GTO Vol. #02 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, June 21, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2002
After watching the last installment of GTO I had very high expectations for the second DVD. However, the second volume didn't meet my expectations instead it surpassed them. I guess that's enough for an introduction. Shall we begin?
Once again I tested the disc on multiple players and I found out that the disc still has trouble with the signs in English mode on lower end players just as the last disc did. I also found at some times the loading was slow, but that was very rare. Otherwise there is nothing bad with this disc. I think that the loading and sign problems just depend on the player that is used because on my DVD-ROM and on all but one player there didn't seem to be any problems.
What makes this disc so darn good? Well let's begin with the extras. First I really liked the inclusion of translator's notes. I've have always enjoyed having these especially to explain cultural aspects of humor that I am not aware of. This disc does have a lot of those but the amount will vary depending on the language you watch, I'll get back to this later. Next I liked seeing the eye-catchers and after seeing them I must admit that I'm glad that they didn't include them within the show. It's not that I'm against it, it's just that the eye-catchers last too long. I prefer a short five or six second eye-catcher these just seem to last too long. I guess that's just my preference.
I don't like to do this but may be spoilers here, but it's only for one paragraph
It still surprises me just how good this set of five episodes is. Why? Well first off the return of the Cresta, yes it has become a running joke, but it's a good one. Second the addition of a new cute girl and a hot mommy, literally. With this comes some nice fanservice. Third some great anime references. Here's where the translator's notes come in handy. For those who are like myself, in their twenties, will probably not recognize the majority of the anime references (with the exception of Fist of the Northstar) due to the fact that they are mostly from the seventies. Also to note is that a fair chunk of the references are not included in English version as are many of the culture references, but it doesn't take away from the show. These episodes show how "great' Onizuka really is as he is approached with a new problem and how he finds unique ways to solve them. One of the best parts of this show is how Onizuka effects those around him. Turning foes to friends, and somehow pissing other people off and making new enemies. Of course if everyone liked him there'd be no conflict and then there would be no show.
Okay the spoilers are over you're safe, for now...
For those who saw the first disc, need I add anything that could make you want this? If you are worried about the quality put the fears to rest. Everything is here cute girls, comedy, video games, and car chases do I really need to say more? If you've been thinking about this series all I can say is go out and get it. If you want a good comedy or something that's like no other anime I'm aware of then check this one out. Of course if you're looking for a fanservice only show, you may still want to look somewhere else, but still pick this one up; I just can't recommend it enough.
Both language tracks provide a slightly different experience and if you're ever without anything to do its always fun to play the compare game especially with all the different Japanese references that the English version takes out. As a final comment I would just like to say that it's impressive that a cast of about six or seven actors can voice the nearly twenty different speaking characters on the English version. Since the character cast continues to grow it will be interesting to see what happens with the VA line up. More important than that, however, is that the third disc comes out this month, meaning that the two month wait will not need to be repeated, I can only hope that disc four comes out as fast as three.
Sony 16x DVD-ROM, CTX 19 in. monitor, old POS speakers, GeForce2 AGP 32m, Pentium III 733 Mhz, 128 meg
Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2