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One of the most popular manga series in Japan, selling over 70 million copies : "Kinnikuman"

One of the most popular manga series in Japan, selling over 70 million copies : "Kinnikuman"

The History of Kinnikuman

Kinnikuman is a manga series created by the duo Yoshinori Nakai and Takashi Shimada, known as Yudetamago. It follows Suguru Kinniku, a superhero who must win a wrestling tournament to retain the title of prince of Planet Kinniku. Nakai and Takashi planned the series when they were attending high school originally as a parody to Ultraman.

The manga was originally published in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1979 to 1987, and was first adapted by Toei Animation into a 137-episode anime series broadcast on Nippon Television from 1983 to 1986. It restarted publication in 2011, and has spawned spin-off manga and anime series, video games, anime films, and several Kinnikuman-related merchandise.

"Kinnikuman" image

Among the several spin-offs, there is Ultimate Muscle manga series that was serialized in Weekly Playboy between 1998 and 2004, and published in Northern America by Viz Media. It was also adapted into three different television series, all of which were broadcast by TV Tokyo in Japan and released in Northern America by 4Kids Entertainment.

The manga series has been popular in Japan, selling over 70 million copies by 2015. As popular as was the anime series and its merchandise, such as Kinkeshi, a line of action figures released as M.U.S.C.L.E. in the Northern America.

Although it received the Shogakukan Manga Award for children's manga in 1985, it has received mixed reviews from critics.

"Kinnikuman" figure image

"Kinnikuman" illust Photo