#1 Involuntary age gap romance
Arihiko Tairaku is a young teacher who works at a notorious local high school. One night, while on a “date” with his senpai Yayoi, Tairaku tries to impress her by taking a young girl’s cigarettes away. He could not have anticipated that this move would end with him fondling and kissing a teenage girl in the back of a taxi.
This girl is Aya Shirakaba and she is a determined little lass. She transfers to Tairaku’s school and begins showing up in his apartment complex. When Tairaku decides to complain to her parents, things only get worse. Turns out that the Shirakaba family are the heads of the local yakuza.
Not only is Daddy aware that his daughter is in love with her teacher, he encourages it. Instead of a solution, Tairaku is handed a gun and told that if anything happens to Aya, or if he rejects her, then he is fucking dead. But make her happy and he’ll be a millionaire. Oh yea, he also can’t mention any of this arrangement to anybody. For safety reasons and all that.
That’s all easier said than done. Tairaku’s school is a hotbed of delinquency and violence. In fact, a lot of the alumni are now working for this very same yakuza. Many of the students are immediately eager to get their hands on this cute new transfer students, most of them for dubious purposes. At the same time, it turns out that Tairaku may have had a chance with Yayoi all along. She wasn’t disinterested, she was just playing hard-to-get. Except now Tairaku has become weirdly suspicious to her, as he keeps having to invent new excuses for why a teacher is constantly hanging out with a teenage girl during and after school.
It’s a deep hole that Tairaku dug for himself. And boy is it fun to watch him trying to claw his way back out of it.
#2 90s aesthetics
The 90s hold a special place in my heart, especially when it comes to animation. After all, that’s when I started watching anime myself. I am especially fond of the character design of this era, which Very Private Lesson offers in spades.
Aya is an obvious example. Her design has a bit of a Sailor Jupiter feel to it, with some softer touches. Particularly when it comes to her expressions. Her design is a neat improvement over the manga’s original look, with the purple hair suiting her especially well. Other characters look pretty dang good too, with the occasional stand-out design here and there.
Outside of character design, Very Private Lesson shines in the animation. The environments look nice & detailed and the directing is solid overall. All in all, it’s a good-looking OVA that taps into some very potent nostalgia.
#3 Lighthearted comedy
Supplementing that 90s visual style, we got a healthy dose of oldschool fanservice and slapstick. As Aya and Tairaku begin living together, with Yayoi keeping an eye on them, incidents become plentiful. Especially incidents that target poor Tairaku.
The tone of the comedy is very lighthearted. Tairaku constantly gets hurt either by Aya or as a consequence of her carefree actions. He gets repeatedly beaten up, is hit by cars, and endures every other abuse imaginable. Tairaku is not prepared or capable of withstanding any of this, on account of being a sniveling coward. Though he does tend to find some inner bravery whenever he gets his hands on alcohol.
He also has to cope with Aya’s free-spirited nature. Her flirting frequently causes him to panic and the occasional lewd incidents test his resolve. There is no on-screen nudity though, which again keeps Very Private Lesson feeling lighthearted. It teases, but doesn’t show.
This tone does create a strange contrast with the writing. While never going too far, the plot does talk bluntly about rape and puts its female characters in precarious situations. If that’s something you’re sensitive too, then do consider skipping this series.
More like this…
Stop!! Hibari-kun!: One-sided romance between a yakuza’s daughter and the protagonist.
Gal Gohan: Age gap romance between a high school girl and her unwilling teacher.
GTO: Protagonist becomes a teacher at a school rife with delinquents.