Takehiko Inoue

    Person » Takehiko Inoue is credited in 808 issues.

    Creator, writer, artist of Slam Dunk, Vagabond and Real. One of the best selling Japanese manga artists of all time.

    Short summary describing this person.

    Takehiko Inoue last edited by downinthesewer on 03/17/23 03:39AM View full history

    Takehiko Inoue (井上雄彦, real name Takehiko Nariai (成合 雄彦)) was born in Okuchi City (now named Isa City) , Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan on 12th January 1967, and is former student of Kumamoto University. Inoue is a Japanese manga artist.

    His most well known volumes are Slam Dunk, Vagabond and Real. His debut manga was the 1988 Tezuka Osama Culture Prize nominated "Kaede Purple", but his main themes have mostly concentrated on sport and fighting among young men. During the 1990s, Slam Dunk was considered one of three pillars of the publisher Shonen Jump alongisde Dragonball and YuYu Hakusho. By 2004, Slam Dunk had sold more than 100 million copies in Japan, and by 2009 including the reprint "perfect" version had sold 140 million copies. Both Vagabond and Real have been widely popular, with Vagabond winning many awards including Japan Media Arts Festival for Manga Award and the Grand Prize for Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize.


    From an early age Inoue was a kendo player until he reached high school and his attention turned to basketball, and eventually became his high school's captain. It was during this time that he came to like manga drawing and first tried his hand at serious manga artisty. His inital choice for college or university was an art university, but not having the funds to attend a pre-university course, decided upon Kumamoto University. Of course, the basketball team took up much of his time, but it was during his time here that he became an assistant of Tsukasa Hojo, the writer of City Hunter, that he learnt the ins and outs of manga creation. In 1988, Inoue made his debut as a manga artist with the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize nominated "Kaede Purple".

    After working on the short volume Chameleon Jail for 11 issues of Shonen Jump, Slam Dunk was given the green light to become a permanent feature from 1990. In 1993, Slam Dunk was licensed to become an anime for television. As a commeration of Slam Dunk selling over 100 million copies, in 2004, Inoue drew a full page advertisement which featured in 6 national broadsheet newspapers. In 2006, Slam Dunk was voted No. 1 manga of all time by Japan's Ministry of Culture's Japan Media Arts Festival 10 years of art survey.

    Slam Dunk finished in 1996, and after several short stories, Inoue began his next epic manga - Eiji Yoshikawa's "Miyamoto Musashi"-adapted "Vagabond". From 1999, alongside Vagabond, Inoue began Real, which continues today with unscheduled releases.


     15th Anniversay of Slam Dunk anime broadcast
     15th Anniversay of Slam Dunk anime broadcast
    Up until mid-way through high school Inoue was an avid kendo player, but after joining a new high school where the kendo club was full, he decided to join the basketball team. Inoue was never a tall player for his age and ended up being a guard. When he made the decision to draw manga, since the other side of his extracurricular studies was basketball, the first thing he drew was about basketball. Even now he is known to be a guest commentator on live NBA broadcasts in Japan.

    When Slam Dunk reached over 100 million sales, he created a scholarship fund for excellent sports students named Slam Dunk Scholarship. THe scholarship gave basketball students with pro-aspirations the opportunity to enter American prep-schools specialising in basketball.

    Kaede Purple

    Kaede Purple was the debut manga for Takehiko Inoue, drawn and written under his real name Nariai Inoue. The story centres around four high school characters - Aya, Rukawa, Akagi and Kogure.
    No Caption Provided
    Aya is a high school freshman who is in love Akagi, and later falls for Rukawa.

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    Kaede Rukawa is a sophmore and captain of the Kitakou basketball team.
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    Akagi is a senior and is the leader of the Akagi Gang.
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    Kogure is a senior and the formet captain of Kitakou basketball team
    These story begins with Aya confessing her love for Akagi, only for Akagi to misconstrue her confession and force himself on her. Kaede Rukawa witnesses this and stops him, but not before Aya throws a basketball in Akagi's face. This is the beginning of a fierce basketball and physical rivalry between Akagi and Rukawa. Kogure has a minor part as the former captain of the school's team.
    This story and characters would prove to be a huge success for Inoue, as all the elements of the story including the characters make it into Slam Dunk. Their personalities, relationships and outward appearances would change but the publication of this story would become the basis for the entire Slam Dunk world. In the original printing in Issue #32 of Shonen Jump, Hiroshi Motomiya, renowed manga artist and author of Salaryman Kintaro, comments that he looks forward to the future of Nariai Inoue's work.

    Hana Shonen

    Hana Shonen (華SHONEN) was published in Issue #42 of Weekly Shonen Jump in 1988. The story follows several young female students in a drama club. It is described as a love comedy. Apart from being published in this edition, it also was included in Inoue's first independently published manga series Chameleon Jail.

    Jordan Mite Ni

    Jordan Mite Ni (Translation: Like Jordan) was not published in any weekly ongoing manga books, but was included in the second book of Chameleon Jail as a bonus story. Like Jordan follows three basketball students who arrive at a basketball camp late and miss the registration to compete in the camp's tournament. Unable to compete against other American born players, the three students settle for a pickup game with three other Japanese players.

    Chameleon Jail

     Chameleon Jail 2nd Edition
     Chameleon Jail 2nd Edition
    Chameleon Jail is a manga series written by Kazuhiko Watanabe and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue. It was published from Issue 33 to 44, 12 issues in total, in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1989. It is Inoue's first independently published manga series.
    The story is about "risk takers" who are employed in special operations in law enforcement to do jobs normally too difficult for lesser-capable officers. Jail, otherwise known as Chameleon Jail, is a New York City resident and "risk taker". He is widely known as the top agent in his field due to his extraordinary ability to change his appearance using his inner energy called "kara". The ability also allows him to copy other people's appearances and skills. Throughout the two issues, he mostly takes work from Shall, the head of a New York City detective agency.
    The first issue has the bonus short story Kaede Purple, the second issue includes Hana Shonen and Like Jordan. Chameleon Jail was re-released in November 2004 as a single complete edition with the further addition of Inoue's one-shot story Babyface.



    The faces of the Slam Dunk characters are said to match Inoue's high school teammates. The jersey numbers reflect popular players in the NBA during the 1990s.


    Manga Series

    Vagabond - Published in Weekly Morning, Vol.40, 1998 - present ( Kodansha)
    Volumes 1~32 (Kodansha)

    Real - Published in Weekly Young Jump, Vol.48, 1999 - present (Kodansha)( Shueisha)
    Volumes 1~8(Shueisha)

    Slam Dunk - Published in Weekly Shonen Jump, Vol.42, 1990 - Vol.27,1996 (Shueisha)
    31 volumes (Shueisha)

    Buzzer Beater - Ran on Sports-i ESPN homepage , from May. 1996
    Published in Monthly Shonen Jump, Feb, 1997 - Aug, 1998 (Shueisha)

    Chameleon Jail - Published in Weekly Shonen Jump, Vol.33,1989 - Vol.44,1989 ( Shueisha)
    Chameleon Jail was first published in 1989 in volume 33 of Weekly Shonen Jump and was Inoue's first serial manga. It survived for a mere 12 issues until volume 44 of the same year, but was more than enough to give Inoue the confidence to shoot for more manga series.

    One Shots

    AKAGASUKI - Weekly Shonen Jump Summer Special,1990 (Shueisha)

    BABY FACE - Weekly Shonen Jump,Vol.3/4,1992 (Shueisha)

    HANG TIME - Weekly Shonen Jump,Vol.45,1993 - Vol.48,1993 (Shueisha)

    PIERCE - Weekly Shonen Jump,Vol.9,1998 (Shueisha)


    TOKAIMON」 - went on sale 3/25/1999 (Shogakukan)

    MANGA FEVER - went on sale 5/15/2002 (STYLE)

    Newspaper Columns

    HOOP - Mar, 1997 - Sep, 1997 (Nippon Bunka Publishing)
    Monthly Basketball - Mar, 1997 - Sep, 1997 (Nippon Bunka Publishing)

    SHOW-TIMES - Weekly Young Jump,Vol.3,1998 - Present (Shueisha)

    Other works

     The Vagabond Mural, Kinokuniya, New York
     The Vagabond Mural, Kinokuniya, New York

     Inoue at Kinokuniya Store, New York
     Inoue at Kinokuniya Store, New York

    Creating a wall painting to celebrate the opening - 17th to 19th November, 2007, Kinokuniya New York.
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    On 17th November, 2007, Inoue visited the Kinokuniya New York store and painted a mural in three days. The mural was a large depication of Musashi Miyamoto, the protagonist of Vagabond.  He also created a smaller painting which looks down upon people as they come upstairs to the 2nd floor.
    - Poster, 2007
     Hidden Fortress Poster, 2007
     Hidden Fortress Poster, 2007

    This poster is a Inoue designed movie poster for the Shinji Higuchi directed remake of The Hidden Fortress. The original had two peasant characters which have been replaced by Inoue's Takezou Miyamoto, who is featured in this poster.
    The remake of Hidden Fortress was due for release on May 10th, 2008 in Japan.
     Jan. 2008 issue of Boon
     Jan. 2008 issue of Boon

    BOON - Cover (Jan, 2008), SHODENSHA, 2007
    Boon was a fashion magazine published in Japan until around April 2008. Inoue drew a single cover for Boon in January 2008 which featured one of the main characters in Real, his third basketball manga.




          …     Cover (Vol.25 No.12),Switch Publishing, 2007
          …     Cover (Vol.24 No.12),Switch Publishing, 2006
          …     Cover (Vol.23 No.2), Switch Publishing, 2005
          …     Cover (Vol.20 No.3), Switch Publishing, 2002
    Inoue drew four seperate Switch covers since 2002. The most famous being his "10 Days After" related cover.
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    Slam Dunk 100 Million Volume Thank You -  Final Event - 12/3 - 5/2004, at the old Kanagawa Misaki High School. 

    “Slam Dunk – 10 Days After” was a special one off project by Inoue Takehiko in late 2004 as a token of appreciation and thanks to Slam Dunk readers. Slam Dunk had officially reached 100 million copies in do mestic sales. This was Inoue's way of saying thank you to his fans.

    The content of the project featured in the issue pictured left was produced entirely on a blackboard at a disused high school. The story of the exhibition depicts the events of ten days after the last issue of Slam Dunk.


     Lost Odyssey
     Lost Odyssey
    LOST ODYSSEY - Game Soft Character Design, MISTWALKER, 2007
    Lost Odyssey ( ロストオデッセイ) is a console role-playing game developed by Mistwalker and feelplus and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360. The character design was done by Inoue who headed up the game's artistic team. It was released in February 2008 in the US and Europe.

     Bu Cover, 2004
     Bu Cover, 2004

    BU - Cover, TAKARAJIMASHA, Inc, 2004
    Inoue drew and coloured the cover of Yoshinori Kouno's novel about samurai warriors. The book was published by Takarajima Inc. in 2004.

    SHISEIDO UNO - Commercial, 2004
    Shiseido cosmetics company commissioned Inoue to paint a gigantic picture of a sweating man to be used in a commercial for Uno, a men's brand of deodorant in Japan. This was Inoue's second commerical for Shiseido.

    No Caption Provided
    THE SLAMDUNK WAY OF WINNING - Cover, Shueisha International, 2000
    "The Slam Dunk Way of Winning" was a book written about sports psycology and Inoue agreed to design the cover for in 2000.

    BUZZER BEATER - Playstation comic - Supervision, 1999

    SHISEIDO Aleph - Commercial, 1998
    This commercial featured a basketball scene and the deodorant Aleph sold in Japan during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    1on1 - Game Soft Character Design, Jorudan, 1998

    FILA AMATEUR GAMES - Poster, 1997

    NBA ZATUGAKU BIBLE - Cover, Nippon Bunka Publishing, 1997

    NBA KAITAISINSHO - Cover, Diamondsha, 1997

    HIGH TIME - Basketball Shoes Design, 1995

    JBL MEN'S TOURNAMENT 1ST 1996 - Poster, 1996

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