Last week, an era came to an end. The long-running manga, Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (This is The Katsushika Ward, Kameari Park Front Police Box), a.k.a. Kochikame, came to an end. And by “long-running,” I mean forty whole years.
Kochikame is an informative slapstick comedy featuring Kankichi Ryotsu–a gruff, hot-tempered police officer with a love for all things geeky, a boundless sense of greed, and an inability to keep out of trouble–and the colorful cast of characters in his daily life.
The original manga was published in 1976 in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine and, for the next forty years, continued to appear in every single issue of theWeekly Shonen Jump proper, never missing a single issue or taking a single break. In the end, the manga series has released 200 volumes in total, something which has earned the series a place in the Guinness World Records for “the most volumes published for a single manga series.”
Marking the end of the series’ run, a one-hour anime special also aired on September 18th. The special is essentially an extended episode with most of the major characters that have appeared throughout the series given brief cameos.
While the episode doesn’t go very in-depth with its exposition, it remains lighthearted and enjoyable. Through the appearances of the multitude of colorful side characters, the episode allows viewing fans to reflect on the series’ forty-year history while offering a very Kochikame-esque story involving a foreign princess, terrorists, a secret CSI-inspired security monitoring station, drones, and blowing up the Tokyo Skytree. It may sound nuts, but it’s par for the course for Kochikame.
Kochikame has been a staple of Jump comics all throughout my life. It was like an old friend who’s always there. The series started before I was born. It lasted through the Golden Age of Jump in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It lasted through my high school and college years. By the time the 150th issue came out, I had assumed the series would never end.
But, like all good things, everything must come to an end. I guess ending on an anniversary is better than ending abruptly due to unfortunate, unforeseen reasons. The anime special isn’t a groundbreaker in storytelling or the sort of an ending episode that goes on people’s lists as an all-time best. But it’s fun and heartfelt.
And that’s probably the best way to see off an old friend.