Whenever I think of Usamaru Furuya [古屋兎丸] (1968 – present), I cannot help but also think of Yoshihiro Togashi [冨樫義博] (1966 – present) as though they were two peas on the same pod. When I look at their photos, I even seem to spot a certain quality of kindred spirits between the two of them. Although they are different in artistic styles and work in different genres, they both share a deeply cynical, homophobic view of human nature and they are both, in my mind, what the Japanese call kisai [鬼才], or demonic genius.
The two men were born only two years apart, but they have followed very different trajectories as manga artists. Fame came to Yoshihiro Togashi early at the age of 24 with the launch of Yu Yu Hakusho [幽☆遊☆白書] (1990); he produced his best work Level E [レベルE] (1995) between the age of 29 and 31, before slipping into mediocrity in Hunter X Hunter (1998 -) and finally to artistic inactivity since 2012.Continue reading