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21 home / october 2002 / reviews Turn Page BackwardBack to HomeTurn Page Forward

GTO Vol.5
Right-Left Manga
200 pages
Tohru Fujisawa
Another winner in the ongoing adventures of Onizuka Eikichi, aspiring "Great Teacher."
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
GTO Vol.5
By Patrick King

I'm so glad this series is projected to span at least 23 volumes by the time it's complete; I don't want this to end. This volume focuses upon Onizuka's budding friendship with Tomoko (called "Slo-mo-ko" by the cruel students in her class). In order to force her to recognize her own worth (and make a little money on the side), Onizuka enters Tomoko into a local beauty contest. Little does he know, however, that Miyabi (a girl Tomoko idolizes despite the fact that Miyabi is... Well... A mean-spirited she-dog) has entered the same contest. What will happen when the two beauties clash in this competition for popularity? I hate spoiling things, so you'll just have to trust me when I promise that it'll be entertaining.

Things get even more fun when Onizuka's first truly threatening rival appears, the scheming teacher, Teshigawara. A Tokyo University graduate, Teshigawara has his own interesting personality quirks that make this series so much of a joy to read. As usual, the most enthralling part of the series is Onizuka's skill at solving problems in a completely nontraditional manner. He continually comes across as a pervert, but when you start to doubt his integrity, he does something completely different than his demeanor would suggest. For a rough-natured ex-gang member, he's an awfully nice fellow. Who knows? In as many volumes as he has left to tell his tale, Onizuka may just save Japan's educational system, single handedly. Plus, this manga covers some of the events that occur in the third DVD of the same series, also published by TOKYOPOP.

Fujisawa's artwork is easily some of my favorite art featured in comics. Everything is realistic, but appropriately distorted to more accurately convey character and emotion. Most scenes involve an admirable level of detail (from sweat and lines on foreheads to members of a crowded auditorium) and a good use of shading. He has a knack for depicting insanity and blind rage, in my humble opinion.

This volume stays with TOKYOPOP's successful unflipped format presented in a small graphic novel size. The cover art is eye-catching, containing a shot of Tomoko in her Cutey Honey cosplay outfit, and the price is right at $9.99. Aside from an odd typographical error on the back of the book (listing the edition as Volume 4 instead of Volume 5), the cover is well-done. As before, there are a few noticeable errors internally, as well. Also, as before, the small size makes for some rough reading for those of us without eagle eyes. Technical faults notwithstanding, if you're already into GTO, then you probably own this volume. If, for some reason, you haven't been sucked into Onizuka's realm, then you honestly need to enter it now. It's just getting more interesting as time goes on...

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