SBP Blog

Review: The Osamu Tezuka Story Reviewed by Clutter Magazine

Thomas Joel - Friday, April 22, 2016

Earlier this week, Clutter Magazine gave The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime a great review and deemed it "a must for any fan of vintage manga and Japanese pop culture."

Read the rest of the review below or follow the link to read it over at Clutter Magazine.

by Marc DeAngelis

When you ask a Japanophile to think of a few artists off the top of his head, you might hear the names of Katsushio Otomo, Masamune Shirow, and Akira Toriyama, but you'll definitely hear Osamu Tezuka's name. More of less the Japanese Walt Disney, Tezuka's obsession with comics as a child, combined with support from his family and teachers, lead to worldwide success. From his Astro Boy / Mighty Atom,Phoenix, and Unico manga series in Japan, to their cartoon adaptations aired in the US, to modern day movies like the CGI Astro Boy and Disney's unabashed rip-off ofKimba the White Lion, his legacy will far outlast his 1989 death. A manga biography written and drawn by Tezuka's own company and his former assistant, The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime was originally published in Japan back in 1992. For decades it remained in Japan, untranslated. Stone Bridge Press of Berkeley, CA are changing that on July 12, 2016 with a translation by Frederik L. Schodt, who worked with Tezuka personally.

Review copies of the manga feature select passages from the 900+ page book. In the final edition, Osamu's story will begin even earlier, but my copy begins with Tezuka being caught drawing manga in school as a young boy. Apparently his work was impressive, because after scolding him, his teachers encouraged him to continue drawing in hopes of making a career out of his art. The book also deals with parts of Tezuka's life that aren't related to manga but surely had an influence on his work. For example, during World War II, he witnessed hoards of civilians taking shelter under a large bridge during a bombing, only to have the bridge itself bombed, collapsing and killing them. The passages go on to highlight how much the artist loved animation and how he would ditch work to go to the movies. Given that the book was written by those close to him, I can only assume that the remaining chapters are a rather exhaustive retelling of Tezuka's life. In fact, the dialog is sprinkled with actual quotes by Osamu Tezuka himself. And for the sake of thoroughness, there are plenty of citations and footnotes. That's how serious the producers took this project.

The art itself looks like it was drawn by Tezuka himself. Toshio Ban, who illustrated the book, worked as one of Tezuka's assistants and later produced manga for magazines as part of Tezuka Productions Co. The art - to my eyes - has not been altered from the original 1992 edition (short of replacing the speech and though bubble text of course). While it might look basic by today's standards, glancing back at early '90s hand drawn manga is a breath of fresh air. Similar to Tezuka's quotes in the dialog, some images are lifted from real life examples rather than redrawn, which is a nice effect. In short, any fan of Tezuka will appreciate this art style, especially given the provenance of Toshio Ban.

At only $30 for over 900 pages of animation history, The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime is a steal and is a must for any fan of vintage manga and Japanese pop culture. You can pre-order a copy autographed by Fredrick L. Schodt from Amazon.

 


Like our blog? Please share it!

Categories

Subscribe to the SBP Mailing List

New Releases

Amy’s Guide to Best Behavior in Japan


Going to Japan? This unfussy modern guide guarantees you keep it polite and get it right!

China Smart


Essential essays on all things Chinese that inform and entertain travelers, students, and anyone working or living in China

Oh, Tama!


A deeply eccentric novel about lives and connections—and a cat of course—in 1980s Tokyo: witty, offbeat, and strangely profound.

The Fourth String


Two women. Two cultures. One music.

Tag Cloud

nichi bei weekly, naomi hirarahara expat matcha new books catcher in the rye shamisen performance tomoko aoyama frederik schodt eastern and western philosophy announcement international book award do it right and be polite min kahng manga biography Chiune Sugihara Alexandra Johnson Olympics criterion japan guide green tea bowing in japan juddhism china guide year of zen living in japan janet pocorobba stone bridge press Christianity in Japan foreword indies jun hazuki astro boy 1960s Korea award giajin monk traditional WWII japanese customs state of belief Language 1960's Japan the japan society eating in japan kimba the white lion japan vacation travel to japan film monk wife Tokyo Olympics astrology book jungle emperor japanese graphic novels the asian review of books what do in japan zazen the hidden writer welton gaddy fred schodt hiroaki sato buddhist blurb hippocampus magazine china history manji osamu dazai peace tea new york 47 samurai publishing donald keene sensei and me student teacher purification ancient symbols ritual non-fiction writing travel literature japanese travel trip monks wife koun four immigrants summer vacation japanese instrument larry herzberg Chinese New Year the buddhist swastika kansuke naka japan food book signing japan travel Okinawan literature danica davidson zen monk wife shamisen a memoir Travel black jack shun medoruma foreigner in japan japanese classic pacific rim review of books will eisner oh tama new york events osamau tezuka asia bookstore janet pocorbba journal of a zen monks wife in japan japanese bath why we write podcast asian review of books Coming of Age Day Chinese culture stone bridge cafe classic japanese literature ibpa publishing university poetry of consciousness japanese culture gaijin learning shamisen internment AAS chinese literature japan etiquette otakuusa Nikolas Bunton japanese cutlure kyodo news japanese people osamu tezuka China japan travel etiquette william f sibley how to alan brill japan visitor haibun gaijinpot dazai in the woods of memory author event Korea photography musical book hoarding awards dark horse event diary japanese books 4k a mejiro novel anime publicity book talk tourist amy chavez foreword indies award tricycle magazine 2019 japan today t.k. nakagaki Japanese literature controversy book review manners Spirituality tracy franz how to order in japan translators koto china vacation History jared cook World War Two finalist drinking in japan author signing no longer human Translation chinese book tour behavior Japanese aesthetics Asian Studies world literature today visitor mieko kanai book reviews interfaith photography Chinese Astrology the lion king forty seven samurai traditional japanese instrument frank beyer zen monks wife' jing liu VIZ china What You Don’t Know, What You Need to Know— A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language paul mccarthy manga haiku performance a memoir of sensei and me sensei chinese comics ex pat literature japan restaurant japan ravel center of east asian studies buddhist priest japanese instruments evil Second World War fantasy literature journal of a zen monk's wife janet pocrobba damian flanagan kinokuniya event japanese craft book reading classic Ukiyo-e death gallery awa pottery literary review Shoah wife guide brad hawley Children's Literature hooked cross holden caufield learning in japan the millions my year of dirt and water huffington post author talk tk nakagaki donald richie journal of a zen monk nazi memoir amys guide to bes tbehavior in japan Japanese holidays a shameful life suicide religion rebecca otowa travel manners etiquette walt disney gratitude in japan travel etiquette japan manners politics and prose Japanese art Children's Books the fourth string benjamin franklin award Chinese history japanese etiquette the fourth string a memoir of sensei and me yukio mishima japanese drunk Spring Festival traditional japanese music diymfa japanese manners UCLA japanese to english nara mark gibeau journal' monks wife rachel manley zen monk book publicity polite literary prize holocaust disney swastika takuma sminkey book blurb ancient symbol the inland sea Poetry japan book Interview gaijin pot Basho's Narrow Road reviews japan custom japan culture washington dc leonard koren china travel memoir writing kris kosaka Art/Design tokyo zen monk in japan 47 ronin the silver spoon japan travel guide american shamisen travel Japan verticle Japan japan book review PEN AWARD shaimsen illustration memior The Colorado Review Year of the Dog china smart japan memoir university of chicago expat in japan nova scotia japanese books in english forty seven ronin 2020 Olympics china book traditional japanese instrumenet podcast review IBPA simba buddhist swastika comic history books Anime/Manga/Comics author tour suehiro maruo seppuku hitlers cross benjamin franklin awards japanese book lucille cara best behavior in japan Basho journal tea garden japanese translation japanese music forewrod reviews indies foreword reviews ningen shikkaku osaka diy mfa new release china where igo book award Culture memoir, tracy franz, zen monk, buddhist understandind china through comics kyoto Christianity japan behavior kyoto journal japan books World War II author wanderlust bushido lesley university dirt and water miswest book review Korea buddhist symbols alan moore lions roar chapters comics michael emmerich huffpost how to travel in japan henry kiyama hate the japan times amys guide to best behavior in japan hitler namethetranslator japan trip literature zen buddhism
RSS