School Is Out

GTO 14 Days in Shonan vol.9This week we sadly have to say good-bye to another old friend. The final volume of GTO: 14 Days in Shonan is now on sale, and as you can see from the cover the GTO legend has now finally come to an end. Onizuka thought he was going to go on vacation but ended up changing the lives of many in his home region of Shonan. Throughout the new 9-volume series, faces from the many GTO series – Early Years and original – make cameos and the story comes full-circle with Onizuka making his return to Tokyo at the end.

In this final volume Onizuka has taken his fight to City Hall and in typical GTO fashion, the unorthodox teacher gets the old biker gang to go on a manhunt for the mayor. Will this illicit mayor escape to his fantasy getaway or will Onizuka bring what’s coming to him? And as an added bonus, volume 9 contains a bonus mini-series about twins Riko and Miko, former leaders of the Oedipus Club, who through Onizuka’s teachings have now turned into a violent but righteous vigilante-duo!

It was a pleasure to be able to work on this beloved series. We hope to someday get around to releasing Bad Company in some form. So if you haven’t had a chance to experience the continued tales of Eikichi Onizuka yet, go pick up GTO: 14 Days in Shonan and oh finish up your GTO: The Early Years sets while you can too :)

Spring Break

Spring break is over and kids across the country are going back to class to prepare for finals and the end of the school term. And while we recognize that students have to return to the classroom, most people forget that educators have to return to their halls of learning eventually, too.

The greatest teacher, Eikichi Onizuka, has been on leave in his hometown for the past two weeks (and seven volumes). It was just supposed to be a break from the noise and chaos of Tokyo, but it has turned into an extended field trip at a regional children’s home, where young educators attempt to pull some emotional strings attached to the hears of troubled teens.

But trust is only one foe Onizuka has to face. In Volume 8 of GTO: 14 Days in Shonan the Great Teacher most overcome his most powerful foe yet. It’s not a kid who needs a bit of guidance to be set on the right path, a gang of yanki thugs, nor is it some power hungry administrator trying to solely get rid of the great teacher. No, this time, he has to go up against the mayor of Shonan. Will Onizuka be able to beat some sense into him before innocent teens get hurt, or will all hell break lose?

Reckless abandon is what is expected on holiday, but in this case Onizuka is looking for a more casual experience back home.

Thankfully for fans of this beloved property, 14 Days is dripping with testosterone, delivering a barrage of punches – comical and physical – to uplift lives and inspire today’s youth as the seasons begin to change.

Lessons Learned

With the holiday season in now deep in our collective rear-view mirrors, many of us are settling back into our regular routines. Some of us are returning to our 9-to-5 grinds, while the youth head on back to their familiar halls of learning with school now back in session. And school is on our minds here at Vertical this time of month as we release yet another volume of Toru Fujisawa’s GTO 14 Days in Shonan.

Certainly, we would all rather be along the shores of Shonan on spring break like Eikichi Onizuka, but would we want the work-related stress that comes with re-working the local education system? In this 7th volume Onizuka must continue to “educate” at the top of his game as the ongoing reign of tyranny from the seemingly undefeatable Oedipus Club finally reaches its dramatic conclusion. Though he may have prevented an act of arson in the last volume, what will happen when he’s the one starting the fire? With a little help from a few of the beloved classic GTO characters Onizuka lights up a storm that neither the Swan House nor the Oedipus Club will ever be able to forget. Also, when one Onizuka’s biggest fans from the original GTO meets Shinomi, his old The Early Years flame that never quite got over him, will Onizuka finally find love (or rather get laid) or more than likely, will this just spell out more trouble for our ludicrous blonde protagonist?

As is standard throughout the GTO series, lessons are learned the hard way. Whether they are taught through pranks gone awry or through fisticuffs and high-speed mayhem, Onizuka is generally more than happy to share some street smarts with the masses, young and old. And Vertical, while not capable of such acts of violence, would like to follow in the GTO’s footsteps to teach readers a bit about the diversity in Japanese pop-culture. Our lessons, presented in book form, will also end up with happy endings, but will cost much less than a trip to the hospital or juvenile hall…

A Manga Institution

Much like Thanksgiving, Toru Fujisawa’s GTO has been a namesake in pop-culture. While Americans have long come together around the holiday bird in November, manga readers across the globe have been partaking in a feast of nail-bats, minotaur cosplay, and potty jokes that has made the Great Teacher Onizuka franchise one of the most beloved properties over the last two decades.

In the sixth volume of GTO 14 Days In Shonan, we’re treated to nonstop action and tension as it’s up to the Great Teacher to help keep the peace. With the Oedipus club continuing to terrorize, to the point where actual lives start hanging in the balance, even some of their own are realizing they’re going too far. As always, the fists are flying and whether he’s at the giving or receiving end, Onizuka still stands to protect those who need his help.

So this holiday season, stuff your stockings and brighten your Fridays with a copy of GTO. Complete with intense fist-action, emotionally charged and compelling characters, and a rather gratuitous amount of fanservice, GTO: 14 Days in Shonan is stuffed with everything you could want out of standout shounen manga, minus the filler or tryptophan found in other comics.

Parent Teacher Conference

We’ve reached the halfway point in Eikichi Onizuka’s two-week excursion to his hometown of Shonan, and as always, the great teacher is giving life lessons with his fists more often than with his books. From restoring broken trust and giving the youth of today hope, to taking on delinquents, gangsters, and more, the GTO does it all!

In GTO: 14 Days in Shonan volume five, Onizuka continues to help foster care child Seiya through his heart-breaking situation with his neglectful mother and abusive father-in-law. Taking down both a gunman and a giant monster of an assassin, Onizuka one again puts himself on the frontlines for the sake of the kids who have no one else to believe in. But the real star of this volume is a certain unlucky vice-principal, who while in the middle of his search of Onizuka, redeems himself ever so slightly by changing his curriculum and “hair-style” after witnessing some fresh see-food.

Toru Fujisawa’s GTO has been a namesake in manga for more than a decade, and 14 Days In Shonan is continuing that legacy.  With a successful anime and numerous live-action adaptations over the years, the GTO franchise remains recognized around the world for its intense action, emotionally charged and compelling characters. Few manga brands have changed the landscape of  manga publishing as this, and GTO: 14 Days in Shonan teaches readers that stories do not need martial arts hijinks to make stand-out shounen manga.