Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo
|Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo|
Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo The Movie DVD cover
|Written by||Osamu Akimoto|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump
Maitsuki Taise Rekushon
Gatsu Kyoku Chō Selection
Konbini Tokushū Genteiban
Getsurei Tokusen Choice!
Gatsu Ichi Gokujō Choice!!
Kochikame Hit Parade!!
|Original run||September 1976 – ongoing|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tetsuo Yasumi
|Network||Animax, Fuji Television|
|Original run||June 16, 1996 – December 19, 2004|
|Episodes||373 + 9 specials|
|Directed by||Shinji Takamatsu|
|Released||December 23, 1999|
|The Movie 2: UFO Shūrai! Tornado Daisakusen!!|
|Directed by||Shinji Takamatsu|
|Released||December 20, 2003|
Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo (こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所?, literally "This is the police station in front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward"), often shortened to Kochikame (こち亀?), is a Japanese comedy manga written and illustrated by Osamu Akimoto. It takes place in the present day, in and around a neighborhood police station (kōban) in the downtown part of Tokyo, and revolves around the misadventures of a middle-aged cop, Kankichi Ryotsu.
It has been continuously serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since September 1976 with over 1700 chapters collected into 189 tankōbon volumes, making it the manga series with the highest number of volumes. As of February 2012, the series had sold over 155 million copies, making Kochikame the fourth best-selling manga series in history. The manga has been adapted as an anime series, produced by Studio Gallop, which was broadcast across Japan by the anime satellite television network Animax, and Fuji Television, and two animated movies, a live-action movie, several stage adaptations, and a live-action television series.
The typical Kochikame plot involves Kankichi Ryotsu (Ryo-san) coming up with a money-making scheme by inventing a new gadget or capitalizing on a fad, achieving great success, calling on Nakagawa's help as things turn sour, and finally losing it all as the fad runs out of steam or out of control. While the plots are gag-driven, much of the humor comes from the combination of mundane characters with the bizarrely out of place characters as Nakagawa who has wealth and Maria who has appeal. What they have in common is everyone's lack of actual police work, most of which is never explained or rationalized in the slightest. (It is explained in Jump that Ryo-san is one of the best officers in catching criminals.) Reiko and Nakagawa have special licenses (such as for wearing personal clothes instead of uniforms to work) from police headquarters because of their skills in linguistics.
The plot have consistently evolved with the on-going times, though most of the main characters have not really aged despite the fact that the series started out in Japan in the 1970s and is now clearly set in 2010s. However some characters have aged (like the grandchild of Buchao, who was a baby in the early books but is now close to junior high) at a relatively reasonable pace, which the author has self mocked in a few look back episodes.
Kochikame has a broad audience, ranging from adolescent boys to middle-aged salarymen. Much like Homer Simpson, Ryo-san's antics appeal to children who can laugh at an old buffoon and to men fearing that they are becoming old buffoons themselves and also because it often subtly mock the latest fads and trends. The stories are generally innocent in content, and what little violence appears is comical, while the occasional risqué subjects are included strictly for laughs rather than to titillate. In another parallel to The Simpsons, Kochikame's immense popularity has led to guest appearances in the strip by Japanese celebrities such as Tetsuya Komuro.
For creator Osamu Akimoto, Kochikame is an ongoing homage to the working-class people and districts of old Tokyo, and most episodes open with an elaborate full-page illustration of a Shitamachi (down-town) street scene, typically with old wooden buildings and boys playing in the streets.
The manga has spawned an animated television series and two animated movies.
- Opening themes
- "Natsu ga Kita! (Diamond Head) - Nagisa no Joō-sama yori" (夏が来た!(Diamond Head) - ｢渚の女王様｣より?, "Summer is Here! (Diamond Head) - from The Queen's Shores") by Joō-sama (eps 1-12)
- "Everybody Can Do!" by Tokio (eps 13-38)
- "Katsushika Rhapsody" (葛飾ラプソディー Katsushika Rapusodī?) by Kōhei Dōjima (eps 39-145)
- "Kochira Kameza no Onna" (こちら亀座の女?, "This Is the Pisces Woman") by Shu Yamada and Hello Nights (eps 146-154)
- "Oide yo Kameari" (おいでよ亀有?, "Come to Kameari") by Kankichi Ryōtsu and the Kochikame Wiiin Chorus (eps 155-206)
- "Damatte Ore ni Tsuite Koi" (だまって俺についてこい?, "Shut Up, Follow Me") by Yoshimi Tendo (eps 207-324)
- "Katsushika Rhapsody ~Yum Yum Version~" (葛飾ラプソディー～ヤムヤムversion～ Katsushika Rapusodī ~Yamu Yamu Bājon~?) by Yum!Yum!ORANGE (eps. 325-367)
- Ending themes
- "Smile" (スマイル Sumairu?) by Hoff Dylan (eps 1-12)
- "Ii Koto Aru sa" (いいことあるさ?) by The Collectors (eps 13-38)
- "Lady no Yume wa Mangekyō" (淑女(レディー)の夢は万華鏡 Redī no Yume wa Mangekyō?, "A Lady's Dream Is a Kaleidoscope") by Megumi Okina (eps 39-72)
- "Buway no Biya Biya" (ブウェーのビヤビヤ Buwē ni Biya Biya?) by George Tokoro (eps 73-124)
- "“KYUN”" by Kanae (eps 125-145)
- "Kimi to Boku" (君と僕?, "You and Me") by The LOVE (eps 146-153)
- "Kimochi da yo" (気持ちだよ?, "A Feeling!") by Takuro Yoshida (eps. 154-163)
- "Mainichi, No Problem" (毎日、ノープロブレム Mainichi, Nō Puroburemu?, "Everyday, No Problem") by Ono (Rieko Miura) & Naoko (Kanako Mitsuhashi) (eps. 164-176; 178-208)
- "Robo Keiji Banchō no Uta" (ロボ刑事番長の歌?, "Robot Detective Boss' Song") by Kankichi Ryotsu (LaSalle Ishii) (ep. 177)
- "Oide yo Kameari" (おいでよ亀有?, "Come to Kameari") by Kankichi Ryotsu and The Kochikame Chorus (eps. 209-247)
- "Nice na Kokoroiki" (ナイスな心意気 Naisu na Kokoroiki?, "Nice Disposition") by Arashi (eps. 248-274; 282-293, 335-353)
- "Natsu ga Kita! (Diamond Head) - Nagisa no Joō-sama yori" (夏が来た!(Diamond Head) - ｢渚の女王様｣より?, "Summer is Here! (Diamond Head) - from The Queen's Shores") by Joō-sama (eps. 275-281)
- "Tetsu and Tomo no "Nande Darō" ~Ryō-san Version~" (テツandトモのなんでだろう～両さんバージョン～ Tetsu ando Tomo no Nande Darō ~Ryō-san Bājon~?) by Tetsu and Tomo (eps. 294-305)
- "Tetsu and Tomo's "Nande Darō" ~Kochikame version~" (テツandトモのなんでだろう～こち亀バージョン～ Tetsu ando Tomo no Nande Darō ~Kochikame Bājon~?) by Tetsu and Tomo (eps. 306-315)
- "Hai, Irasshai (HAI,IRASSHAI（ハイ!いらっしゃい）?, "Yes, Welcome") by Nice Guy Jin (eps. 316-325)
- "Katare! Namida!" (語れ! 涙!?, "Speak! Cry!") by Sex Machinegun (Anchang)(eps. 326-334)
- "Jugemu ~Kochikame version~" (ジュゲム～こち亀バージョン～ Jugemu ~Kochikame Bājon~?) by Kankichi Ryotsu & Oh-Edo Typhoon (eps. 354-366)
The manga had a live-action movie, and several stage adaptations. A live-action TV series starring Katori Shingo as Ryo-san began airing on TBS on August 1, 2009. Kochikame-The Movie: Save The Kachidiki Bridge! is a live-action movie aired in Japan on 6 August 2011.
In addition, various toys and collectibles have been created, including some items that first appeared in the manga as creations of Ryo-san.
The real-life Kochikame
Kameari Koen is an actual park in Tokyo's Katsushika ward. The station is fictional, but it is modeled after a real one located on the north side of Kameari railway station. The manga has brought considerable fame to the neighborhood, and it draws sightseers from all over Japan to a (usually vacant) station in a nondescript residential neighborhood. There is only a vacant lot where the police station is actually supposed to be located.
In February 2006, a life-size bronze statue of Ryo-san was erected in front of Kameari station. There is currently a trail of 11 statues in the area.
September 2006: Kochikame Anniversary
On the 30th anniversary of Kochikame's serialization in September 2006, Ryo-san made a cameo in every serialized manga in Weekly Shōnen Jump; most notably, he had a full appearance as a marine in One Piece (chapter 427), as a spectator of the Taiyo/Hakushuu football game in Eyeshield 21, as a crazed citizen in Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, as a zombie in Gintama (also emphasized in the animated version of the chapter) and drinking alongside Don Patch in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.
At the same time, a special manga known as Super Kochikame (超こち亀 Chō Kochikame?) was published featuring the Kochikame characters in special chapters of series such as Golgo 13, Lupin III, Kinnikuman and Dragon Ball, as well as congratulatory pics from over 80 manga artists, many from Weekly Shōnen Jump authors past and present, but also from other Shueisha manga artists and even from manga artists not associated with Shueisha such as Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist) and Jyoji Morikawa (Hajime no Ippo). Notable congratulatory drawings include a Bankai challenge with Ichigo in Bleach (saying his pistol is his Bankai because of the "BANG!!" sound of his pistol), having his face on the mountain depicting the Hokage of Konohagakure in Naruto and even solving the "Kira" crisis in Death Note.
- 1. Golgo 13 (The Holiday Runner) - Ryo-san and Nakagawa are on vacation in France when Ryo-san's luggage gets mixed up with Golgo 13's. So, they chase after him to retrieve it.
- 2. Lupin III (Kankichi Ryotsu vs. Lupin III) - Ryo-san, Nakagawa, Reiko, and Bucho must prevent Lupin and the gang from stealing a diamond from a museum.
- 3. Kinnikuman (Seigi Choujin's Great Rendezvous in Kameari) - Kinnikuman and the Idol Choujins head to Kameari to fight Akuma Choujins, but each ends up getting arrested for various reason.
- 4. Dragon Ball (Kochira Namek-Sei Dragon Kōen-mae Hashutsujo) - Ryo-san, having been reassigned to Planet Namek, runs across Freeza and tries to arrest him for parking his UFO illegally. Vegeta and Goku make appearances as well.
- 5. Shinsetsu Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Pyuu to Fuku! Jaguar, Taizo Mote King Saga, Maison de Penguin (Ryo-san vs. Don Patch!! Jump Gag All Stars' Great Panic in Katsushika) - Don Patch, jealous of the attention Ryo-san is getting during the 30th Anniversary Celebration, tries to steal Ryo-san's statue. So Bo-bobo, Jaguar, and Taizo help Ryo-san stop him.
- Kōban, neighborhood police stations in Japan
- "Thirty Years of Gags". Web-Japan.org. September 4, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Interview with the Artist of Kochi-Kame". Comipress. September 19, 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- "Top 10 Shonen Jump Manga by All-Time Volume Sales". Retrieved 2012-12-20.
- McCarthy, Jonathan Clements, Helen (2007). The anime encyclopedia : a guide to Japanese animation since 1917 (Rev. & expanded ed. ed.). Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press. p. 867. ISBN 1933330104.
- TBS Kochikame Official Site. Accessed 31 July 2009.
- Official website
- Shueisha Kochikame website
- Fuji TV Kochikame website
- Kochira Katsushika-ku Kamearikouen-mae Hashutsujo (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia