© Kenzi Taketomi / FUTABASHA

11th Manga Division Excellence Award

Suzuki Sensei

Story manga [Japan]



Suzuki Sensei, a young teacher at a junior-high school who is entirely distressed at problems caused by students. The work realistically portrays a person who is a typical ordinary teacher and tries to solve problems which can possibly happen anywhere even suffering distress too much.

Reason for Award

As a parent of elementary school children, my first impression on reading Suzuki Sensei was “Oh, no! Is this the reality of junior high school these days? I don’t want to send my children there.” That’s how nervous the classroom depicted in Suzuki Sensei can make the reader. There is no growth or reconciliation between the characters, who are clichés of usual TV “classroom dramas;” instead, the students are lost and the teachers are distressed, being sometimes depicted as even more feeble and ugly than their students. We don’t know how far this manga distorts reality in telling its story, but the state of the education system is an important contemporary issue and we are much in need of a drama that exposes the deeper machinations of the classroom. I feel sorry for Mr. Suzuki, but I hope that he will not find any easy conclusions and keep struggling in his fictional classroom.