When we last left Onizuka (played by AKIRA), he had resigned from the school in the midst of pressure, in what was a slightly disappointing episode since the adversity he faced really wasn’t insurmountable. Don’t worry, though – this episode features a truly devilish plot involving the one student Onizuka neglected to save before he resigned – Kikuchi Yoshito (Takada Sho).

GTO Title

With evil genius Aizawa (Kawaguchi Haruna) now in the Onizuka camp, the new antagonist we’re introduced to at the start of this episode is this determined-looking woman:

Daimon 1

That’s the new headmaster Daimon Misuzu (Nishida Naomi), and she was once a protege of the beloved Director (Kuroki Hitomi). In fact, Daimon continues to act in the way the Director taught, before the Director had that trouble with class 2-4 and realized that she had been wrong.

Daimon 2Daimon 3

We’re going to get to know that old method intimately during the course of this episode, and the Director doesn’t appear to like that.

The Director

As Daimon walks out of the Director’s office, she encounters Kikuchi, who talks to her like they’re confederates in what they plan to do to the school. Actually, he almost talks to her like he’s in charge.

Daimon and Kikuchi 1

They decide that, before anything else, they have to deal with Onizuka, and Kikuchi says that he has to be “totally eliminated.”

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Then Kikuchi calls Daimon “Mother,” and we all go “oh~!”

"Mother"

As she walks away, he puts on a devilish smile, but it melts away quickly.

Kikuchi 1Kikuchi 2

Meanwhile, Onizuka is in a sorry state:

Onizuka playing the odds 1Onizuka playing the odds 2Onizuka Needs MoneyOnizuka Spurned

And, true to her word, Daimon gets on his case right away:

Daimon and Onizuka 1Daimon and Onizuka 2

She doesn’t want him to have anything to do with the kids at the school . . .

Daimon and Onizuka 3Daimon and Onizuka 4Daimon and Onizuka 5

. . . and she has an ultimatum – she’ll expel the members of class 2-4 if he has anything to do with them:

Ultimatum 1Ultimatum 2Ultimatum 3

That’s . . . is that legal? Actually, the way Daimon acts, she doesn’t seem to care whether what she does is legal or ethical. History has nasty names for people like her, and trust me, you’ll have no qualms about using them by the time this episode is over.

Daimon Has the Upper Hand 2

Ryuji (Shirota Yu) can’t believe Onizuka rolled over to Daimon’s demands so easily.

Ryuji in Disbelief

But Onizuka isn’t really in the mood anymore.

Onizuka Bummed Out

Next, Daimon deals with the teachers. She distributes tablet computers to them, and introduces a point system that will determine their salaries. In other words, when they discipline a student, or when a student’s average test score goes up, the teachers earn more money.

Road to Tyranny 1Road to Tyranny 2Road to Tyranny 3Road to Tyranny 4

Ah, the old game theory-based incentive system that only works for economists and stock traders. It turns out that it completely fails for people in altruistic professions – teachers and nurses especially – which modern game theory takes into account. Luckily, most of the teachers at this school suck, and except for Fuyutsuki (Takimoto Miori) are far from altruistic, so it actually starts to work.

Greedy Bastards

Fuyutsuki doesn’t like it, though:

Fuyutsuki

And Daimon announces that the school will be filled with surveillance cameras so that they know when to distribute the points (and other things). If you think you can see where this is going, you’re probably right, though maybe not on the scale you expect.

Worse, Daimon puts Principal Uchiyamada in charge of class 2-4:

Uchiyamada 1Uchiyamada 2

And he tries to pull an Onizuka:

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Considering that intro didn’t even work for Onizuka on the first day, the lack of reaction was no surprise this time.

All the kids got tablets, too:

Tablets for All

Most of the kids are enthusiastic, but Aizawa is skeptical.

Something's Wrong Here

Outside, the teachers are running around trying to wrack up point for getting students to straighten out their ties:

Road to Tyranny Continued 1Road to Tyranny Continued 2Road to Tyranny Continued 3

Only these two seem to be able to see what’s going on:

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And then we find out the full scope of Big Brother (or, since it’s Daimon, Big Sister) as they’ve got a huge array what can look through all the security cameras and, more importantly, into all the tablets.

Road to Tyranny - Big Brother 1Road to Tyranny - Big Brother 2Road to Tyranny - Big Brother 3

The students are all tracked by the GPS in their tablets, all the student e-mails are displayed, all the sites they visit – the works. And nobody’s bothered to teach these kids the concept of privacy because it was commercially inconvenient to do so.

Road to Tyranny - Big Brother 5Road to Tyranny - Big Brother 6

The Director has already learned her lesson, and tries to convince Daimon . . .

Bad Experiences 1Bad Experiences 2Bad Experiences 3

. . . but with great power comes the thirst to keep and use it, and Daimon’s decided to grab the kind of power regular people only experience when playing The Sims. And why does she think this will make the school better?

Run It Like a Business

Yes, because she’s going to run it like a business. This is a pet-peeve of mine that the writer of the episode seems to share – there’s only one type of organization that should be run like a business: a business. There are very good reasons why monetary incentives for performance don’t work well in schools or in government . . . but this is probably not the place to explain it. That’s a separate rant altogether.

Already, this episode had me all riled up, and we haven’t even gotten to a concrete conflict yet. Well, that’s about to change, as Kikuchi overhears fellow classmate Kusano (Suzuki Nobuyuki) praising Onizuka, and decides to have Big Sister (or should it be Big Mother?) make Kusano’s life miserable.

Targeting Kusano 1Targeting Kusano 2Targeting Kusano 3Targeting Kusano 4

Meanwhile, Onizuka is doing . . . something completely different.

Onizuka at Work 1

Fuyutsuki finds him and asks him to come back and help, but he’s adamant about moving on. He acts flippant, but ends up with a serious look on his face after she leaves.

Onizuka and Fuyutsuki 1Onizuka and Fuyutsuki 2Onizuka and Fuyutsuki 3Onizuka and Fuyutsuki 4

The Director asks Kikuchi if he’s monitoring the students, and he admits to it. Apparently, he hates her because her (old) way of doing things caused his mother to sacrifice her family. His parents are divorced and his mother abandoned him. In which case . . .  why does he act so civil towards his mother?

Director and Kikuchi 1Director and Kikuchi 2Director and Kikuchi 3Director and Kikuchi 4

We see Kusano in the gym – he’s training to be a boxer – when he gets a call from his girlfriend. Actually, it’s a call from his girlfriend’s mother, telling him not to see her again.

No College, No Good 1No College, No Good 2No College, No Good 3

You see, she got an anonymous letter telling her all about the relationship and how he wants to become a boxer.

No College, No Good 4

Guess where that letter came from.

The New Evil Student

Onizuka happens to have a delivery to make in the gym (or was that set up by Kikuchi as well?) and Kusano turns his eyes to him:

Plea for Help 1Plea for Help 2Plea for Help 3

What will happen? Will Onizuka disregard Daimon’s warning and help his young friend? Or will he decide not to do so, and give Daimon a chance to do something even worse before he finally intervenes?

This was an excellent episode on many levels. Onizuka and his students are facing nothing less than autocratic domination of their lives, as their secrets will be mercilessly used against them to force them to comply with Daimon’s whims. Onizuka himself faces a difficult bind, given Daimon’s threat. There’s real suspense all the way through about how exactly he’ll deal with the situation.

A weak point was the way Aizawa was sidelined. I mean, she was the great mastermind through the past nine episodes. Now, she’s suddenly one of the sheep? I would have expected her to see through what was going on, and to push back a bit more. Perhaps she’ll be more active in the next episode, but I didn’t feel that her character was consistent in this one.

I was also a bit unhappy with the way the Kusano conflict ended – the scene seemed very forced. I can’t get into details without tossing out a bunch of spoilers, but I trust you’ll understand what I mean when you see it.

Well, the next episode is the last one in the main series. There will be a special on October 2nd, though, and anything can happen after that.

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