Tough on the outside, all heart on the inside, Onizuka turned to the life of a high school teacher for less excitement and action . . . or so he thought. GTO, A.K.A.: Great Teacher Onizuka, is the racy story of Onizuka, a ... more »former motorcycle gang member who becomes a teacher to make a difference and...to meet girls? Using his street smarts to deal with colleagues, students and troublemakers, Onizuka finds that he too has many lessons to learn. Containing Four Episodes: (first episode is a 60 min. double episode) Lesson 1: The Legend Begins--Onizuka is assigned to teach a class of juvenile delinquents. In the class, he meets the beautiful, young Nanako Mizuki. He invites her to his place, but finds out it was a plot set up by the class to blackmail him. Lesson 2: Enter Uchiyamada--Onizuka decides to interview for a teaching position at the prestigious Holy Forest School. On the day of the interview, Onizuka rescues a cute young girl from the Holy Forest's vice principal Hiroshi Uchiyamada! Lesson 3: Late Night Roof Diving--As a new term begins at Holy Forest, Onizuka begins his lifelong dream of running a class. Unfortunately, Onizuka learns that everybody who has taught his new class has left because of the mental stress. Lesson 4: The Secret Life of Onizuka--A disturbing picture of Onizuka is going around school. Onizuka starts to worry about himself, thinking he might have multiple personalities. The truth is, his students are plotting against him.« less
"It may not quite hang with its bigger, badder, shoot-em-up, slash-em-to-pieces, giant robot anime bretheren, but when it's all said and done, Great Teacher Onizuka may end up being the most addictive anime series ever. The plot is simple enough: Eikichi Onizuka, a former bike gang member, college karate champ, 22 years old and a bachelor, has taken it upon himself to be the world's greatest teacher. with little or no qualifications, he somehow gets accepted into a prestigious school, is assigned the worst class of delinquents ever, and proceeds to work on taming the adolescent beasts.Simple plot, complex protagonist. Onizuka is the definition of "man-child," the battle with the man and the child within him always in conflict. This is key as the series plays up the ongoing battle between the students and adults, be it teachers, administrators, parents or politicians. Onizuka is into videogames, internet porn, costumes, launching bottle rockets and ogling schoolgirls. At the same time he has a better sensitivity toward the real causes of the students problems, be it parental conflict, bad past experiences with teachers, money or bullying. Then again, he likes to deal with his problems in the most unorthodox methods, i.e. beating up students. This volume shows Onizuka first getting used to his methods as a student-teacher. A group of students pull a clever prank, and blackmail Onizuka for a million yen. With the help of some biker gangs and a midnight dipping/drowning at a nearby pond, Onizuka manages to "win over" the males of the group. He take a more subtle approach to Nanako, whose problems stem more from a declining parental relationship, which he creatively remedies.With that phase over, Onizuka next has to tackle the task of getting into prestigious Holy Family Academy and Class 2-4, the angel-faced, snake-hearted delinquent crew he must deal with for the rest of the series.The art is on a par with Dragonball Z, and watching this series in Japanese is *necessary*! Not only are their numerous word jokes (Nanako says "Yoo-poo" instead of "yoo-hoo" and Onizuka ridicules her), or that the English teacher struggles with and forces English, the story has pretty significant differences from the English to the Japanese version. The Japanese vocal cast is far superior, and the vocal intonations better match the facial expressions; the storyline and what they say are far more risque and naughtier than the English dub as well.A great, addicting series, that has up to Vol. 9 (at this point) released in the US. There are only 43 episodes in the set, so it should be coming to a close. Very few extras other than stills and previews on this disc.Also recommended are the 12-episode GTO Live Action Japanese Drama, a loose approximation of the anime and manga, and the live action movie that takes place after the series.Not recommended if you can't afford to get the whole thing; no sane person can handle the cliffhangers at the end of each disc."
Teacher with heart of gold and ...attitude
Joe | USA | 03/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Intended for a mature audience able to deal with blackmail, and sexual concepts, GTO is the story of blond, ear-ring wearing pretty-boy Grand Teacher Onizuka. His mission in life is to become a 22 year old school teacher and hook up with 16 year old school girls, following an honorable profession and leading a lecher's life. And like most dreamers, his plans go awry - in a very strange way. In reality he has a heart of gold under his muscle-rippled ab's; when a young student weasles her way into his home, and he nervously but eagerly sets up a seduction scene, but reverses it when realizing how serious it is, and yet she doffs clothes and then doors open and blackmail camera's flash (smirks light up), his true nature comes out. His blackmailers are caught in the park by motorcylce gangs. Which wouldn't be all that bad if the pretty-boy teacher didn't happen to be the meanest, most ... gang member there was. He applies the use of water to castigate them; expecting to be fired the next day for excessive use of corporal punishment on a student, he is surprised to find he's been hired on full time. His black mailer's were students in the nastiest class in school (his class) who just needed to learn to respect "teachers" and his object lesson definitely made them respect him! (And set up his future teaching career plans, to his dismay...) From then on the events continue to unroll; his particular no-holds barred brand of tough love. Is there a wall in your life? He has a sledge hammer to fix it! "Don't worry, I have a lesson plan for them," is a classic quote to be.This series will appeal more to the general audience than any other audience; it is about people, set in modern day, and fairly clean cut, sometimes comical, occasionally silly, often very soft hearted, and sharp as glass when need be, usually intending to convey warmth and sometimes sympathy. You have to be able to appreciate the humor of a wanna-be lecher who's stutters and blushes when faced with the real thing, and yet can open a six-pack of ... when need be (i.e. embodying the concepts of innocence and strength at the same time). If you only prefer high maturity (married people and love triangles and who's sleeping with who plots), or violent blood-slinging ninja and samurai action, or military action and hero-saves-the-world plots, nudity and/or porn sex, or monsters and people with special psychic powers, you'll probably think it's boring trash. A general audience looking for a tough nice guy should definitely give it a rent and probably buy it (if you have fickle morals rent it; it's not nasty but there are some very mature and 100% real feeling situations that may spoil it if you are irked by excesses, like homosexual inferences - even when they prove definitely mistaken, part of a psych-out plot.)The only reason I didn't rate it 5 stars was because I save 5 stars for movies I think everyone should look at. And I usually rate honestly; most shows are 3 stars at best. This is an excellent flick, not perfect, but very good for the audience it aims at."
Truly an education.
Stewart Methven | Falkirk, Scotland United Kingdom | 03/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Onizuka is a man with a dream. A no good biker punk with a hatred for authority, he united all the gangs in the city under his iron will. Yet that was not enough for the man Onizuka, and so his thoughts turn to more honorable pursuits.Schoolgirls.And so GTO begins, and if the story was as simple as that then I'd cut the review short here. But it isn't that simple, and neither is Onizuka, who divine brilliance is only overshadowed by his all too human failings and cravings, as he falls for, and overcomes, every trick and plan set against him. Employing a "tough love" policy on everyone he comes across, he may seem the world's greatest imbecile who has no business even being a janitor, but as events go by, the students, parents, teachers and even Onizuka himself learn the hard, yet entertaining way, that teaching doesn't end in the classroom and learning doesn't end when you're out of school. Even we, the viewers, learn something when normally taboo topics of bullying, suicide and violence come up and are confronted, perhaps not in the way that many people would rationally accept or even condone, but in such fantastic ways that make you think "maybe that's the way things SHOULD be done".Of course GTO can't make it on his own, and with a whole host of personalities to bounce off of, like disciplinary teacher whose dream of an ideal home life fades a little more with every one of his cars that Onizuka wrecks, the class tough guy with a soft spot for his young mom, the easy going bimbo with a hidden talent, and of course all the old gang members who can be persuaded to help Onizuka "educate" any troublesome students. They aren't just filler characters either, but those who develop as well, and we see the fruits of GTO's teachings in how they act in the future.GTO is basically the anti-thesis of Irresponsible Captain Tyler. The hero here gets through amazing scrapes not by innaction and ambiguity, but overaction and sheer force of his personality. Yet the feeling you get from both is the same, that despite the seriousness of situations you find yourself in, and despite the constant pressures you face to do things a certain way, sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and follow your own path.
After all, that's the only way you're gonna learn.All in all, a great show and highly recommended to anyone, schoolgoing or not, as we could all benefit from a little more wisdom in our lives of dull order. Just remember though, if you ever find yourself in a situation that looks tough, just ask yourself, "What would Great Teacher Onizuka do?" and if you pull a terrifying face and screech like a howler monkey, then congratulations, you're halfway there. ^_^"
If only Onizuka was a real teacher!
William Gersztyn | Salem,Or | 05/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard of GTO over half a year ago when a friend of mine came across one of the Manga's. After I read it I was immediately hooked. And when I found out later on that there was an anime series based on it, I was very interested. So I went and bought the Hong Kong DVD's of the series (Hong Kong DVD's have the option of English subtitles on them.)Great Teacher Onizuka is a Comedy/Drama series and is 44 episodes long.
The series is about Eikichi Onizuka, a 22 year old man that is an Ex-gang leader that decides he wants to become a teacher. His main drive for this? So he can be around young School girls.
Sound promising doesn't it ^__^?
When Onizuka truly begins his teaching career he finds that the class he teaches has had a problem with teachers not lasting to long because most of the students have it in for all teachers because of something that happened in the past ( Which I shall not mention.)
Right from day one Onizuka has to deal with problems from the students in his class. His first real problem has to do with phony pictures being made of him, which he deals with in a way that surprises the culprit and eventually wins him over to Onizuka's side.
As the series goes on Onizuka will have to deal with many more problems, as well as attempts to make him lose his job. And as he deals with these problems he wins more and more of the students to his side. I felt that all of the characters were done very well. Both the good and the bad ones. The main Character Onizuka is almost impossible not to like and has some of the funniest facial expressions I've ever seen on any anime character.
And I couldn't help but like most of the other characters.
Here are some of my personal favorites.
Azusa Fuyutsuki: She is a fellow teacher that begins teaching at the same time Onizuka does and she makes for a very believable love interest for Onizuka.
Kikuchi(Sorry I can't remember his full name.): This guy is the genius in the class. It's very hard to say exactly why I like him, except that he is a very cool looking character and that he was the first to really understand Onizuka.
Urumi Kanzaki: My personal favorite character in the whole series and the one that I feel has the most interesting personality. She is a blond haired girl with Two different colored eyes and an IQ of over 200 making her smarter than even Kikuchi and all of the teachers in the school. When she first appears she poses many problems, and not just for Onizuka. Mainly due to her high intelligence she makes the teachers feel insignificant because she knows more than they do. And even when Onizuka finally wins her over, she still stays pretty much the same.Despite the fact that I read the manga before the anime and saw that there were a fair amount of differences between the two I still like the anime a whole lot.
Here are few differences.
In the manga Onizuka deals with the picture incident a lot more swifly.
And in anime one of the characters that appears early on in the Manga doesn't appear till over halfway through the series and her role is completely different.
And lastly, when Onizuka challenges Kunio in the arcade in the Manga he destroys him at every single game there is there.The music is also used very well and always works to fit the mood. My favorite tune is the 1st opening music "Driver's High".If you like anime at all I suggest you at least give this one a try because it's something a bit different than you might expect."
M. Gold | Tukwila, WA USA | 02/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've become increasingly picky about the onslaught of anime that's being thrust on the market these days, but I'm happy to say that I'm impressed by GTO. It stands out among the other comedy anime because it has an interesting premise and is charming in a lot of ways--not to mention that it is very, very funny. GTO is a rather long-running series (it will be released on 10 discs) and I've only seen this first disc, so I don't know if the quality remains constant through the whole series--but I have to say that this show is very good so far. I'd say that GTO is sort of an overlooked gem. It has very little visibility beyond established anime fans; which is a shame because it has the potential for pretty broad appeal. If you can, invite some friends over, order some pizza and watch GTO. This show lends itself very easily to being watched in a group, and even your friends who aren't already anime fans will probably enjoy it. The animation is well done, the show is stylish and funny, and the DVD transfer looks great. The only other things I should point out are that the character designs are occasionally strangely deformed (a style I actually like, but others may not), and that the humor is meant for an adult audience."