Daisuke Aoki is Futatsubashi Elementary School’s newest teacher. He’s young and inexperienced – and not just at teaching. (un)Luckily for him, he’s got three precocious students who are gonna educate him.
The ringleader of these tiny troublemakers is Rin Kokonoe. But how much trouble can one little girl be right? Plenty. In addition to her inexplicable sexuality, she’s got one helluva mean streak. When Aoki discovers that Rin scared off the previous teacher (as payback for scaring off her friend Mimi), Rin pulls down her underwear and threatens to scream rape. But Aoki is not deterred and after convincing Mimi to return to school, Rin quickly falls for her teacher. Just one problem –HE’S HER TEACHER (duh)!
Most of the series involves either Rin embarrassing Aoki with her sexual antics or Rin’s jealous friend Kuro calling Aoki a lolicon (pedo) and kicking him in the groin. And while it’s all very entertaining, there’s a lot more to Kodomo No Jikan than its obvious shock value. Like the heartfelt moments between Rin & Aoki, despite her innate distrust of all adults. Equally touching are the lover-esque quarrels between her and her teacher. When Rin is rejected and told she’s just a child she goes into a deep depression, telling Aoki she’d rather be yelled than ignored. It’s obvious despite the cheery face Rin puts on something eating her up inside.
[spoil the reader, spare the rod]
Through a series of flashbacks we learn that Rin’s mother Aki died from cancer but not before taking in and eventually falling in love with her distant cousin Reiji, who lost his own parents in a car accident. When Aki dies Reiji takes over as Rin’s legal guardian. While the anime portrays Reiji purely as an overly protective parent. The manga reveals he is in fact the source of Rin’s inappropriate behavior. Even more disturbing, he’s grooming her to replace Aki as his lover – literally counting down the days to her 16th birthday! Fortunately even the naive Aoki seems to be on to Reiji and in the latest chapter (33), confronts Rin about it after he finds hickeys on the back of her neck. I don’t know about you but I’m gritting my teeth over what happens next. The obvious answer: Aoki calls the cops! But somehow I doubt it. If Rin is taken away from Reiji not only would she be an orphan but her last link to mother would be severed, and Rin’s not exactly stable as it is.
The series might have vanished into obscurity if not for all the free publicity it garnered from American publisher Seven Seas Entertainment dropping it for being too sexual, which is funny since it was Seven Seas that renamed it Nymphet (Kodomo No Jikan translates to Child’s Time). That’s not to say it isn’t sexual. On the contrary the Kodomo No Jikan is filled with sexual innuendo and downright potty mouth, depending on which version watch/read. The manga is by far more graphic. The anime adaptation on the other hand is heavily censored, annoyingly so. Certain things such as suggestive poses and provocative language are understandable.
But also censored are things like the word virgin (used as an insult by the girls toward their teacher) and more playful scenes like when Aoki’s students flash him, lifting up their skirts only to reveal their buruma (gym shorts). However if you want to see the uncensored episodes you’ll have to patient. They’re current being released monthly to DVD (2 episodes each). The final DVD should be out in May and hopefully fansubbed soon after. There’s also an uncensored episode length OVA out now.
Even if little girls coming on to older men isn’t your thing (and I should hope not), it’s worth a look. It may not be Leave it to Beaver, but ultimately it’s about growing up albeit a little too fast. Love it or leave it, here’s the first 3 minutes of A Child’s Time (deleted because of Megavideo lawsuit).