ふしぎ工房症候群 朗読CD EPISODE.12「ありがとう」
Company: Cosmic Ray
Based on: Original
Official Site: http://www.cosmicray.co.jp/fks/
ふしぎ工房症候群 (fushigi koubou shoukougun) translates into something like 'mysterious workshop syndrome'. The mysterious workshop in the title is what binds all of the stories in this series together. The shop can only be found by someone who is lost and really needs it, and is run by an old man, who sells 'happiness'
Each story is told by a (high profile) voice actor who both tells the story and acts out certain characters. The story is told from the perspective of the main character, and mostly centres on that person his thoughts. In each story the main character is going through a troubled period or trauma, and the mysterious workshop becomes a turning point in their lives.
The twelfth and final story in the first series is told by Takahashi Hiroki and is about a teacher. Our protagonist is a young teacher. Ever since he was a kid he knew that he wanted to become a teacher, even though he knew there were hard times too, as evidenced about a few stories from his own school days.
When he finally becomes a teacher he finds is harder than he expected, but is full of energy and gives it his all. He makes mistakes but learns from them. And through it all he starts to get used to the job. Then after a few years he is made a home room teacher for a new class, which is a whole new challenge.
Unfortunately for him, there are a number of delinquent students in his class. And while there are only a few of them, they influence the rest of the class and eventually the entire school. The result is that the rules are made sharper, and everyone who doesn't keep to them can't come to class, meaning low attendance rates, which results in a lot of students being expelled. This is the school its way of cutting away the bad influences, and our protagonist doesn't see another in way either.
Until one day he is beaten up a delinquent at night. It is only afterwards that he realizes that delinquent used to be one of his own students. He realizes that by giving those students no chance, the school leaves them no option but to turn delinquent. He despairs at his own situation, and arrives at the Fushigi Koubou, where he wishes to "quit being a teacher".
Before he does though, he resolves to try one more time. He starts paying home visits to his students, and pays more attention to them during home room. He tries to motivate and help his students in any way possible, exhausting himself. It takes a while, but eventually the students start to open op to him as well. At the day of their graduation however, one of his students isn't allowed inside the school because she has bleached her hair a little...
This is an interesting story in more then one way. While I think it is a bit idyllic in its view on the entire teacher-student motivating thing, it does have a good point, and it certainly makes for a very touching story. I found myself really rooting for the protagonist, and nearly crying at the classroom graduation scene.
It is also interesting in reference to Episode 11. While it doesn't reference them directly, I do see them as being connected. In Episode 11 the protagonist is expelled from school and first goes through a black period in his life, which sounds incredibly familiar to what is described here. Of course there themes are completely different, but secretly, I like to see them as connected.
Contrary to a lot of teacher series where the teacher is hopeless as well but somehow manages to motivate his/her delinquent students (GTO or Gokusen anyone?) this is a downright serious and touching story. It somehow makes you wish all teachers were like that.
This is the final Episode of the first series, and I think a perfect story to end with. It is full of hope, not only in the end but throughout most of the story. And for a series which is all about finding the hope and courage to move forward, I think that is a very good end. Luckily for us though, they made a continuation for this wonderful series.