Kinnikuman

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Kinnikuman
Kinnikuman (Jump Comics).jpg
Cover of the fifth Japanese volume of Kinnikuman, published by Shueisha on December 15, 1980
キン肉マン
Genre Comedy, Sports
Manga
Written by Yudetamago
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump (1979–1987)
Shū Play News (2011–)
Original run Initial run
May 28, 1979 - March 1987
Continued run
2011
– ongoing
Volumes 45
Anime television series
Directed by Yasuo Yamayoshi
Takenori Kawada
Tetsuo Imazawa
Music by Shin Kawabe
Studio Toei Animation
Network Nippon Television
Original run April 3, 1983October 1, 1986
Episodes 137 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Kinnikuman: Scramble for the Throne
Directed by Atsutoshi Umezawa
Music by Akihiko Yoshida
Studio Toei Animation
Network Nippon Television
Original run October 6, 1991September 27, 1992
Episodes 46 (List of episodes)
Manga
Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy
Written by Yudetamago
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Weekly Playboy
Original run April 19982004
Volumes 29
Manga
Kinnikuman Nisei: All Chōjin Dai-Shingeki
Written by Yudetamago
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine V Jump
Original run May 2001March 2007
Volumes 4
Manga
Kinnikuman Nisei: Kyūkyoku no Chōjin Tag Hen
Written by Yudetamago
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Weekly Playboy (2004-2011)
Shū Play News (2011)
Original run 20042011
Volumes 28
Anime television series
Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy
Directed by Toshiaki Komura
Studio Toei Animation
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run January 9, 2002December 25, 2002
Episodes 51 (List of episodes)
Anime television series
Ultimate Muscle
Directed by Toshiaki Komura
Studio Toei Animation
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run April 7, 2004June 30, 2004
Episodes 13
Anime television series
Ultimate Muscle 2
Directed by Toshiaki Komura
Studio Toei Animation
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run January 1, 2006March 29, 2006
Episodes 13
Related media
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Kinnikuman (Japanese: キン肉マン?, lit. "Muscleman") is a manga series created by Yudetamago. It follows Suguru Kinniku, a superhero that must win a wrestling tournament to keep the title of prince of Planet Kinniku.

The mangas was originally published on Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump between 1979 and 1987. It was first adapted by Toei Animation into a 137-episode anime series broadcast on Nippon Television from 1983 to 1986. The manga has restarted its publication in 2011, and has spawned spin-off manga and anime series, video games, and plethora of Kinnikuman-related merchandise.

In Japan, the series has been popular, selling over 66 million as of 2007. It received the Shogakukan Manga Award for children's manga in 1985, and has received mixed reception from critics.

Plot[edit]

The story involves Kinnikuman (his real name is Suguru Kinniku), a clumsy fool of a superhero, finding out he is the missing prince of the planet Kinniku, known for turning out the greatest superheroes in the universe. Being a clumsy fool, however, he must prove himself worthy of the throne. To do so, he enters into wrestling competitions and battles evil Chojin, ultimately culminating in a tournament between Kinnikuman and five pretenders to the throne (Kinnikuman Big Body, Soldier, Zebra, Mariposa, and Super Phoenix). Many of Kinnikuman's allies begin as villains (Ramenman, Buffalo Man, Ashuraman, Warsman), and extremely arrogant heroes (Terryman, Robin Mask, Rikishiman). The heroes and villains of Kinnikuman were collectively referred to as Chojin (超人 Chōjin?) which literally translates to "Supermen".

Ultimate Muscle[edit]

The story is about Mantaro Muscle a.k.a. Kid Muscle (Mantaro Kinniku in the Japanese version), the spoiled son of the superhero wrestler King Muscle (Kinnikuma] in the Japanese version). After 28 years of peace, the Seigi Choujins' (Muscle League) old time enemies regrouped and formed the dMp (Demon Manufacturing Plant, although this is never mentioned in the English dub. There, it is simply referred to as Destruction, Mayhem & Pain). Time and the years without evil to fight have taken their toll on the old Muscle League, who are overwhelmed by these youthful and well-trained fighters. Realizing that they have lost their edge, the Seigi Chojin reopen the Hercules Factory, the training school for superheroes, and begin training a new generation of heroes to take on the dMp. Although unwilling, Mantaro (Kid Muscle) is one of the young heroes who takes part and ultimately defeats his father to prove his worthiness to graduate. He and the other new Seigi Choujin fight and defeat several members of the dMp and meet Kevin Mask, who quits the organization after seeing that they lack honor. They also battle Sunshine and his pupils, who destroy the dMp after developing a rekindled respect for the fighting spirit of the Seigi Choujins. The manga continues with the New Generation Replacement Tournament, Mantaro's challenge to master his inherited potential (referred to as "Kajiba no Kuso Chikara" or "Burning Inner Strength", also called "The Fire"), the return of the Chojin Olympics, a fight against a group of evil villains called the Demon Seed, a small back story for Robin Mask and currently a Tag Team Tournament taking place in the past. While the manga opens as a fairly lighthearted and humorous (if violent) story, the later arcs - the No Respect and Demon Seed sagas in particular - take on a significantly darker flair, frequently dealing with issues of severe psychological trauma.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Yoshinori Nakai and Takashi Shimada were friends since the fourth grade,[1] and, while the duo was attending high school, they decided to create a manga series.[2] Before its regular publication, the series—initially created as a parody of Ultraman[1]—was first released as two one-shots in Shueisha's magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump on December 1978 and March 1979, respectively: Okamarasu no Maki (オカマラスの巻?), which won the Akatsuka Award, and Eraginesu no Maki (エラギネスの巻?).[3] Its serialization started on May 28, 1979 issue, and was concluded in March 1997.[4] Shueisha collected the individual chapters into 36 tankōbon and released from February 15, 1980 and April 15, 1988.[5][6]

A one-shot titled Muscle Returns (マッスル・リターンズ Massuru Ritānzu?) was published in Kadokawa Shoten's Kakutō Ace in January 1996.[3] However, the series only started to be published regularly on November 28, 2011 in Shueisha's web version of Weekly Playboy, Shū Play News.[7] The 37th tankōbon was released on January 29, 2010, and is currently on the 45th volume, released on January 4, 2014.[8][9]

The first 36 volumes were re-published as part of Jump Comics Selection line in 26 volumes,[10][11] as well as Jump Comics Deluxe line in 18 aizōban volumes from January 14 and November 18, 1999,[12][13] and in shinsōban format on July 6, 2013.[14][15][16] Kinnikuman has also been published as part of the Shueisha Jump Remix series in "bargain edition" from 2001 to 2013.[17][18] Between July 5, 2012 and January 3, 2014, 44 volumes have been published in e-book format under the Jump Comics Digital line.[19][20]

Sequel and spin-offs[edit]

The first spin-off manga based on Kinnikuman was Tatakae!! Ramenman (闘将!!拉麺男?), a series focused on Ramenman. It was published on Fresh Jump between 1982 and 1988.[citation needed] Toei Animation adapted it into a 35-episode anime series broadcast between January 10, and September 11, 1989.[21] A spin-off of Tatake!! Ramenman, subtitled Chōjin Dai Meikan (超人大名鑑?), was released in 1995.[3]

After the release of several one-shots of Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy (キン肉マンⅡ世 Kinnikuman Nisei?) between August 1997 and February 1998, it started to be pulished regularly in April 1998 on Weekly Playboy.[3] Ending in 2004,[22] it was published in 29 tankōbon volumes between October 19, 1998 and August 19, 2005.[23][24] It was re-released in 21 aizoban volumes from September 18, 2009 to January 18, 2011.[25][26] Two one-shots of Kinnikuman Legacy were published. The first one, Densetsu no Joshō: Heracles Factory (伝説の序章~ヘラクレス・ファクトリー Densetsu no Joshō Herakuresu Fakutorī?), was released on February 22, 2002.[27] The other, SP Densetsu Chōjin Zenmetsu! (SP伝説超人全滅!?), was released on May 24 of the same year.[28]

All Chōjin Dai Shingeki (オール超人大進撃 Ōru Chōjin Dai Shingeki?), a Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy's spin-off was serialized in V Jump between May 2001 and March 2007.[3] Its four tankōbon were published from August 2002 and August 2007.[29][30] To continue the Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy's storyline, Kyūkyoku no Chōjin Tag Hen (究極の超人タッグ編?) was published serialized from 2004 to 2011.[31] It was released in 28 tankōbon between November 18, 2005 and December 19, 2011.[32][33]

A feminine version of the series, Kinnikuman Lady (キン肉マンレディー Kinnikuman Redī?), was created by Masashi Ogawa. It started as a webcomic in Ultra Jump Egg official site on June 19, 2008. On September 17, 2009, it was moved to the Ultra Jump website.[citation needed] The first tankōbon of Kinnikuman Lady was published on March 19, 2009.[34] The series was concluded with the release of its third tankōbon on June 19, 2013.[35]

Anime series[edit]

The first animated series based on Kinnikuman was produced by Toei Animation, while directed by Yasuo Yamayoshi, Takenori Kawada and Tetsuo Imazawa. The 137-episode series was originally broadcast in Japan on Nippon Television (NTV) between April 3, 1983 and October 1, 1986.[36] It was followed by Kinnikuman Kinniku-sei Ōi Sōdatsu Hen (キン肉マン キン肉星王位争奪編?), which was directed by Takeshi Shirato and Atsutoshi Umezawa. It was produced by Toei and aired on NTV from October 6, 1991 to September 27, 1992, lasting 46 episodes.[37] The first series was encapsulated into 12 DVDs released between December 6, 2002 and November 21, 2003, while the second series was released between December 5, 2003 and March 21, 2004 in four DVDs.[38][39][40][41]

On January 9, 2002, Kinnikuman: Second Generation debuted, and aired until December 25 of the same year, lasting 51 episodes.[42] The episodes were collected and released into 12 DVDs between September 21, 2002 and August 8, 2003.[43][44] All episodes were licensed by 4Kids Entertainment under the title of Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy and broadcast on Fox Box.[45][46] In 2003, was announced the production of a sequel aimed to non-Japanese audiences,[47] which aired on Fox Box.[48] From April 7 to June 30, 2004, the 13-episode spin-off series was broadcast in Japan.[49] Another 13-episode spin-off series, Kinnikuman Second Generation: Ultimate Muscle 2, was broadcast between January 4, and March 29, 2006 in Japan.[50] All these three series were directed by Toshiaki Komura, produced by Toei Animation and broadcast by TV Tokyo in Japan.[49][51][52] The two spin-off series were released into two DVD box set on February 24, and June 23, 2006.[53][54]

Films[edit]

Seven films based on the original Kinnikuman were released between 1984 and 1986. The first one, titled Kinnikuman, was directed by Takeshi Shirato and released on July 14, 1984.[55][56] Kinnikuman: Seigi Chōjin vs. Senshi Chōjin (キン肉マン 正義超人vs戦士超人?), the last one, was released on December 20, 1986 under the direction of Yasuo Yamayoshi.[55][57] All these films were compiled into a DVD released on April 21, 2004.[55]

Two films directed by Toshiaki Komura were released based on Kinnikuman: Second Generation. The first and homonymous film was released at the Anime Fair on July 14, 2001.[58][59] Also at the Anime Fair, Kinnikuman Second Generation: Massuru Ninjin Sōdatsu! Chōjin Dai Sensō (キン肉マンⅡ世 マッスル人参争奪!超人大戦争?) was released on July 20, 2002.[60] Both films were released on DVD on May 12, 2002, and April 21, 2003, respectively.[61][62]

Video games[edit]

Several video games based on the series were published. The first games were released for home computers; the first one, a simulation video game, was published for PC-88 in November 1984.[63] It was followed by the 1995 fighting game Kinnikuman: Colosseum Deathmatch (キン肉マンコロシアムデスマッチ コロシアムデスマッチ?, Koroshiamu Desumatch).[64] The fist console game, Tag Team Match: MUSCLE was released on November 8, 1985 for Nintendo Entertainment System,[65] while the latest console game, Kinnikuman: Muscle Grand Prix 2 Tokumori (キン肉マン マッスルグランプリ2 特盛?), was published for PlayStation 2 on September 25, 2008.[66] The social networking service GREE released on February 27, 2014, Kinnikuman Memorial (キン肉マン~メモリアル~ Kinnikuman Memoriaru?).[67]

Other media[edit]

Reception and legacy[edit]

As of November 2007, the series has sold more than 66 million copies in Japan alone.[68] A volume of Kyūkyoku no Chōjin Tag Arc has been also ranked in listings of best-selling manga in Japan,[69] as well as several volumes from 37 onward.[70][71][72] Kinnikuman was a hit as a manga and even more so as a merchandising.[1] The anime series was also popular; it debuted with a rating of above 20 percent.[14] Also, the Kinnikuman anime DVD box set, which release was set to December, had 25,000 reservation requests as of August 2008.[73]

Shaenon K. Garrity called Kinnikuman as a "cross between superhero parody and pro-wrestling goofiness".[1] Liann Cooper from Anime News Network said that "artwork alone is enough to clothesline itself and the whole concept of superhero wrestlers is like a mangafied Mucha Lucha" but he also commented that Ultimate Muscle "is actually pretty funny".[74] Christi from T.H.E.M Anime Reviews declared "Overall, Ultimate Muscle is the best thing about the Fox Box anthology." She praised the "funny, and in their own disgusting way, charming" characters, its "crisp and well-done" animation and the "very clean and appealing" character designs.[75] The 2013 edition of Kono Manga ga Sugoi!, which surveys people in the manga and publishing industry, named Kinnikuman the 7th best manga series for male readers.[76]

In Fight Entertainment Group's FieLDS Dynamite!! 2008 event in Saitama, Japan, Bob Sapp fought against Kid Muscle (played by Akihiko Tanaka) in an MMA match.[77] Toei Animation announced hosting of Kinnikumania 2009 wrestling event, which would be held at the JCB Hall in Tokyo Dome City on May 29 to mark the 30th anniversary of the manga.[78]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]