GTO Vol. #10 - 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: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: GTO

GTO Vol. #10

By Chris Beveridge     September 15, 2003
Release Date: September 16, 2003


GTO Vol. #10
© TOKYOPOP


What They Say
In this shocking series finale, the students end their school trip with high spirits and open hearts. Onizuka makes sure things stay that way by coming to the aid of the emotionally troubled Miyabi. The outcome is a test of wills that can either end Onizuka's career or catapult him into the spotlight as the Greatest Teacher in the World!

The Review!
The final volume of the series flies through the four episodes here and comes to the only kind of conclusion possible.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The pro-logic mix for this track is pretty nice, though the show is very much dialogue driven with some sound effects to add to it. There are only a few scenes that actually send anything to the rear speakers, such as some clapping or the background sound of rain falling.. 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 with a black and forest green look that complements the shot from the show used for the cover perfectly. With that being Onizuka and Anko on his bike at night, it provides a great continuity of color and style. 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 with Anko on the bike just like the cover. 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 final round of extras provide some good material, which is still surprising considering the series ran ten volumes. There’s a new section of dub outtakes that run barely 90 seconds as well as a couple minutes worth of footage from the San Diego Comic Con entitled “Waiting for Fujisawa”. This is the lead-up to his arrival at the TOKYOPOP booth where they have the band that does the “schools in session” song for the series. The two closing sequences are presented in their original Japanese format here as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the end of the series, we get some really solid material here, though the final two episode arc does feel somewhat rushed. But knowing that there’s still another dozen volumes of manga to read after this for more story helps ease the pain.

GTO picks up nicely where things left off as the kids are enjoying their last day at the Okinawa resort. The main focus continues to be on the budding relationship between Anko and Yoshikawa, mostly on how Anko is trying to deal with what she realizes is going on. Onizuka of course is manipulating this every which we he can; he comes through beautifully at one moment where we find Anko having a dream about Yoshikawa and wakes up to see Yoshikawa under her sheets with a video camera watching her. Of course, it’s really Onizuka with a Yoshikawa face mask, but it’s played out so perfectly that you can’t help but laugh hard.

The real test comes though when on the last night, Onizuka gets everyone into their swimsuits and takes them to an abandoned hotel project where he’s setting them on a kimodameshi, the challenge of going through a “haunted” building and doing something, such as signing your name in a book hidden away inside. Onizuka pairs everyone up in boy/girl sets (except for poor Urumi who gets all four Gundam boys as her escort), with the main object being Anko and Yoshikawa. The two of them spend some interesting time together as they go through the course and end up in a special area set aside by Onizuka.

While Onizuka goes overboard in getting his point across to Anko (poor Yoshikawa!), the confession sequence she puts forth is fantastic. You only wish that people were that honest about such things on a more regular basis in real life.

The final arc brings up the central point to the series early on, and that’s the reason behind why all the students in this class have hated teachers. We learn about the previous teacher and his relationship with the students and how it all went awry. The event is actually larger than what they initially lay out as we learn how the Board of Education got involved and the honor of the entire academy was at stake. This two part episode plays out well, but areas of it feel really rushed. From what I’ve read, the remainder of the manga starts taking a more serious and darker tone going forward, which leaves the Okinawa adventure and the closure of the students problems with teachers as a suitable and proper place to bring the series to a close.

GTO has been a solid series for pretty much its entire forty-three episode run. There were a few lulls at one point, but overall it managed to hold up much better than a lot of series that run around this length. Onizuka’s a character that manages to cross boundaries easily and go beyond the limit but still retain his likability. With such a strong central character, he’s able to bring the lives of those around him into focus as well without overwhelming them or being the main object of attention during those times. While he is the lead, much of the screen time has been given to the lives of the kids in his class or to the adults around him.

This series has been one of the high points of the past two years with each release being at the top of the pile to be watched when it came in. This is a solid series with lots of fun, fanservice and good times. Highly recommended.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Outtakes,Waiting on Fujisawa,Original Japanese Endings (2),Translation notes

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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