1. Manga Mondays ~ Mitsuru Adachi

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    Mitsuru Adachi is a Japanese manga artist. He is best known for serial drama sports stories, including Touch, H2, and Miyuki. Many of his mangas have become best-sellers and adapted for animation, live-action TV and films. Adachi has created more than 280 books, and as of 2011, his works had sold over 200 million copies.

    He was born 1951 in Isesaki City, Japan. In 1967, at just 16 years old, Adachi was a finalist in a COM Magazine contest. After he graduated from High School in 1969, he worked as an assistant for manga artist, Isami Ishii. In 1970, Adachi made his manga debut with Kieta bakuon (The Faded Explosion) in Deluxe Shōnen Sunday.

    In 1978, Adachi published his first original series, Nine. In 1981, he began his seminal series, Touch. Both series were extremely popular in and outside of Japan, making Adachi one of the most famous mangaka during the 1980s. Touch earned Adachi his first Shogakukan Manga Award. In 2012, he began a new series, Mix, which is a semi-sequel to Touch set 30 years later.

    Even though Adachi is well-known for sports mangas, at their core they are soap operas. Portraying everyday life in a sport setting. Natural dialogue combined with his clear and clean artwork make his stories effortless to read and easy to become engrossed in.

    One criticism that Adachi cannot escape from is that many of his characters look very similar. In a recent episode of Ame Talk, Adachi was asked identifying the main character of his manga, Touch, among two other characters he had drawn. To everyone’s delight, Adachi got it wrong.

    Mitsuru Adachi has had a phenomenal career. He has won two Shogakukan Manga Awards. He is one of the few manga artists to be popular in shonen, shojo, and seinen manga. Cross Game is the only one of Adachi’s series that has been published in English. Viz Media begin publishing it in 2010, and have released 8 volumes so far.