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Osamu Tezuka 1951 Scan10008-2.JPG

"Manga is virtual. Manga is sentiment. Manga is resistance. Manga is bizarre. Manga is pathos. Manga is destruction. Manga is arrogance. Manga is love. Manga is kitsch. Manga is sense of wonder. Manga is … there is no conclusion yet."


AKA The Father of Manga

The "god of manga", Osamu Tezuka is widely credited as the originator of much, if not most, of what visually distinguishes Japanese comics and animation. His prolific output and activity throughout the years has been legendary in the industry, with only a fraction having even been translated for foreign consumption. He created over 700 manga with more than 150,000 pages total, the second TV anime ever made, and one of the very first Shoujo manga. His production spans more or less every conceivable genre, and is sometimes so complex it does it in the same manga.

If you have the afternoon free you can check out some (incomplete) lists of his works on That Other Wiki: manga here and anime there.

The Elvis of Japanese visual arts (just that instead of being inspired by blues, he was inspired by Disney, Fleischer and Terry Toons, among other stars from The Golden Age of Animation).

Re-used quite a few of his own characters, as well as making Expys of them, [1] see this page on That Other Wiki for a detailed list. If you want an overview of his work that you can carry on hand, check out the book "The Art of Osamu Tezuka".

His works include:

Tropes he uses frequently include:

  • Bleached Underpants - Not only he did make the aforementioned Senya Ichiya Monogatari and Cleopatra Queen of Sex, but when his desk work was unlocked by his daughter after his death, he was discovered to have drawn LOTS of mature-themed art.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: And how!
  • Creator Thumbprint: Medical knowledge (Tezuka was a trained surgeon), animals and nature.
  • Cross Dresser: Pick a Tezuka character, any female Tezuka character. Yeah, there's a 70% chance that they have crossdressed at some point.
    • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Constantly averted. Almost all of his younger male characters have long eyelashes and some (i.e. Kimba the White Lion, Astro Boy) even end up looking feminine.
  • Expy: As mentioned above.
  • Doing It for the Art: if he liked, he could be a doctor and have an stable career thanks to his studies, even so, he drew manga.
  • Famous Last Words: "I'm begging you, let me work!"/"Please, let me keep working!" The context was a nurse taking away his pens and paper, insisting he needed rest as he was on his deathbed with stomach cancer, but he will always be remembered screaming it at the gods, pleading with them for enough time for one last book for his fans to enjoy...
  • From Clones to Genre: His work almost necessitated it, as he codified so many manga tropes, others had to make other tropes in order to stand out.
  • Green Aesop: Lots and lots, especially Unico, Astro Boy, and Kimba the White Lion.
  • Nice Hat: His beret.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Varies depending on the work.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Obviously, Astro Boy, but also Metropolis and others.
  • The Workaholic: As reflected by his aforementioned Famous Last Words, the man himself was the absolute apotheosis of Japan's legendary workaholism. He spent virtually every waking hour from early adulthood right up until the day he died drawing manga. Practically the only leisure time he allowed himself was watching films, although it did give him a chance to see what his competitors in the entertainment industry were up to and gave him a source of inspiration, as many of his works played off themes from his favorite movies.
  • World of Ham: Subtlety wasn't something he was too interested in.
  1. via his "Star System", inspired by the Hollywood Star System