Schools today are teaching useless things. That’s why students don’t like to study.Eikichi Onizuka
It’s been a while since I watched another anime as great and hilarious as Great Teacher Onizuka. Almost a 25 years-old manga series, this anime adaptation is a slice-of-life series about 22 year-old former Bōsōzoku member-turned middle school homeroom teacher and his days at Holy Forest Academy. Deciding to become a teacher only because he wants to ogle at young school girls, Eikichi Onizuka finds himself in trouble when he was appointed homeroom teacher of the troublemaking class 3-4 who has an intense dislike and mistrust towards teachers. Despite being taunted and framed by his students, Onizuka eventually gains the trust of his students through his unorthodox teaching methods, faith in his students and his sincere care for them.
It is rated R21 on Netflix for a reason and the reason is simple, the anime series has many mature themes from scenes of female nudity, vulgarities, gang violence, suicide and student-teacher relationship etc. Onizuka uses odd methods to instill life lessons to his students. In the first few episodes, he was pranked and blackmailed by his students who later got into trouble with a local gang. Rather than saving them, Onizuka joins in the fun, ties the kids up and proceeds to dunk them repeatedly in water. Early in the series, the teacher even took revenge for Yoshikawa, a victim of bullying from Anko Uehara and her gang by taking intimate photos of the female bullies.
Despite the title, Great Teacher Onizuka isn’t just about the man alone. The anime touches on other teachers as well notably Azusa Fuyutsuki, another young inspiring teacher and the crush of Onizuka, and Hiroshi Uchiyamada, the vice-principal of Holy Forest Academy who often get caught up in Onizuka’s antics.
I thoroughly enjoy the series. Through comedy and wild pranks, the show is inspiring and able to cover mature themes in a light-hearted way. Onizuka doesn’t bother to sugarcoat his students, rather choosing to treat them as young adults, with respect to ensure they really learn life lessons. I read online and some manga readers mentioned differences between the anime series and the manga. Have yet to read the manga but shall do so soon. A really great watch.