With the animation of Astro Boy in 1963, Osamu Tezuka went from manga mastermind to anime pioneer, and down the decades since, he’s captivated and inspired manga fans and creators in their swathes. While most anime aficionados could recall the stories Tezuka brought into the world, like Black Jack‘s 1973 Shonen Jump serialisation, the tales of his own life have remained obscure to all but the most devoted. But Toshio Ban, Tezuka Productions, translator Frederik Schodt and publishers Stone Bridge Press have changed this all for the better.
The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime is a biography of the “God of Manga”, told in over 900 pages and in the manga medium it was destined for. Illustrated by Toshio Ban, who first joined Tezuka Productions as a freelancer in 1974 and worked as both Tezuka’s assistant and sub-chief of manga production, the single-volume English edition of the original Japanese three-volume series details Tezuka’s life from grade school onwards. But not only that, it explores the evolution of manga itself, and the birth of anime from Japan’s post-war “economic miracle”.
The book is available to buy now from Amazon UK, having been released on July 19th. You can find more information on the Stone Bridge Press website, where The Osamu Tezuka Story is described as follows:
A documentary manga biography of the influential artist and the birth and evolution of manga and anime in Japan
This graphic-format biography of Osamu Tezuka—Japan’s “God of Manga”—looks at one of the twentieth century’s great creative artists (Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Black Jack). It is also an anecdotal study of the evolution of Japan’s early manga and anime business and its heroes. A never-before-seen popular culture history of postwar Japan, it is sure to fascinate fans and anyone interested in manga, anime, and the potential of the graphic storytelling medium.
Toshio Ban joined Tezuka Productions in 1974 as one of Tezuka’s assistants. After working for a period as a free-lancer, he later re-joined Tezuka Productions in 1978 as the sub-chief of manga production for magazines, supporting Tezuka’s creative work until the end.
Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd., is the now-legendary company founded by Osamu Tezuka in 1968 to produce his own manga and anime. In the wake of Tezuka’s death in 1989, it has continued as a family enterprise, responsible for the development, production, merchandising, licensing, and distribution of his many manga and anime creations, including books, films, and characters.
Frederik L. Schodt is a translator, conference interpreter, and award-winning author of books on Japanese history and pop culture. He often served as Osamu Tezuka’s English interpreter and was a consultant on one of his animated features and a TV series.