Kōsaku Shima Creator: 'Series Will End When I'm No Longer Able to Draw'
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Shima Kōsaku (Kōsaku Shima) creator Kenshi Hirokane held a press conference on Tuesday, the same day as his latest manga Sōdanyaku Shima Kōsaku (Advisor Kōsaku Shima) launched in this year's 38th issue of Kodansha's Morning magazine. He spoke about his plans for the Kōsaku Shima series, mentioning that the manga's eponymous protagonist is the same age as he is, and that he does intend to end the series until he himself is unable to draw. Hirokane is currently 72 years old.
Since 1983, Hirokane has been depicting the corporate rise of a Japanese executive named Kōsaku Shima. With every change in job title the main character receives, the manga title also changes. The manga began under the name Kachō Shima Kōsaku (Section Chief Kōsaku Shima). Sequels include Division Chief Kosaku Shima, Managing Director Kosaku Shima, Executive Managing Director Kosaku Shima, Senmu Shima Kōsaku, President Kosaku Shima, and Chairman Kosaku Shima.
Shima's latest stint is as an advisor. Hirokane said that although Shima is the kind of person who doesn't mind leadership roles, he's ultimately a "salaryman" leader rather than an "owner" leader, so not only would he think about his successor, he would also feel compelled to step down as chairman after a certain amount of time. As for the reason why Shima chose to become an advisor, Hirokane explained that many of the people he used to know in school who became company presidents ended up becoming advisors in July this year. Thus, the timing felt right for Shima to also become an advisor.
Going forward, Hirokane says that Shima's ambitions will be bigger than ever. "Kōsaku Shima doesn't have any power or authority, but he's used his personal connections and negotiating skills throughout his life so far, and he's given advice regarding company management before. But in this manga, he will be in a position of influence over economic matters rather than just business operations, so I want him to be active in various areas regarding the development of the Japanese economy."
Source: Comic Natalie