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Lone Wolf & Cub Creator, Longtime Manga Writer Kazuo Koike Passes Away at 82

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Just a few days after news of the death of Lupin III’s creator, Kazuhiko Kato, we get another unfortunate news of a manga writer’s passing. The official Twitter account of longtime manga creator Kazuo Koike has just announced that he has succumbed to pneumonia this Wednesday. He was 82 years old.

The tweet from his official Twitter account is translated by Crunchyroll News as such:

“Kazuo Koike, who had been hospitalized for a long time, deceased on April 17 due to pneumonia. We really appreciate that Kazuo Koike and his works were loved by so many people during his lifetime. According to his wish, his funeral was already conducted only by his relatives. Thank you very much for all of you.”

His last tweets in his account were his condolences with regards to the death of Kazuhiko Kato aka Monkey Punch, who was his longtime friend and rival. Lupin III and Koike’s work Lone Wolf & Cub once ran at the same time in the Weekly Manga Action magazine almost 40 years ago, competing for popularity in the magazine. Koike’s tweet is translated as such:

“Monkey Punch was also my rival in the early days of Manga Action forty years ago, his ‘Lupin The Third’ and my ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’ were competing for popularity. And I remember we collaborated for the manga called ‘Secretary Bird.’ I miss him so much.”

Born on May 8, 1936 in Akita prefecture, Koike studied under Golgo 13 creator Takao Saito and eventually became a writer in the series. Together with Goseki Kojima, he created the manga Kozure Okami (Lone Wolf & Cub) which eventually became a huge success, earning them the nickname “Golden Duo”. Their manga inspired six live-action films which starred Tomisaburo Wakiyama; the latter’s portrayal of the scowling 19th century ronin warrior became the actor’s most characteristic role. He also opened a school called “Koike Kazuo Gekigason Jyuku”, which aimed to teach future manga artists and support them in their professional debut. Some of his well-known students include Tetsuo Hara (Fist of the North Star), Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma ½), and Keisuke Itagaki (Baki).

Source: Crunchyroll News

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