Hey, today is the birthday of manga superstar Takehiko Inoue! How, oh how, shall I choose to observe this special occasion? Well, since I never pass up an opportunity to do so, I’ll suggest you celebrate by once again recommending that you buy yourself a volume or seven of Inoue’s brilliant Real (Viz).
If you’re sick of hearing me make recommendations of this kind, well, that’s just tough, because it truly is one of the best series of any provenance to be published in English in the last ten years. It just is.
And if that’s not enough, I’ll simply have to hit below the belt, because you know what? You people owe Inoue, not just for his own great comics, but for the fact that, were it not for Inoue, there might be no Fumi Yoshinaga as we know her. Yoshinaga came from the world of doujinshi, fan-created comics. And do you know what one of the series was that she repurposed to her own glorious ends? That’s right. It was Inoue’s Slam Dunk.
So if the fact that Real is amazing isn’t enough for you, if the fact that it’s Inoue’s birthday isn’t enough for you, do it for Yoshinaga. There must be sufficient incentive in there somewhere.