“It’s been going on since, like, forever!”
An extremely common statement, especially when in reference to anime like One Piece and Naruto. I myself have spent the last week catching up with Detective Conan by Aoyama Gosho and have finally reached the 758th chapter. I never really got into it before – probably since I had to read it in my second language, which suffice to say I’m not that great at. Even if it is my mother tongue.
It’s serialised in Weekly Shōnen Sunday with about 760++ chapters since 1994. At first I was like, oh, yeah, that’s a rather long time.
Nineteen ninety four.
From 2011 onward, that is seventeen friggin’ YEARS.
When it started in 1994 I probably couldn’t differentiate between a K and an 8 or something. I probably couldn’t even connect two sentences together properly. I wished that I could have lot of cats on my birthday. Incidentally, I still wish for the same thing 17 years later. Irrelevant. Whatever. Moving on!
Pushing aside the fact that Conan would have surpassed Shinichi’s age in real time by now, let’s get back to the matter at hand of eternal manga. I decided to go sniff around a little about manga that really has been around for what seems like, well, forever. I thought Detective Conan would be in the Top 10 or something along with Doraemon, Hajime no Ippo and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. According to the most reliably unreliable source in the world wide web, however, it didn’t even make it into the Top twenty. In fact, only JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure made it into the Top 10.
Number 1 on the list was Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (This is the Police Station in Front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward) by Akimoto Osamu – and if you’re feeling a little ‘what the heck izzat?’ you might recognise it’s more common name, Kochikame. If you’re still all ‘what the heck izzat?’ that’s alright since it’s probably been serialised for longer than you’ve been alive. But if you’re thinking, ‘oh, yeah, that’s been around for awhile’, try September 1976.
In fact, try 34 years, 4 months and over 1600 chapters. And the picture on the right with the number 172? That’s not the price. That’s the volume number. That’s right, one hundred and seventy two volumes.
If you sum up the chapters of the three most mainstream, ‘it’s-been-going-on-forever’ manga which I’m wildly guessing to currently be Bleach (433), Naruto (523) and One Piece (610), they don’t even come close.
Well, okay, they sort of do. They total up to 1566 chapters. Kochikame has like 1670++ according to the source.
And just as an extra tidbit of information, all four are serialised in Weekly Shōnen Jump.
In a way I suppose it can be kind of nostalgic. Imagine still watching Pokémon thirty years from now. This time, however, it’s not with your BFF when you were 10 – it’s with your (grand)kids. The probability, really, might not actually be zero. I was about 7 or 8 when Ash started catchin’ ‘em all and now he’s still trying (and I think kind of failing) to catch ‘em all. He’s still 10 (turning 10 used to be my ultimate goal. Then I could catch ‘em all as well.), he still says ‘I choose you!’ and he’s still a midget. At least he changed his pants around 5 years ago. Yay.
By the way, my favourite anime from back then that has still remained as my favourite until now is Digimon. Epic. Classic. Irreplaceable. Why the heck did they have to create Frontier?
I have no idea what the whole point of this post is except that some manga really can run on for a ridiculously long time. It might even go on after you kick the bucket, and someone else could take over the kicked bucket manga-ka when it’s his/her time. The cycle continues.
– arawr >=3