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Crayon Shin-chan Manga Creator Usui Missing Since Friday (Update 2)

posted on 2009-09-15 13:32 EDT
Yoshito Usui's family asked police to launch search effort on Saturday

51-year-old Crayon Shin-chan manga creator Yoshito Usui has been missing since Friday, and his family asked the police in his hometown of Kasukabe to launch a search effort on Saturday, according to the Sankei Shimbun paper's source who is connected to the search. Police in Usui's home prefecture of Saitama (northwest of Tokyo) have contacted the police in other prefectures to expand the search. Usui's publisher Futabasha told Sankei Shimbun, "He has not been in contact [with us], so we are very worried."

Crayon Shin-chan follows the exploits of Shinnosuke Nohara, a mischievous (fictional) kindergartner in Usui's own Kasukabe City. Usui launched the manga in Futabasha's Weekly Manga Action magazine in August 1990, and he has continued to work on the series after moving it to Manga Town and other Futabasha magazines. Shin'ei Doga has been adapting it into a top-5-rated television anime series since 1992, and the television series has itself inspired 17 anime films.

CMX Manga has been releasing Yoshito Usui's original Crayon Shin-chan manga in English in North America. Funimation has been adapting the Shin-chan television anime series into dubbed English, and the Adult Swim network used to run episodes every Sunday morning.

Update: More background information added.

Update: The Yomiuri Shimbun and Mainichi Shimbun newspapers report that Usui had said on Friday morning that he was "going hiking for a day in Gunma Prefecture" north of his home by himself, as he often did. When he did not return that night, his wife contacted the authorities on Saturday. His family called his mobile phone, but the calls went unanswered.


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