(short for Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen Mae Hashutsujo
, which translates to This Is the Police Station in Front of Kameari Park in Katsushika Ward
) is a comedy manga in Weekly Shonen Jump
written by Osamu Akimoto. The main character is Kankichi Ryotsu, a lazy, street-wise cop with salaryman
tendencies, like playing Pachinko, betting at the horses or trying his luck at custom get-rich-quick schemes. Some times, he even does police work.
Worthy to mention is that the manga does not have numbered chapters
and is almost never
considered to participate for the regular popularity polls in WSJ note
, basically meaning Mr. Akimoto can continue the series as long as he wants. The series' heavy anti-cancellation armor shows: It's been running weekly since 1976, with over 1600 chapters and counting. There have been more than 170 volumes (175 as of now) produced and more than 360 episodes aired on Japanese TV), making Kochikame the longest-running manga series in history note
The series owes its longevity (and lack of chapter numbers) to the fact that it hardly ever uses continuing plots. Instead, each chapter is a self-contained comedy tale, usually involving Ryotsu trying to get rich via some sort of scheme, which invariably backfires horribly. The straightforward plots mean that generations of Japanese kids have been able to enjoy the series without prior knowledge of previous stories. The series has remained fresh by taking most of its humor from pop culture and real world events: often Ryo's latest scheme involves capitalizing on some current fad or event in the news.
In its 30th anniversary (2006), Mr. Akimoto was awarded with many Shueshia's (and other publishers as well) artists making Crossovers
with his series, such a event being legendary since when artists are invited to pay a homage to Long Running
series in Jump, said artist will likely draw a character from the series with his own artstyle and not much else; Kochikame
self-contained stories and appearing in other
Jump series as a Cameo
, it also made some artists who were working in nothing at all
to get off their seats and make a story just for this ongoing legend.
Kochikame provides examples of: