"Manga is virtual. Manga is sentiment. Manga is resistance. Manga is bizarre. Manga is pathos. Manga is destruction. Manga is arrogance. Manga is love. Manga is kitsch. Manga is sense of wonder. Manga is … there is no conclusion yet."
Osamu Tezuka, a.k.a. The Father of Manga
, is widely credited as the
originator of much, if not most, of what visually distinguishes Japanese comics
. His prolific output and activity throughout the years has been legendary in the industry, with only a fraction having even been translated for foreign consumption. He created over 700 comics with more than 150,000 pages total, the second TV anime ever made, and the very first shoujo
. His production spans more or less every conceivable genre, and is sometimes so complex it does it in the same manga
If you have the afternoon free you can check out some (incomplete) lists of his works on That Other Wiki
: manga here and anime there
of Japanese visual arts (just that instead of being inspired by blues, he was inspired by Disney
and Terry Toons
, among other stars from The Golden Age of Animation
Re-uses quite a few of his own characters, as well as making Expys
, see this page
on That Other Wiki
for a detailed list. If you want an overview of his work that you can carry on hand, check out the book "The Art of Osamu Tezuka". His works include:
- Alabaster (His least known and most controversial work. A surprisingly bloody, violent series with racial overtones. Subverts most of his other recurring characters: for example, the classic 'Ideal Hero' type from his other series is a narcissistic and sadistic rapist here.)
- The Amazing 3 (Wonder 3 in Japan)
- Ambassador Magma
- Apollo's Song
- Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu, the second anime series ever produced and the earliest popular one)
- Ayako (Another extremely dark work revolving around an especially heinous case of BreakTheCutie)
- Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature
- Big X
- Black Jack
- Blue Blink
- The Book Of Human Insects
- Buddha (a highly embellished biography of Buddha)
- The Crater which is now being offered on Kickstarter as a limited, 2000 copy run with 890 or o sold.
- Jungle Emperor (aka Kimba, The White Lion. Infamous for the accusations of plagiarism its Fan Dumb has made towards Disney's The Lion King... Despite Tezuka himself wishing Disney would remake it.)
- Lion Books
- Marvelous Melmo
- Metropolis (One of his earlier works, although the anime adaptation was produced after his death.)
- MW (A suspense-thriller centered around the twisted relationship between Father Garai, a guilt-ridden, secretly gay delinquent-turned-priest and his lover, Yuuki Michio, an amoral monster — and occasional Villainous Crossdresser — who plans to cause The End of the World as We Know It. Today it is chiefly remembered for the well-known but unsubstantiated Fanon theory that the main villain of Naoki Urasawa's celebrated Monster series was inspired by Michio.)
- Ode To Kirihito
- Phoenix (Was meant to be his grand masterwork, alternating between tales of the distant past and the distant future until the two converged at the present. This work is, sadly, a victim of Author Existence Failure.)
- Princess Knight
- Senya Ichiya Monogatari, a +2-hour long anime film loosely based on the Arabian Nights. First known Hentai anime film.
- The Three Eyed One
- Triton Of The Sea, also to be published in US thanks to Kickstarter
- Unico, which was even published in the US thanks to Kickstarter
- Yuusha Dan
Tropes used frequently in Tezuka's works include:
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: And how!
- Creator Thumbprint: Medical knowledge (Tezuka was a trained surgeon), animals and nature.
- Crossdresser: Pick a Tezuka character, any female Tezuka character. Yeah, there's a 70% chance that they have crossdressed at some point.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Constantly averted. Almost all of his younger male characters have long eyelashes and some (i.e. Kimba the White Lion, Astro Boy) even end up looking feminine.
- This was even used as a plot point in Dororo. the eponymous sidekick is a girl. She has long eyelashes and other feminine features, but you would probably dismiss these clues because of Tezuka's style of drawing young boys.
- Doing It for the Art: If he liked, he could be a doctor and have an stable career thanks to his studies, even so, he drew manga.
- Expy: As mentioned above.
- Famous Last Words: "I'm begging you, let me work!"/"Please, let me keep working!" The context was a nurse taking away his pens and paper, insisting he needed rest as he was on his deathbed with stomach cancer, but he will always be remembered screaming it at the gods, pleading with them for enough time for one last book for his fans to enjoy...
- Fan Art: He loved the Disney Duck family stories by Carl Barks and frequently sent greeting cards to him with his own drawings of them interacting with his own characters.
- From Clones To Genre: His work almost necessitated it, as he codified so many manga tropes, others had to make other tropes in order to stand out.
- Green Aesop: Lots and lots, especially Unico, Astro Boy, and Kimba.
- Nice Hat: His beret.
- Raygun Gothic: Most of his works are known for this aesthetic.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Varies depending on the work.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Obviously Astro Boy, but also Metropolis and others.
- The Workaholic: As reflected by his aforementioned Famous Last Words, the man himself was the absolute apotheosis of Japan's legendary workaholism. He spent virtually every waking hour from early adulthood right up until the day he died drawing manga. Practically the only leisure time he allowed himself was watching films, although it did give him a chance to see what his competitors in the entertainment industry were up to and gave him a source of inspiration, as many of his works played off themes from his favorite movies.
- World of Ham: Subtlety wasn't something he was too interested in.