GTO Jdrama

By Michael Gakuran | | Other | 43 Comments |

Great Teacher Onizuka! GTO is *the* best Japanese drama. Yes, it’s cheesy, cliché at times and really pushing the boundaries of real-life, but it leaves you with a sublime feel-good factor. Did I mention you can also learn really cool yakuza-style casual Japanese too?

GTOYou’ve probably heard of it at some point. It does have something of a cult following, after all. Originally based on the manga by Tohru Fujisawa, it has since been made into an anime, drama series and live action movie! It’s pretty old, having come out in summer 1998, but let’s take a gander at the synopsis:

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.

GTO Class DVD

Above: Onizuka with class 2-4

Thrown into a class full of troublesome students who find glee in getting their teachers to have nervous breakdowns and winding up on the wrong side of the law, Onizuka is forced to deal with one bizarre, but fantastically plausible situation after another. Each episode ends deals with a different social problem, such as bullying, suicide, teenage dating and Japanese office politics, but manages to avoid the beaten track and give a sweet twist with each mini-story. All the while, Onizuka injects panache into situation.

My personal favourite scene (spoiler warning!) is Onizuka’s take on love, which I have translated below with help from the drama subtitles (I made a few changes):

麻辣教師:

お前の眼は腐ってる!

好きでもない男の部屋に平気で入ったりな、

プレゼントもらえば平気でヘラヘラしたり、

そうやって男の気持ちをもてあそんでばっかりいるから

男みる目が腐って何も見えなくなるんだよ。

お前に出来るのは、

せいぜい友達の彼氏に比べて年収が勝ったとか、

肩書きが勝ったという優越感を味わう位のもんだろうが。

そんなのが楽しけりゃ一生やってろ。

愛はな、品定めじゃあねえんだよ!

俺はあんたにそうなって欲しくないんだよ!

なにがキープだよ。

Here’s the translation!

Onizuka:

Your eyes are rotten!

You go into a man’s room without thinking,

You indulge in presents without considering,

And it’s because you play with men’s feelings like that

That your mind is clouded and you can’t see men any other way.

All you can do,

Is compare men to your friend’s boyfriends, seeing who earns the most

And relish in the ones who have the highest status.

If you enjoy that, then go ahead and carry on!

But love, love isn’t about status!

I don’t want you to be like that!

What’s with all this ‘keep’?

グレートだぁぁぁ!!!Love it ^^! You’ve gotta watch it to really appreciate it; the combination of the score backing the film, the mood of the scene and the great script. It gets me fired up every time! Not because Onizuka is preaching, but because he doesn’t hold back, to anyone. I love that honesty.

The Japanese is a little tricky (it certainly threw me the first time I heard it). The ‘keep’ thing at the end refers to an ongoing thing throughout the drama where one of the characters, Fuyutsuki, puts the men she dates into one of two categories: a keeper or non-keeper, referring to her viewing them as prospective future husbands. I won’t get into that sticky discussion here though ^^.

So, you are all advised to go and give GTO a try, whether drama is your thing or not! You can view many (if not all the episodes) on Youtube! Also, feel free to download the GTO theme song sung by Sorimachi Takashi himself – I know you’ll love it! ^^

Download the GTO theme song – Poison.mp3

Watch the first (and subsequent episodes) on Youtube!

43 comments on “GTO Jdrama
  1. the junnexian golem says:

    all in all, nice review. well done. ü

  2. Boaza says:

    i like in the anime better….

  3. whipcracker says:

    Just watched the first 6 parts of ep1. I truly like this series. i wish something like this would play here in the states. I don’t have satalite or cable just regular TV boring as the get go. Thanks to youtube i can watch all i want. great site you have. To bad about Jap Soc.
    ja mata ne

  4. whipcracker says:

    Just watched the first 6 parts of ep1. I truly like this series. i wish something like this would play here in the states. I don’t have satalite or cable just regular TV boring as the get go. Thanks to youtube i can watch all i want. great site you have. To bad about Jap Soc.
    ja mata ne

  5. nihonjon says:

    I liked the manga, but hold much contempt for the drama. Orange Days holds the #1 spot in my J-Drama hall of fame.

  6. nihonjon says:

    I liked the manga, but hold much contempt for the drama. Orange Days holds the #1 spot in my J-Drama hall of fame.

  7. jtiger87 says:

    :D I started watching it, and suddenly I got a feeling, haven’t I seen this before? lol
    I’ve read the manga! :D Yey! Nice seeing the live version of it.

  8. jtiger87 says:

    :D I started watching it, and suddenly I got a feeling, haven’t I seen this before? lol
    I’ve read the manga! :D Yey! Nice seeing the live version of it.

  9. veganliz says:

    I agree, I thought this series was hysterical! I don’t think I’ve come across a funnier series yet….

    Just found your blog, really awesome stuff! Keep it up!

  10. LizLearns says:

    I agree, I thought this series was hysterical! I don’t think I’ve come across a funnier series yet….

    Just found your blog, really awesome stuff! Keep it up!

  11. Hao says:

    I enjoyed gokuzen a lot, but I have not yet seen GTO drama version because I already saw the anime (lols ensued ^^), would you guys recommend it anyway?

    I’m quite a Jdrama junkie to tell the truth, if you guys are into school-related drama Hana Kimi and Hana Yori Dango are quite funny too ^^

  12. Hao says:

    I enjoyed gokuzen a lot, but I have not yet seen GTO drama version because I already saw the anime (lols ensued ^^), would you guys recommend it anyway?

    I’m quite a Jdrama junkie to tell the truth, if you guys are into school-related drama Hana Kimi and Hana Yori Dango are quite funny too ^^

  13. Jamaipanese says:

    I only recently completed this series.

    I am still a Japanese drama newbie so I can’t rate is as the best yet but it’s definitely a great series

    • Mike says:

      Yup! Let me know if you find any other gems in the dramas you watch. The recent ‘Bloody Monday’ was downright awesome. I think it became my number two drama!

  14. Jamaipanese says:

    I only recently completed this series.

    I am still a Japanese drama newbie so I can’t rate is as the best yet but it’s definitely a great series

    • Mike says:

      Yup! Let me know if you find any other gems in the dramas you watch. The recent ‘Bloody Monday’ was downright awesome. I think it became my number two drama!

  15. billywest says:

    One of the first dramas I watched when I first started living here. It was on the recommendation of a girlfriend. Though I’m a bit jaded now after watching Japanese television for over 5 years, GTO still brings back memories of my good old early days here in Japan.

  16. billywest says:

    One of the first dramas I watched when I first started living here. It was on the recommendation of a girlfriend. Though I’m a bit jaded now after watching Japanese television for over 5 years, GTO still brings back memories of my good old early days here in Japan.

  17. Egmont says:

    Hah, my friend lives in the Japanese House around here and they play this and force kids to go to watch it.

    It’s like forcing them to do Japanese heroin. Poor kids. They get addicted so fast.

  18. Egmont says:

    Hah, my friend lives in the Japanese House around here and they play this and force kids to go to watch it.

    It’s like forcing them to do Japanese heroin. Poor kids. They get addicted so fast.

  19. Satoshii says:

    This series comes highly recommended from myself, a little cheesy but then what Jdramas aren’t? Wonderful characters, and it doesn’t steer too far off course from the manga. Sorimachi plays Onizuka wonderfully, probably better than Fujisawa did in the manga. Just fantastic. このテレビドラマオモロいなー!

  20. Satoshii says:

    This series comes highly recommended from myself, a little cheesy but then what Jdramas aren’t? Wonderful characters, and it doesn’t steer too far off course from the manga. Sorimachi plays Onizuka wonderfully, probably better than Fujisawa did in the manga. Just fantastic. このテレビドラマオモロいなー!

  21. Joseph Tame says:

    Just watched the first 9 mins on YouTube – off to Tsutaya now to get the rest!! That’s my Japanese-study-on-the-train sorted for the week :-)

  22. Joseph Tame says:

    Just watched the first 9 mins on YouTube – off to Tsutaya now to get the rest!! That’s my Japanese-study-on-the-train sorted for the week :-)

  23. David says:

    GTO ranks second only to Gokusen (another great source of Yakuza vocabulary…I now have to keep myself from referring to the local 周りさん as 察). Thanks for the theme-song link.

    • Mike says:

      Lol. Yea, I have seen Gokusen too. Perhaps it’s because I saw GTO first, I don’t know, but it won over Gokusen for me. Another ‘great teacher’ drama is Taiyo to Umi no Kyoushitsu (Homeroom on the Beachside) released last summer. That was great too ^^

  24. David says:

    GTO ranks second only to Gokusen (another great source of Yakuza vocabulary…I now have to keep myself from referring to the local 周りさん as 察). Thanks for the theme-song link.

    • Mike says:

      Lol. Yea, I have seen Gokusen too. Perhaps it’s because I saw GTO first, I don’t know, but it won over Gokusen for me. Another ‘great teacher’ drama is Taiyo to Umi no Kyoushitsu (Homeroom on the Beachside) released last summer. That was great too ^^

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