One Piece is one of the biggest manga and anime series in the world, and few series have ever reached its level of popularity. One of the biggest of the 1990s got close, however, as Takehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk helped make Basketball an even bigger sport in Japan thanks to its popularity during its heyday. These two series joining forces is arguably a big deal.
Some art Takehiko Inoue created to celebrate one of Shueisha's anniversaries has resurfaced online, and fans are particularly drawn to his take on One Piece's Luffy.
Eiichiro Oda himself has given Luffy all sorts of looks through his adventures in One Piece, but there's a distinct difference Inoue brings to the character. The Slam Dunk and Vagabond creator takes his more realistic style and gives Luffy another dimension to his design. It's more akin to what a live-action Luffy could be based off of, and it just goes to show the strength of Oda's original design.
The beauty of One Piece's Luffy is his simplicity in his design which literally and figuratively makes him pliable for any creator to mess with. Fans certainly appreciated Inoue's take on the character, and would be happy to see a new attempt. For those unfamiliar with Slam Dunk, it was one of the biggest sports manga and anime properties of the 1990s.
Created by Takehiko Inoue for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1990, and has been collected into 31 volumes and sold over 121 million copies in Japan. The series has been licensed for an English language release by Viz Media, and is described as such:
"Winning isn't everything in the game of basketball, but who wants to come in second? It takes dedication and discipline to be the best, and the Shohoku High hoops team wants to be just that. They have one last year to make their captain's dream of reaching the finals come true--will they do it? Takehiko Inoue's legendary beloved basketball manga is finally here and the tale of a lifetime is in your hands. Hanamichi Sakuragi's got no game with girls--none at all! It doesn't help that he's known for throwing down at a moment's notice and always coming out on top. A hopeless bruiser, he's been rejected by 50 girls in a row! All that changes when he meets the girl of his dreams, Haruko, and she's actually not afraid of him! When she introduces him to the game of basketball, his life is changed forever..."
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece first began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997. It has since been collected into over 80 volumes, and has been a critical and commercial success worldwide with many of the volumes breaking printing records in Japan. The manga has even set a Guinness World Record for the most copies published for the same comic book by a single author, and is the best-selling manga series worldwide with over 430 million copies sold. The series still ranked number one in manga sales in 2018, which surprised fans of major new entries.