MMF: My foray into a master’s works.


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.

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  • Jonah

    Hi, what a surprise to find the godfather of Japanese graphic novels here!

    Did you read his books in Japanese or in translation? Did you read Ayako, too, by the way also by Tezuka? I found that it was also translated in English.

    Are you a librarian? If so, you might be contributing to the recent increase of graphic novels in public libraries regardless of translation or those in Engish original.

    Do you draw, too?

    • http://animemiz.wordpress.com/ animemiz

      Hey Jonah.. thanks for the comment. Yes this week is Manga Movable Feast for Tezuka… I happened to read his books in translation.. Yes I did read Ayako when it got translated by Vertical. It was a lovely hardcover release as well. ^_^

      I am currently not working as a hired librarian, but I do have my MLS. I am a frequent user of my local libraries.. soooo I continue to hope that graphic novel collections continue to grow and cause circulation numbers to spike upward. Are you a librarian? Alas I don’t draw.. but if you see in other past posts I have written somethings about origami.. which is paper folding.

  • Pingback: MMF: Day Four Links, Osamu Tezuka Feast

  • Shu

    Hi Ararechan,(o・ω・o)シ

    I have read Tezuka’s books when I was young too.
    However, I think that you have more knowledge of manga than I have.
    I like Black Jack the most, though, you have already read it.
    Therefore, I recommend that you read The Three-Eyed One.
    Tell me if there is anything I can do for you about Animes, Mangas, and Novels.
    I am Japanese, I apologize if there are any mistakes in my English.

    Senbei N.

    • http://animemiz.wordpress.com/ animemiz

      Hi Shu/Senbei! Thanks for your comments. I like to read many, though I don’t believe that my knowledge is more than a lot of others. ^_^ The Three Eyed One meaning Ode to kirihito? I have read that. I have not read all of Tezuka’s manga, but I have read some in English. You are quite lucky.. since you can read Japanese. That is a dream for me sometimes.. but my comprehension of it is another thing.