GTO – episodes 29 to 43

December 2, 2004 on 1:46 pm | In GTO | 1 Comment

GTO has the perfect ending; that is, one that makes you miss the series afterwards.

Onizuka is truly an amazing character in the degree that he cares for his students. Even when one extorts him, he simply will not have them punished but rather take responsibility and solve everything. Somehow, when this blonde 22 year old does it, it does not seem like stupid pride. Onizuka has luck on his side, but not dumb luck, and although he quite clearly does not know what he’s doing a lot of the time he’s good at pretending he does.
So, ultimately, Onizuka made the series. This sort of character can be frustrating, but remarkably the teacher was not. His refusal to sell out anyone, and to gain their trust was admirable. He was in many ways Fujisawa’s antidote for the education system: tired teachers who resent their students.

As the students get closer to their trip to Okinawa, there’s another abhorrent episode in which Fuyutsuki tries to make herself over and ends up ganguro. During it, and at the end, the only response it provokes is “why?”. Normally I’d be all for an episode devoted almost exclusively to breasts, but not here.
Another episode that’s silly, but still works, is the one in which Onizuka takes on the “yakuza”. What makes it really funny, though, is that the contraband gold in this episode has “gold” written on it, and likewise the bomb. At the time I thought it was an over the top “realistic” episode, and I took the bait totally. GTO is probably custom made for these sorts of moments.

Uehara, the first female student to cause trouble for Onizuka, returns to the stories and at first she’s so different that I didn’t actually recognise her. When Miyabi does not go to Okinawa, it initially feels like the writers are disappointingly using Uehara as a substitute. Fortunately enough, she gets to come into herself, and Onizuka turns her heart. He’s so damned good at that it’s surprising that he doesn’t have his own nude transformation sequence (surprising? Yes. Unfortunate? … not in the slightest).

The character afforded the most growth, particularly by comparison to her late arrival, is Kanzaki. She teamed up with Kikuchi, and they made for a dynamic pair. Kanzaki is also notable because over the course of twenty episodes, she incited not one but two snakes to bite Onizuka’s crotch. It’s this sort of material that makes for big insane comedy, and it works because it is so very base. GTO aims for the higher brow some of the time, but it is quite happy at home among the jokes that get laughs based on universality.
Fujiyoshi, one of Murai’s two friends, is actually allowed his own drama, which comes on very strong. For so long he had been just a fellow to talk to Onizuka and not do much else, but when he was involved in a plot he became much more engaging – one of the few characters to show their home life. Yoshikawa is also allowed back into the fold after many episodes wherein he was in the background, not quite shunned but no longer important. When Onizuka assembled his ultimate team of student friends, the dynamic was really quite enjoyable to watch.

And, while for the most part this anime deals with realistic if exaggerated situations (although Onizuka does survive a nuclear blast – “it’s called an unexploded bomb because it doesn’t explode), there’s one episode which ends with total nonsense: damn near the funniest thing of the year. Finally, any anime that recreates, frame for frame, Sadako’s video from Ring has to be a surefire winner.

The final story arc is told efficiently in two episodes, and Onizuka proves himself to be the greatest man alive – and even Uchiyamada begins to see the true values of teaching once more. The actual incident that the episode is based around is actually quite disturbing if you consider the ages of the characters involved, but the story doesn’t dwell on it and so the viewer does not really get the chance either. It provides a nice close to the series, and lets Onizuka play it cool.

True, there’s unfinished storylines; the stalker still has an obsession with Fuyutsuki, for instance – but Onizuka can’t solve all of the world’s problems. GTO was frequently hilarious, with only one real dud storyline and genuinely lovable characters. It’s a beautiful journey, really.

Teacher … banzai.

1 Comment

  1. Is it too late to recommend you the perfectness that is GTO the manga?

    All of the arcs glimpsed at the anime gets filfulled like Urumi’s ultimate arc, Miyabi, the math teacher, and two new characters’s. Only one that didn’t get finished in the manga was Kikuchi+new kid because due to some restraints. And unlike in anime, the manga pulls NO PUNCHES, it is 18+ as it can get without actual sex, especially Urumi’s plan to get money for Onizuka, which was severly watered down for the anime.

    Comment by ayyo — March 28, 2006 #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^