To celebrate the release of BUZZER BEATER on Manga Planet, the Manga Planet team had the honor to interview its creator, Takehiko Inoue.
It’s been 25 years since BUZZER BEATER was first serialized as a webcomic. What do you think about the fact that it will be distributed again on Manga Planet?
ーーIt is one of the happiest things for an artist to be able to have people read their work even after some time has passed. It makes me very happy.
Why did you decide to draw a basketball manga set in space?
ーーI think I wanted to draw a manga that was very “anything goes” and not too caught up in reality.
Unlike the usual right-to-left reading of manga, BUZZER BEATER is read from left to right. Why did you decide to create it in this direction?
ーーAt the time, I drew it on the pretense that it would be read on a PC. Thinking about the fact that the writing would be written horizontally, rather than the usual vertical direction, I decided to make the dialogues read from left to right to make sure they could all be read naturally and comfortably.
What made you decide to try drawing a full-color webcomic when webcomics themselves were fairly rare in 1996, when it was first released?
ーーIt was a new thing that almost no one else in the world was doing. I decided to give it a try out of curiosity.
What do you think about the change in the number of subscription-based digital comic distribution services as of late?
ーーI guess manga is no exception to the effects of changing times. It is important for an artist to have the opportunity for their work to be read. On the other hand, I think forms of expression will also inevitably change to become more suitable for the reading environment. I believe that good things will come out of this process.
Are you currently keeping an eye on any basketball teams or players in particular? Do you still play basketball?
ーーThe LA Lakers, and all of basketball in Japan as a whole. I take the occasional shot myself. But I won’t be a baller anytime soon.
Japanese players such as Rui Hachimura are very active overseas. What do you think about the future of basketball in Japan?
ーーWith NBA players like Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe, and the B.League booming in Japan, children can now dream of becoming professional basketball players. The future of basketball in Japan is bright.
If you were to create an all-star basketball team for Earth, who would you choose to be on the team?
ーーAnthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, and Yuki Togashi.
Do you have a message for the readers of Manga Planet?
ーーI am very happy to have the opportunity to have my manga be read on Manga Planet. The world may be going through a period of turmoil, but manga is a pastime that allows us all to connect through our hearts. I hope you all enjoy it.
Thank you very much!
About Manga Planet: Read manga, support artists
In 2012, Manga Planet started as a joint project between Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. and FANTASISTA, INC. to research and explore the ways manga is read throughout the world. Aiming to bring new manga to fans from all over the world and support artists and the industry, Manga Planet pushes for affordability and access to manga through a subscription-based service.
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