GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) is the remake of a famous 1998 drama, which in turn was based on a manga and anime, about a motorcycle gang leader who becomes a teacher and uses unconventional methods to deal with troublesome students.

GTO TitleOnizukaThe Students

When we left Onizuka (played by AKIRA), we knew he had been set up by student Aizawa Miyabi (Kawaguchi Haruna). Telling him that Katsuragi Miki (Nishiuchi Mariya) was a regular truant and convincing him to visit her, she called Katsuragi to arrange for his demise.

Onizuka Arrives

So, before the credits roll, he falls into the trap. She calls the police before he even steps into the place, and the disheveled state of the room and her clothes imply a struggle had taken place.

Peeking InGotchaAlarm

A satisfied Aizawa reports to the class that they’ve successfully gotten rid of yet another head teacher in just one day.

Under ArrestAizawa TriumphantMorimoto Triumphant

When one of the students helped by Onizuka in the previous episode, Uehara Anko, objects that he’s not like the rest, Aizawa goes at her, reminding her that they don’t need a head teacher.

Don't ForgetMean Looks 2

This all follows the same pattern I saw in Seito Shokun, which makes me wonder whether that series was, in its turn, mimicking the storyline of the original GTO.

Anyway, Onizuka gets bailed out on the instructions of the school director, and he finds out from his friends that Katsuragi Miki’s father is the police chief and she basically has a direct line.

Getting Bailed OutConsulting with Friends

She played the same game with the last head teacher, and while Onizuka himself finds it little more than amusing, Katsuragi’s father is not so lighthearted.

Katsuragi's Father

Of course, since Onizuka knows how to take punches as well as deliver them, he strides into the classroom the next day cheerfully, much to the dismay of Aizawa and the other students:

Like Nothing Happened 1Like Nothing Happened 2Like Nothing Happened 3

After class, he asks Aizawa to go with him to see Katsuragi this time. Is he really that clueless about Aizawa, or does he have a trick up his sleeve? Either way, you can see plots whirling in her mind immediately.

What do they have up their sleeves?

Aizawa calls up Katsuragi, and her words all seem to lash out at Katsuragi. She calls Katsuragi a “cumbersome, spoiled little princess.” What’s this all about? Why talk that way to her?

Insulting Katsuragi 1Insulting Katsuragi 2

We know Aizawa is maliciously playing Katsuragi somehow, but what are the strings that she’s so adept at pulling?

When Onizuka explains his plan to head teacher Fuyutsuki (Takimoto Miori), she’s immediately worried that he’s going about things too naïvely.

Fuyutsuki and Onizuka 1Fuyutsuki and Onizuka 2

Uehara Anko is even more insistent about her concerns, but comes with some concrete information about the relationship between Katsuragi and her father.

Uehara Has Concerns

Then someone who I don’t like to see anywhere popped into the scene:

What's With This Guy?

Yes, it’s Sugi-chan. Every now and again, Japanese personalities have a burst of popularity for inexplicable reasons (at least to me), and Sugi-chan is riding that wave now. Luckily, he gets just one line here, and I fail to see the point of him being in here at all.

Anyway, the talk between Uehara and Onizuka continues until Aizawa walks in – and wow, she gives me the creeps. Kawaguchi Haruna is amazing in this role.

Aizawa and Uehara

Onizuka ends up waiting for everyone to show up in a park auditorium:

At the ParkThe Auditorium

What’s going to happen? Will Onizuka prove twice the fool? Can he melt Katsuragi’s cold heart (I think Aizawa’s likely out of the question for the time being)? What about that black van that Saejima (Yamamoto Yusuke) mentioned in passing earlier?

Oh, and why does Kikuchi Yoshito (Takada Sho) look like he knows something?

Takada Sho

Well, we’re about a third of the way into the show, and I think I’ll leave those answers for your enjoyment. And boy is it a fun ride. It’s not as wild as the first episode was, but still kept things at a fast pace. That said, the storyline was much more prosaic – it was easier to guess the way things would go. I hope that the next episode will feature more unpredictable twists.

The acting remained exemplary. AKIRA-san continues to do an entertaining job with the lead role. Kawaguchi-san is more menacing than she has any right to be – a teacher’s worst nightmare, to be sure. I can’t avoid comparing Kawaguchi-san to Horikita Maki-san, who played a similar role in Seito Shokun, and as much as I am a fan of Maki-san, Kawaguchi-san’s vicious smile makes her a much more convincing villain.

So, all goes well, and I’m looking forward to episode 3. Thanks to Eric Paroissien for the subtitles.