Great Teacher Onizuka

Great Teacher Onizuka


Great Teacher Onizuka is a minor anime  classic, from 1999. It is a melodramatic comedy featuring a not-really reformed, charismatic, over-the-top hoodlum who ends up working as a high school teacher. Though he’s a creep and something of a loser, he of course nevertheless manages to impart Important Life Lessons™ in improbable manners.

A series as funny as GTO has earned the right to have at least one profile of its own, if for nothing else, then for promotional purposes!

Note – this article was written many years ago, when anime and manga were far less common.


  • Real Name: Eikichi Onizuka.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Eurasia University Karate Club, Tōkyō Kissho Academy teachers.
  • Base Of Operations: Japan.
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 185 lbs (normally). Age: 22.5 years.
  • Height (when angry): 6’8″ Weight (when angry): 225 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Dyed blond.


More context

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 anime is kind of a watered down version as they wound up taking out a lot of the sexual content. 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.

Fun fact: The live action is also extremely popular in Japan – a lot more so than the manga and anime. Apparantly the actor and actress are not only really popular, but married in real life so it is supposed to be the romantic comedy for everyone. There is also a live action movie.

There was a series that was a prequel to this that showed Onizuka in his younger gang banger days. This probably never got translated into English though.



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, and a legendary one at that. Now he’s 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 obtained 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, was 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.

Summaries of all 25 books can be found at Tokyopop .


Onizuka is often seen either in a cosplay suit, or in everyman, civilian clothes. Strangely enough, he appears to be very buffed up when angry or agitated. He is reasonably handsome and famous for having dyed blond hair, as well. He wears tattoos on various places of his body, and his left ear is pierced.

However, teachers at school are expected to dress and act in a professional manner and he does not. In fact, he openly disrespects authority by dressing in T-shirts and other attire while teaching, not to mention his tats and piercings. Having tattoos in Japanese society is very poorly considered and you won’t be allowed to enter some hot springs, hotels, and most health clubs.

He also does wear his trademark really cool white suit on very very rare occasions.

Supporting characters of great teacher Onizuka

Onizuka has lots of people around him during life at school ; both teachers and students. Below follows a listing of many of the most important characters in the GTO boooks.

Danma Ryuji

He is Onizuka’s closest friend. Ryuji, like Onizuka, is a legendary gangster. Whenever Onizuka needs a smack in the head, Ryuji is there to give it to him. Ryuji is making a living fixing motorcycles, and treats Onizuka like a brother. If Onizuka needs to bring his gang out for any reason, Ryuji is there for him, despite how unwilling he might be.

Fuyutsuki Azusa

She is Onizuka’s love interest. So far they haven’t officially hooked up, but there’s definitely sparks flying. In contrast to Onizuka, she graduated from one of Japan’s best schools. She is well liked by most of the students, especially the boys. Fuyutsuki’s role is often to be the anti-Onizuka.

She is currently unaware of it, but she is being stalked by another teacher, Teshigawara Suguru.

Uchiyamada Hiroshi

Uchiyamada is the head Dean at Tōkyō Kissho Academy. He is almost always referred to as ’Kyoutou‘ (Head dean). He’s a really uptight stereotypical old Japanese man. He’s quite the pervert, and often molests women on trains and busses.

It is also worth mentioning that he has a particularly unhealthy interest in his daughter. Particularly in wanting to take a bath with her in a hot spring. He considers Onizuka to be his arch-enemy, as Onizuka has destroyed his beloved Cresta (a Toyota car model not released in the U.S) either directly or indirectly multiple times.

Not just that, but Onizuka’s unorthodox teaching methods simply make his job harder. Kyoutou has quite a few domestic problems. He gets no respect from his family, not even his dog, and his wife may be having an affair.

Sakurai Ryoko

Sakurai is the woman in charge at Tōkyō Kissho Academy. She’s not exactly a Principal since it is a private school, but she has all the authority of a principal. Sakurai is usually called a ’Chairlady‘. She is the reason that Onizuka is allowed to teach at the school and get away with his antics.

Ryoko believes Onizuka is truly a great teacher who cares about his students, and she is usually the first one to back him. Had it not been for her, Uchiyamada would have gotten rid of Onizuka the first day.

Kanzaki Urumi

Hell hath no fury like Kanzaki Urumi. Urumi is a genius with an IQ of 200. Her appearance alone makes her an interesting character. She has natural blonde hair, her right eye is blue, and her left eye is brown. Quite possibly, the Chinese characters in her first name are two different readings for the character meaning beautiful. This might be a reference to her unusual eyes.

She is fluent in multiple languages, including Japanese, French, Mandarin Chinese, and English. Ever since being betrayed by her teacher in Elementary School, she has been causing ’JyuGyou Tero’ (Class terror). She has targeted teachers, screwing with their minds, or physically hurting them. She has successfully forced many teachers to quit. Anyone else who gets in her way faces her wrath as well.

She had long since stopped going to school, but was called in by Aizawa Miyabi to get rid of Onizuka. Urumi’s dark secret is her one soft spot. She can be considered a friend of Tomoko, and is rather over-protective of her, even if she does treat her like nothing more than a pet. Also, Kanzaki is not above organizing kidnappings and that sort of thing to get what she wants. She has fallen far, and is truly evil.

Nomura Tomoko

Nomura Tomoko is most often reffered to as ’Toroko’. Toroko is a play on the word ’Toroi‘ meaning ’slow‘ or ’stupid‘ and Tomoko’s name. Of course, Toroko really is slow, so she doesn’t mind being called ’slow girl‘. Toroko is a typical cutesy girl, and she can be a real airhead.

She is very innocent and easily influenced. Toroko is often made fun of by girls for her large breasts (She wears a D cup (by the American standard)!). Toroko’s favorite foods are Miso Ramen (Chinese style noodles with a Miso soup base) and Takoyaki (fried octopus balls).

Her trademark phrase is ’Pikorin!‘, which is equivalent to the American ’Ding Dong!‘ doorbell sound. She dreams of one day becoming the most famous idol in Japan.

Aizawa Miyabi

Among the students, Aizawa hates Onizuka the most. Eventually all the students end up liking Onizuka, but Aizawa refuses to let go her hatred of Onizuka. She becomes obsessed with getting Onizuka fired, by any means necessary. Since manga issue 14 she has dyed her hair blue.

Uehara Anko

Uehara comes from a rich family, and her mother happens to be head of the PTA, the organization with national authority over all schools. At first she seems to be a stuck up spoiled brat, but she actually has a good side. She eventually gives up on trying to get Onizuka fired, but still thinks of him as a nuisance.

She has had bad experiences with her brother and a past boyfriend, so she doesn’t have much trust in boys, and usually sticks to her girlfriends.

Kikuchi Yoshito

Kikuchi, like Urumi, is a genius with an IQ of 180. He’s a computer expert and proficient in Karate. He can be pretty evil if he has to, but unlike Urumi, he has morals. Kikuchi is the most level headed character in the series, and stays pretty cool even in extreme situations. He’s always serious and not the type to joke around.

Murai Kunio

Murai is the typical badass. He talks big and has a short temper, but on the inside he’s actually a mama’s boy. When he gets out of line his mom puts him back in place. He’s basically the class bully. Definitely the most mischievous of the students, but he isn’t really bright enough to plan any serious trouble.

He has, however, made one attempt to kill Onizuka, and is not harmless by any means.

Yoshikawa Noboru

Yoshikawa is the class dork. He’s a master at videogames, and loves anime. He doesn’t really get pushed around by the guys, but the girls pick on him non-stop. He’s attempted suicide a few times, but Onizuka managed to stop or save him each time.

He’s the first student at Tōkyō Kissho Academy to become friends with Onizuka. He often goes to Onizuka’s room to help Onizuka out with videogames.

Wakui Mayu

Mayu is the grandson of Sakurai Ryoko, so despite being one of the biggest troublemakers at Tōkyō Kissho Academy, he gets away with almost anything. Like Urumi, Mayu hadn’t been going to school, but was called in by Aizawa to deal with Onizuka. Mayu is a drug addict, and apparently is proficient in Karate, since he handles himself very well in fights.

He loves to make awful practical jokes, and is a real danger to his enemies and also, himself.


Eikichi Onizuka is 22 years old, a Scorpio, former gang leader, 2nd degree black belt, flashy dressing video game champion extraordinaire, who has now, through months of practice and weeks of unyielding dedication, become a school teacher (from his memoirs).

Onizuka is self-centered, cocky, impulsive, horny and doesn’t know squat about how to be a teacher. Still, one by one, he’s winning them all over.

He acts on instinct, says what he thinks, wears his heart on his sleeve. It’s like he’s designed to attract trouble. He takes every opportunity to show that he is single and in great need of a woman; then he also points out that he is a virgin and waiting for the right one.

He refers to himself as Great Teacher Onizuka, which could suggest a massive insecurity about his status as a teacher.

A legendary motorcycle gangster, our hero Onizuka Eikichi is the teacher of class 3-4 at Tōkyō Kissho Academy. He currently resides in the school, and in his spare time he enjoys pornography, cosplay, riding motorcycles, videogames, and surfing the internet. His favorite words include “Gure-tto” (Great) and “Po-ri-shi” (Policy).

Onizuka isn’t the smartest guy, but he did go to college. Although he went to one of the worst Universities in Japan, he did go. Onizuka is currently single, but is somewhat involved with Fuyutsuki Azusa. His original reason for becoming a teacher was to pick up girls, but now that he’s a Junior High school teacher, he intends to become a ’Great Teacher‘.

He holds a dream that once he retires he will have a very young wife.

Onizuka, the great teacher

Onizuka started as a teacher only for the opportunity to meet young, female students. However he eventually grew in moral character and started caring about his role as a teacher. Given his background as a street gang leader he has seen the darker side of society. Now he seeks to give the most important lessons of life to his students, whether they want it or not.

He will meet students after work hours if he thinks that he can do something to help them. He will also meet their parents, particularly if they are single and beautiful, to prepare for the students further education. And if somebody is in a life-threatening situation or even suicidal he will do everything in a most sacrificial way to prevent such harm to occur.

Going after mafia mobs who kidnapped students, put himself in lethal positions instead of students who were about to commit suicide, risk life imprisonment in jail just to teach his students a valuable lesson about life and the law, are typical Onizuka behavior. It has earned him reputation and respect, even on national television, as a really caring teacher.

Furthermore, as a homeroom teacher he seeks to expand their mental horizons, and often comes into the classroom by doing cosplay. He will take the class out into ’the field‘ to teach them the oddities of the world, all the while he’s having fun with it.

Although he behaves like a complete idiot and looks more than a little confused at times, his timing for teaching a lesson of life is impeccable. In game terms, at the moment of greatest impact, he will use his Charisma Skill to impart his knowledge, often gaining so many RAPs that the student has learned something and even changes his ways as a consequence of that lesson.

Onizuka will often use Hero Points  and some sort of Character Interaction maneuver, such as Bluff, or Wear Down, to get even greater an effect. But he will only, and this is important, use his Charisma for teaching purposes (mostly Persuasion against his students, and Intimidation and Interrogation against hoodlums and other threats against his students). It is not a Limitation, but a personal choice.

Another common tactic is to temporarily join in with the enemies of his students, such as street gangs, to make them more available for any help and lessons later on.

Onizuka the embarrassment

All of this makes it sound as if Onizuka has a plan for everything, but really he does not because he is an idiot. He just does everything at the spur of a moment and usually lands solid. Over time he seems to be able to win everyone over to his side, by design or mistake. But the road there is always paved with mistakes.

He also quite often lets his temper get the better of him, making his existence harder than it should be. On the other hand he appears almost superhumanly durable by spending his Hero Points in combat or when caught in an accident.

Naturally, his unortodox methods have earned him both admirers and haters among the other teachers. In particular, the headmistress of Tōkyō Kissho Academy, Sakurai Ryoko, is always on Onizuka’s side in all conflicts. By contrast Uchiyamada Hiroshi, head Dean of the school, really hates his guts.

Onizuka the criminal

Onizuka had a really wild life prior to deciding on becoming a teacher. Although he was never convicted (he has never been caught), he is currently suspected of Reckless Endangerment of a minor (multiple counts), Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Big Rig, Fishing without a license, Flagrant disregard for Toyota Crestas, Vandalism of an arcade fortune machine, Bungee Jumping from the Bay Bridge and Launching bottle rockets from classroom window.

As an ex-gang leader in Shonan, of the infamous Shonan-Onibaku combo, he still bonds easily with various street gangs. He will then also get new tattoos and other gang signs on such occasions. Onizuka is never above breaking the law to prove a point or a lesson, or just to save his sorry ass.

On the other hand, he is not afraid of breaking criminals that stand against his duties as a teacher either. In game terms, he will sometimes use Connections to gain information or access to what is needed.

In his spare time Onizuka will also ride motorbikes with various criminal elements. He still hones his skills as a combatant with the Eurasia University Karate Club (of a fifth rate university), all the members of which see Onizuka as a great hero.


“Great !”

“Starting today, I’m gonna be this class’ homeroom teacher, Great Teacher Onizuka !”

“If you’re gonna be a pervert, don’t get found out. Common sense man, common sense. Right, Principal ?”

“The word ‘impossible’ isn’t in my dictionary… but I don’t really have a dictionary you know ?”

“All men have something a bit like a ‘bad seed’ in them.”

“I think all your ears have been plugged up, so listen carefully because this is a class from me, who’s smarter than a graduate of Tōkyō University and number one in Japan.”

“Leave it to me ! Doggie-dzuka Eikichi, 22 years old ! I’ll do anything to cancel my getting fired – but I’m not good at it if it takes a brain. If possible, something that uses a dick…”

“No wait, don’t rush it !! At the worst if she discovers our secret motive my bluebird of happiness might escape ! Play it up cool and naturally !! All… All right ! So this will be my first sexual experience that’s been my heart’s desire… Ah, my dick… Hey don’t be hasty… Ah…”

“Those nice breasts and nice breasts and nice breasts and yeah, nice…”

“This kind of education is important until she understands !! Well, just watch this. One hit and she’ll become a sweet little girl !”

“For you, she maybe just someone among the 400 students, but for a student, there’s only one teacher for them.”

“Sometimes it’s ok, man – for teachers to ditch class ! Let’s just take off ! Take off ! Like when we were students.”

“The only one that can literally change the current twisted world of education is him.” (Uchiyamada about Onizuka)

“You, who were called ‘The worst parasite’ in Eurasia University’s history, a teacher !?” (Punk about Onizuka)

DC Universe History

Onizuka is not really superhero material other than on the schoolground. Perhaps one of the DCU’s Asian characters of strong moral fiber had a weird teacher named Eikichi Onizuka.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Great Teacher Onizuka

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Teacher wannabe, Would-be womanizer
Inf: 03 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 04
Init: 017 HP: 035

Charisma: 08, Martial Artist*: 06, Thief (Locks and Safes, Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land)*: 06

Expertise (Arcade & Console Games), Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (to the Eurasia University Karate Club, and many of the pupils of the Tōkyō Kissho Academy and other schools), Scholar (Streetwise).

Eurasia University Karate Club (High), Sakurai Ryoko, Headmistress of Tōkyō Kissho Academy (High), Shonan Street Gangs (High), Tōkyō Street Gangs (High).

Archenemy (Vice Principal Uchiyamada Hiroshi), MIA (Cosplay), MIA (Highschool girls), Mistrust.

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen.

Source of Character: Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO), Manga Comics.

Helper(s): Tom Eilers, (Supporting cast), .