GTO-Volume 1: Great Teacher Onizuka (1998)

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Released 14-Feb-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Credits-Japanese Opening
Featurette-Onizuka - Gone Wild
Gallery-Character Designs
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 125:50
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Noriyuki Abe
TokyoPop Anime
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Yusuke Honma

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Titling
Smoking Yes, Frequently
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Sony Playstation Products
Action In or After Credits Yes, Onizuka smoking during the credits.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Great Teacher Onizuka is a refreshing change from the stereotypical giant robot or magical girl anime. Based on the manga by Tohru Fujisawa, the story revolves around 22 year old Eikichi Onizuka, who wants to become a high school teacher for one reason and one reason perv on girls. He's an ex-biker, has a quick temper, and is rude, but this all adds to his charm. Onizuka sure is one charismatic guy, and he uses his unorthodox methods to teach his students some important lessons, both in and outside of the classroom. And you'll be falling out of your seat laughing from beginning to end. Truly one of the more enjoyable anime series to be given a local release lately.


    The following four episodes are contained on the DVD.

    LESSON 1: GTO - The Legend Begins (Double Episode) - Onizuka is assigned to the worst class at a school for his 2 weeks of student teaching. After being blackmailed by some of his students, he gets even in his own way. Now with a class of very respectful students, Onizuka helps a girl in his class who is having problems at home.

    LESSON 2: Enter Uchiyamada - While riding the bus to a teaching interview, Onizuka catches an older man getting a little personal with a female passenger. Outraged by this (probably because the old man got there first), Onizuka decks him and is praised by the woman, named Fuyutsuki Azusa. It turns out she is also applying as a teacher at the same school as Onizuka. But his happiness doesn't last long as the vice principal is someone he has already met.....

    LESSON 3: Late Night Roof Diving - During some late night 'ghost busting' around his new residence (a storage room at Holy Forest Academy), Onizuka saves the life of a student who tries to kill himself by jumping off the school's roof. He befriends the boy, Noboru Yoshikawa, and helps him gain a little confidence.

    LESSON 4: The Secret Life Of Onizuka - The students of Onizuka's class are famous for destroying the lives of their teachers, and now they are determined to get rid of Onizuka.

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Transfer Quality


    The video transfer was great, with the aspect ratio presented in full screen, 1.33:1, no 16x9 enhancement.

    The transfer was sharp and clear, no film grain or low-level noise here. The colours may seem drab at first (compared to more lively anime such as Love Hina or Real Bout High School) but this reflects the style of the artwork used.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen during the entire DVD. No aliasing was found. All in all, there was nothing detected that would distract whilst watching the show.

    There are 2 subtitle tracks on the DVD, one being the English subtitles used to translate the Japanese Audio track whilst the second just translates the signs and other important Japanese text which is handy if watching the English dub. They are presented as traditional yellow text and are easy to read.

    The DVD is dual layered with the layer change placed between episodes, making it undisruptive to the viewer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two audio tracks encoded with Great Teacher Onizuka, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track dub and the original Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 track. With anime, normally the Japanese audio is deemed superior but Great Teacher Onizuka has been blessed with a superb English dub, so whatever your preference, you'll be happy. I listened to both the Japanese and English tracks all the way through and found them to be of excellent quality.

    The dialogue was clear and understandable at all times. Audio sync was good (taking into consideration the normal problems animation has).

    The music score by Yusuke Honma is stunning and suits the style of Great Teacher Onizuka, with the up tempo opening theme, Drivers High performed by L'Arc-en-Ciel, to the closing credits song, Last Piece by Kirari, which is a more calmer track that rounds off each episode nicely. The background music used during the episodes works well also. The surrounds are not used, and the subwoofer only comes alive to help bolster the music and action scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Some good extras have been included on the disc.


    The menus have been given a school motif, with the main menu presented as a chalkboard, with chalk artwork animation, and background noise resembling classroom chatter. Rather stylish indeed.

Japanese Opening

    This is basically a clean opening credits (no overlays) with a different ending picture.

Featurette - Onizuka - Gone Wild

     Nine clips capturing some of Onizuka's special moments taken from the episodes on the disc. Can be watched in either English or Japanese (although the subtitles do not seem to work but it's no big loss really).

Character Designs

    Assorted sketches of some of the characters found in Great Teacher Onizuka.


    Trailers for Spirited Away, Vampire Princess Miyu, FLCL, and Real Bout High School.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Nothing really different from the R1 except for the standard different selection of trailers, the PAL conversion, and the cheaper price. Therefore, I'd recommend the R4 release.


    With interesting characters, absorbing storylines, and the perfect blend of drama and humour, Great Teacher Onizuka is one of the more original and enjoyable anime I have seen in quite a while. A fantastic series and one that I am looking forward to collecting immensely. It even got me to go down to my local comic store and pick up a couple of volumes of the original manga to compare (and if you enjoy the anime, I suggest you do the same). Highly recommended.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is great.

    The extras are pretty good.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Mitchell Healey (Biohazard)
Thursday, March 27, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDOmni SL-P3003D, using S-Video output
DisplayNEC FS8001 (80cm).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationKenwood KRF-V7050D
SpeakersJensen SPX-9 Fronts, Jensen SPX-15 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rears, Jensen SPX-19 Subwoofer

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