Of all the different variety of anime that have been released, there are very few that can juggle the concepts of comedy, drama, and overall fun. Many other shows tend to be too confused as to what genre their creators wanted them to be, and they almost always end up failing because of this. And then there are shows that get it right. These are anime shows that have a great story, many dynamic and memorable characters, and a cool beginning and ending theme music to go with it. They are the type of shows that make us anime fans praise how much we really love the anime genre.
The Most Epic Teacher Ever
Enter in Great Teacher Onizuka. The story about a 22 year-old former biker gang leader, Eikichi Onizuka, who follows his dream of becoming the greatest high school teacher in Japan. Now while on paper the concept sounds kind of cheesy, as is most anime shows that deal with high school settings, there is much more below the surface of this plot. There are a ton of characters that everyone will find both hilarious and dynamic in their own right. The students of Holy Forest Academy will provide many funny and cool moments for the hero Onizuka, while the overly mean and hilarious Vice Principle Uchiyamada will try dozens of shenanigans to get the great teacher fired. Along the way, the show will dive into different issues about High School, Japanese culture, relationships with the opposite sex, and what is it that makes a man really a “great” man.
Fun Times at Holy Forest Academy
The best moments of the show are when Onizuka interacts with many of the different students he is responsible for as homeroom teacher for Class 2-4. In the beginning, most of the students are hell bent on getting their teacher fired, using all sorts of tricks ranging from fake Photoshop pictures catching the teacher in a vile act, all the way to crazy bets where the stakes could spell disaster for everyone involved. However, there are also other students who will try to befriend and help Onizuka as he deals with all the challenges that come to him. Including Noburo Yoshikawa, a student who is saved by Onizuka as he tries to commit suicide from being picked on by everyone in class so much. The friendship between the two is both emotionally impacting and a means for them getting into many different awkward and hilarious situations. At first there might seem to be a lot of characters to keep track of, but each episode gives each character a time to shine and develop over the course of the series. There is never an overabundance of plot elements or important events at one time, everything is evenly spread out nicely and given it‘s own time for viewers to digest.
The Gang of Class 2-4
There is a love interest to Onizuka in the form of Ms. Fuyutsuki, a female teacher who employs at Holy Forest Academy the same time as Onizuka. The chemistry between the two can at times be a little bit cheesy and bland, but there is growth in their relationship as Onizuka gets into more and more trouble with the school administration, most of which Fuyutsuki has to help him out of. Towards the later episodes of the series, the spark between them does reach a sort of climax, but never fully comes full circle, reason being because most of the original story from the manga ending of GTO was never made in the anime. Fuyutsuki’s presence does add something to the mix, but it would have been great to see a better outcome of her and Onizuka‘s relationship.
Onizuka and Fuyutsuki
This leads to the only other real gripe I have with GTO, which is how quickly the ending comes. During it’s publication on television, the anime for GTO was running at the same time the manga for GTO was still being serialized. When the time for the ending to the anime series, the manga continued on for much longer and resulted in a different ending. Without giving too much away, the ending of the anime series was good, but is highly overshadowed once the ending to the manga is known. When comparing the two endings, the manga is where fans will get the more definitive, and ultimately satisfying, ending of the two. This is almost always the case with anime shows that are based off of manga, in that the manga has the better story and ending between both.
Ouch, my bad…..
If there is one anime show that all fans of the genre must see, that show would be GTO. With such a great blend of comedy, drama, and romance; anime fans would be getting the best the genre has to offer. The overall atmosphere that GTO sets up is both bright and heart warming that delivers the fun experience of being back in high school, dealing with both good and bad times. The character of Eikichi Onizuka is one that will make many people wish they had such an awesome teacher back when they were young and still in school. With a title that has “Great” in the name, one can only experience and testify to how awesome this anime show really is.