GTO: The Early Years

The landmark series continues!

GTO: The Early Years

By Toru Fujisawa

Graphic Novel/Manga
Paperback, approx. 360 pages, 5.5 x 7.5 inches
Vol. 11: 978-1-932234-75-6 Buy
Vol. 12: 978-1-932234-86-2 Buy
Vol. 13: 978-1-932234-94-7 Buy
Vol. 14: 978-1-932234-95-4 Buy
Vol. 15: 978-1-932234-97-8 Buy
U.S.$12.95 / CAN$15.99

The series that launched an international multimedia frenzy returns to North America, reintroducing readers to the origins of their favorite renegade teacher Eikichi Onizuka. Once again available in English, GTO: The Early Years reveals the hilarious past of one of manga’s most memorable characters while providing plenty of backstory for future chapters in the beloved franchise.

Before he beacme known as the GTO, the legend of Eikichi Onizuka was tied to another term—the Oni-Baku. This group of teens with attitude changed the fortunes of a whole community by uniting rival gangs under the humor and leadership of two young men: Ryoji Danma and Eikichi Onizuka.

Picking up where they left off, manga readers can finally experience the dramatic conclusion to this seminal property.

Even at only 44 years of age Toru Fujisawa can already be considered one of Japan’s most influential modern comic artists. With two dozen series under his belt and a few million-unit sellers to his name, the Hokkaido native would be best known globally for helping redefine the image of Kodansha’s boys comics with his first hit GTO: The Early Years in 1990. His hilarious brand of action-packed urban fiction helped ignite a yakuza boom in popular media throughout the ’90s. His second hit GTO was honored with the prestigious Kodansha Manga Award in 1998. Fujisawa has since worked with every major Japanese publisher and has had a number of works adapted into TV and film properties.

New to the world of GTO: The Early Years, or need a quick refresher course? Click here to catch up to the story.

Check out the latest GTO series, GTO: 14 Days in Shonan!

“This prequel to the immensely popular GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) actually came out first in Japan, but is lesser known. There’s slapstick galore… There’s also plenty of tear-jerking pathos. [GTO: The Early Years] offers lots of rowdy high-school fun, with a pleasant absence of shrinking girls and an abundance of good humor.”
Publishers Weekly

“I had fallen way behind in my SJG reading, but was able to pick up where I left off with minimal confusion, mostly as this is a delinquent manga… I like the girls in GTO, who come in many different types and varieties, and the gang aspect of the plot means we get a lot who can kick any guy’s ass… There’s also some terrific comedy here—the author likes to break up all the gang fights with one-shot chapters that are hilariously silly.”
A Case Suitable for Treatment

“How’s Onizuka, brawler extraordinaire, supposed to deal with someone who not only doesn’t feel pain but positively thrives on it? … If you start here without any context, you’re liable to be a little lost. To compensate for that, though, they’ve post some notes… Me, I walked in more or less cold, picked up most of what I need to know from context, and laughed myself out of my chair all the same.”
Genji Press

Manga of the Month I always had a vague feeling there was a longer story that occurred before GTO when I first read the series… While this part of the story is a bit cruder than later parts of Onizuka’s story it also has its own energy… I feel the humor is a bit ruder, the action a bit wilder, and the stakes a bit higher… This is the raw and uncut Onizuka.”
Reverse Thieves