The Laughing Salesman

The Laughing Salesman

Volume 1 of the The Laughing Salesman manga.
(Warau seerusuman)
Genre Horror, Psychological thriller, Drama
Written by Fujiko Fujio A
Published by Shogakukan (one-shot)
Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Big Comic
Comic Sunday
Original run 19681971
Anime television series
Directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani
Written by Yasuo Tanami
Music by Kōhei Tanaka
Studio Shin-Ei Animation
Network TBS
Original run 17 October 1989 24 March 1992
Episodes 103
Developer Compile
Publisher Sega
Genre Visual Novel
Platform Sega CD
Released 17 September 1993
Television drama
Produced by Masaru Takahashi
Gō Nakajima
Network TV Asahi
Original run June 26, 1999 September 18, 1999
Episodes 10

The Laughing Salesman (Japanese: 笑ゥせぇるすまん Hepburn: Warau seerusuman) is a horror manga created by duo Fujiko Fujio, and later, Fujiko Fujio A. The manga began as a one-shot series serialized in Shogakukan's Big Comic magazine on 1968, later becoming a full pledged series published by Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha's Comic Sunday magazine from 1969 to 1971. The manga tells the story of a salesman named Moguro Fukuzo, whose job is to help people fill gaps in their soul. However, in reality, he ruins people's lives if his clients backstab him or never ask him for help.

It is notable in Japan as the only series by Fujiko Fujio to be darker and more mature in its themes as opposed to their previous works, focusing more on psychological drama, suspense, and horror. An anime adaptation was produced by Shin-Ei Animation, directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani and written by Yasuo Tanami. It aired on TBS from October 17, 1989 to March 24, 1992 with a total of 103 episodes.


In a society filled with people who do whatever with their lives, there are some who struggle with it or never achieved their goals. The story focuses on individuals who meet a shadowy and ominous salesman, Moguro Fukuzo, who promises them a better life if they follow his advice. However, the clients that Moguro meet often cheat, refuse to rely on his help, or worse - deny that they received assistance at all. When this invariably happens, Fukuzo punishes his clients by using their reliance on his aid against them. With their lives ruined, he is satisfied with his job and looks for more potential clients.



Co-creator Motoo Abiko first created the manga as a one-shot in Shogakukan's Big Comic magazine in 1968. However the manga was deemed too scary for the publisher, and he ended up publishing the work in Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha's Comic Sunday magazine from 1969 to 1971.


An anime adaptation of the manga was produced by Shin-Ei Animation and aired on TBS from October 17, 1989 to March 24, 1992. It was directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani and written by Yasuo Tanami, while Kōhei Tanaka handled the music composition. The opening song is titled Kodoku no Uta (孤独の唄, lit. Song of Loneliness) while the ending is titled Kokoro no Uta (ココロの唄, lit. Song of the heart), both performed by Tomio Umezawa.

A DVD box set of the series was released by Pony Canyon on March 20, 2013.


A Visual Novel of the series was released on the Sega CD in Japan on September 17, 1993. It was developed by Compile and published by Sega, adapting three episodes of the anime.

Live-Action Drama

A live action adaptation was produced by TV Asahi, which stars Shirō Itō as Moguro Fukuzo. It aired from June 26 to September 18, 1999.


In June 1999, the manga sold more than 3.5 Million Copies in Japan alone.[1]


  1. 「世紀末のココロのスキマお埋めします「笑ゥせぇるすまん」テレ朝系でドラマ化」『Yomiuri Shimbun』1999年6月22日付東京夕刊、9面。
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