Great Teacher Onizuka
- Title: グレート ティーチャー オニヅカ
- Title (English): Great Teacher Onizuka
- Also known as: GTO (ジーティーオー)
- Genre: School, human drama
- Viewership rating: 28.4%
- Broadcast network: Fuji TV
- Related TV Shows: Great Teacher Onizuka 2012
- Episodes: 12
- Viewership ratings: 28.3%
- Broadcast period: 1998-Jul-07 to 1998-Sep-22
- Air time: Tuesday 22:00
- Theme song: Poison by Sorimachi Takashi
The drama series is based on the manga and anime of the same name, both created by Fujisawa Tohru. The story is a sequel of lesser known series Shounan Jun'ai-gumi (Shounan Love Gang) where Onizuka Eikichi's rogue high school days are depicted.
Sorimachi Takashi plays Onizuka Eikichi, a graduate of a third-rate University and the leader of a motorcycle gang, whose lifelong dream is to become a teacher. After being hired by a seemingly eccentric director, Onizuka begins his unconventional way of teaching a hopeless group of troublemakers. Although he meets much opposition from the students and teachers themselves, his passion for teaching, and more importantly, his students, eventually convinces everyone that Onizuka truly has the makings of a great teacher.
- Sorimachi Takashi as Onizuka Eikichi
- Matsushima Nanako as Fuyutsuki Azusa
- Kubozuka Yosuke as Kikuchi Yoshito
- Nakamura Aimi as Aizawa Miyabi
- Kirari as Mizuki Nanako
- Ikeuchi Hiroyuki as Murai Kunio
- Yamazaki Yuta as Watanabe Masaru
- Tokuyama Hidenori as Yoda Kenji
- Kuroda Miki as Nomura Tomoko
- Oguri Shun as Yoshikawa Noboru
- Shirakawa Minami as Oshima Chikako
- Hayashi Tomoka as Tsukushima Erika
- Nakao Akira as Uchiyamada Hiroshi
- Kondo Yoshimasa as Nakamata Kouji
- Enjoji Aya as Kotani Hiroko
- Numata Baku as Fujitomi Makoto
- Kobayashi Masahiro as Hakamada Hajime
- Ida Kunihiko as Teshigawara Yuu
- Fujiki Naohito as Saejima Ryuji
- Mabuchi Erika as Uchiyamada Yoshiko
- Tateishi Ryoko as Uchiyamada Ryoko
- Murakami Rikako as Murai Tsubasa
- Tajima Reiko as Aizawa Reiko
- Kimura Tae as Miyuki
- Harada Atsushi as Todo Shinichi
- Sasai Eisuke as Todo Shinjin
- Takahashi Katsumi (ep7)
- Tamaki Hiroshi as Hamaki (ep10)
- Esumi Makiko as a nurse (ep11)
- Original writing: Fujisawa Tohru Shounan Jun'ai-gumi (manga)
- Screenwriter: Kazuhiko Yukawa
- Director: Suzuki Masayuki
- Music: Hattori Takayuki
- GREAT 01: First, I'm a teacher
- GREAT 02: The pervert teacher and the Madonna teacher
- GREAT 03: It's the problem teacher
- GREAT 04: Idol making money
- GREAT 05: It's the teacher stalker
- GREAT 06: The dangerous teacher who puts out his hand to a student's mother
- GREAT 07: The teacher who does compensated dating
- GREAT 08: The teacher who was fired in the opening ceremony of the second semester
- GREAT 09: The teacher who has students withdraw from school by force
- GREAT 10: The teacher who gets excited over staying at Fuyutsuki's room
- GREAT 11: The violent teacher who was scolded by a beautiful nurse
- GREAT 12: I'm a great teacher
- Ep 01: 26.6%
- Ep 02: 25.5%
- Ep 03: 27.5%
- Ep 04: 24.5%
- Ep 05: 25.4%
- Ep 06: 26.3%
- Ep 07: 26.3%
- Ep 08: 29.9%
- Ep 09: 29.6%
- Ep 10: 30.3%
- Ep 11: 32.4%
- Ep 12: 35.7%
Perhaps one of the most inspirational dramas I've ever seen, Great Teacher Onizuka is truly a classic that few will ever forget. Although Onizuka's methods of teaching are certainly not conventional and rather extreme, he conveys his true and genuine passion for "teaching," which touches even the most stone-cold of viewers. Sorimachi Takashi's acting was excellent throughout the series - there was hardly a moment when I was not enraptured by his charming personality and goofy grins.
Besides Sorimachi who, with little exaggeration, stole the show, the supporting cast also provided an excellent backdrop and played convincing parts. In particular, I liked Kubozuka Yousuke's and Nanako Matsushima's - one as an intelligent and witty student, the latter as a righteous teacher who, after misjudging the rough appearance of Onizuka, begins to fall for him.
Because Great Teacher Onizuka is based off an anime/manga, there are certain aspects of the drama that reflects its origins. Certainly, Onizuka's exaggerated facial expressions and poses are characteristics of any anime, which makes GTO a great transition series from anime to drama. As I've observed, many anime watchers converted to drama because of the live-action, including myself! Frankly, I have not looked back on anime since.
As for the musical soundtrack, even after months having gone by without listening to it, I still remember that Poison, sung by Sorimachi Takashi (the opening song), is incredible, as well as Fuyutsuki Azusa's ballad. There are several version of Poison, but my favorite is the piano version.
There were only a few very minimal complaints I had about this live-action, as I loved nearly every aspect of it. The series was a bit too episodic, where in each episode, the viewer could expect to see yet another student who Onizuka wins over. The plot never really thickens until the last few episodes, where it truly picks up and ends with a grand flourish, which was satisfying. Even with the typical episodic plot though, I enjoyed every episode watching Sorimachi use his peculiar methods and observing the eventual acceptance and respect he garners from his students and fellow teachers. I love this series, and remains one of my favorite Japanese doramas to date.
Rating: Life-Altering (5/5)
geoffropuff says: Life-altering
I would have to agree with ice on this one. This drama is one memorable ride. Takashi Sorimachi's character, Onizuka, absolutely captures the hearts of viewers with his effective, yet unconventional, style of teaching. There were so many times I found myself cracking up to the point where my roommates thought i was having some kind of seizure or something. He does a fantastic job at exaggerating his facial features, so as similar to the manga and the anime.
The other characters did a good job of supporting the character of Onizuka. While his character is good enough to carry a show on its own, it's nice to see that the other characters were much better than forgettable. In particular, I liked the characters of Fuyutsuki, Tomoko, and Murai. Fuyutsuki was the teacher who, while she looked pretty and nice, actually had a "second face". Tomoko was a student who wasn't particularly good at anything, but was a really good friend. Murai was a student with internal conflicts regarding his father and authority figures, but really wanted to trust Onizuka.
Again I agree with ice. The music is very memorable. Even though many of the songs are different renditions of Poison by Takashi Sorimachi, I enjoy every single one. The piano version is also my favorite, with the regular vocal version coming in a close second.
Of course, this drama isn't perfect. It was very episodic, but most shows with this type of theme are very episodic. I feel that it was pulled off very well. For me, though, the biggest flaw was in a couple characters. I could not stand the head teacher's daughter and wife. They were supposed to be very annoying and demanding and such, but they did it so well, they made me angry on more than one occasion. Other from this fact. I really loved all the characters. Even though this was only the second drama I ever watched, it remains my favorite drama to date. I've seen it 3 times and counting............
- Viewership ratings: 27.4%
- Broadcast period: 1998-Dec (re-broadcast 1999-Jun-29)
Onizuka Eikichi is assigned to a new school - a girls-only school.
- Sorimachi Takashi as Onizuka Eikichi
- Katase Nana as Yamaguchi Rika
- Shimizu Chika (清水千賀) as Masuda Yuka
- Asami Reina as Saito Moe
- Hara Fumina
- Hosokawa Shigeki as Takeda-sensei
- Kitamura Soichiro as Fuyutsuki Kenzo (Azusa's father)
- Sato B-saku
- Murakami Kohei
- Shirakawa Yumi as Sakurai Akira/Sakura