Foreword Reviews

The Osamu Tezuka Story

A Life in Manga and Anime

2016 INDIES Winner
Gold, Graphic Novels & Comics (Graphic Novels & Comics)

Osamu Tezuka was a towering figure in Japanese manga and anime, referred to as the God of Manga and Japan’s Walt Disney. Despite his importance in the development of these fields, Tezuka’s name and work are not well known outside his native country, a situation that Toshio Ban and translator Frederik L. Schodt seek to remedy with the monumental manga biography The Osamu Tezuka Story.

At over 900 pages plus appendices, The Osamu Tezuka Story might seem imposing, but while the account is thorough and well-detailed, Ban always moves it along engagingly, making use of one of Tezuka’s characters, Mustachio, to narrate. There are amusing scenes of editors attempting to monitor Tezuka and ensure that he meets the deadlines for their manga publications, but when Ban shows Tezuka escaping from windows or taking a train to a distant hotel for some solitude, it’s not just exciting and funny, it also demonstrates the tremendous pressure Tezuka was under to meet his commitments. Beginning with Tezuka’s childhood, the book illuminates the critical ingredients of his career, including his medical degree, his business ventures, his passion for experimentation, and, above all, his relentless work ethic.

Drawing on Tezuka’s own manga biographies (I Am A Manga Artist, and others) as well as outside references, Ban and his partners have created a landmark guide to the life and accomplishments of a master.

Reviewed by Peter Dabbene

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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