Tokyopop has announced that it has acquired the license to release GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) anime and manga in the U.S. in 2002. Reflecting the increasing trend toward a shortening period between an anime's release in Japan and in the U.S., this property began in 1997 as a manga in Shonen Magazine. It then migrated to live-action and theatrical expressions, winding up as an anime beginning in 1999. Tokyopop's DVD ($29.99 MSRP) and VHS ($19.99 MSRP) anime collections will begin shipping in March 2002, with the manga starting in April. The last episode of the live action version was the highest rated TV entertainment show in Japanese television history, indicating that this anime has considerable potential.
The story concerns a former biker that decides to forsake his old life and become a schoolteacher, where he is assigned to teach juvenile delinquents, including young girls to which he sometimes takes a liking. According to the announcement, 'Using his street smarts to deal with colleagues, students, and troublemakers, Onizuka finds that he too has many lessons to learn!' The first anime volume includes the 60-minute debut episode, and four regular episodes. Later volumes will each include five twenty-five minute episodes. There are 42 episodes in all.