Minoru Furuya (古谷 実 Furuya Minoru?, born March 28, 1972) is a Japanese manga artist from Saitama Prefecture. His debut work was Ike! Inachū takkyū-bu, known in English as Ping-Pong Club, published in Young Magazine. In 1996, he won the Kodansha Manga Award for Ping-Pong Club.
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Furuya Minoru made his debut in 1993 with the manga Ping-Pong Club published weekly in Young Magazine. The series became a big hit and was also produced as an animated series. It was such a success that it set the standard for comedy manga throughout the 1990s.
In 1997, his second series, Boku to Issho, began publication in Young Magazine. It was also a comedy series, but with a focus on a more realistic storyline. His artistic style was also more subdued with fewer outrageous caricatures. As a follow up to this series, he produced another comedy manga, Green Hill. Though both series were comedies, he also explored themes such as the pressures, hopelessness and futility of modern life. Through his characters, he attempted to give a clear message about the difficulties associated with living in Japan's extreme capitalism. Combining these themes within a comedic storyline made for a very compelling and effective story.
In 2000, his first child was born.
From 2001 to 2002 Young Magazine published Himizu which was substantially different from his previous work. Rather than a comedy manga, the story focused on the character's psychological state of mind and how they dealt with stressful situations. Many fans were outspokenly disappointed with Furuya's sudden change in style to more realistic stories lacking in comedy. However, there were also many fans who saw his change as refreshing and welcomed it.
In any case, in the final installment of his last manga, Wanitokagegisu, he wrote a note announcing his intention to "make a fresh start", possibly intending to return to comedy manga.
List of Manga
- Ping-Pong Club (1993–1996, Young Magazine, Kodansha)
- Boku to Issho (The Same as Me) (1997–1998, Young Magazine, Kodansha)
- Green Hill (1999–2000, Young Magazine, Kodansha)
- Himizu (2001–2002, Young Magazine, Kodansha)
- Ciguatera (2003–2005, Young Magazine, Kodansha)
- Wanitokagegisu (2006–2007, Young Magazine, Kodansha)
- Saltiness (2012-2013, Young Magazine, Kodansha)