Going from greatest gangsta to greatest teacher, GTO is an anime setting an unbelievably high standard amongst a self-created genre merged with slice of life.
Great Teacher Onizuka starts off as Onizuka intends to become the greatest teacher in Japan – he of course has to become an actual teacher first. After working his way up from student teaching and many accidents, fails, and hardships aside, he finally lands a career as a teacher at a private school.
This moment in the story leaves you entirely oblivious to the awaiting grand endeavors along this journey towards greatness. The school’s chairperson assigns Onizuka to the private school’s believed worst class, that is Class 2-4.
A class which entirely hates teachers and goes to extreme lengths to ruin them.
Onizuka however refuses to shun the students regardless of their actions – possibly due to his coming from hardships of gangsta life, he understands the issues students may bring up, and unlike other teachers, he’s determined to solve their troubles as they arise on a level of equality generally unheard of for student/teacher relations.
Beginning his newly found profession, the students immediately try various assaults on him ranging from brutally embarrassing mental attacks to more vicious painful physical offensives – yet Onizuka remains steadfast.
Although appearing incompetent, he actually proves to be greatly able, reliable, and thoughtful as he manages to strike issues with an innovative solution, even befriending the student in the end.
Such problem solving is the highlight of the series – defining an incredibly intricate relationship between student and teacher unlike any seen before, one so strong it ultimately leads to a fresh bond between the students themselves as they come to understand each other in new ways.
The series itself masterfully balances a plot-heavy focus of Onizuka’s initial career aspirations to his time spent solving student’s issues – gradually moving into an episodic adventure that maintained an importance of relationship and growing bond until the grand finale.
This inspiring series may appear dated, yet its awe-inspiring story is timelessly crafted with lofty stylized visuals on a competitive level of modern day – along with many references and gags striking the deepest realm of emotions from the viewer.
An excellence all made complete with suitable sounds set to introduce the viewer into the alternate reality of a teacher amongst teachers and ease the pain of a final farewell from an original masterpiece, GTO.