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The Daily Sports newspaper reports on Tuesday that preparations are being made for a "sequel" of the Crayon Shin-chan four-panel comedy manga from the late manga creator Yoshito Usui. According to the newspaper, the serialization is aimed for a launch next summer "in a new form." Like other manga creators, Usui had employed a number of assistants in his own studio, and Usui's family has been consulted regarding a new serialized sequel with other creators or Usui's former studio. Futabasha's Monthly Manga Town magazine had already announced that it would publish previously unseen installments of the manga until the March issue, which will ship on February 5, 2010.
Hiroshi Hayakawa, president of the TV Asahi network, also already said at a September press conference that his company aims to continue airing the Crayon Shin-chan anime after Usui's passing. The 18th anime film, Crayon Shin-chan: Chō Jikū! Arashi o Yobu Ora no Hanayome, will open on April 17. For the first time in the series, the film will depict the future of the title character and his previously unseen bride, Tamiko.
Authorities determined that Usui died from injuries sustained from a fall at Arafune Mountain on September 11. A memorial service was held in Tokyo on Monday with Usui's family, his publishing company, Ashita no Joe manga creator Tetsuya Chiba, entertainment talent Kazuki Kosakai, and about 3,000 mourners from the general public.
Crayon Shin-chan follows the exploits of Shinnosuke Nohara, a mischievous (fictional) kindergartner in Usui's own hometown of Kasukabe. Usui launched the manga in Futabasha's Weekly Manga Action magazine in August 1990, and he continued to work on the series after moving it to Monthly Manga Town and other Futabasha magazines. Shin'ei Doga has been adapting it into a top-5-rated television anime series since 1992.
The first new episodes began airing in October 16. CMX Manga has been releasing the original manga in English in North America. Funimation has been adapting the television anime into dubbed English, and America's Adult Swim network used to run episodes every Sunday morning.
Update: More information about the memorial and the 18th film added.
Update 2: The Nikkan Sports paper also reports on next summer's manga sequel plans.
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