GTO Vol. #07 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: GTO

GTO Vol. #07

By Chris Beveridge     March 14, 2003
Release Date: March 11, 2003


GTO Vol. #07
© TOKYOPOP


What They Say
Episode 28
Whatever Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong
Tomoko is exposed to the harsh reality of professional pageantry.

Episode 29
Studies in HIgh Finance
Onizuka's students learn the fine art of embezzlement.

Episode 30
Money Talks, GTO Walks
Onizuka tracks down a missing student after he is accused of theft.

Episode 31
Destination: Okinawa
To make up for past mistakes, Onizuka promises to take the entire class to Okinawa.

The Review!
The insanity continues on all fronts here as the slump from a few episodes ago is now nothing more than a memory.

Audio:
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.

Video:
The transfer for this volume is pretty much what we’re expecting to see for the remainder of the series, and that’s pretty close to what the first couple of volumes were like. In addition to the continued better meshing of the digital animation look, the cross coloration issues continue to crop up only in some very tightly drawn areas. Aliasing is about the only real issue you’ll have at times, mostly just with camera sweeps.

Packaging:
The base coloring and borders this time around goes to a nice orange. This works nicely set against the yellow background and having the foreground image of a very colorful Onizuka on his bike. The back cover features a few more screenshots in full color as well as a brief summary of the show and of each of the episodes. Episode numbers and titles are listed as well as the volume number on the spine. The insert has one page worth of translation notes and tips as well as providing another look at the front cover on the top page.

Menu:
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 left 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.

Extras:
The extras continue to be good with the primary one being the fourth part of the interview with Fujisawa, where we learn more goodness of what went into the manga series creation and its anime adaptation. The opening and ending sequences are shown again in textless form and there’s a four minute or so music video entitled “School’s in Session”, where it’s more of a promotional video since it has plugs at the end. The outtakes run barely a few seconds, but they’re rather amusing.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This installment of GTO does a nice job of shifting gears and moving from one arc to another and still keeping up the energy.

The arc with Tomoko and making her famous across the country has come down to the big contest with twelve contestants being talked about in each issue and having people write in for their favorite. Onizuka and the students that he has working as co-managers go all out in their efforts to get her to go up in the charts, but week after week she never moves out of last place, even after Onizuka gets all his old biker buddies and have them write up hundreds of thousands of postcards to send in.

With some trickery afoot amongst one of the other contestants, the show moves into an interesting area as the contest comes to a head and you have hundreds of people in an auditorium to cheer on their winner. Of course, it all comes down to the way Onizuka teaches and every gets a lesson to learn. This arc was fun overall, and it definitely had some very risqué segments, but I think it ended up spending too much time away from the school and all the insanity that can be found there.

This is why the next arc went over so well with us, as it’s back to the class schedule and the world of teachers vs. student. Miyabi continues to be the biggest thorn in Onizuka’s side as she wants him fired badly. She even goes to confront Urumi who should know better only to be rejected as being somewhat bitter. Miyabi though doesn’t react well and only intensifies her desire to get rid of Onizuka. She does come up with a rather good plan this time.

With the big class trip coming up to the mountains, Miyabi brings some secret photos up to 3rd year teacher Sakurada and gets him to do her bidding. Instead of having the class president, the more reliable of the group, collect the money for the trip, she has Sakurada instruct Fujiyoshi to do it. Fujiyoshi’s a good kid, but he’s wanting some really cool things but is always wanting since there’s something like five kids in his family. So Fujiyoshi leaves school with 1.12 million yen in a bag and heads off towards home.

With a brief stop at a store to pick up a 50 thousand yen limited edition watch.

But even here you don’t feel too bad for him since he figures he’ll get an advance on his allowance and if not, he’ll just return the watch. But all this goes to hell when he realizes he’s lost the bag with the 1 million yen in it. While he freaks out, we see how Miyabi and her minions swiped the bag from him at a restaurant and then placed it in Onizuka’s apartment. It’s at this point that Onizuka enters Miyabi’s evil plan.

Sakurada, in his continued obedience to Miyabi, is instructed to take Onizuka to a secret schoolgirl bar where they intend to get him plastered. With Onizuka waking up and finding a million yen in his pocket, he tries to figure it out but is eventually overwhelmed by the concept of a schoolgirl bar and finds himself completely trashed, and now with photo evidence of him spending a whole lot of money. With Fujiyoshi in a panic and Onizuka realizing where the money came from, both of them go off in different directions to figure out how to resolve the problem.

And that’s really just the tip of it as the story goes through three episodes, from the plot itself to the public outcry and the continued plans for his firing. There’s lots of amusing moments throughout it as his students rally for him as well as dealing with Fujiyoshi and the way he deals with it, since he and Onizuka don’t exactly come completely clean with each other. Onizuka gets some great moments in these episodes, especially his time in the “Secret Bar”.

It’s hard to believe there are only three volumes of this left, as it’s one of those series you want to see continuing on for much longer than that. There’s few series I say that about and even fewer that my wife feels that way about. GTO is one of those rarities.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Interview with Fujisawa,Textless Opening,Textless Ending,Music Video,Outtakes

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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