Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: C+
- 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 Zubin Kumana
June 05, 2003
Release Date: March 11, 2003
After a brief intermission of two-parters and one-shots, GTO returns with a lengthy stretch that, once again, may spell the end to Onizuka's career as a teacher. Will he work his way though everything, or will he finally fall victim to the latest student-faculty conspiracy?
Menus: The menus haven't changed - they're still fast, responsive, and easy to navigate. I guess there's something to be said for consistency.
Extras: The insert is the exact image as on the cover, the reverse containing a few liner notes - useful but not really necessary in these episodes). On the disc, we get the fourth part of an interview with Tohru Fujisawa, textless OP/ED, outtakes, previews, and, in addition to the abomination that is the Initial D music video, a GTO "School's in Session" music video (for anyone who wants to tempt fate, a warning: do not listen to if there are any sharp objects lying around the room, as you may inadvertently try to ram them into your ears).
Packaging: What a peculiar choice for a cover color combination - an orange logo with a yellow/orange picture with orange borders... yeah... The only way they could make this volume any more orange would be to make it "scratch n' sniff"... Of course, this does mean I get to have the orange volume right next to the blue one (Go Florida!).
Video: This is the first volume of GTO I had the pleasure to watch on my new home theater setup. The video hold up surprisingly well on a 60" 16:9 screen (yes, I'm bragging.... a little).
Audio: Still good, nice and consistent. Also, maybe my ears are deceiving me, but it seems like they're easing off on the accents (a good thing).
The first episode on the disc is a continuation of the last episode on the previous disc. Tomoko has entered the Glossy Princess contest with the help of Onizuka and Company. Unfortunately, Tomoko's clumsiness and ditziness earn her an enemy early on. Despite Onizuka's intense (and sometimes misguided) efforts to gain support for Tomoko, her rival's backers pull strings to fix things in her favor. As the end of the contest takes place inside a huge auditorium, the audience takes exception to the obviously fixed results. Despite having evidence to prove malfeasance, Onizuka and Tomoko let things go, knowing she's just happy to know that people like her.
The next three episodes bring about the return of Miyabi, who seems to be the last student who hasn't been won over to Onizuka's side. She and her followers (including Uehara) dig up some dirt on another teacher, Sakurada, and blackmail him into helping them (interestingly they toned down the nature of his activities as compared to the manga, but we get the point). Their plan involves getting the hapless Fujiyoshi to collect the money for the class field trip (around 1 million yen), and then swiping it and letting it fall into the hands of Onizuka. Sakurada then brings him to a "School Girl Club" where Miyabi has the underclassmen get him completely drunk and relieving him of the money.
However, before the plan is set in motion, Fujiyoshi faces his own temptations, as he has his eye on a new watch, and "borrows" some of the money to pay for it. After losing the money, but admitting he is partly to blame, he goes to Onizuka for help, but every idea Onizuka comes up with falls short. After a suicide note is found, Onizuka organizes a posse (that is, Murai & Co) to go out looking for him. Eventually he is found safe and sound, working to try and earn back the money.
In the meantime, flyers have been posted up detailing Onizuka's drunken exploits. Kikuchi and Urumi do a little investigating, and uncover the ruse used to dupe Onizuka. And at the same time, Uchiyamada is working to have Onizuka removed for embezzling the school trip funds.
In the final episode, a student assembly is called to discuss the issue of Onizuka's embezzlement. On the way, Kikuchi and Urumi reveal to Onizuka how he was deceived, but rather than expose Miyabi, he elects to respond by admitting the embezzlement and offering to make it up to everyone by taking everyone on a field trip to Okinawa (throwing himself in the whole an additional 7 million yen).
Onizuka spends the rest of the week coming up with hare-brained schemes to make money (all of which come up short), and blowing what money he does make by gambling it away. With time running out, Yoshikawa offers his life savings, and even Uehara offers some financial assistance, but Onizuka will have none of it. Instead, he goes to Ryuji, who flatly refuses the request for money, but offers him a raffle ticket... and the curtain drops.
Despite its lack of gimmicks -no giant robots, no "harems", no overbearingly introspective weaklings, no hyperactive cocaine-induced frolicking) - this show about a guy who just wants to be the best teacher around has thoroughly entertained and fulfilled. This show manages to be both inspiring and uplifting while not being condescending by sugarcoating situations or avoiding the full face of human nature. Yeah, Onizuka may act a pervert or a jerk sometimes, but who doesn't? It fills out his humanity and serves to make him more sympathetic. I'm glad I am able to spend time with characters like these.
Bottom Line: An excellent addition in the series. If you have let yourself get behind, catch up!
JVC XV-SA602 (RF), Sony Grand WEGA 60XBR800, Sony DA4ES Receiver, Klipsch Reference Series 3 Speaker System, Samsung DVD Rom Drive