All good things come to an end with a stack of dynamite.
Story: Tohru Fujisawa
Art: Tohru Fujisawa
What They Say
After cracking down on troubled teens in his own school, Eikichi (aka GTO) goes home to the peaceful shores of Shonan to relax and escape the stresses of modern-day Tokyo. However, much like communities across the globe, even his hometown has not escaped the declining state of child services. In typical form, GTO decides to personally provide hard-knocks education to his old neighborhood with hopes of putting a group of troubled teens back on the track towards happiness.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Having the series cover nine volumes with a time period of fourteen days is definitely a little difficult, especially when you consider how many things that Onizuka gets involved with in such short order. It definitely stretches suspension of disbelief a good deal, but there’s just too much fun to be had in watching him do what he does best – helping kids get their lives on track through whatever means necessary. Means that most others would never even think of, though they at least do get the job done. While the series has had these various issues to deal with, it’s all had a root cause when you get down to it, and that’s the policy in place by the mayor to return kids to their homes, regardless of how good it is for them. It’s purely ideologically driven without any reael thought given to consequences, and for some reason it seems to play well to the voting public.
But as we saw once again, Ikuko bore the brunt of the policy by going home with her mother and suffering the consequences, which involves scalding hot water thrown all over her. Unconscious and with numerous burns, it was the last thing Onizuka needed to set himself off with. Knowing that the mayor is the real problem, we get to see how he deals with that in his usual big and blustering way, where things are done with hope and lack of fear of consequence in order to do what is right. Of course, the mayor makes it easy since he’s off on a secret trip with lots of girls to go to a resort on the taxpayer dime, but he’s also made lots of enemies in the two years of being in office that are only too eager when things get this bad to finally do what is right. And that sets the stage for Onizuka to put him into a position where he can try to weasel out of things, but it’ll cost him more than he can truly realize.
There’s a lot of fun to be had as he comes up with an over the top plan on the spur of the moment to deal with him and seeing it fall into place definitely works well, with a little help from Urumi, but mostly just because of how much of a bad guy the mayor is. Onizuka’s all about putting things right and he puts the screws to him perfectly in order to get what he wants, which in the end is to help the kids, and namely Ikuko at this point and others in the bird homes that exist in the area. It may be all wrapped up neatly, a little too neatly in some cases, but it brings it to a close well and makes it clear that those in the White Swan are doing better, though still have their issues to work through.
This takes up about half of this final volume, which leaves some room for some additional material. Whcih is a lot of fun, though only in small doses, as we get a three chapter story showing how Riko and Miko’s being saved now has them serving as the disciplinary committe for their school. They essentially run an SOS service for students in trouble using some of the brute force elements that Onizuka showed them, but without some of his luck and simple daring. They offset that with their seuxality though and with a brazen approach that even Onizuka doesn’t really have all that often, which makes them fun to watch as they deal with a few rescues in this storyline. But as much fun as it is, it doesn’t make me want to read an ongoing about them either since they’re still a bit too stiff and “cool” for my tastes.
Bringing the spinoff series to a close at nine volumes, compared to the twenty-five of the main GTO series, definitely works well overall as there’s only so much you can pack into 14 days. And that’s been one of my problems with the book in that it’s too much, too quickly. But once you get past that, it really is just more of the same with GTO and that’s not a bad thing. We get a different setting and a small group of kids to work with, but there are some nice guest appearances, some fun with Uchiyamada along the way and lots of kids in trouble that only Onizuka get help through his own particular way. I like the cast as a whole and I like that it avoided making Shiratori into something big in his life since this is a side story to the main series. All in all, it’s a great chance to reconnect with a great character and to simply have a great time. Very recommended as a whole.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B=
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Vertical
Release Date: May 28th, 2013