Dec 15, 2009

Great Teacher Onizuka

Source taken from

Great Teacher Onizuka (Gurēto Tīchā Onizuka?), officially abbreviated to GTO, is a Japanese shōnen manga written and illustrated by Tohru Fujisawa. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from May 1997 to April 2002. The story focuses on 22 year-old ex-bōsōzoku member Eikichi Onizuka, who becomes a teacher at private high school Holy Forest Academy, in Tokyo, Japan.

It won the 1998 Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen, and is a continuation of Tohru Fujisawa's other manga series Shonan Junai Gumi (lit. "Shōnan True Love Group") and Bad Company, both of which focus on the life of Onizuka before he becomes a teacher in Great Teacher Onizuka. As of 9 June 2009, a sequel to the GTO manga was released in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine under the title "GTO - Shonan 14 Days".

Due to the popularity of the manga, several adaptations of GTO were made. These adaptations include a twelve episode Japanese television drama running from July to September 1998; a live action film directed by Masayuki Suzuki and released in 1999; and a 43 episode anime television series, aired in Japan by Fuji Television and Animax from June 1999 to September 2000. Both the anime and manga have been licensed in North America by Tokyopop. The Tokyopop version of the manga is out of print as of August 31, 2009.

While peeping up girls' skirts at a local shopping mall, Onizuka meets a girl who agrees to go out on a date with him. Onizuka's attempt to sleep with her fails when her current "boyfriend", her teacher, shows up at the love hotel they are in and asks her to return to him. The teacher is old and unattractive, but has enough influence over her that she leaps from a second story window and lands in his arms.

Onizuka, seeing this display of a teacher's power over girls, decides to become a teacher himself. In his quest, he discovers three important things:
  1. He has a conscience and a sense of morality. This means taking advantage of impressionable schoolgirls is out; but their unusually attractive mothers are a different matter.
  2. He enjoys teaching and most of the time, he teaches life lessons rather than schoolwork.
  3. He hates the systems of traditional education, especially when they have grown ignorant and condescending to students and their needs.
With these realizations, he sets out to become the greatest teacher ever, using his own brand of philosophy and the ability to do nearly anything when under enough pressure. He is hired as a long-shot teacher by a privately operated school to tame a class that has driven one teacher to a mysterious death, one to nervous breakdown, and one to joining a cult. He embarks on a mission of self-discovery by breaking through to each student one by one, and helping each student to overcome their problems and learn to genuinely enjoy life.


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