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Takehiko Inoue is best known for his basketball series Slam Dunk, which remains extremely popular in Japan to this day.
Takehiko Inoue is a Japanese mangaka best known for his sports series, including the seminal work Slam Dunk.
Prior to working as a mangaka himself, Inoue was an assistant to City Hunter mangaka Tsukasa Hojo. He debuted in 1988 with Purple Kaede in Shounen Jump magazine. But it was his second manga that earned him international acclaim: Slam Dunk, a lengthy series about a basketball team striving for greatness. Slam Dunk is probably the most-oft cited inspiration for Japanese mangaka. It has sold over 100 million books in Japan alone, and enjoys some populaity abroad as well.
In 1997 Inoue began a collaboration with ESPN called Buzzer Beater, another basketball manga but this time infused with sci-fi. The manga has been adapted into TV anime twice, once in 2005 and once in 2007.
For his next manga Inoue stepped away from basketball and into samurai drama. Titled Vagabond, the historical fiction follows Musashi Miyamoto, a legendary Japanese swordsman from 16th-century Japan. In 2001 Inoue began drawing another basketball manga called Real while still working on Vagabond. Real tells the story of a wheelchair basketball team, and it earned him an award at the Japan Arts Media Festival in the same year. Both manga are currently ongoing.