What I’m talking about is the return of the manga character Eikchi Onizuka with the current book GTO: 14 Days in Shonan by Toru Fujisawa, a sequel to the 26- volume series that was part of the 2000’s manga revolution that was help ushered in by the company Tokyopop (if you can find it anywhere pick it up).
For those who don’t know about GTO, and the character of Onizuka he’s a 22-year-old ex-biker gang leader, high-school dropout, who attended a third-rate college (and barely passed), and changed his career goals to becoming a teacher (for less than pure reasons). The original story follows his attempts to gain control of class 3-4, who has a history of not trusting authority. The only thing is Onizuka is the perfect mix of stupid, unstoppable and heroic that he won’t give up.
This is a superhero title through and through, and GTO gives you everything that is right about manga, the only thing is it lives in Japanese culture so there will be moments that they may lose you for a joke, but Vertical does a great job of explaining those reference in the back of the book (or front if you aren’t use to reading it Japanese style).
If you’ve never read GTO don’t feel like you will be lost reading this sequel, as it does a good job of explaining past history and then setting it in a new story that stands on it own.
I love this title for its mix of action, drama, and humor. Often times American comic readers stay away from manga because it can be too much of a cultural difference, but if you want to try something new and can’t care where it was created give this title a try, for the amount of story you get for $10.95 you will feel it’s worth it.
For a year now I’ve had four volumes of GTO: 14 Days in Shonan in Japanese on my shelf waiting to be translated with my limited Japanese, as it didn’t look like Tokyopop was ever going to do it as first they weren’t in the business of translating manga anymore, and then came the bankruptcy. Newcomer Vertical Inc has now done the job for me and for that I owe you Vertical and you have a new customer in me.
Kyle Steele is an aspiring comic writer/artist and is currently working an a few different projects and is trying to finish a cover for a friends comic book that she has due for class. When he isn’t working you can follow him on twitter at twitter.com/kylesteele43 or drop a line here below on the comments section.