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The Osamu Tezuka Story

The Osamu Tezuka Story

A Life in Manga and Anime

Frederik L. Schodt


A documentary manga biography of the influential artist and the birth and evolution of manga and anime in Japan.

This graphic-format biography of Osamu Tezuka—Japan's "God of Manga"—looks at one of the twentieth century's great creative artists (Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Black Jack). It is also an anecdotal study of the evolution of Japan's early manga and anime business and its heroes. 

A never-before-seen popular culture history of postwar Japan, it is sure to fascinate fans and anyone interested in manga, anime, and the potential of the graphic storytelling medium.
















7 x 9"












Winner of the 2016 Foreword INDIES Award for Graphic Novels & Comics

"Beautifully done. . . entertaining, heartwarming, and quite sad in places, the warmth and charm that defined Tezuka’s work has been captured here... an essential book to own."


"The Osamu Tezuka Story offers a reverent and candid review of Tezuka, in a style that memorializes and mirrors his artistic sensibilities--conceptually rich landscapes, clean, complex lines and extreme attention to movement and expression. This book is a necessary reference for Tezuka fans and a historical document providing insight into the philosophy, creation and manufacture of manga."

Shelf Awareness

"Dedicated fans of Tezuka Osamu’s imaginative and varied work, as well as those deeply steeped in the history of Japanese pop culture, will undoubtedly relish this book."

Education About Asia

"Gr 7 Up... Absolutely worth the read... Readers will come away with an appreciation for Tezuka's influences and... creations. For fans of manga and anime, as well as anyone interested in innovative people and the creative process."

School Library Journal

"It's not for nothing that [Osamu Tezuka] is known as the "god of manga..." Rich in anecdotes... [The Osamu Tezuka Story] will be enjoyable for general readers, but this book is probably more suited for true Tezuka enthusiasts. And the growing number of manga fans all over the world suggests that the legion of true enthusiasts who will enjoy this book is large and growing."

Kyoto Journal

"Fittingly massive... [with over] 900 pages of cheery cartoon action... Captures its subject's tireless genius through WWII, the lean post war years, and the emergence of Japan as a superpower. Legendary manga scholar Schodt provides a first-rate translation."

Publisher's Weekly

"Thorough and well-detailed... Ban and his partners have created a landmark guide to the life and accomplishments of a master."

Foreword Reviews

"Top-notch... This one's not just a must-own. It's a must-actually-read-from-start-to-finish."

OtakuUSA Magazine

"This massive biography in comic form has finally been translated into English — and it's more than worth the wait."


“Fascinating... Schodt does a terrific job bringing Tezuka’s story to an English-speaking audience.”


“A must for Tezuka devotees… this near 1,000-page biography of manga artist Osamu Tezuka will spark excitement and rabid consumption.”

Library Journal 

“What better way to showcase the life of manga master Osamu Tezuka then with a biographical manga? This comprehensive biography shows the complexity of the artist’s life and times... A must read for anyone with a passing interest in the evolution of manga and anime.”

The Japan Times

"The Osamu Tezuka Story opened my eyes. Tezuka didn’t just make manga, he created manga genres. He invented the idea of “story manga,” of moving beyond gag strips into long-format stories, aka “The way all manga is done today.” Tezuka could have lived for a thousand years and never run out of ideas. Reading this, Tezuka seems less like a human being and more like creativity incarnate—a true ‘God of Manga.’”

World Literature Today Magazine 

The Story of Osamu Tezuka is a magnificent tome of a book, an illustrated history covering not only the year-by-year life of Tezuka but the development of modern manga and anime. It’s chock-full with points of technical interest, and applies passionate devotion to the telling of Tezuka’s life.”

Pop Matters

5 out of 5 "The artwork is amazingly detailed—a visual feast that incorporates samples of Tezuka’s drawings. In addition to hundreds of fascinating anecdotes about the man, the narrative also covers the history that gives context to his work, other manga artists, and a general history of manga and anime in Japan for much of the twentieth century. If you have any interest in manga, anime, or Japan, this is a great reference."

Manhattan Book Review

"An unparalleled gateway to Tezuka’s life and work. A ground-breaking manga biography of one of Japan’s best-loved and best-selling creators."

Geeky Monkey Magazine

"5 out of 5... A riveting biography... one that every American fan of manga or anime should read."


"5 out of 5... Heartwarming and inspirational... This is a must buy for anyone interested in Osamu Tezuka and his work in anime and manga."

Otakus and Geeks

"A must for any fan of vintage manga and Japanese pop culture."

Clutter Magazine

"For anyone who was inspired by Tezuka's work and all the contributions he made to art and animation, The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime is a must buy."

Animation For Adults


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About the Author(s)

Toshio Ban

Toshio Ban

Toshio Ban joined Tezuka Productions in 1974 as one of Tezuka's assistants.

Frederik L. Schodt

Frederik L. Schodt

Fluent in spoken and written Japanese, is an author and translator of impressive breadth. He has written extensively on Japanese manga, as well as on pop culture, technology, and history. 

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