Shonan Junai Gumi: Finally, A Story I Can Relate To

Eikichi Onizuka and Ryuji Danma are the deadly duo, Oni-Baku (Demon Explosion), with the sole mission of losing their virginities. As they turn away from the gang life to accomplish this, old enemies resurface to haunt them, and new ones appear to take their fame. Before taking the women, Oni-Baku must first show their adversaries exactly who is the baddest in Shonan Beach.
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 woman. This is the story of the young Onizuka, who would later become the greatest teacher in Japan.

I’m tired of anime about losers who can’t get laid. Quick, name any anime off the top of your head. Chances are it’s about a loser who can’t get laid. Where are all the stories about winners who can’t get laid?

Shonan Junai Gumi is exactly that: a story about two winners—none other than EIKICHI ONIZUKA and RYUJI DANMA—who can’t seem to catch a break in their love lives. Meanwhile, all the losers around them score home. It’s the story of my life.

Onani Master Kurosawa: another story I can relate to

The first manga volume/OVA episode kicks off the series brilliantly: since the ladies of Shonan are no longer going for delinquents, Eikichi and Ryuji try to clean up their act—with hilarious consequences.  Then the series falls into a cyclical routine that’s always fun but nothing to write home about:

  1. Eikichi and Ryuji try to get laid
  2. Some gang shows up to fight them
  3. Eikichi and Ryuji win the fight
  4. Eikichi and Ryuji don’t get laid
  5. Repeat

Other than the first volume manga/OVA episode, I strongly recommend the fourth manga volume/third OVA episode. Everything else can be skipped without missing anything substantial. After reading five volumes, I’ll probably keep reading more, but I’d be shocked if any of you do. I’m well aware that moe-less manga about gang fights, girls who aren’t pure and innocent (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean), and modded dinosaur cars don’t sell in this day and age.

There’s a reason why GTO is a smash hit while Shonan Junai Gumi is largely unheard of. GTO keeps you wanting more. Shonan Junai Gumi is more of the same:

  • Everything is resolved with a fight and/or bike race
  • Eikichi and Ryuji always win when they stick together
  • Eikichi and Ryuji never get laid

Would I have read the manga if it didn’t feature the future Great Teacher Onizuka? I can’t say for sure, but I guarantee this: if it weren’t about Onizuka, I never would’ve heard of it. Although the manga is sold as “GTO: The Early Years” (and in some places “Young GTO”), Shonan Junai Gumi was written before GTO and only got the GTO in its title because it’d be foolish not to leech off its wildly successful sequel. Just keep in mind, you’re not getting another GTO. If that’s what you’re looking for, follow GTO’s new sequel, GTO: Shonan 14 Days.

22 people love sucking up to me

  1. GTO is fucking amazing, and the early years would probably be worth watching as long as Eikichi is as awesome as he is int he series. Also, that strip, that is the ‘story of your life’ I wonder if it is applied to the fat guy being the manga equivalent of lolikitsune? lol

  2. @digitalboy: lolikitsune is but one of many fat guys to my Onani Master Kurosawa (an excellent coming-of-age manga everyone should read). You could be next.

  3. My first live action drama was GTO (all stored on cd-rws somewhere), my first bootleg dvd purchase was GTO, I own the last couple volumes of the manga, so of course I’ve read a bit of Shonan Junai Gumi… but it was such a LONG time ago, it gets hazy. Thanks to this, I think i’ll pull it out again and watch the animated version of this. What i DO remember is that this shit was great.

    P.S! See you at Otakon?

  4. Ryuji does get laid a lot in the latter half of the series though. It’s Onizuka who’s the most unlucky shit around. Most of the series is repetitive like oyu said, but there are a few short stories that are wildly hilarious and a preview of what was to come (GTO, that is). Onizuka actually had a girl who was willing to screw him, but somehow he didn’t want her despite her hotness.

  5. I only bought and read the first volume way back when I was still in high school, and the publishers never bothered releasing subsequent volumes because it couldn’t pass the censors, and ever since then, without the guidance of Onizuka’s life to fall back on, I ended up becoming a disgusting anime otaku.

  6. Even if it is a post related to anime and/or manga, it still smells like filler to me.

    GTO is an “ok” anime, but where is the “review” ? and the famous “checklist” ?

    But i liked the idea of “i watch K-ON , so you don’t have to”.

    It’s the same thing for this post “i watched/read GTO and its sequels and/or antecessors, so you may too”

    I can’t help but sigh…

  7. Getting laid is other hard thing to keep up, even if you do have a girl friend…

    It is show in many other anime’s as well…

    Assuming we’ll have sex everyweek is too idealist and/or optmistic of our part, as we always tend to get distracted by other things and so on…

    I guess that being an “otaku” and having a social life with “non-otakus” (trying to be normal) is more than a chalenge to me or anyone else anyway…

    Still…I can’t help but sigh…

  8. Onani Master Kurosawa is the most unintentionally hilarious manga I’ve ever read.

    Looking forward to reading GTO’s sequel at some point.

  9. Im up to Volume 4 since Amazon is beeing a Bitch about importing them.While its definately more of the same I did enjoy it so far.I didnt expect Stuff like selling off your girlfriend to some Dude for his assistance in a fight against OniBaku though.
    One of my favorite scenes has to be the Onsen scene where they figh about who has the bigger wiener.I especially loved the Yakuza telling that its not about size but technique.
    Okay,okay I admit it…Im just a fan of cheap Penis Jokes…

    I probably wouldnt have started this manga,like you already wrote,if it wouldnt be for GTO.Its entertaining enough to stick to it for me though

  10. @Os: GTO was the first anime I ever spent money on. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure it was bootlegged too. As for Otakon, I’m probably not going (work on Thursday and Friday, and I’m not sure it’s worth standing in a line for half of Saturday). But there’s always a chance I could change my mind at the last second. Time and space are no barrier to me.

    @tj han: Onizuka does have his chances in the first five volumes, all of which he ultimately turns down for some reason or another. But if Ryuji does get laid later on, I’ll have no choice but to keep reading. The OVA leaves out a lot the “needless” sexual scenes.

    @Glo the Legend: Top 10 here too. And I’ve seen like 3x as much anime as you, so that’s like putting it in my top 3.3.

    @Snark: I was so good I had to take two screen shots.

    @Shin: To think you could’ve become a dinosaur like me…

    @Rakuen: You don’t have to do everything I say…

    @Laguna: This is the first time I’ve heard anyone describe GTO as anything less than amazing. In any case, I can’t really call this a true review since I’ve only read 5 volumes. I’m writing the “review” now because I just saw the OVA and figured most of you would go for that instead of the manga. Now excuse me while I fiddle a song of sympathy for poor Laguna who doesn’t always get to have sex every week.

    @Shiro: It’s intentional. Definitely intentional.

    @Blowfish: I must admit, I’m very glad they put the bath scene in the OVA. The OVA does stay true to the manga, in the sense that it incorporates approximately 14% of the manga’s boner jokes.

  11. So the only reason your putting up with the tedious routine that inhabits the manga is because a ‘great teacher’ is in it? That dissapoints me Baka-Raptor. I thought you had higher standards (even though your standards a reasonably low) than that.

  12. @Kyoin: I like the manga, there’s no doubt about that. The problem is whether future manga volumes will add enough value to the series to justify paying for them. This isn’t normally a problem, as I watch most anime and read most manga for free. Legally of course…

  13. Haven’t seen this yet but after reading the descrption on Wikipedia it sounds awesome. But 200 chapters? Yeah I’ll try to fit it into my list. I should get to sometime before I’m 85….and then I could blog about it—> …..shameless self promotion.

  14. Sounds to me you’re ranting out on shonan junai gumi. Its a good series and definitely worth the watch one reason and I think its a main reason it never caught on anywhere else because there are alot of anime/mangas from the 80-90s people like you have probably never even heard of,yet were considered hit mangas in Japan. For example not to assume but if you haven’t heard of shonan junai gumi you’ve probably never heard of rokudenashi blues, sakigake otokojuku and osu karate bu. Let’s face it anime wasn’t internationally popular at that time and the few mangas/animes that were brought here from that time were usually the very best of the crop.


  15. Ok i’m sad to say i would have never checked out “Bad Company” or “Shonan Junai Gumi” if it wasn’t for “GTO”

    Bad Company is a must read if you want to know how OniBaku was formed. quite a fun manga.
    (kinda shocked no one gave it a shout out!!!)
    for those of you who don’t know Bad Company it’s the prequel to Shonan Junai Gumi, i’m guessing it’s even more unheard off than Shonan Junai Gumi.

    i was reading Shonan Junai Gumi and the last chapter i could find was chapter #80 “First Day In School”. i highly doubt that that’s the last chapter. leaves off in an odd place and doesn’t give way to GTO.
    so can anyone help me find where i could find the rest:D much appreciated.

  16. “Quick, name any anime off the top of your head. Chances are it’s about a loser who can’t get laid.”

    Then what about:

    Grappler Baki
    One Piece
    D Grayman
    Shaman King
    Eyeshield 21

    OH thats right, you only watch trash animes like K-ON and Kampfer, you should have re phrased it to “think of a lame, fanservice-drenched plot-less piece of shit, top of your head”

  17. The quality of this manga in English has really gone done with the last few issues. I enjoyed GTO until the end, but not the case with Junai. Is it the English translation?

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