Anime & Manga News

'Kozure Ookami' Manga Author Kazuo Koike Dies at 82

by Vindstot
Apr 20, 2:01 AM | 22 Comments
Prolific manga writer Kazuo Koike, best known for authoring Kozure Ookami (Lone Wolf & Cub), died on Wednesday due to pneumonia. He was 82 years old.

According to a post on Koike's official Twitter account, the author had been under medical treatment for some time. The post thanked everyone who loved Koike and his works during his lifetime. As per his wish, his funeral was already held only by his relatives.

Koike reminisced about his long-time friend and rival Monkey Punch on Tuesday, who also died from pneumonia on April 11 at 81 years old. "Monkey Punch and I were rivals 40 years ago in the early days of Manga Action when his Lupin III and my Kozure Ookami were competing for popularity. I also remember we collaborated for the Shokikan Tori (Secretary Bird) manga. I miss him so much," Koike tweeted.

Born Yuzuru Tawaraya in Oomagai (now Daisen), Akita Prefecture in 1936, Koike later changed his real name to Seishuu Tawaraya. Aiming to become a novelist, he studied under the period author Kiichirou Yamate (Momotarou Zamurai) during his college days at the Chuo University, but later gave up on that dream.

In 1963, after reading in Shounen magazine that Saito Production was recruiting new authors, Koike submitted a spec script titled Kareha no Shinshiroku. He subsequently began working for the manga company on a number of titles, including Takao Saitou's Muyonosuke and Golgo 13, the latter of which he also served as a writer for. He became an independent creator in 1970, debuting with Nospipe Sakusen.

In the 1970s, Koike began producing more violent, action-oriented works, including Goyoukiba, Shurayuki-hime (Lady Snowblood), and Bohachi Bushido. His and Goseki Kojima's Kozure Ookami samurai manga published in that decade became highly popular for its powerful, epic tale and its gruesome portrayal of violence during the Tokugawa era. The manga sold over 8.3 million copies in Japan.

Koike established Studio Ship in 1972 with fellow creators Seisaku Kanou, Satomi Koue, Yuu Koyama, Hiromi Yamasaki, Kazuhiro Iga, and Takeshi Kanda. The publishing company changed its name to Koike Shoin in 1995.

He also founded the Koike Gekiga Sonjuku training school in 1977 to foster budding manga creators and support their professional debut. Notable graduates of the school include Rumiko Takahashi (Maison Ikkoku), Tetsuo Hara (Hokuto no Ken), Hideyuki Kikuchi (Vampire Hunter D), Keisuke Itagaki (Grappler Baki), and Takayuki Yamaguchi (Shigurui).

Source: Asahi Shimbun Digital, Comic Natalie

20 of 22 Comments Recent Comments

Oh man, another legend passes away. I remember watching the live action Lone Wolf and Cub show when I was a kid. The story and characters are so awesome. Thank you very much for all your contributions, Mr. Koike. Rest in peace, good sir.

Apr 22, 4:27 PM by 10KenX6

This is a big deal. This is like a top 10 anime persona death. RIP anime yet again.

Apr 21, 5:11 PM by VyseLegendaire

Found out just now he also made Golgo 13.

Rest peacefully well, old man.

Apr 21, 8:05 AM by Konradikon

Wait, Crying Freeman is also his? Damn, really sad to see him go now. Rest in peace, man.

Apr 21, 6:09 AM by luinthoron

This is quite sad knowing a lot of manga veterans/first generation manga writers have been passing away recently. And from what I heard, his friend died only more than a week ago and both were for the same reasons (disease wise).

Hopefully he does well in heaven

Apr 20, 5:56 PM by Supersky

Oh no another legend dies ;_; Rest in Peace..

Apr 20, 1:41 PM by SkyDrop

That's so sad, I hope he is gonna rest in peace, he left behind him a great legacy!

Apr 20, 1:02 PM by Sensus_97

This is really sad, but I think it's bittersweet that he didn't have to wait long to see his best friend again. He just followed after and in the same way, too, probably a coincidence but they were two sides of the same coin. Maybe the two can collaborate together on the other side, that'll be pretty cool.

Thank you for leaving behind a beautiful legacy. You can rest easy now.

Apr 20, 12:02 PM by Lil-Bird

Rest in peace my friend. Your work, Lone Wolf and Cub, is a legend and easily the best long running manga I've ever read.
I also very much enjoyed reading Samurai Executioner and Path of the Assassin.
Once I improve my Japanese I can't wait to get into your other works, especially the sequel, New Lone Wolf and Cub.
I love Daigorou, that little rascal, just like his father.
arigatou...

Apr 20, 10:04 AM by SolarPioneer

Two legends, gone. RIP

Apr 20, 9:47 AM by alpha_shadow

Oh my he did Shurayuki-hime too? Pretty sad to learn it from such a news.

Defnitely a terrible week for manga. May he rest in peace.

Apr 20, 9:35 AM by EratiK

RIP Mr Kazuo Koike, creator of the Lone Wolf and Cub legend.

Apr 20, 9:27 AM by Haneken2086

OMG, just started reading the manga last week, RIP.

Apr 20, 8:42 AM by Zee530

Another legend has fallen. Rest in peace.

Apr 20, 7:08 AM by xchyssa

Two legends that disappear suddenly.
RIP

Apr 20, 5:43 AM by Badid55

Damm, he was talking about Monkey and soo soon too... life is unpreditable.
Still have yet to read Cub, but it is something I have always been looking forward to read, I will probably recall to this day when I finish it.

Rest in peace, for both, they are on a far more peacefull place now, and may they rest there and bask in happiness forever, because they most surely had a fulfylling long life!

Apr 20, 4:45 AM by Playcool

Nooooooooo man damn ittt.

RIP to both legends.

Apr 20, 3:19 AM by Ramkec

He will never be forgotten. I'm so grateful for Kozure Ookami and Mad Bull 34, two masterpieces in their own right.

Apr 20, 3:03 AM by FMmatron

Damn, it sucks to see so many legends passing away. At least they lived a long time.

Apr 20, 2:47 AM by ReaperCreeper

Oh, man. This really hurts me. Rest in Peace!

Apr 20, 2:40 AM by Skana

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