Apollo's Song is a manga created by Osamu Tezuka. It was originally serialized in Shukan Shōnen Kingu in Japan in 1970 (1970/04/26-1970/11/22).
It tells the story of a boy named Shogo Chikaishi, who grows up lonely, bitter and angry because of his mother's hatred for him. This leads Shogo into a pathological hatred of love and sex, killing animals as they mate or nurture their young. After murdering a hen, he is arrested and taken to a mental institute.
When he receives electric shock therapy, Shogo gets an out-of-body experience and meets the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena. For his hatred of love, she condemns him to be reincarnated in different timelines, suffering pain and heartbreak, in order for him to find the true meaning of love.
Through the manga, Shogo encounters love as a soldier in Nazi Germany, as a pilot stranded on an island with a beautiful photographer, and as a revolutionary in a far-future world ruled by synthetic humanoids, only for it to end in tragedy every time. In the modern world, an encounter with a nymphomaniac and Shogo's murderous hatred of love cause more deaths, forcing him to go on the run from the police, where he shacks up with a female athlete named Hiromi, who puts him through a fierce training regiment in order to become a marathon runner... and, almost by accident, teaches him to fall in love. But even as Shogo learns his lesson, fate is not kind to him or his lover...
- Abusive Parents: Shogo's mother. She had him very young, so she is bitter towards him, mostly ignoring him and tossing money at him occasionally to get him to leave her alone. During one of her clients visiting, she catches Shogo hiding behind the fridge and beats him with a broom until he's covered in bruises and crying. Shogo is clearly traumatized.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother: Shogo's mother was pretty young when she had him. Lampshaded by her co-worker at the bar
- Author Tract - During the 2030 chapter, Tezuka manages to squeeze in a Green Aesop alongside the series' usual one of "Love is painful and complicated."
- Bad People Abuse Animals: Shogo has abused animals since he was a kid, from cats to butterflies.
- The Bartender: Shogo's mother is this as her regular job, though she looks, acts and dresses like a High-Class Call Girl, and during a conversation with one of her usual clients, he offers to take her on a vacation
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished - Naomi in Chapter 2 is brutally attacked by many animals at once, but the most she ever shows for it are some scratches.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Elisa... She loses her parents to the Nazis, is gang raped by a group of soldiers after Shogo helps her escape the concentration camp, and is not even allowed a peaceful death, since the soldiers that find her and Shogo together take her take her naked body away, intending to use her body for unsavory purposes.
- Crapsack World - Earth in the year 2030. Pollution kills most humans on the planet, leading to synthetic beings taking control of Earth and making humans their slaves and guinea pigs.
- Defiled Forever: When Elisa is gang raped by the Nazi soldiers, she believes she isn't good enough for Shogo anymore. Shogo doesn't care, and they hold hands and lay together until they die from their injuries.
- Naomi tries to kill Shogo because of this, believing her fiance will leave her.
- Downer Ending: Not only do Shogo and Hitomi die, Athena punishes him to endure pain and suffering whenever he finds love for the rest of eternity.
- Everyone Has Standards: Shogo's mother may be an abusive bitch, but even she didn't want Shogo to get hit by a car.
- Freudian Excuse - Shogo's abusive mother is part of the reason he hates love, as well as seeing other kids being treated much more affectionately than he ever was.
- Love Hurts - Pretty much the whole point of this series.
- Love Makes You Crazy - Didn't help that Shogo had sociopathic tendencies to begin with.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Shogo has no idea who is father is, not helped by the fact that his mother insists each one of her clients is his father.
- No Swastikas
- Really Gets Around: Shogo's mother, who is implied to be something of a High-Class Call Girl.
- Reincarnation Romance
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog - Shogo and Naomi's love affairs always end in tragedy.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss - Shogo and Naomi in "No Man's Land".
- Son of a Whore - Shogo.
- Star-Crossed Lovers - Shogo and Hiromi in their various incarnations.
- Also a young couple whose love was not permitted by their families. The girl survives the suicide attempt, however, but drowns herself a few pages later.
- Time Travel - The main plot.
- Tsundere: Naomi
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid - Shogo.
- Uterine Replicator - Used by the Syntheans in the 2030 arc.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"? - The Synthean Queen in 2030 demands to see what human sex is like. It doesn't end well.