Teaching is Hell
Mitsudomoe made me awfully uncomfortable. Painfully uncomfortable. Torturous even.
And it had nothing to do with the fact that it’s yet another me-too anime about little kids doing cute shit.
Nope. It has everything to do about teaching a class of little kids doing cute shit.
A few year back I had delusions about being a teacher. I went through the motions of getting certified and was excited to get my chance to student teach. I was going for certification in high school, but some quirk in the system makes it where “high school certification” in Texas means you can teach any grade from 8th up to 12th. 9th through 12th is high school here, meaning that 8th grade is middle school/junior high/whatever it is the rest of y’all call it. I wanted to ensure that I’d student teach in school district that I live in, which just happens to be one of the richest (and therefore more sought after) districts here in San Antonio, so I did something really stupid to help ensure not having to drive halfway across town to teach:
On my application I said I was willing to student teach an 8th grade class.
That was the single worst decision I ever made in my life, and it all but sealed the deal for me not seeking a teaching job after I got certified.
That opening scene in Mitsudomoe, where that bombastic screeching song that opened Battle Royale plays while kids beat the crap out of one another during a game of Extreme Duck Duck Goose, reminded me far too much of one of my classes. I taught reading, and my last class of the day was “regular” level reading. This was the class for the supposedly regular kids. I had two classes earlier in the day with the “pre-AP” kids and two classes that were a mix of “regular” kids and kids with learning problems. But this class was meant to be one filled with only typical kids. The catch is that they decided it’d be a good idea to put all of the jocks into one class and hand them over to me right before they went to their respective sports during the final period of the day.
I essentially had a class of 30 kids who didn’t want to be there and only had running and yelling and hitting stuff on their mind. While it never devolved to street fighting and blood and guts, it came pretty damn close. And while I’m not a spineless wimp like the main dude in Mitsudomoe, I’m also not the most authoritative person in the world. Call it a combination of a hatred for authority (I loathe imposing my will on others since I hate it when others do it to me.), a slacker mentality, and an inability to project over the voices of 30 hormone-crazed 8th graders (I nearly flunked Drama in college because of my inability to project my voice properly. I just can’t talk that loud no matter how hard I try.).
So, yeah, seeing the main dude in Mitsudomoe have to deal with a Class from Hell hit pretty close to home. Fortunately I never had little kids trying to Dragon Punch me in the crotch in order to jump-start my love life or anything that ridiculous. That’s doubly good, due to the fact that the only single girl close to my age that worked at the school was an uberbitch (In all the wrong ways.), and I’m quite happy the kids never got it in their heads that we’d make a good couple.
As for the actual episode, it was alright. I’ll give it this: It’s a far more “realistic” portrayal of what real kids do than your usual slice of life nonsense. Kids are mean, cruel, nasty, foul-mouthed, hormone-crazed, vicious, horrible little things. All they care about is themselves. That’s the universal truth behind kids that are middle school aged. They should be locked up in some isolated wasteland to fend for themselves for a few years, kinda like what they did to young little punks in Logan’s Run. Let them run wild until they realize you can’t be a 13-year-old horny Tasmanian Devil all of your life.
Mitsudomoe captures that ugliness of youth perfectly. Calling shit dirty names (Only a kid that age would find naming an animal “nipples” genuinely funny.), obsessing about the basest of base things, and generally thinking that the world revolves around your petty little dreams– that’s the middle schooler for you.
The only real problem I have with the series is THOSE FUCKING BEAVER TEETH EVERYONE HAS. Am I the only person that finds those teeth absolutely appalling? I just want to reach into the screen and punch ever single Chipmunk-faced horror until their front teeth pop out. Gah! They grate on me like something fierce, especially because they remind me of that fucking Buc-ee’s beaver that I see every five miles when I’m driving between San Antonio and Houston. It’s like that beaver spawned with an anime loli and their progeny populate the Mitsudomoe universe. It’s fucking scary and it makes me want to hit things.