The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Great Teacher Onizuka

Title: Great Teacher Onizuka aka. GTO.
Genre: Action/Comedy/Drama.
Format: 25 Volumes.
Mangaka: Tohru Fujisawa.

Synopsis: Eikichi Onizuka, 22 year old virgin, graduated from a 5th rate University, old leader of a motorcycle gang and a pervert above all, still wonders why he is unemployed. But a sudden turn of events make him take the wild decision to become a high-school teacher, so he can influence children and youngsters so they can avoid making all the mistakes he did, that, and getting a chance to see some panties, of course. Will the students, the teachers, the parents and the system be ready for the Great Teacher Onizuka?

The Highlights
Art: Excellent character design, that works well in all ocassions.
Comedy: Will have you peeing your pants.
Drama: Real albeit exaggerated.
Onizuka: He steals the show.

An exhaustive cast of characters is present ranging from teachers to parents from students to drop outs, and when all of them have a background and a development I get to enjoy the story even more, because I started to care about them and empathize with them. This is one of GTO’s greater assets along with its criticism to present society in Japan and the way stress is handled, both by teenagers and adults.

GTO has a brilliant use of facial expressions, ranging from funny looking to bring the comedy up a notch to extremely serious when things get on the dramatic side of the story. Combined with the detail used in the scenery and action scenes, I ended up getting thrown stuff at me, instead of the characters, kicked, stabbed, punched and laughed at. That is the power of the art used in GTO it succeeds at drowning you into its world, combined of course with the witty dialogs or the real life drama.

It is rare to have a manga to mixes action, drama, comedy and a message about society and that doesn’t succeed at failing in the mere attempt to do so. That is what makes GTO the great manga it is, yet its length and a few untied ends result in a few bumps in the road that are completely worth it and bearable.

The Rating: 9

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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