Old Fart Who Loves Japanese Pop Culture 日本の大衆文化を愛する中年

Japanese Dramas, Manga, Anime and Japanese Movies, Jpop, and anything else about Japanese pop culture that I find interesting.


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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Great Teacher Onizuka the Manga

Great Teacher Onizuka
By Fujisawa Tohru

Eikiichi Onizuka is a 22 year old graduate of a 3rd rate college he spends his free time spying high school girls panties as they ride up the escalator, wondering what he’s going to do with his life.
He was the head of the Eurasia College karate club and a 2nd degree black belt and also leader of a bōsōzoku (Japanese biker gang). Well now he’s out of college working a night road construction job pondering his life when he meets a cute high school girl who gets a free meal from him and then eventually goes to a love hotel with him. When the girl however jumps from the hotel’s window into the arms of a bald middle aged teacher, Onizuka’s mind is made up. He is going to become a teacher so when he turns forty he can marry a high school girl himself.
Great Teacher Onizuka is the perfect place to begin if looking for a character driven rather then action drive manga. The action in the story always revolves around Onizuka’s dedication or his stupidity. He’ll risk his life or his job for his students and he uses all his skills from bōsōzoku leader to water torture in order to turn around a class of delinquents who have tricked him into indecent photos with Nana a student of his.
Even though Nana has used him, he allows himself to be drawn into her family problems, risking his job to try and make the girl happy.
I really like the art work realistic with nice character designs. Funny as deformed when Onizuka is surprised or when he goes into bōsōzoku mode.
GTO was very popular in Japan, the manga runs to twenty five volumes, an anime was made that ran for 43 episodes and a live action TV series and two movies were made starring Sorimachi Takashi. According to Tokyopop it is the highest rated Japanese TV show, ever.
I first saw the live action drama, then having liking it so much I found the anime and watched that. I prefer the live action over the anime, but it may have turned out differently if I had viewed the anime first. Recently I’ve started the manga and found this to be the most enjoyable of all. All of the drama of the live action is preserved but it is much funnier. In volume 5 Onizuka studies for an exam that will determine if he is to be fired, I was reading this at work and burst out laughing so often I was getting really strange looks from my co-workers who don’t share my manga obsession.

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