The creator of one of Japan’s most popular manga/anime franchises of all time still has a story to tell with new chapter.
Way back on September 21, 1976, the first chapter of manga artist Osamu Akimoto’s zany police comedy, Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo, was published. While any creative artist hopes their work will be well-received, it’s unlikely that Akimoto, even in his wildest dreams, expected his series, commonly abbreviated as Kochikame, would become the massive hit it did.
Kochikame went on to have a phenomenally successful 40-year serialization run in the pages of manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump, consisting of 1,960 chapters that were bundled into 200 collected volumes. Last September, Akimoto chose to finally bring the series to a close, with its final chapter appearing in 2016’s Volume 41 of the magazine.
But now, exactly one publishing year later, Kochikame is coming back. This year’s Volume 41 of Weekly Shonen Jump, which went on sale September 11, contains an announcement that Akimoto has penned a new chapter of Kochikame. Not only that, it’s essentially finished, as the publishers promise that it’ll be part of Volume 42, which hits retailers on September 17.
The one-off chapter is titled “A Great Achievement by Ryo-san, or a Great Scolding?” and implies that, once again, protagonist Ryo has some crazy scheme up his policeman uniform’s sleeve. Befitting Kochikame’s legacy, the new chapter is also getting a spot of honor in the center of the magazine, complete with a number of color pages, which manga anthologies reserve for their biggest hits.
The news comes as a happy surprise for fans, some of whom speculated that after four decades Akimoto might not have any interest in drawing the Kochikame cast ever again. It’s also worth noting that while Kochikame is set in the real world, it’s a lighthearted series that likes to poke fun at trends and fads, and its characters never age. Because of that, some are now thinking that Akimoto might make drawing a new chapter an annual event, thus adding to the series’ already-legendary longevity.