Great Teacher Onizuka

GTO 2012 Eps 1-3

He’s got the hair and he’s got the bike. But does AKIRA have what it takes to be Onizuka?

As you can see, morbid curiosity got the better of me after all.

I always knew that the remake wouldn’t be able to override the affection I have for the 1998 version but I have a soft spot for high school dramas and their promise of endless student hijinks, so I was hoping that it would be as entertaining as Gokusen (the first one) or Tumbling at least.

My first thought while watching this remake was: Did the brief to the production team specifically request them to suck all the life out of GTO or what? (more…)

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An Oldie But a Goodie: Great Teacher Onizuka (1998)

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So in case you haven’t heard, the GTO remake began its run last week. I wasn’t interested in checking it out but ever since I found out that Takimoto Miori was cast in the role of Fuyutsuki Asuza, morbid curiosity has been threatening to get the better of me. Seriously, did Japan run out of actresses in their mid-20s? I would rather have seen Sawajiri Erika (isn’t she looking for a job?) or even Iwasa Mayuko (who is actually quite a versatile actress despite what her gravure idol image might have you think) play this character — if nothing else, at least you can count on them to bring some spice to the role. Plus, HamsapSukebe’s review of the first episode has also made me very curious. That Kawaguchi Haruna has the potential to be on par with Nakamura Aimi’s Queen Bitch Miyabi is interesting since the only thing I’ve seen Kawaguchi in is Ouran and let’s just say she was very raw in that drama.

Anyway, reading about the remake got me thinking about the 1998 series, which remains a nostalgic favourite of mine. I can still remember waiting impatiently for each new episode to air, not to mention playing Poison on loop and perving at crushing on admiring Kubozuka Yosuke’s profile.

GTO is by no means a perfect drama. It has its flaws and watching the episodes again after 14 years makes them even more obvious. But even though this drama may seem a little dated now, Sorimachi Takashi’s charismatic performance is timeless and the chemistry between him and the students remains wonderfully addictive.

So without further ado, here’s a fond look back at Class 2-4 and the bestest sensei that ever was.  (more…)