Manga publishers Shueisha announced on September 3rd that Osamu Akimoto will soon end his 40-year serialisation of Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikoen-mae Hashutsujo (affectionately known as KochiKame). The final chapter of the police comedy manga will run in Shonen Jump magazine’s 42nd issue on September 17th, but Akimoto already has an idea for a new work which is yet to enter development.
As the end approaches, the manga has cemented its legacy in the Guinness Book of World Records. Taking into account the upcoming 200th and final volume, which will be bundled with this week’s issue of Jump, KochiKame now holds the Guinness World Record for “Most volumes published for a single manga series” as of September 12th, 2016. But since Golgo 13 already stands at 182 and is still ongoing, author Takao Saito might still sneak up on Akimoto for a sniper shot at the record.
Shueisha’s Jump+ app will also commemorate the occasion with the sixth chapter of its webcomic starring Hello Kitty’s alter-ego Ichigoman, which launched in March of this year. This chapter, likewise up on September 17th, will feature a new character to mark today’s (September 14th) launch of a line of “KochiKame × Hello Kitty” collaboration goods at Takashimaya Nihombashi Store. The store is also hosting a KochiKame exhibition that will tour Japan for the remainder of 2016.
The wacky adventures of middle-aged police officer Kankichi Ryotsu debuted in 1976, becoming Weekly Shonen Jump‘s longest-running manga series. The 199th compiled volume was published by Shueisha on June 3rd. The manga inspired an anime series which ran from 1996-2004, following its first anime special in 1985 and a live-action movie in 1977. With several other TV specials airing between 2005 and 20o8, as well as a 2009 live-action drama and second live-action film in 2011, a new one-hour TV special to mark the manga’s end will air on Fuji TV on September 18th.
The latest of several KochiKame stage plays will run from September 9th-19th at Tokyo’s AiiA 2.5 Theatre Tokyo, then from September 23rd-25th at Osaka’s Sankei Hall Breeze. LaSalla Ishii is returning to star on stage as Kankichi Ryotsu, who he previously played for the anime and all earlier stage plays.