I met him three weekends ago through my brother. He is 22 years old, stupid, simple-minded, lewd, and a punk. It’s hard to believe he’s a teacher. And every week, after meeting him for the first time, I just stayed at home getting to know about his life, his students, and his cute crush named Fuyutsuki who is also a teacher in the same school he work for through the help of this 4-disc collection borrowed by my writer brother from a generous friend of his. His name is Eikichi Onizuka, otherwise known as, Great Teacher Onizuka! An anime that tells the story of a former motorcycle gang member who decided to come clean and becomes a teacher in a private high school just so he could meet girls. But what he does not know is that trouble is just waiting for him in every corner of the school: behaved, scholastic students who turned out to be bratty students, secretly ganging up out to torture him through malicious pranks so he wouldn’t lasts long in their school, the rampant bullying inside the campus between students, the quick turnover of teachers due to humiliation they experienced from students (Onizuka’s guts and unique personality, not high education, is the sole reason why the chairman of the school hired him), out of revenge, out of mistrust by the students resulting from a psychological injury inflicted by their former homeroom teacher. And since then, they vowed to never trust teachers ever again.
Being a child in the 80s, the anime that I religiously watched then were Voltes V and Daimos and there were nothing else after (despite the immense popularity of Dragonball Z and Ghostfighter shown a decade after). The story, both in Voltes V and Daimos, wasn’t as complex as the animes today where you’d know right away who is the villain and the protagonist. In Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO), every story that I was a witness, story that revealed the reason why that student had resorted to hate, bullying, dehumanization of their fellow classmates, simply showed the irrational complexity of every person, of being human (even as a teenager). That there are so many dimensions within a person that might shock you (so badly) or surprise you (in a good way) without any warning because of the qualities that that person has suppressed for a long time. Because of fear. Because of the issues, insecurities they gained from past experience, mistakes he/she committed, or someone else committed, that he/she couldn’t get over. Obliviously, Onizuka was there to the rescue who just happened to be at the right place and at the right time, unaware that he was becoming a hero to a particular boy who is bullied by girls and has learned to cope with it eventually by trying to look at the bright side of life, by standing up if the situation calls for it, instead of running away, instead of committing suicide. Because of Onizuka.
“When things get tough, don’t whine & count on others. Show some guts. Aren’t you man enough?” – Onizuka
Onizuka, a hero to this girl who doesn’t have a self-esteem due to her big breasts and slow IQ and just follows the whims and orders of the popular girls just so she could fit in and have friends. Eventually, she learned to love herself and gained confidence when Onizuka forced her to join a beauty contest.
Remarkable story of students, individuals who have troubled pasts, or a disturbing present (causing the student not to live, crying sorrowfully in the present moment, still dreaming, wanting to hang on to the good old days) where Onizuka absent-mindedly helped turn around just by sharing his wisdom.
“We cannot go back to the past no matter how much we try. No matter how wonderful it was, the past is nothing but the past.” – Onizuka
“You aren’t honest with your feelings. You can’t have a love affair if you don’t show your true feelings. A brat who is afraid to be hurt isn’t qualified to love someone.” – Onizuka
Eikichi Onizuka is stupid, simple-minded, lewd, and a punk. It’s hard to believe that he’s a teacher. But no matter how he normally is, he does what he needs to do. And that’s what a man should be.
“I don’t care whether it’s terrorism or horrorism. There’s no reason we shouldn’t do anything!” – Great Teacher Onizuka
Written on March 22, 2010– The Best of “Living well is the best revenge” (theuntouchableone.multiply.com)