Published as a single volume on October 1st, 1988 by the long since defunct Tsukasa Shobō publishing company via their Tsukasa Comics label, Gedō Gakuen (full Japanese title: 外道学園 BLACKBOARD JUNGLE) is an 8 chapter supernatural erotic thriller centered around a young high school student who is granted a second chance at life following a fatal plane accident.
The story opens with a married couple standing in front of a family grave somewhere in the suburbs. The husband laments that its been 49 days since the terrible plane crash in the Himalayan mountains that claimed the lives of his brother, sister-in-law, and young nephew, Masao Sera. Meanwhile, at Motomichi private school, a portrait of Masao is put on display in memory of their deceased classmate. The school bully, Abe, who happens to be in the same class as Masao, begins to ridicule the photo and complains that it makes the room feel like a temple. Just as he’s making fun of Masao’s fate, a young girl by the name of Yuko Someya, defends the portrait and says that Masao’s death is still yet to be confirmed and that he could still be alive out there somewhere. Abe laughs at her optimism and points out that most of the bodies haven’t been recovered and, even if Masao somehow survived the crash, he’d have starved to death by now. The pair continue to bicker whilst the teacher begins the lesson. No sooner does the teacher start the class, the door creaks open and in walks a completely uninjured Masao. The class can’t believe their eyes and are convinced he’s a ghost until Abe trips Masao over giving him a nosebleed and proving that he is indeed living flesh and blood. At the end of the school day, the teachers commune in the staff room to discuss the mysterious return of Masao. According to their investigations, the Japanese immigration department have no record of his return to the country, nor do they have any leads regarding how he left the Himalayas at all. The principle gets in contact with Masao’s closest remaining next of kin, which happens to be his Uncle, Aunt, and cousin Yumi, and tells them that Masao has returned alive and in one piece. The teachers unanimously agree however to keep quiet regarding the mysterious details surrounding Masao’s return to Japan and opt instead to keep a watchful eye on him.
Masao goes to stay with his Uncle, Aunt, and cousin who happen to live nearby. He has a restless first night at his new home and wakes up in the middle of the night drenched in cold sweat after having a terrifying dream where he was missing both of his arms and being surrounded by mysterious looking monks. Upon waking, Masao can hear his cousin, Yumi, making out with her boyfriend, Mamoru, in the room next door. Suddenly overcome with feelings of loneliness, coupled with a strong yearning for things to go back to how they were before, Masao cries himself to sleep. The following day at school, Masao is back training with the karate club when Abe walks past the dōjo with a friend and starts talking about what he’s gonna do to Yuko. Masao overhears and comes out to apologize to Abe in case he’s caused him any trouble. Abe accuses Masao of listening in on his conversation and challenges him to a fight. Being the weak, timid guy that he is, Masao refuses but is instantly punched square in the face and sent flying by Abe. A short time later, Abe finds Yuko and makes a move on her. She protests and threatens to report him but he just laughs and reminds her that their school has the nickname “Heretical School” for a reason; they have the lowest attendance figures in the entire prefecture and the teachers are too afraid of the students to discipline them. Abe pushes Yuko back and pulls her panties down to take a sneak peek at her private parts. Suddenly, Abe floats up in the air before flying head first through a pane of glass. Yuko can’t believe her eyes and faints from shock whilst Masao is seen hiding around the corner dripping with sweat and breathing heavily.
That evening, Masao once again wakes up in the middle of the night after seeing the same recurring dream. This time he sees himself laying on the floor with both arms missing as he’s surrounded by a group of monks. The monks are seen summoning a fearsome evil spirit who refers to himself as “Esedes the Demon King”. The monks offer Masao’s body to Esedes and ask him to resurrect the boy so that the demon king can live in the mortal world via Masao. Esedes likes the idea and Masao is promptly brought back to life with the demon king’s soul residing within him. Spooked by the dream, Masao sits bolt upright in bed and desperately tries to recall what happened during the plane crash and how he made it back to Japan, but he can’t seem to remember at all. Masao once again hears moaning coming from Yumi’s bedroom but this time he decides to go and investigate. Peering through the gap in her bedroom door, Masao sees Yumi masturbating with a can of deodorant. Yumi spots Masao looking through the gap and screams out in surprise. Yumi’s parents immediately rush to her room and catch Masao by her door. Angered by Masao’s perverted antics, Yumi’s father punches his nephew square in the face and demands that he packs his bags and moves out of the house immediately. The next day, Masao is walking alone outside when he encounters Yumi and her boyfriend, Mamoru. Mamoru is quick to pick a fight with Masao and tells him that he’s lucky that he’s related to Yumi otherwise he would’ve kicked his ass for peeking at her. Masao’s facial expression suddenly changes and he tells Mamoru that Yumi is nothing but a whore that masturbates all the time he’s not around. Mamoru snaps and slugs Masao with a powerful right hook that sends him flying and makes his nose bleed. Laying on the floor, Masao’s eyes suddenly roll back and he begins to chant a mysterious incantation which summons forth the dormant spirit of Esedes within him. In the blink of an eye, Mamoru’s arm is suddenly twisted around and Yumi’s legs involuntarily open wide against her will. Before the couple can understand what is happening, Mamoru’s hand is forcefully rammed between Yumi’s legs. A short time later, Masao regains consciousness but is in a different location wondering what he was doing and why he can hear the word “Esedes” echoing in his head. Mamoru and Yumi meanwhile are lying unconscious in a back alley with Mamoru’s hand stuck up inside Yumi…
The following day, Masao finishes his karate club activities and encounters Abe as he leaves the dōjo. Naturally wary of Masao, Abe nods his head at him and wishes him good afternoon before hurriedly walking away. Masao’s short-tempered teacher, Mr Inari, sees this exchange with the school bully and accuses Masao of being in league with Abe’s gang of delinquents. Masao is quick to refute Inari’s accusations but is swiftly met with a straight punch to the nose for talking back to his teacher. A few hours later, Masao discovers Inari molesting a female student in an empty classroom but ignores it and heads home instead. Upon arriving home, Masao inspects his busted nose in the mirror but is horrified to see a demonic expression leering back at him. Before Masao can figure out what’s going on, he’s once again possessed by Esedes. Elsewhere, Inari is still having his way with the schoolgirl but his actions are brought to an abrupt end when Masao, incarnated as Esedes, suddenly enters the room and stabs his fingers deep into both of Inari’s eyes.
The following weekend, Yuko is hanging out with her friends when they come across Masao laboring at his part-time job. Yuko’s snobby friend makes fun of Masao by calling him a loser before walking off and leaving him feeling dejected in the hot sun. Yuko feels sorry for Masao and apologizes to him before running off to catch up with her friends. A week passes and Masao finally lands a date with Yuko. Unfortunately for Masao, it’s pouring down with rain on the day of his first date but he still dresses up nice and leaves the house to go and meet Yuko. Along the way, a car drives past Masao down a narrow street and splashes him with dirty puddle water. Angry and frustrated, Masao kicks the side of the car causing the driver to stop. In the passenger seat of the car, the same snobby friend of Yuko’s that belittled him a week earlier, rolls down the window and makes of fun of him again. Furious, Masao spits in her face causing the driver, her boyfriend, to get out of the car and throw Masao down into a puddle. The two laugh at him before going on their way leaving Masao drenched in his clothes. Despite running late for his first date with Yuko, Masao hurries home to get showered and changed before rushing to the agreed meeting point. He eventually arrives at the meeting point some 90 minutes late but Yuko is nowhere to be seen since she gave up waiting for him to turn up. Masao is bitterly disappointed that his first date was ruined by the couple in the car and is subsequently overcome with anger. Unable to control his rage, Masao involuntarily summons forth the demon spirit of Esedes who, in response to Masao’s anger, causes the car, and the couple inside, to go careening off the road before exploding into a ball of flames.
A couple of days later, Yuko pays Masao a visit at home since he’s been away from school with a fever. She secretly has aspirations of becoming a nurse so wishes to practice her nursing skills on him. Her good intentions soon go awry when she inadvertently causes a sexually inexperienced Masao to ejaculate over her face when she attempts to give him a bed bath. (Yes, this really happens!) Embarrassed, Yuko hurriedly leaves Masao’s apartment, leaving him to blame his lack of female contact as the reason why he couldn’t restrain himself. Determined to finally “become a man” so that he can control himself properly the next time he sees Yuko, Masao takes all the cash he has and goes to visit a brothel to lose his virginity. Masao gets to see some tits and ass but when he realizes he can’t afford the cash to go the extra mile, the hooker makes fun of him and calls him a broke loser. Unable to stomach the hooker’s insults, Masao once again loses his temper and calls upon Esedes; this time ramming her head up her own ass before fleeing the brothel.
The next day, Masao is approached at school by Abe who has a favor to ask of him. Convinced that Masao is the real deal after having been thrown through a glass window by him, Abe tells Masao that he is due to have a punch-up with a brute from Yamagishi High School by the name of Kohan Noda. Abe tells Masao that there’s no way he can beat Noda in a fight and begs him to fight Noda in his place. Masao tries to decline but Abe gets on his hands and knees in front of the whole school leaving Masao no choice but to help him out. Yuko sees the whole thing and is concerned about the quickly spreading rumor that Masao is actually the real leader of Abe’s gang. After school the next day, Yuko and Masao meet up in a nearby park. Masao puts her mind at rest by telling her that he’s certainly not a leader of any gang before hurriedly rushing off to his new part-time job. Yuko is relieved to hear that Masao only agreed to help Abe due to peer pressure but her feelings of relief are short-lived when a huge hulk of a man walks up to her. The brute in question is none other than Kohan Noda, the guy that Masao volunteered to fight in place of Abe. Noda wastes no time in setting his lackeys on Yuko as they grab her by the arms, allowing Noda a free look at her private parts. Elsewhere, Masao is working at his new job but suddenly senses that Yuko is in distress. Dropping everything, Masao leaves the restaurant and heads towards Yuko when his body is suddenly overcome by a mysterious wave of energy causing him to unleash a powerful ball of light into the evening sky. The ball of light heads straight to the park where Yuko is being accosted and strikes the ground right in front of Noda. To everyone’s disbelief, the smoke clears to reveal Masao standing there with a determined look on his face. Not knowing what’s going on, Noda throws a punch at Masao but the attack passes straight through him as if he’s a ghost. Masao tells Noda that he is also possessed by a demonic spirit and, summoning forth Esedes, forces the demon spirit to leave Noda’s body. Noda is suddenly back to his normal self but has no idea why he’s in the park, nor why Yuko suddenly slaps him in the face.
The following day at school, Masao’s arms suddenly start to become very hairy during class. In a panic he dashes out of the classroom and heads to the restroom to check himself out. Upon looking at himself in the mirror, Masao’s reflection slowly becomes demonic in appearance as Esedes begins to taunt him. Masao lashes out in anger by smashing the mirror before heading home to rest. That night, Masao has a very vivid dream concerning his Himalayan accident in which Esedes tells him directly that he lost both arms and bled to death during the plane crash. He further explains that since he gave Masao back his life, his body and soul now belong to him. Masao wakes up in a cold sweat realizing it was just another dream but is dismayed to see that his arms still haven’t returned to their normal state. Just as he wakes up, Yuko rings the doorbell and lets herself in so that she can check up on Masao. Moments after she enters the bedroom, Masao’s arms suddenly start to become hairier and his penis bursts out of his pajamas. Esedes’ voice within Masao’s head commands him to rape Yuko but he protests out loud that he could never do such a thing to the girl he loves. Sensing that Masao is being driven by a terrifying, otherworldly force, Yuko strips off and tells Masao that it’s OK to penetrate her if it means that the pain will go away. Fighting against the powerful will of Esedes, Masao picks up a large kitchen knife and declares that he wished he could have died peacefully with his parents rather than be forced to hurt the one he loves. Immediately after yelling at Esedes, Masao brings the blade crashing down on his arm, lopping it clean off. Upon doing so, his other arm reverts back to normal bringing a sigh of relief from the young couple. Suddenly Esedes’ voice can now be heard aloud by both Masao and Yuko as he gloats that no matter how many pieces Masao chops his body into, his soul will always be infused with his. Yuko gives Esedes a firm admonishing, her strong feelings of love seemingly overpowering the demon king and causing him to disappear. With Esedes gone, Masao’s arms are both fully restored and the couple make love for the first time…
1988 was possibly the busiest year in Maeda’s career with him penning an incredible 7 different titles in addition to his hugely successful La Blue Girl also beginning serialization. A mere two years earlier, Urotsukidōji had sent Maeda soaring in popularity so when this title was released, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that many fans both domestically and overseas were clamoring for more and more of his work. The anime adaption of Urotsukidōji also started getting released around this time so it would be fair to say that this period was when Maeda’s popularity was at its peak. As such, despite only being a single volume consisting of a mere 8 chapters, Gedō Gakuen also proved to be a hit with fans spawning a 4 part OVA anime adaption of its own followed by a fifth single OVA. The anime was even licensed in the U.S under the name of “Nightmare Campus” despite the original manga never being licensed or released in English. Considering the popularity it enjoyed in the late 80’s – early 90’s however, copies of this manga are now surprisingly hard to find so anybody wishing to read this title will have to go the usual routes and track down a used copy. That said, I definitely feel it’s well worth the legwork required in adding such a fun, and historically significant title to your Toshio Maeda collection. Happy hunting!
Here’s the original Japanese cover artwork: