Last semester, my teenage son introduced me to anime, particularly the show Great Teacher Onizuka. Not only is Onizuka Sensei an amazingly committed teacher interested in his students' well-being, the show itself is an amazing commentary on modern Japanese society. I do not know if the cultural critique was intended by the creators, but the 42 episodes in the anime adaptation of the original manga are simply great. There is also a live action series of 12 episodes that are quite good, though rather different than the anime.
I never thought much of popular culture as a window to understanding contemporary society, but J-Pop's GTO has my attention. So much so now that I think I'll start class by calling myself: Great Teacher Griffin!
This is the same guy who has a Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya quote on his Facebook and who borrowed Kino no Tabi from me. I have his class in an hour. Can't wait. XD