GTO Vol. #02 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: GTO

GTO Vol. #02

By Chris Beveridge     May 30, 2002
Release Date: May 21, 2002

GTO Vol. #02

What They Say
Onizuka is finally starting to get the hang of teaching and settles in for the long run but some of his students have other plans for the sex starved gamer! When a group of girl bullies take out their frustrations on Onizuka’s favorite game guru, Yoshikawa, he takes matters into his own hands to teach them an after school lesson.

Too bad for Onizuka that he didn’t happen to check the girls family connections first – one of the girls mothers is the head of the PTA! Now she’s irate and out to get him fired! Will Onizuka be the one to learn to real lesson?

Lesson 5: An Eye For An Eye, A Butt For A Butt
Lesson 6: Conspiracies All Around
Lesson 7: The Mother Of All Crushes
Lesson 8: Bungee Jumping Made Easy
Lesson 9: Onizuka And The Art Of War

The Review!
GTO has quickly taken over the status the Rurouni Kenshin held as the “must watch NOW” title for my wife when a new volume arrives. These are few and far between to be sure.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix for this track is pretty nice, though the show is very much dialogue driven with some sound effects to add to it. Music sounds great, particularly the opening song, and we noted no dropouts or distortions throughout.

The transfer here looks just as good as the first volume did. The digital aspects we didn’t care for in the first volume are much less pronounced here, giving things a much more seamless look. Cross coloration is practically non-existent outside of a few very detailed scenes and aliasing is about the same. Colors look good but not vibrant, as it set out to be.

The same style as the first volume carries through here with the company logo along the side and the various images from the show used for the main artwork. The blue theme is the gist of things here (mirroring the manga releases I believe) and works well with the images chosen. The back cover provides all the technical information in a clear way as well as the episode numbers and titles in addition to the volume numbering. The insert provides another shot of the front cover and opens up to give the translation notes to various sayings and people mentioned during the episodes. The only thing I did not care for here was when they explain the Initial D reference, they proceed to tell you when the show is coming out and why it’s so good. I understand the need to cross promote, but this just feels somewhat cheap. The back side of the insert provides explanations for the eye-catches provided in the extras section.

The menu system for the this volume is spot on with a green chalkboard layout that lists the selections on the left and has an image of Onizuka being drawn on the right while you hear background chatter from a cafeteria. The folks at Nightjar provide another slick and efficient menu here where things are just set up right. Access times are nice and fast and language selection lets you know exactly what you've got selected. Good stuff all around.

The extras have a variety of interesting pieces to them. The opening and ending are presented here with the original Japanese credits, something that doesn’t happen too often (but I like) as well as the eye-catches to date. The eye-catches have explanations on the insert, explaining the sponsors and so forth. Another round of “Gone Wild” is here as well, showcasing the very diverse facial expressions Onizuka has and a segment of character designs.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the main character introductions, primarily Onizuka, out of the way with the first disc, things move forward here in a couple of good small arcs that detail some more of his encounters with his students as he continues to turn them away from their usual anti-teacher stances.

Both of the characters that get dealt with move throughout the episodes, so it’s not a consolidated arc or anything. Onizuka ends up dealing with the girls, led by Miyabi, who try to get him ousted. They use a variety of methods, resorting to some interesting ones after it seems like Murai is becoming friendly with Onizuka. There’s also the introduction of Tomoko, who likes being called Tomo-chan. She’s recruited by the Girls of Evil to act as a courier for their plans, only to screw up of course. She’s the fourteen year old with size F breasts, and with her seeming not to be all that swift, easily earns the Girls scorn, even when it’s thought she does things right.

Some of their scorn was definitely nasty, but it reminded me of many situations from high school that I remember clearly. The “they eat their own” mentality is coming into play as it seems like at least half the class is becoming friendly with Onizuka and his ways of teaching. The disc opens with him telling an amusing tale meant to scare them, but turns out to be silly in the end, much like a lot of scary stories.

The other arc that deals with Murai is much more interesting in the end, since it deals with Murai as a character much more than it did the PTA president’s daughter, which seemed like a last minute “here’s why she does this” kind of thing. Murai’s mother had him when she was a year younger than he is now, so that gives things a different perspective to begin with. Learning of his life growing up without a father and the male influence begins to color his actions and why he does things. Of course, Onizuka takes a very serious interest in all of this since Murai’s mother is a very hot looking young woman, still in her mid twenties at this point.

Suffice to say, Murai hates him even more for this.

There’s lots going on with other cast members as well, from the vice principal and his endless troubles with his lovely Cresta that will save his family life to the athletics coach who has to defend the honor of his school against Onizuka. Yoshikawa has some rather painfully bad moments in these episodes but his character really bears things out nicely. But this is really Onizuka and Murai’s discs. It’s especially Onizuka’s disc when he starts doing various anime character impressions, from Doraemon to Kenshiro, complete with the right scream.

GTO doesn’t slack off at all from the first disc. It’s only getting better and better. And having listened to it in dubbed form as well, it’s definitely one that both language fans are going to enjoy. The next disc can’t get here fast enough.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Eyecatches,Original Japanese Opening & Ending,Character Sketches

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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jnager 3/13/2012 9:53:00 AM

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