The Osamu Tezuka Story
A Life in Manga and Anime
Toshio Ban, Tezuka Productions, Frederik L. Schodt, translator, Stone Bridge Press, Softcover $29.95 (928pp), 978-1-61172-025-9
Osamu Tezuka was a towering figure in Japanese manga and anime, referred to as the God of Manga and Japan’s Walt Disney.
At over 860 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.