It's not everyday that a comic book can sell 37 million copies all over Asia, spawn a cartoon series, a live-action series and a couple of movies. Now that GTO is translated into English, we get to find out why.
22 year-old Eikichi Onizuka is a porn-addicted streetpunk who decides to become a high school teacher because he thinks it's a good way to hit on teenage girls. But high school students these days are a rough, nasty bunch, prone to bullying, blackmail and general delinquency. Former bike-gang member Onizuka is more than a match for them. He will use street-smarts, animal cunning, often gang-related and violent solutions to overcome all problems. He will go to any lengths to save a student in need. He knows these kids because he used to be one of them. He wants to become the greatest high school teacher ever.
GTO is what a great pop comic should be: funny, manic, unpredictable, politically incorrect and with its finger permanently on the pulse of the zeitgeist. It can go from farce to pathos without skipping a beat. Underneath the manic, horny comedy is real poignance and a heart, beating in the dark... the story of a bad-boy loser who saves lives and discovers his soul.
Don't let the right-to-left printing put you off. There's no other comic like this out there.
Adi Tantimedh is a screenwriter and filmmaker who writes comics when he has the time. He has recently completed JLA: The Age of Wonder for DC Comics, and written and directed Open House, a short film for Studio FP in Italy. His current projects include the forthcoming Blackshirt for Moonstone Books, Anna Passenger, a novel being serialised on Opi8.com, and various film and television projects.