Dik Cerdas is the translated name for Crayon Shin Chan manga series here in Malaysia. This comic tells the story of a Japanese kid name Shinnosuke Nohara who lives in Kasukabe town, Gunma Prefecture Japan. Stories mainly revolves around his family, his friends, his kindergarten and occasionally the Kasukabe Town itself. Immensely popular world wide it remains to be the last comic book that I personally collect. From Dragonball to the repetitive murders of Detective Conan (yes everywhere he goes people literally dies) Dik Cerdas remains the last bastion of comic that I collect and after buying the 50th volume of that book, something finally hit me.
Yoshito Usui, the Mangaka (Author) of the comic was found dead on Sept 19 2009, he met a hiking accident and his body was found underneath a cliff. Indeed this is old news, in fact I had heard about it way back but it was only after purchasing the 50th volume did it hit me, it’s because it is to be his last volume.
Volume 11 was my first ever book, I didn’t start at volume 1, I did however purchased the earlier volumes later on when I wanted to have a whole collection and was surprised at how horribly drawn it was during it’s first few volumes. Good thing is that he improved significantly as times goes by. Known to be as the artist (amongst me and my peers) who wouldn’t use a ruler (as shown in his drawings of crooked lines) Yoshito Usui’s work has been with me for quite a while. It is only tonight that I realised that I first bought his comic (after being recommended by a cousin) when I was 14, it has been 13 years. There are very few things that I have been doing consistently for 13 years so yes it is quite an achievement, although nothing much to be proud of.
You see in Crayon Shin Chan there’s no villain,heroes, no plot to save the earth and what not, well except in the Action Kamen and Action Kamen Musume Series. Basically the story revolves around a kindergarden kid who gets into daily adventures while hitting on women in their early twenties. From corny pick up lines to funny adventures indeed Shin Chan reminded us readers what it was like to be young, to be a child once more. Of course, minus the constant obsession with pretty female in their early twenties. But to say that Shin Chan is merely a comedy based comic with no depth is a gross understatement as in the later volumes, as if the author are trying to educate his younger audience regarding life we began to read things that are quite real. Started off with things like Yoshinaga Sensei’s marriage, the entrance of Shin Chan’s younger sister Himawari up to the drama (and death) of Matsuzaka sensei’s lover Dr Tokuro. I was quite taken aback when this supposedly light hearted comedy manga began telling stories of death, love, drama, separation and instilling on virtues that no matter how horrible things get, things will get better and that we can always find laughter in it. Indeed it was quite an experience.
So yes, after 50 Volumes it finally hit me that all good things must come to an end. At the end of the book it announced that this will be the last work of Yoshito Usui and that the series will continue under the guidance of his assistant, by which I shall wait and see for now before deciding to continue. Nonetheless, I know this is a little too late but it’s better late than never.
Thank You Usui Sensei for bringing so much laughter to my life and many others all around the world through your work.
Domo Arigatou… Sayonara