GTO Vol. #04 (Mania.com)

By:Adam Lurgio
Review Date: Saturday, January 04, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2002



The Review!
First off, let me say that this is my first review. It's a weird place to start reviewing GTO, but I just couldn't help myself. I just finished GTO: The Test tonight. I must say, this show is extremely cool. Oh, and I'm watching my brother's copy.

Audio: Not too much in the way of directionality, but good for a mostly dialogue-driven show. I have no complaints.

Video: Very crisp and clean. It is a recent show, so it's to be expected.

Packaging: I'm not crazy for the packaging, but it's just that, packaging. It however does fit the show and these particular episodes.

Menu: The menus are easy to function, and they are Nightjar. Who could go wrong with them?

Extras: There are quite a few extras on this disc. They are all worthwhile, and fun.


CONTENT: (Spoilers are included)
Right from the beginning I knew that I would love this show. The characters are interesting, and have many dimensions. Onizuka always helps the students in need. Each student has a story to tell, which makes them all different.
Lesson 15 continues from where the last disc ended. Onizuka saves the girl and finally gets to take the test. Before the results come in, the girl's parents come in and tell the principal not to fire Onizuka because he saved their daughter. And then the results come in: Onizuka gets number one on the nationwide exam with some help from both the students and the principal. This is broadcast on the news, which is watched by an ominous character out to get Onizuka.
The next three episodes deal with the introduction of the new student, Urumi Kanzaki as well as her clashes with Onizuka. Onizuka always seems to give in to Urumi, but every time we are treated to glimpses into Urumi's past and why she tortures Onizuka. This plays out extremely funny, but got serious at any moment. Lesson 18 leaves us with Holy Forest Academy being "terrorized."
Lesson 19 continues with Urumi but we finally get to see why she acts the way she does. Her fifth grade teacher tells Onizuka and his gang of students that she (the teacher) used to have Urumi over to teach her beyond what she teaches to the class. However, during school one day, the teacher gets outwitted by Urumi and yells in front of the whole class. Urumi doesn't come back to the house, and thus she becomes unhappy, and goes on trying to destroy schools, and even teacher's careers. After a bike accident that nearly kills both Onizuka and Urumi, Onizuka finds out that Urumi just wanted a parental figure since her parents just wanted to have a "smart girl" and didn't even love each other. Suffice to say, Urumi changes thanks to Onizuka and his stunt of flying off a bridge.
These episodes leave a mark on the viewer. They make you think, make you laugh, and even sadden you. Urumi is an extremely interesting character who just wants a parental figure. There are people out in the real world exactly like her. If they feel betrayed they lash out against everyone and everything close to them. Onizuka is just with her to help her realize that she needs to live in the present, and not dwell on the past. This idea is seen a lot in anime, but I never get sick of it. Slapstick comedy with a touch of seriousness is what I like. This show so far is highly recommended.




Review Equipment
SONY DVP-S560D, RCA 32" TV with S-Video link, Fisher Wide Sound Surround system



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: TOKYOPOP
MSRP: 29.95
Running time: 125
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: GTO