Sep 1, 2008
Manga Review of GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka Volume 9 by Tohru Fujisawa (creator of Rose Hip Zero, Rose Hip Rose, GTO: The Early Years, and Tokko). Translated and adapted by Dan Papia. Originally published in Japan by Kodansha. Published in US by Tokyopop, $9.99, Rated Older Teen 16+.
Ruraka is still trying to avoid the fated prophecy of her dreams in which GTO became her true love. She and her friends were willing to do anything to break the charm, including using black magic cookies to poison Onizuka. They finally have the last ingredient: GTO's pubic hair! Now they intend to cook up some cursed cookies, but how are they gonna get GTO to eat them? Azusa has some problems of her own as she begins to garner more and more attention from her male students. They think she is very cute and are basically willing to become her lapdogs in order to curry favor. This doesn't sit too well with the female students and their jealousy soon turns to rage as they begin to pull all sorts of pranks meant to hurt Asuza. And don't think that after nine volumes, GTO has made peace with all of his students. Miyabi and her pals are still deadset on getting him fired and blackmail another teacher in order to get his aid in their quest.
As always, GTO piles on the humor but also touches on some important issues in education. One of the main themes hit upon in this volume is the lack of a significant age gap in young teachers that are starting their careers in high school. Basically, the closer you are in age to your students, the harder it is for them to respect you as an authority figure. It's probably not a good idea for a young 22-year-old teacher straight out of college to begin their career as a high school instructor. Especially if you're a pretty woman or a handsome guy. It brings all kinds of weird factors into play as seen in GTO. Students can sometimes see you as a romantic interest since you are so close in age. Azusa made no moves on any of the guys in her class. Not in the slightest. It just comes naturally to guys to treat pretty women with more kindness than ugly ones. It's just something in the hormones I guess. Probably everybody male or female had a teacher sometime in their school career that was so good looking or pretty that everyone wanted to be in their class simply to be around them. It doesn't help that Azusa is a very kind person and seems a bit helpless. Again, it plays on the male chivalry gene. Fujisawa's art is sparkling and masterful as always and the humor is deadon hilarious.
My Grade: A+