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Asahinagu, Ushijima the Loan Shark Authors Plan to End Manga This Year

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Ushijima's Manabe also plans to start new serialization this year

This year's sixth issue of Shogakukan's Weekly Big Comic Spirits magazine, which shipped on Monday, asked authors of each of the series running in the magazine what their New Year's resolutions were. Both Asahinagu author Ai Kozaki and Ushijima the Loan Shark manga author Shohei Manabe stated they hope to end their manga this year.

Kozaki's response was, "To draw a wonderful final chapter." Manabe's response was, "I will work hard to end 'Ushijima-kun' properly and to work toward a new serialization."

Kozaki, the younger sister of Fire Emblem: Awakening and No More Heroes character designer Yūsuke Kozaki, launched Asahinagu in Big Comic Spirits in 2011. Shogakukan published the manga's 28th compiled book volume on November 30. The manga won the Best General Manga award at the 60th Shogakukan Awards in 2015.

The manga inspired a stage play adaptation that ran in June 2017. The manga also inspired a live-action film adaptation, which premiered in September 2017.

The manga centers on Asahi Tōjima, a first-year high school student at Futatsuzaka High School. She had been in the art club throughout middle school, but begins training with the naginata (Japanese halberd), saying that even people without talent in sports one day can shine in the nationals the next. Along with her beloved upperclassman Maharu Miyaji, her classmate with experience in kendo Shōko Yasomura, and a girl who has worries about her height named Sakura Konno, Asahi forms a new group of "Naginata Girls."

Ushijima the Loan Shark (Yamikin Ushijima-kun) entered its final arc in October 2016. The manga has been running in Weekly Big Comic Spirits since 2004, and Shogakukan published the 44th compiled book volume on October 30. The 45th volume will ship on February 28.

The manga won in the General category of the 56th Shogakukan Manga Awards in 2011. The series was also nominated for a Osamu Tezuka Culture Prize in 2008 and 2010, as well as for France's Angoulême Comics Awards in 2008.

The manga depicts the human drama in the black market world, as seen through the eyes of the titular loan shark. Ushijima heads Kaukau Finance, an outfit that lends money at an illegal interest rate — "Togo" or 50% every 10 days.

A live-action television series adaptation ran from October-December 2010, and the first film opened in August 2012. A second season premiered in January 2014, with a second film then premiering in May 2014. The third season premiered in July 2016, while the third film opened in Japan in September 2016. The fourth and final live-action film, Yamikin Ushijima-kun The Final, opened in Japan in October 2016.

Source: Weekly Big Comic Spirits issue 6

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