by Cesar Aguirre
Yoshito Usui (pictured above on the right), creator of the popular “Crayon Shin-Chan“ who has been missing since Friday (Sept 11th) is sadly no longer with us… from what appears to have been a hiking accident.
Usui had reportedly told his family on Friday morning that he was “going hiking for the day on the mountains in the Gunma Prefecture” having not returned that night police launched a search effort on Saturday (Sept 12) at the request of the family. Around the times of 10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Saturday (Sept 19) reports came in of the discovery of human remains in the general area Usui had been reported missing; the remains were 100 to 300 meters directly below an Arafune cliff.
Because the area was hard to reach, authorities could not hope to recover the remains for identification until the following morning (Sept 20), the worst possible scenario was confirmed Sunday afternoon as the recovered remains was positively identified to be Yoshito Usui. An autopsy concluded that Usui had died on Sept 11th from crushed lungs and other injuries as a result of the accident.
On Monday, publisher Futabasha held a news conference in Tokyo, where company officials expressed great shock at the 51-year-old author’s death. Officials who were shown Usui’s belongs at Shimonita Police Station said that a photograph was left on Usui’s camera indicating that he had tried to take a photograph over the edge of the cliff.
“He was brimming with curiosity, and he often took photographs. his foot probably slipped as he took the photo,” said Futaba official Koji Shimano.
Very sad news,
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family.
As far as the fate of the Shin-Chan series goes, Futaba officials said they had received the manuscript for the December issue which will go on sale on Nov 5. Meanwhile TV Asashi station, in a public comment, praised and expressed their condolences for the late author. Also adding that they wish to decide on the future of the television anime series after first discussing with the people involved. The anime series had been on a previously scheduled break until October 16, but a decision has not been made on whether a new episode will actually air on that date.
For those unfamiliar with Yoshito Usui and his work,
Usui was born in Shizuoka Prefecture, and graduated from Kasukabe Technical High School. In 1987, he won Futabasha’s Weekly Manga Action magazine newcomer’s award for his work “Darakuya Store Monogatari,” his debut as a manga author.
In 1990, “Crayon Shin-chan” started as a series in Futabasha’s “Shukan Manga Action” magazine. The stories about kindergartner Shinnosuke Nohara, who lives in the city of Kasukabe and loves beautiful girls, became a hit, and in 1992 an animated television version was launched, to date the show has spawned 17 animated films (none of which have been released in North America). Since 2000, Crayon Shin-chan has been carried in the monthly “Manga Town” publication.
His other works include: Mix Connection, Scrambled Egg, Supper Mix and Unbalance Zone
From the Bottom of our hearts. Friends, Family and Fans… You will be missed.
May you rest in peace