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. The preview for this episode at the end of the last one featured the poignant use of a gun, and we start with it right away.

The GunThe Kid Holding the Gun

Hmm, I think we already have a pretty good idea what the problem here is, don’t we?

The ProblemThe Problem Magnified

During swim lessons the next day, Onizuka (AKIRA) notices one student who isn’t suited up. Sure enough, it’s the gun toting student from the opening scene.

Swim Lessons 1Swim Lessons 2

His name is Dojima Seiya (played by Shirahama Aran), and Onizuka starts picking on him right away, trying to forcibly strip him.

Swim Lessons 3Is That Allowed!?

Murai (Morimoto Shintaro) tries to intervene on Dojima’s behalf, but it’s too late: the reason Dojima couldn’t dress for swimming is suddenly revealed:

Murai's Too LateWhat's Everyone Looking At?Tattoo

Just in case you’re not aware of this particular facet of Japanese society, tattoos in Japan, especially those that cover large portions of the body, are deeply associated with the yakuza.

Dojima runs off with Murai and Onizuka chasing after him. Meanwhile, the class finishes up swimming and is back with Fuyutsuki-sensei (Takimoto Miori) when any doubts about Dojima’s connections are eliminated by this guy:

This Guy . . .

Look familiar? He just strides into the room looking for Dojima, and shows off his tattoo to establish his credentials:

. . . is a scumbag.

Contrary to the impression you might get from scenes like this and their presence in dramas in general, the yakuza are no joke. This guy claims to be Dojima’s father, and I think it’s possible for a father to see his son at school without showing off tattoos or informing everyone of his connection to organized crime. Even the most confrontational yakuza member would probably find this sort of thing stupid.

Fuyutsuki in Trouble

Anyway, the guy starts ripping the place up, accusing them of hiding Dojima. The spineless principal unwittingly walks in, but nothing much comes of that.

Ripping the Place Up 1Ripping the Place Up 2Spineless Principal

Dojima’s father apparently thinks his son is trying to escape something.

They Should Have Just Called the Cops

Always opportunistic, evil student Aizawa (Kawaguchi Haruna) uses the incident to accuse the teachers (specifically aiming this at Fuyutsuki) of being unable to protect the students. This is totally taking advantage of the situation to consolidate her control over the class and drive home why the students should oppose their teachers at every turn, and to push a dagger into Fuyutsuki’s soft heart.

Fuyutsuki and Aizawa 1Fuyutsuki and Aizawa 2Fuyutsuki and Aizawa 3

The way Aizawa does this is delightfully evil, and she continues to be a very compelling villain.

Onizuka and Murai end their search for Dojima just as his father is vacating the school.

Returning UnsuccessfulFirst Meeting, but Not Last

There’s no confrontation, but Murai tells Onizuka that the ill-tempered fellow isn’t really Dojima’s father, but just his mother’s boyfriend. So, as it turns out, Dojima wasn’t born into it, but has been . . . adopted. Tough times.

That's the Guy Who Did It

We get a full background on Dojima from Murai, and find out why Dojima might want to kill the ill-tempered fellow. As expected, this is a very serious episode involving some violent people. Murai and Dojima look like they’re teaming up on this one, though Murai tends to be a step ahead of Onizuka.

Murai Takes the LeadMurai Takes the Lead 2

When Murai and Onizuka reach Dojima’s house, they meet this pair:

I Don't Trust Them

And it seems they know all about Dojima, too, including about his murder plans, which are not only in retribution for the tattoo, but also because Dojima’s mother fled to escape the guy. In fact, the guy tattooed Dojima precisely to ensure Dojima wouldn’t run away as well.

The BastardAnguished Dojima

Dojima shows up and admits to his murder plans. Onizuka, of course, doesn’t seem to be worried at all . . .

All Smiles

. . . but the impression he gives is deceptive. As he walks away, his face turns grim and he mentions to Murai that Dojima’s hand smelled of gunsmoke.

That Was Gunpowder

I think that gives you a pretty good layout of the plot without giving away key points. For instance, what’s with the blond-haired pair, anyway? How the heck does the principal think he’s going to get Onizuka fired with this, when Onizuka hasn’t even done anything?

Trying to Get Onizuka Fired . . . Again

The big question is, of course, how’s Onizuka going to handle this? He doesn’t look too happy:

Just Murai in the Club TodayNot Happy

To be sure, he’s got a difficult case this time, and while he’s all smiles in front of the students, he’s not as confident as usual. This is  a tense one, folks. Can Aizawa come up with some way to make it even worse?

Come On, Isn't It Bad Enough Already?Evil Smile

Well, yes, she can. And even Onizuka can’t keep the panic off his face once his student-friends tell him:

Oh, Crap

I think Aizawa might have finally gone too far on this one, but she always seems to come up with something worse.

As expected, this was an excellent high-tension and profoundly harsh episode that really put Onizuka on edge. It was a complete change to the light idol-fest last week. There’s not much humor, but plenty of action. It was everything I was hoping for and more. Shirahama-kun did a fantastic job in a tough role, making his unusual situation

Thanks again to Eric Paroissien for the subtitles.