Great Teacher Onizuka anime review

Great Teacher Onizuka anime review
Onizuka is an ex-biker and gang leader who has one goal, to become the greatest teacher. He learns of the power and respect possible as an intern teacher, using his strength and connections to get his students to respect him. Now, graduated, he gets a job at a prestigious private school to handle their 'problem class' that made the past few teachers quit. He must handle a different sort of trouble when the trouble makers include some of the smartest kids in Japan who prefer a more cerebral approach to torturing their teacher. Onizuka must slowly win his students over and deal with their mistrust of teachers while handling the distrust of his fellow teachers.

For any comedy drama to be successful, it must contain two important ingredients: great characters and great situations. GTO not only has arguably one of the best character inventions of anime history in Onizuka, but it then drops him into some truly hilarious situations which gradually strip his entire character bare as his new students set out to destroy him both physically and mentally.

The comedy is off-the-wall, over-the-top, and out-of-control. It is also extremely funny, and each of Onizuka’s maniacal, rubberised expressions and outraged screeches will have you laughing along with his demonic pupils. Chaplin-esque physical tomfoolery, fast-talking one-liners and extreme situational antics all feature in a show with an obvious yet clever sense of humour.

Paradoxically, it is not the most laugh-out-loud moments which have the most effect on the audience, for GTO also has its share of deep emotional drama, and every character has their own detailed story which explains their actions and personality. Some of these are not pretty, and there are moments when you can really sympathise with members of the cast who in a lesser series would merely be irritating plot devices.

The art-style is simple yet functional, and is highly reminscent of the original manga; glossy visuals would be as out-of-place here as Onizuka is. The animation quality remains fairly consistent, and there is almost always something happening to keep your attention where it should be - on the characters. On the other hand, GTO really pulls out all of the stops when it comes to voice-acting, with Takagi Wataru and Mitsuishi Kotono deserving special mention.

Many modern titles strike me as either melodramatic or contrived, and I have a hard time developing any kind of bond with the characters. GTO keeps its drama focused on the people, and does a great job mixing crazy comedy with endearing moments.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Great Teacher Onizuka. Watch it now:
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