Without the massive popularity of Osamu Tezuka's trademark creation Astro Boy, the manga and anime industries might look very different today. By taking the hot topic of the time --- nuclear power --- and marrying it with a heroic child character and the influence of the Walt Disney cartoons that were flooding into postwar Japan, Tezuka not only secured his reputation as "the father of manga," but created an enduring icon of action and adventure.
The book also had a very specific influence on one of the greatest mangaka of the 21st century, Naoki Urasawa, who retold one of the classic Astro Boy tales in Pluto, but succeeded in making it very much his own.
For the past few days, Osamu Tezuka fans have been patiently waiting to see what secret reveal lied at the conclusion of a countdown site teasing what appeared to be a mash-up game featuring a number of Tezuka's creations. With nothing but silhouettes of more recognizable characters like Astro Boy and Black Jack, a list of mangaka and game creators contributing and the idea to "Trust the Ministry," there wasn't a lot to go on.
Today, all the truths have been outed, and Project Atom unveiled the Kickstarter campaign for Astro Boy: Edge of Time, a new digital collectible card game that takes place in one world wherein all the Tezuka characters live. There's just one problem; Astro Boy's gone missing.
Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're taking a look at the long-running, ground-breaking series by Osamu Tezuka, god of manga and father of anime: Astro Boy! As both a manga and an anime, Astro Boy is one of the earliest and most successful examples of Japanese comics and animation to be introduced to American audiences. In this video, we look at the history of Astro Boy, from his earliest appearances as a secondary character in another comic to various tributes to this classic of a genre to his modern day role as a Japanese ambassador.
The great thing about having a long-running franchise about robots is that when it comes time for the inevitable reboot, you can just go ahead and put the word "Reboot" right there in the title and come away with something that is both accurate and thematically appropriate. That, at least, seems to be the reasoning behind Astro Boy Reboot, the upcoming animated series that returns Astro Boy to the small screen for a planned 26-episode run.
Now, we've gotten a look at the poster for the series, and along with a spiffy new design for the main character that includes what appears to be the polo shirt of the future, we're also getting a look at a few of the other main characters.
To say that we could all learn a few things from Osamu Tezuka is underselling it quite a bit. In a 40-year career that saw him become one of the world's most prolific and beloved comics creators --- not to mention one that was so influential that he earned the nickname "The God of Manga" from readers across the world --- he produced some of the most memorable stories in the medium. Now, it seems like there's a push to get more of his work published on this side of the Pacific, and the latest part of that is coming from Udon Entertainment with two hardcover collections of his sketches and designs.
This week, Udon released Osamu Tezuka: Anime Character Illustrations and Osamu Tezuka: Manga and Anime Character Sketchbook, totaling 368 pages of his designs for projects like Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, and more. The books are available now, but if you want to see what's involved, check out a preview of both below!
On the off chance that your birthday party for manga legend Osamu Tezuka has lasted two weeks with no sign of stopping and you're looking for a way to finally cap it off, then I have some good news. This week saw the digital debut of a whole bunch of Tezuka's manga on Comixlology. Released by Platinum Manga, DMP's imprint for high-end Tezuka projects, there are over a dozen volumes in all, covering everything from the relatively well-known Unico to Tezuka's spin on Treasure Island and a world-traveling adventure complete with samurai and pirates to space westerns to a story about a cat that has all of Astro Boy's powers, which one assumes includes a machine gun in his butt.
There are a lot of comic book creators who could be considered "the greats." They're the ones who helped to shape genres, whose stories resonate decades after they were published, or who produced staggering amounts of high-quality work that inspired fans and creators alike. Among those, there are the rare creators who did all that and more, the ones who belong to a tier that goes beyond just "great." They're the ones who have defined the medium as a whole, the ones who make it impossible to imagine a world of comics without them.
Osamu Tezuka, born this day in 1928, is one of those. In a career that spanned 44 years and sparked the Golden Age of Japanese comics and a revolution in animation, he influenced Japanese culture on an unimaginable scale, and gave fans all over the world a very good reason to call him the God of Manga.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
The Halloween season is upon us, and even though any time is always a good time to think about Dracula, this is probably an especially good time, so today we’re going to be talking about comics’ best Draculas!
Earlier this year, DMP started a series of Kickstarter campaigns designed to bring some of legendary creator Osamu Tezuka's stories back into print in America, including classics like Unico and more obscure titles like Storm Fairy. Today, it launched its latest project, Wonder 3, a book that might just have the most intriguing premise of the bunch.
Set in 196X, a year that finds Earth ravaged by a massive war to the point where a group of aliens are debating whether to save the planet or destroy it. To make their decision, they send a team of three investigators, disguised as animals, along with a gigantic bomb and a time limit of one year to determine whether or not we're worth saving.
If you've read one Astro Boy story, then the odds are pretty good that it's 1964's "The Greatest Robot On Earth." It's considered to be a high point not only for Astro Boy, but for Osamu Tezuka's career, a massive, sweeping story full of Earth-shattering fight scenes and a villain who, despite his horrible acts, isn't entirely evil. It was even revived as the basis for 2003's Pluto, one of the greatest comics of all time, where Naoki Urasawa retold the story as a murder mystery from an entirely new perspective. It is, by any measure, one of the all time greats.
But let's be real here: Why would anyone ever talk about that comic when the very next volume has a story where Astro Boy fights Lord Satan in an amusement park full of robot deathtraps?
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