The art of Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue
Takehiko Inoue has always been my favorite manga artist, since the first moment I know him. I remember that day when I came from school and “Slam Dunk” was on TV. My first thought was “Ugh, another super over-the-top anime about sports” but I still watched because of the characters design; it was something fresh, beautiful and unique, it still is.
Oh my, I laughed so hard my belly hurt. Hanamichi Sakuragi and all the other characters won my heart in a single episode.
It was about sports and comedy but without magic, über acrobatic impossible techniques or an endless basketball court. Yes, Hanamichi was freakin’ strong but still within human possibilities.
I also appreciate the fact that Inoue explains and tells basketball rules, facts and even story.
And the art, I love how it relates to the narrative. No gigantuous Tarsier-like eyes, big heads, muscle over muscle bodies or nonexistent noses; no, Inoue’s art is realistic yet with some liberties and stylistic choices to accentuate the story or the character personality.
Inoue’s art really is full of life and back in those days, when I was (I’m still) trying to improve my own, he was the best influence and role model I could ask for.