Great Teacher Onizuka, GTO for short, originally started out as just a manga series, but became popular enough to spawn anime and live-action drama versions. The beginning storyline and many characters are basically the same. The anime/manga version of GTO, as you would expect, is much more comedic than its live-action counterpart. But the GTO anime/manga is by no means lacking in drama. In fact, I would say that it has more drama than the live-action series. Even if you don't care for the drama, GTO is worth a look for it's side-splitting comedy. Although if you don't care for drama, I suggest watching some American cartoons rather than Japanese anime.

The setting for GTO is modern-day Japan. One of the greatest things about GTO, (for foreign fans) is getting to experience some Japanese pop-culture. You won't find any big robots or super-heroes in GTO. The characters in GTO are normal people. The anime/manga series takes place mostly in a Junior High school, although most of the time the students look to be at least in their 20's. The first few episodes/issues take place in a High School, but are minor parts of the story.

The main character in GTO is Onizuka Eikichi. Onizuka is a 22 year old former motorcycle gangster (A lengendary one at that) looking to make a living. One day he was looking up girls' skirts on an escalator, only to get caught. This particular girl didn't mind, but she asked that Onizuka at least buy her lunch for the freebie. He eventually ended up scoring a date with her. However their date ended abruptly when the girl received a pager message from her boyfriend, who also happened to be her teacher. The girl ditched Onizuka (Jumping out the window of a 2nd or 3rd story building no less) for her elderly teacher/boyfriend. Onizuka, as you would expect, is left in total shock. What he decides to do is become a teacher, since this is obviously the best way for him to pick up some cute high school chicks. Unfortunately for Onizuka, he ends up spending but a few weeks teaching high school students, and ends up in a junior high school, where the story really begins.

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