News from Japan: New Work From GTO, Cross Game, and Bobobo Creators

Remember Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo? It mocked the cliches of shonen manga with a story about people fighting over hair, and although the anime ran on Cartoon Network for a while, it was never a chart-topper in the U.S. In Japan, on the other hand, it was popular enough to earn a sequel, and now it is getting a new spinoff, Fuwari! Don Patch, which will launch in the January issue of Saikyou Jump. Saikyou Jump is a sort of companion magazine to Shonen Jump that is going from quarterly to monthly with this issue; it also features the Naruto spinoff Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden.

Mitsuru Adachi, the creator of Cross Game, has a new project in the works for the December 22 issue of Shogakukan’s Big Comic Superior. The project is titled Yuku Toshi Kuru Toshi (Old Year Out, New Year In), but the magazine was vague about whether it’s a one-shot or an ongoing series. Adachi has several other series going at the moment, including another baseball manga, Asaoka K?k? Yaky?-Bu Nisshi – Over Fence (Asaoka High School Baseball Team Journal – Over Fence), which runs in Weekly Shonen Sunday (the home of Cross Game during its run), but ANN notes that no new episodes have appeared recently. He also has two more irregular serials, Q and A in Monthly Shonen Sunday/Gessan and Idol Ace in Weekly Shonen Sunday. Since Shogakukan is one of the parent companies of Viz Media, that publisher would be the most likely choice to license any new Adachi manga in North America, and Cross Game has certainly been popular with manga critics, although sports manga are usually a tough sell with the buying public.

GTO creator Tohru Fujisawa is starting a new series in Kodansha’s Young Magazine in January. Fujisawa posted the news, along with the above image of the main character, on his blog, but he did not reveal the title. This is the second new project Fujisawa has announced for January; he is doing the scenarios and character designs for Soul Reviver, which will run in Shogakukan’s Monthly Hero’s magazine. Manabu Akishige (D-ASH) will handle the day-to-day art for that series. The U.S. publisher Vertical, Inc., which is partly owned by Kodansha, has the license for the GTO prequel, Shonan Junai Gumi (English title: GTO: The Early Years) and the sequel, GTO: Shonan 14 Days, so it would be the most likely licensor for this new series, should it ever come to North America.

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