowl (for group potty?). They see messages on the wall and think they’re clues to the curse. It includes "A major disaster will strike the small" (assuming that’s Mika), "Beware the white and black" (don’t even think of all the weird exaggerated ideas they have) and "After the terror, the small will receive a gift of abundance" (must be some reward at the end of the long road, eh?). Mika supervises the football club first and the gang notes the white and black in the form of the football. They think Mika has to kick it to alleviate the curse but before she could do so, she hurt her back and is out. Next, Mika supervises the manga club but pushy Watabe makes her do the inking and that’s when they realize the white and black are the manga pages. Mika accidentally spills ink and rips the paper to ruin his original work. Then everyone chips in to help finish the curse but draw their own versions and what they like. Watabe’s life is over. Finally the cooking class, everything goes well as they make and eat lots of delicious apple pie. They think this is the gift of abundance as they revel but Iinchou notices a white tofu covered with black soy sauce Mika made earlier. Three days later, Mika is in the infirmary experiencing muscle pains, inflammation of her tendons and gained weight. They realize the meaning of the curse. The white and black things she’s supposed to beware of are the cause of her terror and the gift she gained in abundance was her flabby belly and weight gained from eating too much apple pie. Curses!
 
Class 2A goes to the beach for the summer holidays in episode 13, including Hori and Matsumoto. The usual fun and antics like changing into swimsuits, jealousy of Kudo and Nakayama towards Hori, Watabe having the need to draw manga on his mind, Iinchou and Nakamura competing in a penalty beach volleyball game in which Iinchou won, Tominaga diving down a high cliff and Mika getting wave-sick while thinking too long upon Hori’s question of how to make a class more fun and lively (partly she ate too much before she swam). The gang retire to a 4-star luxurious hotel courtesy of Nakamura’s dad’s friends. Super long limo and excellent service! The gang play inside a large man-made hotspring and soon a hotspring boat ride caught their attention. They split into 2 groups as Mika’s group reach an underground realm of hotspring. Suddenly Nessie pops up and is going to devour Mika but a voice tells it to back down. It is the king and queen of this hotspring realm that resembles closely to Dad and Mom (WTF?!). After treating well their guests, Mika and co leave. On their way back, Mika fell into a strong current as the rest try to save her. They manage to pull her back in the boat but it went off the waterfall. Thankfully they’re saved by Nakamura’s group as he was piloting a helicopter. Hey, WTF?! How does he know how to pilot that thing? This place must be damn huge to even have this stuff and to even look like a jungle. The next day as everyone prepares to head home, Hori understands how to make a class fun and lively after watching Mika: the teacher has to get to the students’ level and have fun.
 
Kobayashi and Mika enter class early 1 morning to find a blonde kid greeting them in English in episode 14. They think they’re in America but as pointed out, he’s the new foreign transfer student, Anthony M. Chamberlain. Speaking fluent Japanese (though with an accent), he cites his reasons for love of Japanese culture. No, not Japanese literature but anime, manga, games, Akihabara, etc. An otaku! The usual jokes from his American point of view some of which are lame. Because of his otaku side, he clicks well with Watabe. When they talk about how otaku don’t have much freedom in the west and Japan as well, Tominaga brings up a topic that there was an Otaku Control Law, the entire scene changes to that of a police drama at the turn of the century whereby reading and possessing manga is prohibited and illegal. Detective Mika along with her team of Nakamura, Tominaga, Kitagawa and Kudo while the rest are part of the dark manga group.
 
The good guys bust Kobayashi and Seki doing an illegal manga transaction. But the king of black manga market Watabe isn’t happy Mika is always foiling his plans so Iinchou sends Suetake to ‘assassinate’ Kudo. Yeah, blood all over the floor because of his nose bleeds. He’s so infatuated with him. Mika remains steadfast and continues nabbing those who break the law. One night they surround Watabe’s hideout but found no manga and couldn’t arrest him. All they arrested was bungling Nakayama who came in to show Watabe her newly drawn manga. Dumb. They continue their investigation and see a link between Watabe and another manga kingpin, Anthony. Watabe and Anthony are conducting a secret manga trade but are busted. In order to let the duo run, Iinchou and Suetake try to show manga to the detectives as they shield their eyes (remember, reading manga is illegal – damn absurd if you look at it this way and how silly they look). Watabe and Anthony are cornered but before Mika could arrest them, Anthony requests to read Watabe’s manga for 1 last time. His laughing has Mika curious so she too takes a peek and starts laughing. When her colleagues arrive, she tries to show them but gets arrested instead. Next day, the present seems to be hooked o manga so he repeals the ban on it and everyone is free to draw and read them. I don’t know why Mika and the arrested ones are still in jail but they have to start drawing.
 
The sports festival is near in episode 15 as Iinchou assigns duties to her classmates. For the relay event, it’ll be Nakamura, Suetake, Kudo and Iinchou. Anthony teaches Seki some cheerleading moves since her sister is into that. Mika doesn’t have fond memories of her sports festival days because she’s clumsy and un-athletic. More embarrassing than anything. Sports day arrive and events include 100m boy’s race (Mika got caught betting on who’s going to win by the vice principal; Seki fells down and wounded his knee but Tominaga loves the sight of his blood; Watabe running real fast and ends up continuing to run past the goal since he got a manga idea and rushes home to pen it down), 100m girl’s race (Kitagawa won by her boobs, envying Mika and Kobayashi), staff race (Mika feels embarrassed by Dad’s cheering and support. Either way, she ends up last and in embarrassing ways in all races). Class 2A wins the kibasen event and if they win the next final relay event, they’ll become champions. But Kudo sprains his ankle. Matsumoto advices him to stay in bed but his love for Suetake has him to go on. In the end, he still ends up racing but the pain got to him so they lost. Nakamura cheers up the gang saying that they’ll have another chance next year, ignoring poor Mika.
 
The setting for episode 16 has Mika and her 11 Class 2A students as siblings living in a soy sauce ramen shop run by her single Mom. One day their missing Dad returns supposedly from a worldwide journey to find the elusive pork ramen recipe and though the kids are happy, mom isn’t because he left her to raise the kids alone. Dad thinks of leaving but the kids plead for him to make the ramen. He does some magic show to make the pork ramen. Then he sees Mom and passes it to her to taste. She finds it tasty and thinks he’s finally found the taste after 16 long years! They reconcile. Mika is happy with the thought that the shop will experience an increase in business and earn lots of money so they can go on a vacation. But the next day Dad leaves a note saying he’s left for a journey to find the elusive miso ramen recipe. Though Mom is okay, Mika is disheartened her vacation dream is gone. Later Mika as the eldest sister has to put up with her ‘siblings’ like bad eating habits and bearing the brunt of doing all their chores. She throws a tantrum and doesn’t want to be a big sis anymore. After school, Suetake and Kobayashi spot Mika and Matsumoto entering a realty shop. They report this to the rest and jump to conclusion that she’s leaving home. Feeling guilty that they’ve always caused her problems, they decide to act good and stop her from leaving. Mika is surprised to see everyone doing their part and being good to her but they still hear Mika talking about the new apartment. Then they just couldn’t hold back anymore and emotionally plead her to stay. But it’s revealed Mika was just helping Matsumoto to choose a place to live. Plus, Mom says Mika can’t manage to live on her own. Everyone is relieved. But the next day, they are back to their usual habits as Mika has a hard time waking them up.
 
In a decimated wasteland overrun by evil monster marauders in episode 17, double gun wielding maid outfit Ekaterina Nagare AKA Iinchou is hired by Kitagawa to rescue human hostages being held inside dilapidated Okitsu High. Seems scaredy-cat Mika gets dragged along. As the trio trek through the rundown halls, they encounter ‘beasts’ like tentacle legs Seki (he got distracted by mirror reflections of his beauty), manga zombies Watabe and Nakayama (spilled holy water to drench their irreplaceable manga work), old man beast Nakamura (gave Mika encouragement and left? Nice guy…), Kobayashi feeding Mika with cake (but Kobayashi couldn’t resist Ekaterina’s dishes and gained weight), vampire Anthony (they ignore him so poor Anthony joins the manga pair) and vampire Kudo trying to pound on hostage Suetake. He gets taken out and the other hostages which include Dad, Mom and Matsumoto are saved. They continue trekking along the eerie corridors when an illusion sends them all unconscious. When they wake up, Ekaterina only finds Mika by her side. Cut to the next episode preview and even a short ending theme followed by the opening theme! The duo are faced with the final boss, Tominaga. The other ‘beasts’ are on Ekaterina’s side after they felt they’ve been used. Tominaga has Kitagawa and Dad hostage after tricking them to buy a CD filled with Mika videos. After a short episode title screen, Tominaga is defeated as everyone rejoices. Talk about cutting time from 30 hours to 5 seconds! But Ekaterina points her gun at Kitagawa, noting she is the culprit and source of the menacing aura. Kitagawa reveals her goal to turn everyone into Mikas! Kitagawa notes her guns are toys so a fist battle ensues. Kitagawa takes a Koro doll hostage so Ekaterina surrenders. Then she herself turns into a demon and takes Mika hostage! A long confrontation-cum-staring so in the end Ekaterina activates a bomb in her gun and destroys the entire building. She leaves with the Koro doll walking towards the sunset and Mika isn’t pleased how horrible she is as everyone else is knocked out. Who ever said she was a heroine in the first place?
 
Class 2A are divided over summer and winter uniforms in episode 18. Mika just let them be. When she walks by the stairs and smells lavender, she collapses. Next thing she knows, she’s in a vast desert plains and in a middle of a fight between magic user Tominaga against swordsman Nakamura and semi-cyborg Kitagawa. Tominaga retreats after being outnumbered. Mika follows the duo and learns she has awakened in the year 3000 and there’s an ongoing war between Winter Clothes Empire (nature and magic users) and the Summer Clothes Alliance (science and technology users). Seems the former is bent on making everyone wear winter clothes but the latter opposes due to the sweltering heat and don’t want to do laundry. The war has lasted for a thousand years and Mika thinks it stems from her class’s incident. She is taken to see the shogun of the Alliance, Matsumoto. Others on her side include Nakamura, Kitagawa, Kudo, Suetake, Anthony and Kobayashi. The rest are on the Empire’s side. Everyone here has ‘terror’ nicknames based on their personalities. Suetake the Fool? Furious Kudo? Good for laughs. That night, Mika and Matsumoto had a chat and the latter says how Mika resembles closely to a friend she knew but she has changed and her personality a total opposite. Suddenly the Empire attacks the Alliance’s base. Both sides go into battle against each other with Seki taking on Anthony, Watabe-Nakamura against Kudo-Suetake, Kitagawa versus Iinchou and Nakamura faces off with Iinchou.
 
Matsumoto calls her last resort, the Kobayashi unit. She arrives in her jet fighters-turned-mecha but due to a self blooper, she crashes. Matsumoto decides to invade the Empire’s castle and due to time restrains, lots of parts were cut and fast forwarded till the end. It seems the leader of the Empire is Mika of the future, the friend Matsumoto was talking about. Both sides clash swords so past Mika is upset that they’re fighting that she tries to stop them by suggesting a compromise. Soon, future Mika and Matsumoto along with both factions become friends as they wear clothes of 3/4 sleeves length. Yeah, a 1000 year feud ended just like that. Mika collapses once more when she smells lavender while coming down the stairs after coming out from the toilet. She wakes up back in her own time and in the infirmary. Her students are relieved that she is okay and decide to continue their winter-summer clothes debate. Mika pleads them not to so they agree to drop the subject and get along with each other. Phew. Better nip the problem in the bud. You don’t know what the future holds.
 
Class 2A are discussing their plans for the school cultural festival in episode 19. As usual, each has their own weird ideas as long it’s not a play. But Cinderella Seki isn’t happy and wants to redo the play for revenge but Snow White Kudo isn’t going to allow it. They argue that they should be the princess as forgetful Suetake becomes their source for tug of war. They’re shaming the princess role, you know. Ignoring the duo, it’s decided that their class will do an onigiri stall. They create various shapes and fillings for attraction. Meanwhile Seki and Kudo are still at it and settling it via choice game. The winner is the one who eats the correct fruit that isn’t poisoned. Unfortunately they selected poisoned ones on their turn and the round goes on and on. A tie at 62 tries each! Surprised they aren’t poisoned to death. During the festival, nobody stops by Class 2A’s stall so Tominaga notes the stiff competition since Suetake and Anthony went around buying delicious food from other classes. Business-minded Tominaga gets Mika to go round taking orders and do delivery. But every time she comes back with the customer’s long winded absurd orders, she forgets their orders. Same results even if she went back and asked again. Ever thought of writing it down?
 
Suddenly an ugly cuckoo bird lands on their stall. According to Iinchou’s encyclopaedia, this bird is an omen for bad luck and appears when a business is about to go bankrupt. Tominaga thinks of cutting and stuffing them in the onigiris but Mika doesn’t want any killing. Suddenly more cuckoos perched on their stall so much so it transforms into a dilapidated one. Iinchou forms a Cuckoo Bird Task Force to rid the menace. Anthony suggests performing exorcism but the birds violently peck at him. Iinchou unleashes her seduction tactic using Cinderella Seki and Snow White Kudo but the birds got annoyed and got them into bandages. Finally her tearful parental pleas strategy using Kobayashi, Nakamura and Suetake to act as the birds’ parents and plead them to stop fails and the trio in similar fate as their predecessors. Looking at the casualties at hand, Iinchou disbands the task force. Don’t want to get injured herself, eh? Dad returns from his African business trip to catch her festival. After learning the problem, he blows a cuckoo whistle he got during his trip to send the birds flying away. Mika is all fired up to continue with the festival but the bell rings signalling its end as the students prepare to clean up and send Mika into dismay.
 
A gloomy episode 20 that lacks its usual gags because one morning Mom informs Mika that her uncle has managed to arrange and match-make a suitor for Mika. Thing is, Mika didn’t panic or give much thought and agrees to it when Matsumoto says about the varied experience she will get by attending a marriage meeting (not to mention the fancy food in high class restaurants). After school, Kitagawa has a chat with Mika about her quitting teaching once she gets married. You can tell she’s worried because she’s not at her usual glomping. Even you can tell her other students are worried though they assert it’s her personal business and it’s her right to be happy. On a weekend, Dad takes Mika out shopping and while dinning at an expensive restaurant, Dad mentions how she has grown up a lot right before his eyes because all the while he has always looked at her as a child. Mika asks if he’s okay with that so he replies if it makes her happy, he’d love to see her get married. Of course you can tell by their body reactions that they aren’t so thrilled. The night before the meeting, Kitagawa couldn’t sleep so she went to wait outside Mika’s house in the wee hours. Not only her, but the rest of the Class 2A too. I’m impressed that they stood there till morning when Mika leaves. They wish her good luck so Mika thanks them before going on her way as sad Kitagawa sheds a tear. The new school term starts and Class 2A are now third year seniors. They wonder who their new homeroom teacher is and to their surprise it’s Mika! It seems the other party rejected her after knowing she can’t cook or do laundry. Ah well, continue to be a single. You could say the whole class is relieved as Mika-deficient Kitagawa starts teasing and glomping Mika to her heart’s content. Welcome back, Mika. Back to normal, we love you no matter how odd everyone is.
 
And so Mika and her class will continue their usual antics for at least another year. Unless they plan to fail and keep her company for another year, that is. So now do you think why it’s so hard to take Mika seriously as a teacher? That’s right. She never changes. Even in the end, she is still that cute little childish girl. With her students’ personalities I guess it make things even more ‘chaotic’. But would they have it any other way? It is through all those ‘fun’ times that they develop an unbreakable bond among each other. There isn’t much plot or storyline expected especially from this genre but it was fun when they mix several other themes and genre parodies in some of the episodes, though you can particularly guess the outcome if you know the characters’ personalities well.
 
Later due to my petty curiosity, I did a little research on why this series has 20 number of episodes instead of the usual 12-13 or 24-26 per season. It dawned to me that the first 13 episodes were originally aired in Japan and the remaining 7 episodes served as OVA episodes when you bought the DVD. However when the series got licensed in the USA, they showed all 20 of them in sequence. I guess this explains why the episode numbering of the final third of the series is obviously different than its subtitled one. Besides, due to the length of each episode which is similar to those of the TV version, it did not occur to me that they were OVA episodes. Unlike most specials or extras that come together in purchased anime DVDs these days which last only a handful of minutes and if they need to make a full length one, that would be just 1 of 2 episodes. Come to think of it, if that’s the case, Anthony only made his appearance in the OVA, right?
 
Being an old school anime produced back in year 2004, the drawing and art is of course reflective of that era. But overall the characters are drawn in a cute form (but short of being a total chibi). Because of that, I feel that some of the characters closely resemble each other. Maybe just change the hairstyle or hair colour a little and you’ve got another character. For instance when Anthony was first introduced, I thought he was Kudo dyed his hair blonde! What does this tell you about the minor background characters then? If you pay attention, that is. Okay, they’re not clones but they look so generic. On a trivial note, the scene changers in between are different depending on the theme for that particular episode. Whether they are expressions of the characters or just inanimate items. And if there are several scenes, then there would be more of them. For the first 2/3 of the series, the mid-intermission is fixed showing Mika in a group pic with her students. Then the final third of it, each mid-intermission is different as it shows the characters in random poses or/and outfits depending on the theme of that episode.
 
I find the voice roles do fit the character and their personalities perfectly. For instance, Mika is pretty convincing when she starts whining or in a pinch. She sounds like a little girl in trouble. So cute. Is it no wonder why Kitagawa is all over her? She’s a perfect role for a stalker. Then I find Watabe’s voice to be boisterous and loud especially when he blows his top when Nakayama does something not right. Even Nakayama at times sounds like she’s full of determination for her senpai. Kudo is ‘full of passion’ whenever Suetake is in topic while Anthony sure sounds funny with his Japanese accent. Iinchou’s voice do make her sound scheming at times while Nakamura’s slow and low speaking does make him live up to his nickname as an old man. And if you’re hoping for chemistry between Iinchou and Nakamura as assumed in the beginning, don’t get your hopes up. Nothing serious between them. Same case with Watabe and Nakayama. He’ll always be her senpai and nothing more.
 
The first opening theme Oshieteageru is a lively rock tune by can/goo. Sounds pretty okay to me if you consider expecting the hype and craziness of Mika and her students. The second opening theme is Juutai No Love Affair by DROPS. Somehow I find this pop piece to be weird during the verses of the solo female voice especially when she’s singing in squeaky tone. And when they go "High, high, high, high", it sounded a little shrilly as compared to the more rock version of that same line for the first opening theme. Another odd thing during the opening credits animation, I thought it was okay that the characters’ names come onscreen when they appear. But names of other things like "Spring" or "Students" during such a scene too? Yeah, I can see that myself. The first ending theme resembles more like a fitness workout song. Entitled Furare Kibun De Rock ‘n’ Roll by DROPS, it’s suitable if you intend to do some stretching exercise. Or you could just hammer the alarm clock and continue sleeping like what Mika does at the end of its ending credits animation. Takuma Wada sings the second ending theme called Ai No Chikara. It gives an impression it’s sort of a tropical carnival-like song but oddly the manly male voice seems to make it sound odd on the overall part. Or else you may not mind them as seen in this ending credits animation as Mika happily skips along.
 
So it doesn’t matter how tall or short your teacher is. As long as he/she makes class and lessons fun for everyone then that’s all that matters. Okay, maybe having too much fun would be a different story. Three years of high school seems short when you’re having so much fun. Will Mika ever grow up in terms of her physique and mind? Will Iinchou ever grow tired of Koro-chan one day? Will Kitagawa get tired of Mika one day? Just as Kudo will for Suetake? Or will he ever realize his one-sided love? Will Nakamura turn into a young man when he grows old like in the case of that Benjamin dude? Will Kobayashi get to eat her favourite food without worrying about getting fat? Will Seki really turn into a woman one day? Will Watabe ever tire of his manga and Nakayama ever get better on hers? But one thing is for sure. They sure had a swell time now.
 

Doki Doki School Hours