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The Doberman Cop (ドーベルマン刑事Dōberuman Deka?), also known as The Doberman Detective, is a hardboiled manga series written by Buronson and drawn by Shinji Hiramatsu. It was serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Jump manga anthology from 1975 (Issue 39) throughout 1979 (Issue 48) and was originally collected in a 29-volume tankōbon edition. A later aizōban edition was published, as well as a bunkoban edition, which compressed the number of volumes to 18. The manga was also adapted into two live-action feature films (one of them directed by Kinji Fukasaku) and a TV series.

Manga

The protagonist of the story is Joji Kano (加納 錠治 Kanō Jōji?), a detective employed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's special crimes division, which handles serious criminal cases. His gun of choice is a customized .44 Magnum-caliber Ruger Blackhawk. Even though Kano and his co-workers are criticized by the media and society, he doesn't mind the criticism at all. Even though Kano has no pity for serious criminals, he holds a gentle respect for children and elderly people, as well as former criminals who want to redeem themselves from their past behavior.

At the beginning of the manga, the only members of the Special Crimes Division were Kano himself and Superintendent Nishitani (西谷?), but they would gradually be joined by additional members such as Detective Miyatake (宮武?), a gang specialist who was transferred to Shinjuku from Osaka; female detective Mimori (三森?); and from America, female detective Judy Terao (ジュディー寺尾?). While the series had a hardboiled atmosphere, it gradually became more light-hearted during the title's four-year run.

First film

A live-action film version of Doberman Deka was released theatrically by Toei in Japan on July 2, 1977. The film was directed by Kinji Fukasaku and starred Shin-ichi Chiba as Joji Kano. The film's story centers around the burned remains of a young woman discovered in Shinjuku. The police comes to the conclusion that its the work of a pyromaniacal serial murderer. The murder victim is identified as Mayumi Tamaki, a native of Ishigaki, Okinawa, and her former boyfriend, a former biker named Nagao Misako, becomes the suspect.

TV series

A TV series based on the manga, titled Bakusō! Doberman Deka (爆走!ドーベルマン刑事,? "Roar! Doberman Cop"), aired on TV Asahi affiliates in 1980. 22 episodes were produced, which aired from April 7 throughout October 27. Other than the main character, Joji Kano (portrayed by Toshio Kurasawa), very few elements from the manga were adapted to the series. In the TV series, Kano was a member of a motorcycle cop unit.

Second film

A straight-to-video film was released by Gaga Communications in 1996 starring Riki Takeuchi in the title role.

External links

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