Great Teacher Onizuka GTO (Anime Review)

A blast from the past, this anime was produced almost two decades ago, I came across this anime on Youtube, simply got hooked on the anime style and the message delivered in every episode and so started my 16-hour binge watch of this anime.

Onizuka was and is a delinquent throughout the entire series and he was also the head of some big-shot gangs in Japan. He taught as their homeroom social studies teacher in the worst class in Holy Forest Academy which had a lot of ‘problematic’ students and ‘classroom terrorism’. Onizuka immediately understood that the conventional method would not work and so he used his own quirky, borderline ‘wrong’, funny methods to teach the students by putting himself in their shoes, understanding them and talking to them as their friend rather than a teacher.

“It’s my job to make school fun.” Onizuka cited and held true throughout the entire 43 episodes of the series. Never once he did something ‘boring’ or ‘too academic’ in his classes, he makes sure his students learn through unconventional methods with ‘real-life’ applications (literal treasure hunting, being a manager for a star, mural painting) and many cool science experiments. He was a victim of the failed traditional education system that is prominent in this world which is why he did not want his students to experience the same old thing as him.

Calling students ‘useless’ and ‘pieces of trash’ was and is a norm in the school system. Onizuka detests those actions as they destroy the newly-bud confidence in students. He also felt that if they were called that they would eventually turn into trash. Apart from that, he also fully trusts his students, full-trust. In many occasion, rather than waiting a miracle to happen, Onizuka place his trusts fully in his students so that his plans for them are carried out in order to teach their students valuable lessons.

Onizuka also has a quality that ought to be learned by teachers, is his keen eyes for the good in students and exploiting them according to reasonable plans that can make students grow with time, making both the teachers and the students time spent in school worth it. That is why he could get along very well with delinquents as well as bad students. The problem with teachers nowadays is that they simply forgotten how to be an educator and a friend with their students. Great Teacher Onizuka can be a good reference point for those who are looking for ways to teach in this 21st Century. It is never the fault of the students that they have bad grades or turn into delinquents, it is the failure of the teacher to understand and to guide the students in their best paths.

8.5/10, definitely will recommend to watch if you have some spare time. Onizuka not only teaches what were stated above, many more life lessons are also taught in the series. One of the top-tiered anime even though the art belonged to the 90s but the content of it made the series shine above the rest.

Craving for more? Down below:
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Permanent Record by Edward Snowden (Book Review)
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (Book Review)

 

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Hope. Joy. Feelings cloaked as words.

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