Ever since Alexei talked this up onthe Vice Pit, I’ve been dying to watch it for myself. The prospect of a show absurdlycranking up the familiar Tough Teacher formula of TO SIR WITH LOVE, DANGEROUSMINDS, et al, is impossible to resist. The scenes just write themselves.All you have to do is close your eyes and picture this ex-biker karate championshowing the punks in his classroom who the real tough guy is…
Well, that gratification of thatdesire was a little delayed. For some reason, the show hasn’t been available onany legal streaming services. Only the live-action show — and who wants to watch that?
Needless to say, I hopped intoaction as soon as I saw GTO listed on CrunchyRoll and… then got an immediate possible answer for why the series hasn’t been available. Isuppose it should’ve been obvious, but I definitely wasn’t expecting the firstepisode to revolve around GTO creeping on his students, and constantlycalculating how old he can be and still get away with dating 16-year-olds. Yesyes yes… I’m aware that the age of consent is lower in Japan. It’s still weirdto open the show with GTO getting an eyeful of some upskirt at the mall whilehe’s making the most lemon-squeezy O-Face ever animated.
I suppose the cultural comedydifferences extend beyond that. Once our boy gets around to throwing somestreet justice on the punks in his classroom, it isn’t well-timed slapstick, like him just backhanding some chud down into his desk. It’s a really obfuscatinggag where he calls his biker buddies in to… tie them up? It also stretchescredulity a little that this big badass would just let a bunch of kids get awaywith photos of him in a compromising position while they’re still in his living room.
I’m sure GTO goes through a hilarious character arc after this. Maybe I just had too much time toplot my own version of this premise. I’m not so stoked to check out the rest ofthe series, now, though.
Watch this pilot and decide for yourself.