“I am Doraemon”
I have always heard of how great the teacher Onizuka is but for whatever unique reason it was I never paid much attention to the series or what it actually held to be called one of the greatest (or at least one of best old-ish series ever made). But after much though, or lack of, and boredom I decided to give this series a shot and found myself being kicked by my own left foot which told me that I am a foolish person to not have seen this sooner rather than later. Little do I need to say, this is definitely one of the best series I have seen in terms of how batshit crazy a teacher can get, and yes he is worthy the name of being the greatest.
Onizuka Eikichi 22 years old, bachelor and a former gangster is quite possibility the last person you would look for or even hire as a teacher based on his looks and explosive personality. However, from what you get as a simple perverted individual from the first 5 minutes of the introduction, you will soon be slapping yourself to have ever doubted a person from their looks (don’t worry, you will be doing that a lot often if you haven’t watched the series yet) as this is definitely not the case.
Despite the initial impression, as you progress though the series, you just can’t help but fall in love with this crazy character being male or female. He is rude, perverted and brutal but Onizuka shines like a star in the night that only comes once every hundred years. Over time he works his magic to put even the toughest most rebellious students into the place, turning them from the side of evil to good. This is what Onizuka is all about. He breaks down every imaginable wall that is considered textbook and uses his own methods to befriend people, and even though it may seem impossible at times, his sheer charisma is something that equals god.
Needless to say, I have been touched by the series. It is much more than random “one guy gets a whole group to himself” fun as you will come to understand, but it is more about how teacher and students bond together to create the perfect team (so to speak). The emotional level goes so much deeper than what is seen on the surface as crazy explosive acts, it seems like we can never truly understand what Onizuka is thinking. Despite his appearance, I do consider him a genius in his own field of expertise.
The characters are what make the series worthwhile, and sure enough, this series reminds me of one of the best character and shining individuals in comparison take from a whole range of series. For a “high school” type series, the students there are all unique, or at least the focused groups are. They all start off as being rebellious and a troublesome class aimed at terrorising any teacher, but it is later revealed that they do have their reasons. Onizuka is just put into this class because of his lack of qualifications but who could have guess that it is this “idiot” who will be the one to solve everybody’s problems.
The main theme of this series is centred on how Onizuka solves his problematic class whilst looking for a girlfriend (as the initial incentive to become a teacher in the first place). But the latter idea was soon dropped as he moved from part time clown to full time teacher as he shows the whole school that he is capable, but he does it with tonnes of fun. Even though this tends to lead the series into being episodic especially in the later parts where his problems with acceptance is more or less solved, I am just stunned at how flawlessly everything is put together.
The theme is very heavily “arc” based in that when one problematic student is solved; he goes to the next only occasionally revisiting some cases. However, despite this, the series continue to shine with the way it is presented and told, how the events unfolded and how simple the solution is (usually with a lot of cursing and swearing from the main man himself). This is what is most attractive about the series. Onizuka doesn’t try to work around things, rather he tends to face it head on and to smash it down with a hammer.
Violence is definitely the answer in his books, but the way he does it usually incurs stitches or insane amounts of laughter from the viewer (me in this case). But the real thought is behind his actions. The true meaning behind each resolved arc is never far as they touch upon real life issues and moral concepts, example of such is bullying or common emotional pain.
What Onizuka teaches isn’t numbers or facts, but rather daily concepts and most importantly life. He is able to give someone hope and allow them to look at the brighter side of things. For me, this type of bonding and development is special, and a value I hold really dear. In that aspect he is truly great to creep into the heart of the viewers to bring about the warm fuzzy feelings not expected from this series, certainly when I started. Not to mention how all the character became lovable given time…
The downside to the series is the ending. It ended with no conclusion at all; or rather it left the viewer wanting for more. It felt like it was just “another arc” that has been completed yet it didn’t really hit home that it has finished until the last minute or so. It is a real shame to see such a great series end on such an ambiguous and head bashing note, one which just screams for completion. I guess rather than being disappointed, I am just frustrated to see it end there with seemingly no connection. Yet if I were to have it my own way I don’t think I would like the series to come to a close.
However, whilst this is a negative, the positive of the series completely outweighs anything bad generated. I am a fan of this title and is now crazily trying to find something to fill the great hole left behind with it finished.
I heard that the manga is a lot better than the series (isn’t that the case most of the times) and to test that out have even ordered some volumes from Amazon. But in its own right, this series gets full points from me. It is lovely in every way, both emotionally and physically. I laughed, I cried, I even had to hold my fist into my mouth to stop me screaming at times but this is just a sample of the feelings I got when watching this series. This really is something special and I can only wait for the hole left by it to fill up slowly, because really, nothing can replace the Great Teacher Onizuka ;)
P.S And did I mention how great the OP/EDs are? :3