In recent episodes of GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka), we’ve been getting hints about student Kanzaki Urumi (Honda Tsubasa), who is both extremely intelligent and vulnerable. She has set herself in opposition to the machinations of Aizawa Miyabi (Kawaguchi Haruna), who has in turn threatened that she will reveal Kanzaki’s sercet. As of yet, we don’t have a clue what that might be, but it looks like we might find out in this episode, because Kanzaki is front and center – literally:

Kanzaki Front And Center 1Kanzaki Front And Center 2

Don’t worry, she doesn’t die in the opening scene (which would be a shame, because she’s an interesting character):

Kanzaki Front And Center 3

The thing is, we know she’s clever enough to figure out the stopping distance for the train. We also know that she likes to put herself right at the edge.

Kanzaki Front And Center 4

Back in the classroom . . . is Onizuka (AKIRA) actually trying to teach something!?

Is Onizuka Teaching!? 1Is Onizuka Teaching!? 2Is Onizuka Teaching!? 3

Meanwhile, Kanzaki is in the Director’s office getting scolded, but she quickly proves that she has them all outclassed in terms of the numbers.

In a Different League 1In a Different League 2In a Different League 3In a Different League 4

Onizuka, on the other hand, isn’t particular about numbers at all, and especially not dates when he’s teaching history.

Dates in History? 1Dates in History? 2

Flash back to Kanzaki, and she’s showing off her stock account to prove that she can pay any damages that anyone might want from her. So, yeah, she’s rich as well. This dazzles mediocre trader Hashimoto-sensei, who calls her a goddess.

Kanzaki Shows Off 1Kanzaki Shows Off 2Kanzaki Shows Off 3She's a Goddess

As Kanzaki is on her way back to the classroom, Miyabi is trying to lead a revolt against Onizuka’s teaching by walking out.

Miyabi's Revolt 1Miyabi's Revolt 2

Kanzaki walks in just in time to burst Miyabi’s bubble.

Kanzaki Bursts Miyabi's Bubble 1Kanzaki Bursts Miyabi's Bubble 2

This does not make Miyabi happy, and you know what happens when she looks this way:

Miyabi Angry

Yes, she’s going to do something evil. Kanzaki heads home, which doubles as a trading office where people are staring at screens that I am very familiar with.

Looks Familiar

But what’s this about them designing Kanzaki’s brain? Are we going sci-fi here? (If so, cool!)

They Designed Her Brain?

It certainly looks like it, as Kanzaki handles an optimization that should have taken an hour in just a minute. (I think I’m in love . . .)

In the Blink of an Eye 1In the Blink of an Eye 2

A flock of women files past a stunned Sugi-chan. What’s this all about?

PTA Alert

Well, basically that’s the ever-troublesome PTA, and they’re in a huff because they’ve found out about Onizuka’s activities, including everything that’s happened in this series.

Onizuka's Identity Revealed 1

Onizuka's Identity Revealed 2

There’s one person in the office smiling:

Teshigawara Smiles

That’s Teshigawara-sensei (Yano Masato), who we learned a lot more about in the last episode. He’s obsessed with Fuyutsuki-sensei (Takimoto Miori) and has a grudge against Onizuka (though Onizuka practically saved him from a murder charge).

The kids watch as Onizuka is attacked by the PTA, and the Director isn’t around to help him.

Onizuka V PTA 1Interested Observers 1Onizuka V PTA 2

Teshigawara enters the meeting with a plan in hand. He proposes that Onizuka should prove his ability to the PTA by getting the top score in a nationwide exam.

Teshigawara's Plan 1Teshigawara's Plan 2Teshigawara's Plan 4

Boy, Teshigawara doesn’t take any chances, does he? Getting a top score like that would be difficult for anyone – I’m sure he couldn’t do it himself.

Fuyutsuki sees the peril immediately, but Onizuka is as undeterred as ever.

Impossible 1Impossible 2Impossible 3Impossible 4

On a practice Fuyutsuki gives him, he scores 49 out of 700, including a predictable zero in mathematics.

As Expected 1As Expected 2

But really, this is a battle between Miyabi (who doubtless gave Teshigawara this plan to get rid of Onizuka) and Kanzaki (who could probably get 700 out of 700 in the blink of an eye). There are some interesting details in this scene, but I’ll leave them out for now to avoid giving too much away.

The Real Battle 1The Real Battle 2The Real Battle 3

With the Director back (though in her guise as cafeteria lady), Fuyutsuki decides to vent her frustrations with Onizuka’s attitude, but she gets more than she bargained for in response.

Fuyutsuki and the Director 1Fuyutsuki and the Director 3

Onizuka, meanwhile, reveals his plan for success. Can you guess why he’s feeding all his young friends?

Onizuka's Plan

It doesn’t matter, since Ryuji (Shirota Yu) squirts water all over the idea:

It Was a Bad Idea Anyway

It’s then that Kanzaki appears and offers to be Onizuka’s tutor.

Kanzaki to the Rescue 1Kanzaki to the Rescue 2

She’s not going to actually teach him all the details, but rather she’s going to show him how to make educated guesses – to play the probabilities, in other words. She’s also going to try to figure out what’s most likely to be on the test, and have him focus on that.

Peeping into a study session, Fuyutsuki is in awe of Kanzaki’s methods.

Advanced Methods 1Advanced Methods 2

It doesn’t look like Kanzaki is getting any satisfaction from helping Onizuka, though. She heads home, and it’s clear that her mother is the source of her discontent. Night is falling, and her mother is still staring at the screens, unable to get up to make dinner.

Hard to Call Her a Mother, Really

Back in the classroom, she seems to show less self-confidence in Onizuka’s presence, and asks if they could have a little time outside of class. This takes the form of a ride in a Ferris Wheel:

Good Place for a Chat

Inside, she expresses her frustrations. How will Onizuka respond?

Kanzaki Expresses Herself 1Kanzaki Expresses Herself 3Kanzaki Expresses Herself 4

Well, it’s a beautiful and delicate moment, and since it happens before the halfway point in the episode, we know that things are going to go horribly, heart-wrenchingly wrong. But how?

After returning home, Kanzaki finds that her mother has sustained significant losses, and there are bad people trying to collect what she owes them (that was quick).

Uh-oh 1

By morning, Onizuka receives a message asking for help:

Help!What Will He Do?

It is, of course, the day of the test. Can Onizuka manage to save Kanzaki and get the highest score on the test? If not, how will he manage to get out of this one?

Honda Tsubasa-san’s acting did an excellent job of making this story work. In a single episode, we saw a full range of expressions from her, and they complemented Onizuka’s actions and words perfectly. The hour centered primarily on the two of them, so the episode was entirely excellent in terms of acting and the story’s credibility (which might otherwise have been a close call).

I think the nature of Kanzaki’s home life could have been fleshed out a bit better, but we got the essential points, so it wasn’t a big problem. That was the only flaw worth noting that I could see. Everything else was top-notch, with a satisfying ending to cap it off.

The story of Kanzaki is not over, since Miyabi had threatened to reveal her secret if she sided with Onizuka. We also got the lead-in to the story of the next troubled student – Kikuchi (Takada Sho) – who seems to have a grudge against the Director, though we might have to wait a bit longer before his card comes up.

Why Does Kikuchi Hate the Director?