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Musings / April 18, 2019

The Yomiuri Shimbun In the early Heisei era (1989-2019), manga culture researcher Keiichi Makino wrote, “I think we can say that manga featuring subjects that were considered problematic culturally have robustly matured and their position has been accepted in society.”

I thought about which manga were considered culturally unacceptable, and hit upon one. To list the characteristics of the protagonist, he’s a master thief who sometimes bungles things, indecently walks in a bandy-legged way, is a lecherous person ... He is Lupin III.

Monkey Punch, the author of Lupin III and whose real name was Kazuhiko Kato, has died at the age of 81. His pen produced Lupin and other characters in the manga, including Daisuke Jigen, Ishikawa Goemon, Fujiko Mine and Inspector Zenigata.

The start of the manga series in a comic magazine dates back to 1967. It was soon made into anime, with the Part V anime aired on the Nippon TV network last year. Over the course of time, many movie versions were produced. When you think about it, these bizarre and fashionable people have spent half a century as popular characters.

It may be because new kids, one after another, came to like the manga. Those who were high school students when the manga first aired on TV will turn 70 soon. The author has passed away, leaving a culture that almost certainly will continue into their third and fourth generations. Thank you, Mr. Punch.

(This is a translation of the Henshu Techo column from The Yomiuri Shimbun’s April 18 issue.)Speech

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