Review: Sensei no Shirou Uso, by Akane Torikai

Four and a half stars. The title translates to “Sensei’s Pious Lie.” I’m reviewing the entire series.

What’s the deal with women? You nod along like you’re listening while they talk or complain or whatever, and then they either let you fuck them, or they don’t.

Our protagonist, a high school teacher in her mid-twenties, was a solitary introvert even before she was raped by her only friend’s fiancé. It happened a few years ago, but the man has kept the protagonist in bondage by blackmailing her, both by threatening to break her friendship with his fiancée, and to divulge some private photos he took of her. In the beginning she kept quiet because she didn’t want to hurt her friend, but over time, as she retreated further into herself, she grew to believe that she deserved it, that she was responsible for turning him on. After all, doesn’t she masturbate regularly to memories of herself being dominated by this rapist who calls her at random hours for a bit more degradation?

The protagonist feels dirty, broken, and undeserving of happiness. Those around her consider her a calm and cool-headed young woman, but in reality she’s coasting through life in the throes of anhedonia, going through the motions with no chance of improving.

We meet the other protagonist of this tale: a seventeen-year-old student of our main protagonist. He’s withdrawn, more interested in gardening than people, and generally considered a non-entity by his female classmates. One morning in class, some local bitch annoys him, which somehow leads to him bending over to pick up something and getting a close-up view of this bitch’s panty-covered privates. As the girl berates him for being a pervert, he assures her, despondent, that there’s no way he could ever get turned on by that pussy. Cue the rumors of him being gay. However, the truth slowly comes out: he’s been seen frequenting the company of an older woman. They were even seen leaving a love hotel together.

The school won’t tolerate students getting it on with adults, merely because it may tarnish the school’s image. Our main protagonist, the kid’s homeroom teacher, is tasked to make him assure that he hasn’t been sexually involved with an adult, regardless of whether or not it’s true. However, he admits it casually. When the teacher, who doesn’t want to be involved in such matters nor talk about them, prompts him for what actually happened, he opens up: the older woman was his boss at a part-time job, and he had felt pressured into having sex with her. Ever since, he’s been afraid of vaginas.

The teacher breaks down. She refuses to accept that this kid could have been raped, because she considers that as a man, he’s always able to overpower the woman and leave. She tells him that she knows what he’s looking for: he wants to be forgiven for being a man, for the knowledge that throughout his life he will defile women over and over again, destroying beauty and innocence in the process.

The teacher bursts into silent tears. As she composes herself, having blurted out a fraction of what she meant for someone else, the kid finds himself stunned. He has connected with this woman’s suffering like he hadn’t with any other human being. However, he believes that there must be a way for both of them to get back to living.

What follows is an emotionally complex tale about men and women and the way they hurt each other willingly or unwillingly. So complex, in fact, that about half of the emotional nuances might have gone over my head, but then again I’m one of the most emotionally oblivious fuckers around. Maybe you’d have better luck with it.

I loved this series. At about three-fifths of the way through, the quality decreased a bit; some scenes meant to hit hard fell flat, often due to the choices in the composition of the scenes. I was tempted to rate it three and a half stars then, but the ending floored me with how the author tied up various character arcs, along with the compelling conclusions we got out of this troublesome mess.

One of my biggest surprises in a while.

Cheating alone would usually be enough to make someone hate their partner. And what you did was worse. Anyone else would find it completely unforgivable. You hate women so much that you can’t help but explode into violence. But to me, and only me, you were always gentle and caring. And I think I found the value of my own life in the fact that I was the only one who could handle a pathetic man like you, who could staunch the endless flow of bile.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s