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Vertical Adds GTO Prequel, Sequel Manga

posted on by Gia Manry
Shōnan Junai-gumi, Shonan 14 DAYS set for 2012; license of "GTO proper" is possible

Ed Chavez, the marketing director for the New York-based book publisher Vertical, announced on the ANNCast on Thursday that the company acquired the North American license to Tohru Fujisawa's manga series Shōnan Junai-gumi and Shonan 14 DAYS, which serve as bookends to Fujisawa's Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO) manga series.

Shōnan Junai-gumi revolves around a pair of high school-age bikers, and GTO centers on one of the bikers, Eikichi Onizuka, after he vows to become the greatest teacher. Fujisawa has been continuing the story in the ongoing GTO: Shonan 14 Days manga.

Chavez revealed that Vertical will release Shōnan Junai-gumi and Shonan 14 DAYS on alternating months starting next January. Shonan 14 DAYS will be released in odd months (January, March, and so on), and Shōnan Junai-gumi will be released in even months. When asked about the status of the original GTO manga, Chavez said that the announced licenses were arranged prior to Tokyopop's closure, and that if they sell well enough in bookstores, the company would likely attempt to license "GTO proper" as well.

Fujisawa began serializing Shōnan Junai-gumi in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine in 1990, and Kodnahsa published 31 book volumes by the series' end in 1996. In 1997, Fujisawa launched the sequel series GTO, and Kodansha released 25 volumes through 2002. Tokyopop published GTO in North America. In 2009, Fujisawa returned to the characters of Onizuka with Shonan 14 DAYS, which is still ongoing in Japan. Kodansha published the sixth compiled volume of Shonan 14 DAYS in February.

Tokyopop initially acquired the rights to GTO in 2001 and released the entire series in English, although it is now out of print. Tokyopop also released the first ten volumes of Shōnan Junai-gumi under the title GTO: The Early Years.

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