Let’s Start Off the New Year with a CONSPIRACY

Some of my first untranslated manga purchases ever were Japanese volumes of Great Teacher Onizuka. I found them again recently and began flipping through, when I saw something startling.

Here are pages from the GTO extra comic series, “F(iction) GTO Gaiden.”

Do you notice anything peculiar? If not, let me help you out.

Genshiken began in 2002. GTO began in 1997 and ended in 2002.

There are a lot of funky hairstyles in anime and manga, and plenty of top knots, but none of them are quite the same as Ogiue’s distinctive “paintbrush” hair. On top of that, the character in question (labeled “Chief” in the comic) has front bangs similar to Ogiue as well, and dresses in a style similar to Ogiue.

Sure, it’s not uncommon for someone to be wearing these kinds of clothes, but Genshiken itself has bothered to point out that Ogiue prefers to wear this sort of clothing.

I am not sure what to make of all this, and I have no concrete answers. However, what I believe based on this information is that there is someone out there who is the model for both of these characters, a real person on whom Ogiue is visually based (we already know that personality-wise Ogiue is based on Kio Shimoku himself).

Genshiken ran in Monthly Afternoon, GTO in Shounen Magazine. Both are owned by the publishing company Kodansha. Perhaps the model is a Kodansha employee. Also, it might not even be a girl.

The writer of FGTO, Hosokawa Makoto, is called the “sub-chief.” Who, then, is the “chief?” Further research reveals that it’s probably Ayamine Rando, creator of  Get Backers and former assistant to Fujisawa Tohru. Ayamine has a series, Holy Talker, currently running in Manga Rival, a magazine published by Kodansha.

Here’s a self-portrait from Volume 3 of GTO by Ayamine.

His hairstyle is more realistic, shown here as just a sloppily tied together ponytail without the unusual paintbrush shape, but this also means that “Chief” might just be him.

There are other asisstants’ names. One of them is “Takeda Chikanoshin.” Chikanoshin? Chika? No visual evidence, though.

Could this be purely a coincidence? That is certainly a possibility and probably the most sensible one. The only way to know for certain is to find out if there’s any connection between Kio Shimoku and Ayamine Rando. Until then, I hope you’ve enjoyed my tinfoil hat endeavors.