Osamu Tezuka as a creator had left life far too soon, and a legacy that had an industry earning trillions and probably facing collapse. But the latter part of the prior sentence is obviously another can of worms, and not going to be focus of this article. This week MMF is going to focus on Osamu Tezuka’s long bibliography. Tezuka’s work compared to today’s standards has themes that are debatable and dated. However they were manga done at a time when Japan was recovering from World War II, and they hailed the beginning of anime.
As of now my own experience with Tezuka is from anime leading in manga. With manga going into the digital publication, I hope to be able to read more, and a revival has been happening with DMP’s recent Kickstarter attempt. I plan read Swallowing the Earth and Barbara later this year. Still my first Tezuka anime on technical grounds was a pretty obscure title in Tezuka’s bibliography with Umi no Toriton, but I was an adult when I realized that. I considered my first experience with Black Jack OVA in the 1990’s, when I was in my tween years.
My local libraries in recent years have been great to be able to keep stock of Tezuka’s books, so I have read Buddha, Black Jack, portions of Dororo and portions of Phoenix. In also learning about the American publishers that translate Tezuka’s works, with a focus on Vertical Inc., I became much aware of other Tezuka titles: Ode to Kirahito, MW, Apollo’s Song, Ayako, Book of Huuman Insects, and Princess Knight. This is only a small number of Tezuka’s bibliography, and I do wonder if I would have the opportunity to read his more well known works like Astro Boy (that I read Pluto in place of) or Kimba the White Lion.
Tezuka as an author and what I notice are usually not read by teenagers, as the demographics are adult.. since there are plenty of adult themes. One of my local libraries who place manga as books to be retrieved from the front desk, does not with Tezuka’s books, so I have seen it shelved as part of the adult collection. In many of the recent English translations of Tezuka novels I have read, they clearly are written as thrillers, or with a moralistic tale to give. I definitely would rank, Black Jack, Dororo, Ode to Hirahito, Buddha, and The Book of Human Insects as my personal list of Tezuka’s books to be read and enjoyed.