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. So far, it’s been my favorite drama of the season, mainly because of the excellent laughs it offers, but can it keep it up?

GTO Title

At the beginning of this episode, an awkward student has a love letter for Onizuka (AKIRA):

Love Letter 1Love Letter 2

But sure enough, this is just yet another trap set by evil student Aizawa Miyabi (Kawaguchi Haruna) and her minions.

Aizawa and MinionsAizawa and Minions 2

Interestingly, the awkward student somehow manages to lure the wrong teacher . . .

Wrong Teacher

. . . and draws Aizawa’s potent ire.

Aizawa's Wrath 1Aizawa's Wrath 2

In regular school activities, Onizuka joins Fuyutsuki-sensei (Takimoto Miori) in holding career consultations with the students, though Onizuka dodges the question about his own aspirations:

He Just Wants to Pick the Winning Horse

He’s sure of one thing, though: he hates it when students lack dreams and simply go with that their parents, friends, or circumstances expect of them.

Onizuka Rants 1Onizuka Rants 2

We find out that the awkward student’s name is Nomura (Miyazaki Karen), and that she didn’t attend the career meetings, and she seems to have internalized the hateful things Aizawa (and probably others) has said about her.

Definitely Low Self-Esteem

Onizuka commiserates about the state of kids these days with his comrade Saejima (Yamamoto Yusuke), but a student drops in to say what she thinks of their opinions, and that she’s not planning to attend the career meetings, either. Onizuka introduces her as Kanzaki (Honda Tsubasa), and she behaves far more confidently and forthrightly than the other students.

Kanzaki 1Kanzaki 2Kanzaki 3

She sure seems to impress Saejima:

Kanzaki 4

But while Saejima has trouble controlling his impulses, Kanzaki spots Nomura being led around by some nasty-looking individuals:

Trouble

Is this what we think it is? Well, Onizuka and Saejima look ready for action:

Ready for Action

We quickly find out all about Nomura, including her dream and the part Aizawa played in it. Onizuka wastes no time, and seizes on the hint of a dream immediately.

He Has A Plan

While the focus appears to be on Nomura, we also find out that Fujiyoshi (Yamada Yuki) is in the middle of something – he has to collect money on behalf of a teacher (ultimately, 990,000 yen or around a whopping $12,000):

What's Going On Here?

Now what could that be all about? Clearly, it’s the setup for some plot . . .

Her Again

. . . oh, it’s her again, isn’t it? Ah, she found a use for those pictures she took of the wrong teacher, after all.

Taking Advantage 1Taking Advantage 2

We’ve got a lot of threads going at once, and we have to wonder what Aizawa is trying to do, getting Fujiyoshi to collect money for an open-air school. Well, Fujiyoshi’s got too many mouths to feed to waste his time with Aizawa’s plots, so whatever his part is, he isn’t doing it intentionally:

Too Many Mouths To Feed

From here on we get to the meat of the episode, so I’ll lay off the details. Nothing wrong with highlighting a bit of humor, though.

Humor 1Humor 2Humor 3

Oh, and this:

Humor 4Humor 5Humor 6

But the Onizuka Club is getting up to some healthy numbers now, isn’t it?

Onizuka Club

Having a handful of conflicts to deal with, Onizuka doesn’t have too much time for extra humor. It’s probably the most involved plot so far, and unlike other episodes, Aizawa is around every corner, trying at every point to twist things her way.

An Ill Omen

Could Aizawa be more evil? After seeing this episode, you’ll find it hard to imagine. I’m not too sure the way Onizuka ultimately resolved the challenge to his continued employment was credible, but it was sure inventive and definitely put a smile on my face after a tough episode.

Altogether, the episode was delightfully fast and complex, with a mountain of tension throughout. It was also a fairly heart-wrenching episode, as far as comedies go, but from the preview of the next episode, I think we’re going to get an even more serious and intense episode five. It doesn’t look like there’ll be much humor at all. How will Onizuka deal with it?

Next Episode

Thanks again to Eric Paroissien for the subtitles. It wouldn’t be as easy to enjoy without them.

Advertisements