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View Full Version : Osamu Tezuka - which books would you recommend?



Thudpucker
04-09-2008, 03:48 PM
Tezuka is someone I've always meant to read more of but never have. I finally decided to read Buddha recently and just finished it last week. Once I started i was immediately hooked, it's one of the most moving and interesting stories I have ever read.

Now I'm looking for what to read next and I'm thinking about Phoenix. Has anyone read it yet, is there something else I should start first instead?

I've only read 2 of Tezuka's other works, Apollo's Song and Ode To Kirihito, and those didn't work for me. Ode was just plain fucked up for the most part and Apollo was too depressing for me, but I think now that I've read and enjoyed Buddha so much I'll go back and try those two again.

nick maynard
04-09-2008, 04:00 PM
buddha was really really amazing. i've never read anything else by him though, so i'll keep an eye on this thread.

Cth
04-09-2008, 04:01 PM
PHOENIX is one the best.

Buddha is probably his 2nd best work behind Phoenix. Phoenix has so many parallels/echoes/etc.. it's a shame he never got to finish it.

Ode To Kirihito is different admittedly.

MW sounds weird.. you'll probably not like it.. I'll pick it up eventually.

I'm picking this up at the end of the month:
http://www.amazon.com/Dororo-1-Osamu-Tezuka/dp/1934287164/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207785612&sr=1-14

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61IwLs10WaL._SS500_.jpg



Book Description
Dororo is Tezuka's classic thriller manga featuring a youth who has been robbed of 48 body parts by devils, and his epic struggle against a host of demons to get them back.

Daigo Kagemitsu, who works for a samurai general in Japan's Warring States period, promises to offer body parts of his unborn baby to 48 devils in exchange for complete domination of the country. Knowing the child to be deficient, Kagemitsu orders the newborn thrown into the river.

The baby survives. Callling himself Hyakkimaru, ge searches the world for the 48 demons. Each time he eliminates one, he retrieves one of his missing parts. Hyakkimaru meets a boy thief named Dororo, and together they travel the countryside, confronting mosters and ghosts again and again. This the first in a 3 - volume series.

Cth
04-09-2008, 04:02 PM
Although from researching it looks like DORORO wasn't completed either.

The guy was prolific. Astro Boy and Metropolis are worth looking at, but I haven't personally read either.. just aware of their impact.

Again, Phoenix is one of the best things ever.. it's up there with Eisner IMO.

Thudpucker
04-09-2008, 04:13 PM
Phoenix sounds like the one I would enjoy most, I'm going to start in on that next. Thanks Cth! :)

Dororo is one I'm not sure about, though I will definately take a look. The description makes me worried that it's going to be too dark and fucked up for my taste.

I'm searching and it doesn't seem like very much of his work has been translated and published in the US yet. I've heard Adolf was excellent, I might pick up that one soon.

Unico is another I'm very interested in, I saw a fansub of the anime years ago loved it. I don't think the manga is publiched in the us though, I havn't found it yet.

Has anyone read his two biggest works, Astro Boy and Kimba?

Dreg
04-09-2008, 06:01 PM
Phoenix is good because if you're not digging one story, another comes along real soon.

Thudpucker
04-09-2008, 06:45 PM
Phoenix is good because if you're not digging one story, another comes along real soon.


That's something I was worried about. Are the stories interconnected, is there one overall main story that all the characters take turns sharing? Or is it a series of short stories that are only loosely connected?

IPeacock
04-09-2008, 07:43 PM
Tezuka is someone I've always meant to read more of but never have. I finally decided to read Buddha recently and just finished it last week. Once I started i was immediately hooked, it's one of the most moving and interesting stories I have ever read.

Now I'm looking for what to read next and I'm thinking about Phoenix. Has anyone read it yet, is there something else I should start first instead?

I've only read 2 of Tezuka's other works, Apollo's Song and Ode To Kirihito, and those didn't work for me. Ode was just plain fucked up for the most part and Apollo was too depressing for me, but I think now that I've read and enjoyed Buddha so much I'll go back and try those two again.


MW is amazing—really deep and multilayered. It’s a very well-crafted story, with a different art style than the rest of his work. It also reads better the second and third time around. I would go with MW next. If you own Ode and Apollo, then I would give them a second read. Apparently Ode is Tezuka’s favorite.
There is absolutley something unsettling about Ode and Apollo, but that is mostly do to the “shock” of parts of the story(for lack of a better word). The shock is not so present the second time around and you can start to appreciate how much craft went into it. MW is actually more unsettling, but its worth it. Also it’s a great looking hardcover. The Buddha set is the pride of my collection. i have not read phoenix. Could someone tell me how this is collected and by which publisher.

Yannick
04-09-2008, 11:58 PM
Black Jack was one of his biggest series, respected and referenced a lot up to now. It is cynical and humane at the same time, funny and really dark as well.
One of my favorite is simply called Tezuka (that's how it's called in France) : it's an anthology of short stories collected thematically. They are really really good and deal with tons of moving topics.
Of course, Buddha and Phoenix, as well as Metropolis and Astro Boy are often mentionned. These would be the emblematic titles for him
Lots of people have praised his take on the Monkey King tale : Songoku (traditional tale which inspired DragonBall as well), but I ain't read it so I won't comment.

All in all, you can almost never go wrong with Tezuka, the guy was a real genius. Treat yourself !

Ziolko
04-10-2008, 04:28 AM
Phoenix is must read. It's an amazing book.

Cth
04-10-2008, 05:07 AM
Phoenix sounds like the one I would enjoy most, I'm going to start in on that next. Thanks Cth! :)

Dororo is one I'm not sure about, though I will definately take a look. The description makes me worried that it's going to be too dark and fucked up for my taste.

I'm searching and it doesn't seem like very much of his work has been translated and published in the US yet. I've heard Adolf was excellent, I might pick up that one soon.

Unico is another I'm very interested in, I saw a fansub of the anime years ago loved it. I don't think the manga is publiched in the us though, I havn't found it yet.

Has anyone read his two biggest works, Astro Boy and Kimba?


I read the first volume of Adolf.. not bad, but again, everything pales in comparison to Phoenix. That, and they only had volume 1 :D

Cth
04-10-2008, 05:09 AM
Phoenix --

Each volume alternates between a story that takes place in the past, and one in the future.

So, Volume 1 is from ancient times, Volume 2 is in the far future.

The character archetypes are the same from volume to volume, and in some cases you can see parallel storylines.

The idea was for him to alternate each volume until he met in the middle, with the series echoing throughout.

Sometimes there's easter eggs that carry from volume to volume, but they're not necessary to enjoy it.

In fact, you can read them out of order if you want, but you'll get the most out of it by reading them in order.

Cth
04-10-2008, 05:12 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(manga)



Phoenix is about reincarnation. Each story generally involves a search for immortality, embodied by the blood of the eponymous bird of fire, which, as drawn by Tezuka, resembles a peacock. The blood is believed to grant eternal life, but immortality in Phoenix is either unobtainable or a terrible curse, whereas Buddhist-style reincarnation is presented as the natural path of life.

The stories spring back and forth through time; the first, Dawn, takes place in ancient times, and the second, Future, takes place in the far future. Subsequent stories alternate between past and future, allowing Tezuka to explore his themes in both historical and science fiction settings. Throughout the stories there are various recurring characters, some from Tezuka's famous star system. A character named Saruta appears repeatedly, for example, in the form of various ancestors and descendants, all of whom endure harsh trials in their respective eras.

Tezuka began work on a preliminary version of Phoenix in 1954, and the series continued in various forms until his death in 1989. As it progresses, the stories seem to be converging on the present day. Scholar and translator Frederik L. Schodt, who knew Tezuka in life, wrote that he fantasized about a secret ending, "waiting in a safe somewhere to be revealed posthumously."[1] This was not the case, and Tezuka's final intentions with Phoenix remain unknown, although its episodic nature leaves each volume highly accessible nonetheless.

Many of the Phoenix stories feature intensely experimental layout and visual design. For example, Universe tells the story of four spacefarers who are forced to leave their spaceship in separate escape pods. The panels of the story are organized such that each character has his own vertical or horizontal tier on the page, emphasizing the astronauts' isolation; the tiers combine and separate as characters join together and split up. In an astonishing sequence after one character's death, he is represented for a number of pages by a series of empty black panels.

Tezuka was said to have been influenced to create the series after listening to the music of Igor Stravinsky.

More details at the link, with full volume synopses.

They're published by Viz from what I remember.

Thudpucker
04-10-2008, 06:01 AM
MW is amazing—really deep and multilayered. It’s a very well-crafted story, with a different art style than the rest of his work. It also reads better the second and third time around. I would go with MW next. If you own Ode and Apollo, then I would give them a second read. Apparently Ode is Tezuka’s favorite.
There is absolutley something unsettling about Ode and Apollo, but that is mostly do to the “shock” of parts of the story(for lack of a better word). The shock is not so present the second time around and you can start to appreciate how much craft went into it. MW is actually more unsettling, but its worth it. Also it’s a great looking hardcover. The Buddha set is the pride of my collection. i have not read phoenix. Could someone tell me how this is collected and by which publisher.

I'm definately going to give Ode and Apollo another go, I think you are right. Buddha had plenty of depressing and unsettling parts but the effect of the whole was so overwhelmingly positive and beautiful that I enjoyed it anyway. Maybe now that I've experienced that I will be able to move past it in the other two.

If MW is more unsettling than those two I think I'll wait until I've re-read those to tackle that one. I think I need to work my way up to it.

Thanks :)

Thudpucker
04-10-2008, 06:03 AM
Black Jack was one of his biggest series, respected and referenced a lot up to now. It is cynical and humane at the same time, funny and really dark as well.
One of my favorite is simply called Tezuka (that's how it's called in France) : it's an anthology of short stories collected thematically. They are really really good and deal with tons of moving topics.
Of course, Buddha and Phoenix, as well as Metropolis and Astro Boy are often mentionned. These would be the emblematic titles for him
Lots of people have praised his take on the Monkey King tale : Songoku (traditional tale which inspired DragonBall as well), but I ain't read it so I won't comment.

All in all, you can almost never go wrong with Tezuka, the guy was a real genius. Treat yourself !

ooo, I love retellings of 'The Journey to the West'! Very interested in that one, I hope it's been translated.

Thudpucker
04-10-2008, 06:05 AM
Phoenix is must read. It's an amazing book.


I read the first volume of Adolf.. not bad, but again, everything pales in comparison to Phoenix. That, and they only had volume 1 :D

Phoenix is definately the series I'm jumping into next, I'm going to order the first volume today. Can't wait! :)