- Great Teacher Onizuka
Meet Onizuka Eikichi, a 22-year-old virgin ex-biker-gang leader and college
Karate champ. He's crude, foul-mouthed, and has a hair-trigger temper. His
goal: to be the Greatest High-School Teacher in the World!
Finishing this series was the most bittersweet moment in my anime-viewing
history, bar none. Pure and simple, I love this series, and from what I hear
on boards and anime sites, I am not alone. Now why, you may ask? Well, let me
tell you why: sheer character depth and development. Other series may have a
few main and supporting characters develop, making that particular series a "good" series (such as Vandread). In no other anime, though, have I
ever seen an entire ensemble cast of supporting characters (I think I counted
at least ten) go through so much development in a single series, like Murai,
attitude extraordinaire, the psychotic Kanzaki, and the uber-wimp Yoshikawa
(just to name a few). So many characters to choose from, and with all of them
individually focused on and developing right before our eyes, everyone's
favorite gets their fair share of the limelight.
Plotwise, this anime is fairly straightforward: Become the Greatest Teacher
Ever! (Oh yeah, and don't get fired.) A simple enough track that actually
keeps going incredibly well thoughout the whole series. Simply put: this is
the longest series that I have ever seen with almost no filler whatsoever.
It's only noticeable through part is the first volume (four episodes) where
the only character you're introduced to is Onizuka (read: 22-year-old virgin,
rebel, LETCH). Even then though, he is a fairly likable character, he just
really does not come into his prime until the rest of his supporting cast is
As for the artwork? Well ... My resounding recommendation is especially
puzzling (for me) because this anime's artwork, while being high in quality,
does have a unique style all its own. Needing to be seen to be truly
experienced, all I can really say is that it only feels ugly in certain
instances, and that those instances actually are part of the comedy. They just
take some getting used to.
Seeing as how music is usually a non-factor for me in how I like the title,
this title again presented a unique situation: actually inspiring me to go out
and buy the CD of the soundtrack. Unfortunately though, I will still have to
search for another soundtrack with the opening and ending themes, four songs
that I have absolutely grown to love in the last couple of years.
A point for the English dub too, I like it much better than the sub (cue
fanboy horror). No really though, David Lucas (Onizuka, also Spike in Cowboy
Bebop, and Kusanagi Shizuma in Real Bout High School) does a beautiful job
with his role. The voice director really knew what he was doing as well,
keeping the dub precise and clean (with funny outtake extras to boot).
In conclusion, this anime is a completely unique and amazing anime
"experience" all its own.