Kamishiro Maiku was orphaned at a young age (this sounds a bit too familiar...), and the only thing remaining from his past is a photo of him as a child. In the photo, he is playing with another girl in a wading pool with the backdrop of a big house. Now in his first year of high school, Maiku left the orphanage he was in, took up a job as a programmer, and rented this house in the hope of reclaiming something of his memories.
One day, two girls show up at his doorstep, each bearing the same photo and insisting that they could be his relatives. What's a guy going to do in this situation? Who is the relative and who is the stranger? Or did the photo shop make an honest mistake and print an extra copy?
All you guys out there, stick our your arms and give the writers a hug!
Like showers of rain on the barren desert of male lead roles, we are blessed with a character who *doesn't* fall into the harem loser stereotype. Put Maiku in a ring with, say, Keitarou from Love Hina and you'll see that he has a lot going for him - he's got a paying job as a programmer (left hook!), he's responsible (right cross!) and so in control of his hormones that he'd make a nun look weird (K.O!). But before I elaborate on that, I'd better calm down and talk about the story first ...
Naturally, this is the sequel to Please Teacher!, and takes place roughly three years after the events in that series. It also takes place in the same location as the first (i.e. the town and school) and so there are characters carried over from the first season. However, the focus is now on three new characters - Kamishiro Maiku, Miyafuji Miina, and Onodera Karen, as they try to unravel the mystery of their "relationship" with eagerness, determination, and lots and lots of Pocky sticks.
The two girls are about as far apart personality-wise as both ends of a shotgun. Miina is carefree, spirited and bursting with emotion while Karen is shy, weak and extremely polite. They end up staying in the house with Maiku, and this is where most of the drama takes place. Maiku's character, however, shocked me to no end. Besides being able to hold a steady part-time job (programming, at that!), he has a genuine sense of responsibility for what happens - whether it's some trouble caused by the girls or just managing his life. Most importantly, he is *not* a pervert. In fact, he tries his best to remain calm at all times (even in the face of girls in swimsuits) and was so good at it that at one point the two girls suspect that he is not interested in women at all. This is compounded by the fact that his best friend Shimazaki is a carbon copy of KareKano's Asaba - totally bishounen, cool, and acts like Maiku is his one true love. Talk about male bonding...
Fans of Please Teacher! would be pleased to notice that some characters have been brought over to Twins as secondary characters : the devious Ichigo is now the student body president, and has turned her attention from her friends to spying on the other students (namely our lucky trio); the gentle (well, sort of) Mizuho-sensei also appears regularly with her ... husband; and one or two others also make appearances in the show. Even Karen's love for Pocky sticks (called 'Prech' to avoid legal you-know-what -- it's a riff on Prettz) has become a characteristic of these two series.
As the plot goes on, we see how the two girls begin to develop feelings for Maiku, but are halted by the possibility that one of them could be his relative. This starts off pretty one-sided at the beginning, and is mainly due to Miina's strong personality. She's quite dominating, and tends to drag Karen along with whatever they do (usually some big plan to hoard Maiku for themselves). While it's obvious that a love triangle would develop, I felt that it came too fast and too forcefully. The conclusion to this relationship remains to be seen, though.
If you're expecting art and animation on par with Please Teacher!, you won't be disappointed. The scenery is beautiful and while much of it is the same as in Please Teacher!, it's not recycled footage - it just gives you a sense of familiarity if you're a fan of the original series. The characters are also really detailed and well-designed. And as if to cap the transition to Twins, the intro theme is done in the same style and sounds remarkably similar to Teacher's.
I first watched Twins without having seen Teacher, but later got a hold of it so I could compare the two. Thus, I can safely say that this title is suitable for both fans of Please Teacher! and those who haven't seen it. While I do have my reservations about the progression of the story, I can bet my Pocky sticks that it's a sequel worthy of the Please! tag and would definitely be a DVD release worth looking out for.
Solid characterization and a good plot make this an enjoyable title for fans of this genre. Subtract a star if you don't like awkward love triangles or high school dramas. — Enoch Lau
Recommended Audience: Teens and above. The two girls bathe together a lot and while there's steam or water ripples to cover some parts, you can still ... extrapolate. There's also some fanservice, some ecchi-ness on the part of the girls (I'm serious!) and some implied homosexual innuendo from Shimazaki. No slapstick violence, though.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Partial (9/13)
Please Twins! © 2003 Please! / Bandai Visual
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