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Great Teacher Onizuka - Teacher Banzai
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold
Onizuka is this guy who has always lived his life on the wrong side of the tracks. It could be said that he woke up one day and decided that he wanted to become the greatest teacher in the world, but that would be pushing things a bit. Onizuka's reasoning pretty much revolves around being with cute girls and the like.
The Great Teacher Onizuka anime series picks up as Onizuka begins his two week student teaching position at a high school where he plans to play the role model for a ton of fine looking girls in short skirts. As fate would have it, things end up going a bit different than he planned. The class he is assigned to ends up being loaded with rough looking guys and some skanky girls, and just like a dog looking for a place to hike its leg, the kids start disrespecting him right away.
The next day, a fine looking piece of jailbait appears in Onizuka's class. After school, Onizuka heads for his motorcycle only to find the girl sitting on his bike, asking for a little student-teacher guidance – pantyless, of course.
The two race home to his apartment where she proceeds to fix him dinner, and just as things look like they could be turning personal, the front door swings open to reveal a trio of losers with cameras. Nice way to set someone up, huh?
Still, Onizuka isn't one to be messed with, and he quickly sets in motion a plan to exact his revenge. Are teachers supposed to act this way?
Needless to say, the punks had it coming to them and their lives will never be the same after Onizuka's six pack of whoop-ass gets done with them. As you can tell, Onizuka isn't your run of the mill pushover teacher that helps young girls get through school... you know, like the sappy kind that you can play in games like Graduation. No, he's a reformed gang member that wants to make his life mean something and this is what makes GTO such an original series.
The story of Eikichi Onizuka began as a manga created by Tohru Fujisawa, and originally followed our delinquent hero as he struggled through high school, giving the staff hell and tearing up the streets with the rest of his motorcycle gang. Later on, the story shifts as the Great Teacher Onizuka series begins and everything proceeds pretty much as it does in the manga... with quite a few differences, of course.
Right from the start, GTO's opening is sure to draw the attention of pretty much any viewer with it's black and white style and fan service nature. What better way to begin a show than with a toilet flushing and a naked man walking out of the bathroom? Good thing he's got some well-placed shadows. Still, the really up-beat theme song, Driver's High, more than makes up for the rather ecchi moments.
Interestingly enough, anime and manga aren't the only things that are GTO related. There was also a live action GTO movie and TV series which starred Takashi Soramichi in the role of Onizuka. If you look at ratings, it is said that the final episode was one of the most watched shows to ever appear on Japanese television. However, there isn't any word on if this version of GTO will be brought over.
With the 43 episode anime series coming out on bilingual DVD and the manga as well as the anime soundtrack also set for release, TOKYOPOP is moving into high gear to be ready for the following that this show undoubtedly spawns. The dub isn't too shabby either, with fan favorites David Lucas and Wendee Lee lending their voices to the project. If you are looking for something completely original to get addicted to, you can't possibly go wrong with this proven series.
|GREAT TEACHER ONIZUKA: CHARACTER DOSSIER
A former motorcycle gang member by the name of Eikichi The Evil who decided to become a teacher. He's a bit of a pervert and loves it when girls are around... even if he can't have them. He's got a kind heart and a lot of street smarts that end up helping him out of any jam he gets put into.
A Japanese studies teacher at Holy Forest Academy, Azusa instantly took a liking to Onizuka when he helped protect her from the perverted Vice-Principal. She is very shy about her feelings and often blushes or acts reserved when they come to the front.
The perverted, eccentric, and genuine pain in the butt Vice-Principal of Holy Forest Academy. Uchiyamada seems to be overly strict and have no concept of student-teacher relations and often comes to blows with his staff... or rather his staff comes to blows with him.
A quiet and reserved student at Holy Forest Academy who became friends with Onizuka after he saved him from committing suicide. Noboru is very much a video game otaku and is often bullied by his classmates... even the girls.
The class president and resident computer genius. Yoshito is very much a child prodigy and can do wonders when it comes to graphic design. Still, his images are very much on the creepy side because he uses them to drive his teachers insane.