“It’s disgusting. You should be ashamed. Please stop.”SPOILERS AHEAD!
This page contains a lot of information in later events or versions. You may inevitably spoil yourself.
|Type of Character
|Teacher at Kumon-Mi High
|Every Day I Grow Some More
Sensei is a teacher at Kumon-mi High, responsible for an all-girls class of students. To say that he teaches them may be an overstatement. Described by some as "creepy", by others as "hot", and by most "a terrible teacher", strong opinions on Sensei are the norm.
Sensei's memory about much of his past is hazy at best, and unfortunately his students and friends are not very interested in filling in the blanks.— Official Lessons in Love website
Due to his backstory being a central plot element of Lessons in Love and his own amnesia, very little of Sensei's past is explained and he remembers even less. The blanks are only filled in by those with connections to his past, such as Ami, Noriko, Niki, Ayane, and sometimes Maya. However, even these hints are often only indirect or heavily obfuscated through surreal imagery.
What is known, though, is that Sensei is the brother of Nozomu Arakawa and the son of a woman named Saki and an unnamed father. Growing up, he spent most of his time over at the neighboring Nakayama's house, spending his time primarily with the family's two daughters, Niki and Noriko. Due to how often he'd come over, the family viewed him as a fifth member. As time went on, Niki and Sensei began to spend more and more time alone together, eventually starting to date during their teenage years.
Around eight years before the start of the game, an unspecified accident caused Sensei to suddenly disappear, abandoning the previous life he had. He eventually moved to the Old District, becoming a tutor and teaching various girls, including Noriko and Maya. He'd eventually abandon this life as well, disappearing for a second time and landing a job as a teacher at Kumon-Mi High.
As explained by Maya in A New Beginning, there have been numerous versions of Sensei before the current incarnation and they've all eventually succumbed to Kumon-Mi's cyclical loops. While it's implied this part of his life is a fabrication, the girls all have preconceived views of a 'previous version' of Sensei. They all remember him as a serious, respectable and great teacher before First (?) Day of School. Makoto and Futaba in particular deeply respected and idolized him.
Despite being the teacher of over ten students, Sensei has very little interest in actually teaching. He spends class napping, pushes all paperwork and procedural work onto Makoto and speaks to his students casually without any regard for the expected distance between them. When off the clock, he can be found aimlessly wandering the streets of Kumon-Mi, usually in an attempt to find and speak to one of the various girls in his life. This extreme lack of direction extends itself to his relationships, often expecting nothing of his friends and wanting them to expect nothing from him, being hesitant to even refer to some of the girls as his 'friend'.
Perhaps the most defining trait of his is his near insatiable lust. He lusts after most girls he meets and spends a lot of time indulging in his fantasies. He pursues nearly all women around him and goes to great lengths to achieve said goal, frequently risking his social standing in addition to the risk of possibly hurting the girls. While the depths of his lust are somewhat dependent on player choice, he can generally be characterized as someone whose lust guides him.
He's also deeply cynical, often spiraling into nihilistic monologues in his head and sharing these thoughts with his students when prompted. He usually jumps to the worst-case scenario and often advises his students from said position. Perhaps as a result of this deep pessimism, few things are shown to be able to phase him, often taking the brunt of emotional outbursts and tense situations with little more than a slight frown. When he is feeling stressed, he's reluctant to admit this to anyone or even express this, preferring to silently brood over the fact until the feeling subsides. It's during these moments that his ego often takes a nose-dive, delving into extreme self-hatred and disgust.
Sensei isn't completely callous though and has shown rare moments of sensitivity, kindness, or sincerity. He's particularly vulnerable to large bursts of genuine emotion, such as his initial meeting with Chinami leaving him speechless and sparking a previously unknown protective instinct in him. As the game progresses, these moments of sincerity become more frequent as Sensei himself warms up to the idea of caring about people, such as during Chika's contest in the first Dorm Wars, or Noriko's contest in the second. By the time of his class' third beach trip, his concern and care for his students is strong enough to overrule his lust, but, by his admission, will never eradicate that side of him - Though he does wish it would.
Being his niece, Ami and he have a much more friendly and familial relationship than the other girls. Due to living together, they spend a majority of their time together, and he often playfully pokes fun at her, much to Ami's chagrin. The lengths of Sensei's love for Ami is dependent on player choice, but regardless from this, Sensei cares deeply about Ami and admits to himself that he does love her beyond normal courtesy. He often mentally notes how easily Ami has made his life and relies on her constant supervision to make it through the day.
Despite this, he's reluctant to rely on her emotionally or let her know about various aspects of his life, such as refusing to explain his situation with Molly. While he appreciates all Ami does for him, he often finds her excessive love for him suffocating, or even detrimental and he's not above flexing his authority over her in order to suppress it.
Ayane immediately interests Sensei, being the only girl who readily throws herself at him from the start. Sensei immediately hits it off with Ayane, being able to play off her constant flirting and advances. Sensei views Ayane as "crazy", a sentiment he continues to hold even after he's become acquainted with her passion for him and her unsettling habits. While he often has to fight off these habits, he never shows any signs of finding her annoying.
His relationship with Ayane is the first to deepen, and the two share a more intimate relationship as a result, with Ayane taking nearly every opportunity to make passes at him. This only deepens as the game goes on, with Ayane becoming one of the first people Sensei can admit he'd miss if they disappeared. Their bond is strengthened once Ayane makes it to the rooftop and she's able to break him out of his spiral of self-loathing and pessimism. From then on, the two confide in each other about the nature of Kumon-mi, with Sensei being able to relate to her due to their shared inexperience.
Sensei immediately hits it off with Chika, due largely to her comfort with his advances and her natural charisma. Throughout the game, the two have a natural chemistry that lets the two play off each other effortlessly, causing Chika to open up to him sooner than the rest of his class. She strikes Sensei as being significantly more mature than the rest of the class, a sentiment that only becomes reinforced once he becomes aware of her living arrangement.
Unlike most of Sensei's other relationships, when the two deepen their relationship, Chika expects a level of exclusivity to it, causing him a lot of stress as he attempts to manage her expectations of him and the rest of his class. Despite referring to the relationship as a burden on more than one occasion, he finds it difficult to break the truth to Chika, both out of an obvious sense of self-preservation, but also because, underneath that annoyance, he genuinely cares about her and understands he can only blame himself for her misunderstanding. Eventually, he's able to persuade Chika to tone down the public displays of affection, a compromise he's not fully satisfied with but one he accepts regardless.
Sensei is initially extremely wary around Chinami, both due to her young age and her immunodeficiency. He takes great care both to keep hygienic around her and not do anything that could potentially endanger her. As the two spend more time together, he becomes increasingly comfortable speaking to her casually, something Chinami herself appreciates as most other people baby her due to her condition. In addition, Sensei is seemingly the first to pick on Chinami's hidden intelligence, playfully referring to her as a "devil in disguise".
Oftentimes, Sensei finds himself exhausted by Chinami's antics and deliberate attempts to test his patience – Such as her numerous attempts to force him into her and Chika's family. But, by his own admission, he can't truly find her annoying and is extremely weak to her requests. While he refuses to accept the title of "future Daddy" from her, he still acts like one for her, even going as far as to pay for her phone bill when Chika struggles to do so herself.
Sensei's initially drawn to Futaba due to her maturity and her proclivity for reading, an interest he shares. Spending more time with her, he learns about her budding interest in writing and encourages her to act on it. Early on, he acts as a mentor-type figure for her, giving her advice and reviewing her progress as a writer. He also often plays as a counter to her negative self-image, not only affirming her beauty and her potential as a writer. Due to her low self-image, she's often easily embarrassed, something he likes to tease her about often. Beyond his ulterior motives, Sensei has a genuine interest in seeing Futaba improve herself. He outright denies her feelings, claiming that he’s unable to reciprocate them until she's able to be happy with herself first.
Their relationship isn't completely devoid of conflict, though, as Sensei's innate desire to insert himself into her life can cause her frustration, even to the point of blowing up at him. Futaba's optimism and Sensei's pessimism often clash as well, with their roles flipping as Futaba comforts or encourages him when his thoughts overwhelm him.
Imani is Sensei's student-teacher, taking over most of his day-to-day teaching duties following her re-assignment as Wakana's substitute. The two get along remarkably well despite the vast differences in their personalities and demeanors, playfully bantering and flirting when alone. Imani's sudden transfer comes as a surprise to him, but he greatly appreciates the strain she takes off of him. He treats her in a similar vein to Makoto, often pushing tiring or boring work onto her instead of doing it himself.
Io initially meets Sensei during his trip to the bathhouse with Ayane, but doesn't have a significant interaction until Uta formally introduces the two. Sensei often finds himself confused around Io, due in part to her contrasting views of herself and her habitual self-deprecation and hatred of almost everyone around her. He often compares her to himself, feeling the two of them are similarly hopeless about the world and the people in it. It's this similarity that later causes him to push her to change, seemingly wishing to help her avoid the same fate as him.
Io's contradictory words often create tension between the two as Sensei struggles to understand her true feelings. This isn't helped by Io's unique knowledge of both his situation with Chika and her mounting suspicions regarding Kirin. Both of these events, along with the awareness that most of his class feels similarly, cause her preexisting hatred of girls to manifest in an attempt to impress Sensei, much to his annoyance. In addition, Io's aversion to certain levels of intimacy creates an obvious obstacle the two struggle to deal with.
Sensei received a toy robot and a wardrobe from Io, both of which where personally made by her. While he keeps the robot in his room, he had to relocate the wardrobe to an unknown part of his house, because it was taking up too much space in his room.
Karin is among the first girls outside his class that Sensei associates with. While they briefly meet during an earlier visit, they become formally acquainted during a warm-up session. Karin's inexperience and discomfort around boys make her a frequent target of his teasing and her lack of knowledge about romance causes her to stumble in conversation frequently when alone with him. While being one of the more mature-looking girls in his life, Sensei is routinely impressed both by Karin's physique and emotional maturity, enjoying the contrast between her and his students. Just like with the others, Sensei provides Karin an opportunity to express or think through her insecurities, something that slowly causes Karin to grow a crush on him.
Due to not being one of his students, Sensei and Karin don't spend a lot of time together, usually only meeting up after-school. And while Karin often joins his students in their class-wide events, Kirin is usually quick to complain, either about her attendance or any perceived favoritism Sensei displays. Kirin's involvement with Sensei creates a constant obstacle in the two's relationship, especially if Sensei chooses to be honest with Karin, causing her to be even more hesitant to get closer to him. Regardless of his decision, he still attempts to get close to her, even outright asking her out.
Kirin's extreme forwardness with her intentions initially leaves Sensei intimidated – Her forthcoming and blunt speech is a striking difference from his class, even from the similarly forward Ayane. Regardless, he capitalizes on their mutual enthusiasm, and progresses his relationship with her earlier than most. This progress is expedited once she transfers into his class, and she and Noriko both come to an agreement regarding their relationship. This increased exposure to each other, however, allows Sensei to peer deeper into Kirin's true personality and intentions.
While he had always suspected her words didn't match her feelings, the few cracks in her personality become more apparent as the two further their relationship, and he becomes increasingly confused about what she truly wants. He, however, recognizes her lack of aspiration or desire for growth and tries to push her towards moving forward or changing who she is. Similarly, she provides him comfort, both physically and emotionally, in particular being the only member of his class to confront him following the second Halloween party, and push him toward fixing the situation.
Due to Sensei and Maya being, at first, the only two capable of experiencing the end of the world, the two share a more surreal and permanent bond than the other girls.
Maya and Sensei share a past that is obscured in mystery. What little is known is that Maya was one of Sensei's reoccurring students back when he tutored in the Old District and that the two hit it off almost immediately. Noriko blames Maya for being the cause of Sensei's second disappearance, though this a biased recount.
Maya immediately strikes Sensei's interest due to the suggestion that she has some clue as to what the 'true nature' of Kumon-Mi is. Despite Maya's animosity towards him, he enjoys aggravating her and repeatedly visiting her during her shrine maiden duties. While he often leaves their conversations confused, he repeatedly attempts to break down the thick walls around her. As the game progresses, Maya lets him in more and more, confiding in him, inviting him out for her birthday, and, eventually, admitting she does care about him.
As stated by Wakana, Sensei has garnered a reputation among the school faculty for being a failure of a teacher. His unhealthy obsession with teenage girls and his general apathy towards actually doing his job are all well-known facts among the other teachers, although the lengths of their knowledge have yet to be confirmed.
- "Teenagers are exhausting..."
- "Despacito consumes me whole."
- "If you’re unhappy with yourself now, you can always change, Molly. Don’t let anyone, not even me, tell you that you can’t. Because it’s all shit right now, but there really is a beautiful world out there. I promise."
- "This is the worst hot boy summer ever."
- Sensei has the ability to understand birds like Noodles, Todd and John.
- In Noodles' case, Tsuneyo is also able to understand him, perhaps due to their "familial" bond.
- According to Ami in Slumber Party, Sensei considers watching a movie without popcorn a 'sin'.
- In No Romeo, Ami mentions briefly how Sensei used to act out Shakespeare's plays with her when she was younger, sometimes even being joined by Ami's mother.
- According to Touka in Lives and Minds of Laymen, Sensei has an extensive background in literature, explaining his knowledge of classical poetry.
- This knowledge seems to extend beyond fiction or verse, as he easily identifies a quote from Aristotle in the same event.
- In the past, Sensei used to love horror movies, watching them all the time with Niki when they were kids.