I am very proud to announce that volume 11 of Shonan Jun’ai Gumi (or GTO: The Early Years as it’s being called) has not only made it on the New York Times best seller list last week, but has also received a considerably high rank! Quoting wikipedia, The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. The high ranks of the manga division of this list are usually dominated by the likes of popular shonen titles such as Naruto, Bleach and One Piece, but Shonan Jun’ai Gumi has managed to make it to 4th best selling manga! Having said this, there were no new releases of any of the above mentioned series to compete with this week, but this is a very impressive and for some an astonishing accomplishment none the less!
It’s very surprising news, and has kind of caught us off guard without warning. Having said that though I have always had faith in Shonan Jun’ai Gumi, particularly its later installments, and contrary to popular opinion which is often taken at face value, I know it has the makings to be something really popular if people just give it a chance. Already I have read a fairly scathing review of it from mangabookshelf.com, which criticised its “rough, uneven artwork and jokes that repeatedly fell flat”. I couldn’t disagree more with this review, and now we actually have some statistics to show that the material really is worth something. Honestly, volume 11 onwards is really where Shonan Jun’ai Gumi starts to shine in my opinion, so people should definitely think about picking this book up and contributing to an even greater number of sales to support all that is GTO and Fujisawa himself! If people are worried about the artwork, it only gets more refined as the stories move forward, and by volume 13 we’ll have something quite close to the standard of early GTO. It’s already starting to head in that direction in this volume.
In other news, I have completed my review of Vertical’s GTO Shonan 14 Days, which can be read in the review section located in the top menu. Please have a read! I hope I haven’t been too harsh, but I’ve tried to be fair. As I mention within, I still think its a volume that’s worth people picking up and your support by purchasing the series will allow for further improvement! I’ll try to write a review of Shonan Jun’ai Gumi 11 as soon as I can