10 Anime Like Great Teacher Onizuka You Must See

Created by studio Pierrot, ‘Great Teacher Onizuka,’ or simply ‘GTO,’ is a hilarious yet poignant anime that follows the adventures of a delinquent turned teacher as he uses his carefree nature and unconventional methods to win over a class of antagonistic and troubled students. The show initially presents Eikichi Onizuka as a perverted and lazy man, but as he takes charge of Class 3-4 at the prestigious Holy Forest Academy, his genuine care for students and sincere aspiration to become the greatest teacher in Japan shine through.

Through its eccentric comedy and heartfelt moments, the classic anime delves into serious issues faced by students while emphasizing a laidback and fun-loving attitude toward life. For those drawn by the unique charm of Onizuka, here are some anime like ‘Great Teacher Onizuka’ that will make you laugh with their gags and inevitably marvel at their creativity.

10. Gokusen (2004)

Kumiko Yamaguchi is a capable young woman who is starting her job as a math teacher at Shirokin Academy, an institution plagued by delinquent students and powerless teachers. The twist? Kumiko is the biggest delinquent at the school. The leader of a powerful Yakuza gang, Kumiko keeps her identity hidden behind a dorky facade as she is looking to start a new and honest life.

Crafted by studio Madhouse, the anime is often branded as being ‘GTO’ but with a gender swapped Onizuka. Besides drawing several parallels with its predecessor, the show endears itself with a personality-switching protagonist, her entertaining interactions with Yakuza subordinates, and the students’ attempts to unearth her secrets.

9. Super GALS! (2001-2010)

‘Super GALS’ is a vibrant anime series brought to life by Studio Pierrot that follows the spirited and fashion-forward Ran Kotobuki, a self-crowned greatest high school gal known for her boisterous personality and unwavering sense of justice. From dealing with rival gals to thwarting petty crimes, Ran’s fearless attitude and strong moral compass have a strong likeness to Onizuka while having a similar flair for life. Both characters are headstrong and stand up for what they believe in, which often ends up having comedic and heartwarming results.

8. D-Frag! (2014)

Animated by studio Brain’s Base, ‘D-Frag!’ introduces us to Kazama Kenji, a wannabe high school delinquent who finds himself unexpectedly coerced into joining the Game Creation Club by its eccentric members. Led by Roka Shibasaki, the club members include the fiery Chitose Karasuyama, the shy Sakura Mizukami, and the enigmatic Minami Ohsawa.

Despite his initial resistance, Kenji forms unlikely friendships with the club members and finds himself playing ridiculous games with them while forgoing his ambition of terrorizing the school. Like ‘GTO,’ ‘D-Frag!’ has a delinquent protagonist who has a change of heart, and the anime merrily rides along on the hilarious and heartwarming dynamics between Kenji and his club’s girls. Those who liked the former for its slice-of-life elements will be drawn into the shenanigans of Kenji and his outlandish friends.

7. Goodbye, Mr. Despair (2007-2009)

Also known as ‘Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei,’ the anime abruptly introduces us to Nozomu Itoshiki, a high school teacher who is attempting to hang himself from a tree in his very first moment appearing in the first episode. He is saved by Kafuuka Fuura, an overly optimistic girl with a tragic past. Such dark and disturbing themes become the unlikely setup for hysterical situations and gags throughout the show. Nozomu Itoshiki is incredibly pessimistic and walks around with a noose to end his suffering at the slightest inconvenience while attempting to teach a class of students with extreme psychological quirks.

The anime by studio Shaft uses the dichotomy of hope and despair for a satirical exploration of Japanese society and the education system while miraculously maintaining relatability with each episode. ‘Goodbye, Mr. Despair’ shares a teacher’s point of view in a dysfunctional school environment similar to ‘GTO,’ but dials the insanity up to eleven. If you liked the edge and darker themes explored in the latter, ‘Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei’ may become your next anime binge.

6. Beelzebub (2011-2021)

Studio Pierrot’s ‘Beelzebub’ plunges us into the chaotic world of Tatsumi Oga, the most feared delinquent of the lawless Ishiyama High, who unwittingly becomes the adoptive father of the infant demon lord Beelzebub. Oga’s life takes a drastic turn as the son of the demon lord forms an attachment to him, drawing the demon maid Hildegard to forcefully assist him in raising the baby.

With the help of his fellow delinquents and unlikely allies, Oga embarks on a series of misadventures to protect the unpredictable Beelzebub and keep him out of trouble. Filled with comedic moments, intense battles, and heartfelt relationships, the anime is sure to appeal to fans of ‘Great Teacher Onizuka’ as it explores themes of friendship and consistently delivers sidesplitting gags.

5. The Irresponsible Captain Tylor (1993-1996)

Animated by Tatsunoko Production and known in Japanese as ‘Musekinin Kanchou Tylor,’ the show transports us to a future where humanity wages a desperate war against an expansive space empire. When all hope seemed lost, a hero steps up, Justy Ueki Tylor. Striding confidently up to the recruitment office of the United Planet Space Force, Tylor enlists because he saw a hot idol in the ad and believes the military will give him an easy life. Far from your typical sci-fi anime protagonist, Tylor is as laid-back as they come. Upon joining the frenzied war effort, he comments, “They shouldn’t take this so seriously, its just a war after all.”

Through deep-seated genius or sheer dumb luck, Tylor solves the most confounding military predicaments and quickly climbs the ranks, taking command of his own ship. His increasing position of responsibility creates fertile ground for the series to explore even more ridiculous comedic scenarios. Those who enjoyed ‘GTO’ owing to Onizuka’s personality will find a similarly reprehensible yet redeeming character in Tylor. Furthermore, the anime’s plots and characters expand surprisingly well with each episode, surpassing expectations as a truly unique classic.

4. Assassination Classroom (2013-2016)

Produced by studio Lerche, ‘Assassination Classroom’ introduces us to a class of misfit students at Kunugigaoka Junior High School who are tasked with an unusual mission: to assassinate their teacher, Koro-sensei, before he destroys the Earth. Koro-sensei, a powerful octopus-like creature with incredible speed and strength, has already destroyed part of the moon and threatens to do the same to Earth within a year.As they strive to outsmart and defeat their seemingly invincible teacher, Koro-sensei teaches them lessons about the world, life, and their individual strengths and potential. Even when they are trying to assassinate him, the space octopus gives them advice on how to better execute their attacks.

Also known as ‘Ansatsu kyôshitsu,’ the show becomes deeper than it seems through its exploration of a flawed education system that outcasts students to drive the performance of the majority. Besides revolving around student-teacher relationships, both ‘Assassination Classroom’ and ‘GTO’ delve into the personal lives of students as well as their differences with the other teachers and classes. With its stylish storytelling, slice-of-life elements, and intriguing characters, the former show will likely appeal to enthusiasts of anime like ‘GTO.’

3. Daily Lives of High School Boys (2012)

‘Daily Lives of High School Boys’, or ‘Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou,’ is a hilarious and relatable slice-of-life comedy anime following the daily antics of three high school boys: Tadakuni, Hidenori, and Yoshitake. Set in an all-boys high school, the episodes follow the friend’s daily quest to pass time and stave off boredom. Whether it be through making up wild scenarios, having romantic encounters, or just partaking in daily tasks together.

The beauty of the anime is found in its simple daily storylines becoming incredibly comical and relatable, with just about every episode packed with seamlessly hilarious scenarios and understandable character reactions. If you liked ‘GTO’ for its comedy and its focus on living a good school life, ‘Daily Lives of High School Boys’ is truly a must-watch that will leave you in a similarly feel-good and reminiscent mood.

2. Cromartie High School (2003-2004)

Takashi Kamiyama, a simple and driven student, enrolls himself into Cromartie High School, the most disreputable school in the country, which serves as the gathering place for the biggest delinquent high schoolers of the land. Takashi dreams of making a change to the institution’s reputation and its students, and unflinchingly steps into a world of chaos. Punks of all varieties populate the school, from paper tigers and tough-as-nails fighters to robots, gorillas, and a beefed-up Freddie Mercury. If it hasn’t been made apparent, ‘Cromartie High School,’ or ‘Sakigake!! Cromartie Koukou,’ is a surreal comedy anime that sets out to do only one thing: make you laugh with its whiplash comedic timing.

If you found yourself chortling at Onizuka showing up in an elephant costume out of nowhere or walking into the school assembly as a monkey, this is your kind of anime. With each of its twelve-minute episodes centered around a ridiculous subject, it feels a lot like sketch comedy. However, just as in ‘GTO,’ the characters here have unexpected depth to them. Even the burliest of delinquents have a tender side to them; they have regular dreams and aspirations they hide deep down to uphold their badass image. This is where Takashi steps up as a genuinely good guy with nothing to hide, helping those around him open up with his honesty and sincerity, similar to how Onizuka does with his students.

1. Golden Boy (1995-1996)

Created by studio APPP, ‘Golden Boy’ follows the journey of Kintarou Ooe, as he cycles through Japan on his indestructible Mikazuki 5, picking up part-time work wherever he goes. At first glance, Kintarou seems like a highly perverted and overconfident young man, and he is. However, he has an insatiable appetite for learning and a compassionate disposition, quickly ingraining new skills while winning hearts wherever he goes. Each episode sees Kintarou take up new work that he finds interesting, and become involved in the story of a beautiful girl, overcoming challenges and exceeding expectations.

‘GTO’ and ‘Golden Boy’ have several similarities that ensure a fan of one will undoubtedly like the other. Both anime are classics in their genre and have a similar sense of perverted comedy. They are carried on the strong backs of their respective protagonists, who appear to have base personalities but reveal themselves to be gems hidden in plain sight. The biggest difference between the two is that ‘Golden Boy’ is short and sweet with just six episodes, with each somehow managing to leave a lasting impression and building up to a fulfilling conclusion.

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