The body of Yoshito Usui, the author of the hugely popular comedic manga and anime called Crayon Shin-chan, was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in Gunma Prefecture on Saturday. It appeared to have been an accident — his backpack full of hiking gear was found about 50 yards away, and it was near a hiking trail with no rails. His camera, found with his belongings, had a photo that looked like it was taken right by the cliff. He was 51. According to his wife, he left the house on the morning of September 11th and never returned.
Crayon Shin-chan was a hit among all age groups; he’s an adorable little goofy boy whose dialogue and obsession with pretty girls are reminiscent of a dirty old man. It started as a manga in 1990 and became an anime in 1992. I didn’t know this, but Usui had still bee creating new segments every month. Here’s a short clip from an episode in which Shin-chan’s dad loses his keys.
Rest in peace, Mr. Usui.