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The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,439 ratings  ·  245 reviews
View the animated video for The Adventures of Johnny Bunko and check out popular books for the new graduate here.

There’s never been a career guide like The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). Told in manga—the Japanese comic book format that’s an international sensation—it’s the fully illu
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Riverhead Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Bob Redmond
Reading the NY Times Magazine one Sunday, Amy asked over the breakfast table: "have you ever heard of Daniel Pink?" I had not. She insisted that I get his books and read them. The article she was reading (on early childhood education) cited Pink on the importance of creativity to our contemporary culture. The article addressed kids in particular (for instance, said the report: even if kids test high on academic achievement at age 5, this is no indicator of future academic success, and may even r ...more
Peter Derk
It's back to school time!

Guys. I hated school. Like to the point that I can't even step foot in a Target between August and September because I get the dry heaves.

So this book has some okay career advice. I mean, it's good, it's just that advice is always hard to take. I appreciate the attempt to make it palatable, and I do think it offers one good point, which is that you should pursue stuff you're interested in, even if it doesn't have a strong A to B career path. Because hell, you probably wo
I think art work was good and narrative was fine. But, by way of content, I found it bit superficial. It has 6 take-aways that when it comes to one's career:

1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weakness. (That is work what you are good at rather than where you have to work on weaknesses.)
3. It's not about you. (Contribute to team, project et al.)
4. Persistence trumps talent. (No, it doesn't contradict 2. Think about it.)
5.Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint (wherever you go).

The b
Jan 01, 2009 Jaymi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
(Adapted from
Last month, I was reading an article about Daniel Pink and how he went to Japan to study the art and culture surrounding Japanese comics, otherwise known as manga. He was interested in the format's popularity; this was a book format that people of all ages enjoyed reading. He studied the culture and the form to see how it could be applied to other disciplines successfully. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is the result of that study. This introductory guide on life
For what this is- this book is brilliant.

What it is? It's a self-help career guide. Mr. Pink, a former White House speech writer, elected to use the Manga storytelling style to reach his specified audience in a unique way. His justification- Why we read a book if you can do a google search?

In 6 deliberately fast reading segments, Pink discusses the following principles:
1. There is no plan
2. Think strengths- not weaknesses
3. It's not about you
4. Persistence trumps talent
5. Make excellent mistake
This is a novel way to get students thinking about how to choose a career. Very wise advice.
My introduction to the world of Manga! And also career guides! Insightful and simple! I should have read it when i was 21!
This is one of my favorite graphic novels. Johnny Bunko shows different kinds of tips for you to getting a job. It's a pretty interesting book including tons of conflicts and advice. I would say this book is one of my favorites because I enjoy graphic novels, and I enjoyed the plot. I don't want to ruin this for you guys, so I'd recommend for you to read it. Fun, interesting, and entertaining book.
Marian Abou Samra
This is more of a business book which helps someone that hasn't lived in the outer world yet. I say this because in the first part of the book, which introduces the main character Johnny Bunko, he hates his job so much but can't do anything about it. He sits at work and spends all of his time at this job he hates. In the graphic novel, they inform you that "bunkoing" means screwing up. His work is to collect balance sheets but he always messes up, or "bunkos" them. He needs to find a new view to ...more
Nov 06, 2009 Nathan added it
For its length, the best career book I've read. Combines the latest in "how to find a job you'll do well at - and do it well" in a succinct story in manga format. A good concept, well executed.
This is a career advice book in the form of a Japanese anime-style comic book. It's also a very fast read (under 30min cover-to-cover) that offers the following six tips for how to have a successful career.

1. There is no plan
2. Think Strengths not weaknesses
3. It’s not all about you
4. Persistence trumps talent
5. Make excellent mistakes
6. Leave an imprint

The whole comic book thing wasn't my style, so I didn't like the book all that much, but I would recommend it for a young college-age or perhaps
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Wiggins
A short comic book (manga-style) that attempts to give some helpful advice for a successful and happy career. It offers six rules to follow in order achieve this professional fulfillment.
1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
3. It's not about you.
4. Persistence trumps talent.
5. Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint.
These are all very thought-provoking and helpful pointers that I will be contemplating throughout the coming months and perhaps the rest of my professional life
This book was recommended by my colleague's father, who is a college professor, and was particularly interesting to me on two levels.

First, Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, made a point of identifying six important skills sets that individuals will need to be successful in the future (Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning--have to read the book to get the full understanding of each, but I highly recommend it). From a 30,000-foot view, Pink applied his own Whole New Mind th
May 31, 2010 Caren rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Told in the style of Japanese manga, this is Daniel Pink's advice to high school/college students or other young people just beginning their careers. When Johnny visits a Japanese restaurant and breaks apart his wooden chopsticks, a magic girl, Diana, materializes to offer him advice. She tells him that when he needs help, he need only snap apart another pair of chopsticks and she will appear. During the course of the book and her appearances, Pink chalks up six pieces of advice for those plotti ...more
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
Feb 16, 2012 Vicki (The Wolf's Den) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Vicki by: Kevin Smallwood
~ Amazon ~ Powell's ~

My dad picked this up as he was perusing the bookshelves at Goodwill. I was pretty surprised when I saw it since he primarily reads only non-fiction, and definitely not picture books. But he said he'd heard good things about it, and had read the author before. So I shrugged and didn't think any more of it.

A week or two passes and he shows up with it again. Says I would really enjoy it and get some good advice out of it. I grabbed it, mostly for my sister who's a huge manga e
Estevo Raposo
Con el subtítulo de “la única guía que necesitarás para tu futuro” y el corolario de “El primer libro empesarial con formato de manga” Empresa Activa publica Las aventuras de Johny Bunko, un comic que cuenta una historia escrita por Daniel H. Pink y dibujada por Rob Ten Pas. En ella, Johny Bunko tiene la suerte de que la fantastica e increible Diana, que aparece cada vez que separa unos palillos de Sushi, le transmite seis secretos esenciales para el triunfo. Son estos.

1.-No hay un plan. No pued
Dore' Ripley
Part advice guide, part career guide, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, can help young people navigate the real world before they get there. Daniel Pink, the author of Drive, helps explain life with his patented life lessons. From "There is no plan" (not to be confused with "Don't make any plans"), to "Make excellent mistakes," students quickly learn that life often takes unexpected detours.

The book is done in a manga-esque black-and-white style with each chapter devoted to one of life's lessons.
Jun 23, 2010 Klara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Recent high school graduates, especially future humanities majors.
Shelves: manga
I've noticed reviewers on several websites criticizing this volume because it offers only "obvious" or "common sense" sort of advice for succeeding at work. This might be true for people who have spent enough time in the working world to pick up on which particular traits lead to success and which to failure; college students and anyone else just starting a career, however, need not agree. As a college student with no real work experience myself, I found the book's advice useful. It is true that ...more
Almothana Alghunaim
Before I start :D, I just realized that the author is the same speaker who gave a famous TED talk, The Puzzle of Motivation: that has been illustrated in a second famous video: which in fact was an interesting fact :D

Now back to the book :D

The book delivers a great career advice in a beautiful "manga" style. You follow the main character, Johnny Bunko, through a wonderful adventure while discovering new journeys in
I had to check this book out for myself. As a veteran career counselor, I wanted to see what career advice could be given in graphic novel format. The premise was cute, but I had trouble agreeing with the very first tenant: "There is no plan". There is always SOME sort of plan, otherwise people would accomplish nothing. I am not a big fan of knowing what I'm going to do from hour to hour and like room for spontaneity, BUT if Johnny Bunko had no plan, he would have just sat in his pjs in his pare ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I LOVE the overall message of this book! So many people think that they have to take a certain career path that really isn't necessarily the best thing for them. This book gives six lessons that help clarify how someone should approach career decisions. As I read it, I realized that I've been following this exact guidance my whole life when it comes to business/career decisions. The fun thing about this book, is that it's written in comic book form, and so it's really great for a teenage audienc ...more
Overall: Like Pink's other works, the revelations of Johnny Bunko aren't quite as revolutionary as I anticipated. High expectations aside, however, this is a good little story that makes some broad but insightful points about career paths and uses a new medium (manga) to do it. The artwork is good (Rob Ten Pas is the artist) and surprisingly funny. I actually laughed aloud several times, just because of a goofy illustration, like when Johnny gets clocked with a stapler. The book has fun with its ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 05, 2008 Christine rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Type A people who feel strangely unfulfilled at work
Shelves: read-fiction
I'm ALWAYS having some sort of career crisis or another. This is a career guide that distinguishes itself mainly by the Manga (Japanese comic) format. 20% of all printed material in Japan is manga so it's not too unusual that they would have career guides the same way.

From a culture (both Japanese and American) that puts heavy meaning into academia, career, and success it takes a lot to take a step back and really examine the job one is in currently and the goals that one wants to achieve.

Sep 07, 2008 Adam rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: japan obsessed college kids w/ little to no direction in life
Shelves: career
not so bad. basic lessons for approaching career life. stuff i'd heard before from various sources. SUCH AS : recognize your strengths (or something like that), and um... well can't recall what else, but most likely from talking to "old" people in careerage. OH YES! and Colin Powell's Lessons in Leadership. too bits and pieces of Art of War. Another book what was it, more of an artsy tilt, but good impact AND one of the "lessons" in that book I ACTUALLY USE something along the lines of if you ne ...more
Jon Tran
Johnny Bunko is a light, reaffirming read for those questioning if they're on the right path in their career. While I didn't learn any new concepts from the six lessons covered in this manga-styled career guide, it did re-inspire me to work harder for what I want to be doing. If you have access to it and the 30 minutes it'll take you to read through this book, I recommend it (especially if you're about to graduate, you've just graduated, or your first job isn't quite what you were hoping for).
Robert Beveridge
Daniel Pink, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need (Riverhead Books, 2008)

Fun, if lightweight, manga-style career guide from business writer Pink (Drive, A Whole New Mind). Johnny Bunko is a drone at his company who finds out he can summon a career-minded genie by opening disposable chopsticks. If only we all had that ability (especially given that she's so manga-cute one of his co-workers falls for her immediately). Each time Johnny summons her, she imparts anot
Scott Wozniak
Creative, fun fable on career development. It's written like a manga story--comic book-ish for those who don't know manga. The principles are helpful no matter how far into your career you are. 4 stars instead of 5 because for a couple of points he took the easy (and boring route) of having one character lecture the others rather than work it into the plot. Yet again, Dan Pink pushes the boundaries, showing us more options than we thought were there.
My husband was reading this, so I picked it up and read the entire thing in about an hour. It's good advice, and I would recommend it to anyone that is looking for career advice or is starting to feel disgruntled with their current situation.

Heck, I'd recommend it for just about anyone. Remembering that persistence trumps talent is good advice in a lot more than just your career, and the other lessons are pretty good too.
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and Free Agent Nation. His next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, will be published in 2010.

Dan's articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including The
More about Daniel H. Pink...
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself The Flip Manifesto

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