He recently (past few years)...? well I have often heard of him painting murals of his characters using black ink and opening exhibitions of them. I find it amazing how well he is able to do this especially since you can't just rub out mistakes like pencils, and yet he finishes them perfectly. I guess he's just one of those guys you call Tensai (geniuses).
Personally I think his character designs are extremely cool. He has a good balance with how to make characters not too cartoony but not too real so that it still passes as artwork for manga. His background artwork is also quite detailed making the worlds he creates that much more believable.
He's a big fan of basketball....and its obvious if you look at the body of his work, which is often based on the sport. First of was Slam Dunk, a story a high school basketball team of misfits and their struggle to become Japan's number1 high school team. Its one of the most popular manga ever in Japan, and definitely one of my favourites, if not my most favourite one ever. At first you would think it would be pretty boring from just reading a brief description of it but its actually extremely good, as I have found out.Well it is in Japanese at least...I don't know what its like in English. It has a great mix of comedy, exciting basketball matches and emotional scenes. Its one of those stories where you actually come to care about the characters and hope that they succeed in the end, which i find quite rare. It also made me appreciate the sport much more, and I'm absolutely not the only one, as this manga created a basketball boom back when it was serialised (early 90's), and basically turned
basketball from an small, relatively unknown sport, to one of the most popular in the country. If you are interested in Slam Dunk, I would recommend reading the manga, and not the Anime. The anime was made in the early/mid 90's so its not the greatest quality show you would see. I found that (the parts that I've seen anyway, which is not much) to be slowly paced, and static, and use repetitive uses of various scenes, typically of the general anime from that era. Anyway, the point is is that Slam Dunk is awesome and you should experience its greatness also.
His following mangas also were basketball related, Buzzer Beater (haven't read yet) and is apparently about an intergalactic basketball competition...yeaahh haha. Weird plot, but probably still good and worth a shot when I remember. Its only 4 volumes and not very well known, since he originally released it on the web.
|Slam Dunk team of Shohoku High|
(From left) Hisashi Mitsui, Ryota Miyagi, Kiminobu Kogure,
Hanamichi Sakuragi, Takenori Akagi, Kaede Rukawa
The most recent manga that he's been working is Vagabond, which as mentioned before, is the story of the legendary of Miyamoto Musashi swordsman. Miyamoto Musashi is famous for writing the Book of Five Rings, basically a text book on how to be a bad ass warrior. I've read very little snippets of it before, and vaguely remember a part explaining how to correctly stare down opponents, which is pretty cool. I haven't read all of the series yet...in fact I haven't read most of it although I really should. The main reason for this is that I don't like starting to read unfinished manga, as I hate waiting for the latest volume/chapter to come out. When I start reading a series and find that I like it, I tend to blaze through the manga not stop until it ends.....so when I can't get to the next part of the story ...fuu#**k!! is basically what i think. I find it way more satisfying to be able to go through the whole series without this feeling, so I will probably wait till the series finishes, which is quite frustrating as well..although I think i won't have to wait too much longer since theirs already over 30 volumes. Mangas usually start ending around then. Unless if its some insane series like Golgo 13 (160 volumes!!!wtf?) or Kochikame (171!! even crazier).
Ahhh yepp thanks for reading the post. If you did...well done and stay tuned for the next post ..if there is one ..........