Ekichi Onizuka and Ryuji Danma are members of infamous biker gang, Oni Baku. When not out riding around, they can be found in school, trying to pick up young women. This is the story of the young Onizuka, who would later become the greatest teacher in Japan.
Shonan Junai Gumi! was published in the USA by the now-defunct Tokyopop as GTO: The Early Years. The Tokyopop release ended at Volume 10. Vertical Inc. eventually picked up the license for and finished printing the remaining volumes in 2012.
How come people go all rampage when it's about GTO yet don't bother to read this Masterpiece of a Manga? Seriously, I don't even like Manga all that much, but this one was worth every second I've spent reading it.
This will be a rather short review because I usually tend to review stuff I hate, so I don't know what exactly to say when I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
The plot is, as you can guess, Onizuka's and Ryuuji's backstory, the lovabale delinquent-legends that no one would ever dare to mess with. They're feared by enemies, admired by their peers and were "kicked out
of school" for their brutal deeds. Or so they say in a letter they left behind, with the truth being these two wanting to polish their image for the sake of finally getting laid in a new school.
These two are just the best duo I've seen in a Manga. You probably already love Onizuka, and here you'll learn to love Ryuuji just as much as him, their friendship is touching (in a completely manly way of course...) and hilarious and you see these two grow into young adults...that basically stay the same idiots until the very end! (though Ryuuji does mature a little in GTO).
So, if you can overlook, or even love the old art style (which I do!), you will absolutely fall in love with the the action packed comedic genius of Shonan Junai Gumi!
First off I’m going to start by saying that this is a great manga and worth every bit of the time spent on it.
Shonan Junai Gumi is about two guys Ryuuji Danma and Eikichi Onizuka, The Oni-Baku duo that have a reputation for being the most badass fighters around. While they can definitely fight they do not have the same luck in picking up chicks which is where the story starts it’s self off. The duo moves to a new school for the possibility of finally getting some
girlfriends, however it brings them more than they asked for when soon after their life’s are filled with drama, action, romance and most of all comedy.
So the beginning plot is a bit original and a bit cliché. You can average that to being just a normal show but the thing with Shonan Junai Gumi is that it’s not one straight story line but more all the different situations that Oni-Baku finds them self getting into. That seems like it would be a bit repetitive and boring right?
That is not the case here, the manga has the unique ability to make each problem and each situation as interesting as the last, witch of course is because of the flexibility of the story line. It’s not tied down with the Idea of the characters having one goal to accomplish but instead these two hot headed high school students have nothing like an overall goal to accomplish. That lets the story line go in all different directions without it getting repetitive and boring.
Surprisingly enough character development is the biggest contributor and the back bone of the story line and that brings me to my next topic. The characters witch like most Shounen manga, Shonan Junai Gumi has many.With every situation Oni-Baku is put into, new characters arise and that person or that person’s problems are what the duo will end up beating the crap out of. Then with the thing that has always held them back extinguish by Oni-Baku’s maincharacteritis the character will change dramatically.
What we have established so far is that the story line connects all the different elements that makes a story good and that the characters are very dynamic. That all sounds good but what makes this manga go that extra mile to being great is the comedy. Shonan Junai Gumi is one of the most hilarious manga’s I have ever read, this manga is slapstick comedy at it's best.
So if you are a fan of Shounen, comedy or love GTO. I recommend you read this manga.