World’s Largest Auction of Anime Animation Art Breaks $2.1 Million Record at Heritage

The world’s first auction dedicated to the art of anime set multiple world records at Heritage Auctions, June 25-27, 2021, as bidders drove sale prices of animation cels from the genre’s most iconic and award-winning films to more than $2.1 million.

The Art of Anime and Everything Cool Auction attracted a record 2,853 bidders from around the globe and they were impressed with what they found: The sale boasted sell-through rates of 100 percent by value and 99.8 percent by lots sold. Record-breaking prices were set for collectible cels from films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery ServiceAkira.

“The hits and big moments in this sale came from all over,” Heritage Auctions Animation Art Director Jim Lentz said. “Record breaking prices were seen for lots from Astro Boy, Dragon Ball, Ghost in the Shell, Pokemon, Vampire Hunter D, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and all the films from Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki. We are already planning ‘The Art of Anime and Everything Cool II!'”

Outside of Japan and in English, “anime” is colloquial for Japanese animation and refers specifically to animation produced in Japan. This cornerstone of the inaugural auction was the famed Glad Anime Museum Collection, created by Mike Glad, the photographer and Oscar-nominated film producer who amassed original art by some of anime’s greatest creators.

A perfect cel setup with key master background from My Neighbor Totoro (1988), depicting characters Mei and Satsuki drew 69 bids before it went for $84,000 – nearly 17 times its pre-auction estimate. The hand-painted original production cel setup can be seen at the 48:13 mark of the beloved Studio Ghibli classic. This stunning piece is rendered masterfully and attributed to the acclaimed art director Kazuo Oga, who was challenged by director Hayao Miyazaki to raise his standards for the film.

Also racing far beyond its pre-auction expectations was a production cel setup from Akira, featuring a pulse-pounding scene featuring the character Kaneda (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988), which brought a winning bid of $78,000 against a pre-auction estimate of $5,000. This extremely rare key master setup from the sequence depicting Kaneda on his iconic red motorcycle, can be seen at the 1:52:48 mark of the film and on page 25 of the German Film Institute’s gallery exhibition book Ga-Netchu! The Manga Anime Syndrome. Attributed to art director Toshiharu Mizutani, these vivid and rich futuristic urban backgrounds are a defining feature of the film, and complete Key Master setups like this one are extraordinarily rare.

Bringing the same $78,000 result was Akira Kaneda Production Cel Sequence of 4 with Key Master Pan Background (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988), a hand-painted original production cel sequence presented on its jaw-dropping Key Master pan background from the masterpiece Akira. This incredibly rare sequence, a crown jewel in any anime collection, can be seen on page 52 of the German Film Institute’s gallery exhibition book Ga-Netchu! The Manga Anime Syndrome.

My Neighbor Totoro Mei, Satsuki and Catbus Production Cel Key Master Setup (Studio Ghibli, 1988) prompted 45 bids before it reached $72,000 – nearly 29 times its pre-auction estimate. This cel captures the unforgettable moment from the climactic scenes of the film, in which Satsuki finds her missing sister, Mei, with the help of the Catbus from Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro.

An Akira Kaneda Production Cel Setup with Master Background (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988) drew a winning bid of $63,000 against an estimate of $5,000. The cels are presented on a detailed Master background showcasing an elaborate and futuristic cyberpunk urban sprawl prevalent throughout the film. The background is rendered in gouache on two layers, and the vivid and atmospheric settings and backgrounds of the film are attributed to Toshiharu Mizutani.

Other anime highlights include:

  • My Neighbor Totoro Mei, Chibi-Totoro and Chu Totoro Production Cel with Production Background (Studio Ghibli, 1988): $48,000
  • Akira Kaneda Production Cel (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988): $48,000
  • Akira Kaneda and Kei Production Cel Setup with Key Master Background (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988): $31,2000
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service Kiki Production Cel Setup with Key Master Background (Studio Ghibli, 1989): $30,000

The Art of Anime Auction Brings Genre’s Finest Artwork to Heritage Auctions

Production animation cels and backgrounds from the most critically-acclaimed and culturally-influential anime films, television series and characters to headline a three-day auction event June 25-27, 2021 at Heritage Auctions. The Art of Anime and Everything Cool Auction is the first of its kind held by any major U.S. auction house to pay homage to the craft of anime animation art.

“With 928 lots, this will be the world’s largest auction to feature top-grade anime, manga and even classic American animation,” said Jim Lentz, Director of Animation Art at Heritage. “From feature films to television series, the sale is packed with iconic scenes and characters.”

The auction features top selections from the Glad Anime Museum Collection, created by Mike Glad, the photographer and Oscar-nominated film producer who amassed original art by some of anime’s greatest creators. Unlike any other, the incredible Japanese animation collection has traveled from museum to museum globally and is now one of the single most important anime animation art collections ever brought to market.

One of the prime highlights from the collection is a stunning Akira Kaneda production cel sequence of four on its key master pan background (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1988). Measuring 52 inches by 12-1/2″ (132.8cm x 31.75cm), the sequence is a hand-painted masterpiece from the groundbreaking and pivotal anime masterpiece featuring the key character Kaneda in an action-packed motorcycle moment from the climactic and harrowing final scenes of the film.

A close second is an action close-up of Akira’s characters Kei and Kaneda in a production cel setup with key master background, from the Glad Anime Museum Collection. The film is deemed culturally important because it almost singlehandedly brought anime into the limelight for Western audiences with its American release in 1990. Several lots from Akira are on offer in the auction, including more motorcycle scenes.

Auction highlights include important production animation cels used in the making of award-winning feature films and work from the artform’s most respected filmmakers.

Osamu Tezuka

Akira may never have happened if it wasn’t for anime trailblazer Osamu Tezuka, whose Astro Boy series defined the entire artistic movement known as anime beginning in the 1960s. Tezuka, often revered as the “God of Manga,” revolutionized animation in Japan, and used Astro Boy as a conduit to address heavy issues like war and intolerance.

Several examples from the series are on offer including an amazing hand-inked and hand-painted original production cel from the classic Astro Boy series from the mid-1960s. An important model sheet from the same period depicts Astro Boy and additional characters such as Astro Girl, Dr. Packidermus J. Elefun and Victor Percival Pompous.

Hayao Miyazaki

The artwork by the Japanese animator, director, producer, screenwriter, author, and manga artist is well represented.

My Neighbor Totoro Mei, Chibi-Totoro and Chū Totoro production cel (Studio Ghibli, 1988) is from a key scene in the critically-acclaimed Miyazaki-directed animated masterwork. Lead character Totoro is recognized as one of the most popular characters in Japanese animation and the film is regularly ranked high in lists of the most important world films made.

A production cel setup with key master background from Kiki’s Delivery Service (Studio Ghibli, 1989) may be seen at the 1:14:49 mark of the animated feature film. This beautiful, hand-painted original production cel setup of the titular witch Kiki depicts a solemn scene as she wrestles with her self-doubt on her journey to adulthood. The scene captures Miyazaki’s atmospheric, extended quiet moments which set his films apart from all others.

A beautifully executed production cel with production background and animation drawing (Studio Ghibli, 1997) from Miyazaki’s critical and commercial blockbuster Princess Mononoke is on offer from the Glad Museum Collection. Prince Ashitaka is awakened by his steed Yakul in the hand-painted artwork. Seen at approximately the 1:05:51 mark of the film, the cel is likely to spark intense bidder interest for a piece of memorabilia from one of the greatest anime films ever made.

Iconic Characters From Iconic Series

First and foremost, a hand-painted original production cel setup of the eponymous God-like being Genocyber, measures a huge 15-1/2 inches by 12-1/5 inches (39.37cm x 31.75cm). Seen at the 37:34 mark of the first episode. The cyberpunk sci fi/horror Genocyber is perhaps best known for its controversially extreme graphic violence, and as a result it has developed a dedicated cult following since its release.

The Glad Anime Museum Collection gives us a jaw-dropping production cel setup with its key master background from the well-known sci-fi anthology masterpiece Robot Carnival segment titled “Franken’s Gears” (A.P.P.P., 1987). Also from the museum, a spectacular action sequence production cel from Dragon Ball GT (Toei Animation, circa 1989-96) depicting character Piccolo attacking a monster is offered with the animation drawing and layout drawing group of four.

Sailor Moon (Usagi Tsukino), perhaps the most recognizable fictional manga superheroine from the classic hit series of the same name, appears in the auction. A stunning and iconic scene of Sailor Moon narrowly dodging an attack from the wicked tree-like Cardian Leshy (Toei Animation, circa 1992-97) in an astounding and large hand-painted original production cel. A production cel closeup of Sailor Moon (Toei Animation, circa 1992-97) is an eponymous example of the charming, expressive character reactions that define anime’s distinctive style on its key master background.

A fantastic hand-painted original production cel from Mamoru Oshii’s cyberpunk masterpiece Ghost in the Shell (Production I.G, 1995) makes a rare appearance at auction. The highly-influential film was credited by A-list director James Cameron as “the first truly adult animation film to reach a level of literary and visual excellence.” The cel may be seen early in the film at the 12:38 mark.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

Ninja Scroll production cel with master background featuring characters Jubei and Kagero (Madhouse, 1993)

A spectacular hand-painted original production cel featuring Ash and his team of adorable pocket monsters from the hit feature film Pokemon: The First Movie (OLM, 1998/2000), depicting characters Pikachu, Squirtle and Bulbasaur is from the Glad Museum Collection.

An intense production cel with production background and animation drawing of the character Gohan, as he’s about to shock everyone with a very memorable transformation into Super Saiyan 2, from the fan favorite series Dragon Ball Z (Toei Animation, c. 1989-96)

Heritage Auctions’ The Art of Anime and Everything Cool Auction is June 25-27, 2021, with worldwide bidding available on

Harvey Awards to Induct Osamu Tezuka Into Hall of Fame

The Harvey Awards, which honors outstanding work in comics and sequential art, has announced that the awards will induct “God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka into its Hall of Fame, alongside American illustrator Jill Thompson, and the four founders of African-American comics collective Milestone Media.

Tezuka was a prolific manga artist who drew numerous influential works, including Astro Boy, Jungle Emperor Leo, Black Jack, Princess Knight, Dororo, and Phoenix. These works would go on to inspire following generations in manga storytelling and art, which would earn him the moniker “The God of Manga.” Equally significant is his founding of the Mushi Production studio, where he would helm the production of anime adaptations of much of his manga, and other original productions. The most significant of these was Astro Boy, based on Tezuka’s manga, which became Japan’s first half-hour animated series. The show pioneered animation techniques and production methods that gave rise to the earliest aesthetics and styles of television anime.

Unlike the Eisner Awards and other awards in the North American comic book industry, the Harvey Awards are nominated and selected by the comic book professionals themselves.

The Harvey Awards will have a digital event this year, and the ceremony will have a livestream during New York Comic Con’s Metaverse digital event on October 8-11, 2020.

Source: ANN

Digital Manga Cancels the Release of Seven Bonus Osamu Tezuka Manga Originally Announced with the Wonder 3 Kickstarter

Digital Manga Inc. has announced that it is cancelling publication of the planned seven bonus manga that it originally announced it would publish alongside the release of Osamu Tezuka’s Wonder 3 manga. The bonus manga include The Thief Inoue Akikazu, Yakeppachi’s Maria (omnibus), Dust 8 (omnibus), The Euphrates Tree, Say Hello to Bookila! (omnibus), Metamorphose, and Ambassador Magma (omnibus).

Digital Manga Inc. did state however that it will still publish the Wonder 3 manga in an omnibus format. The company said it is ready to continue with producing the physical version of the manga, and plan to ship it out by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Digital Manga Inc. also stated that its president Hikaru Sasahara met with Tezuka Productions in November 2019, and Tezuka Productions allowed the company to continue with Wonder 3 but denied production for the other seven manga.

The company will process refunds for those who backed the campaign for the additional seven manga releases, but will still charge for Wonder 3 plus shipping.

Digital Manga Inc. launched the Kickstarter campaign for Wonder 3 in March 2017, and the campaign ended in April 2017 after raising US$82,137.

Source: ANN

Osamu Tezuka’s The Vampires Inspires New Manga Set in Modern Kyoto

The fifth issue of Micro Magazine Publishing Company’s Tezucomi Osamu Tezuka tribute magazine began serializing Bokutengō’s new Kyōjū Monogatari (Kyoto Beast Story) manga on February 5, 2019. The series is inspired by Tezuka’s The Vampires manga.

The manga is set in modern Kyoto (as opposed to Tokyo in the earlier manga) and centers on aspiring manga creator Ako Kitayama. One day, while on a train station platform, she witnesses a battle between a “hunter” and another young man who can also transform. She decides to use the incident as story material for her manga. Ako submits the storyboard draft for the manga to her editor. But not only does he reject the manga, he says “He told me to bring you,” delivering Ako to a young man who suddenly appears in the room. The man takes Ako to the head of his clan.

The first part of The Vampires ran in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine from 1966 to 1967, followed by the second part in Shueisha’s now defunct Shōnen Book magazine from 1968 to 1969.

The Tezucomi magazine celebrates the 90th anniversary since the pioneering manga creator Osamu Tezuka’s birth in 1928. The magazine launched in October 2018 and will run monthly for 18 issues.

Source: ANN

Contents Announced for the First TezuComi Tribute Magazine

The Micro Magazine Publishing Company has revealed the contents for the upcoming first issue of its TezuComi magazine, a tribute to the work of manga artist Osamu Tezuka.

The magazine will include the following tribute manga by Japanese artists:

  • “Search and Destroy” (based on Dororo) by Atsushi Kaneko
  • “Shinyaku Ribbon no Kishi” (based on Princess Knight/Ribbon no Kishi) by Bureidō (pen name for Mikado Muramasa, Robo Miyamoto, and Toshikiri Hamamura)
  • “Ayako” (based on the manga Ayako, but spelled differently) by Kubukurin
  • “Ohno! Mamoru-kun” (based on Ambassador Magma) by Kotobuki Shiriagari
  • “Chokotto Dracula” (based on Don Dracula) by Enokids
  • “Toraware no Eden Prime Rose” (based on Prime Rose) by Sōichirō
  • “Wada Radio no Hi no Tori” (based on Phoenix/Hi no Tori) by Radio Wada
  • “Osamu no Kuni no Alice” (Alice in Osamu Land) by Kentarō Ueno
  • “Guruguru Gyūn” by Arusen Shimure

Brazilian cartoonist Mauricio de Sousa will also contribute a comic titled “Princess Knight,” while American writer Joe Kelly is collaborating with Spanish artist Ken Niimura for “Heartless,” based on Black Jack.

In addition, the magazine will publish the prose story “Aoi Ribbon to Gin no Kami” (Blue Ribbon and Silver Hair) by writer Fū Furuse and Ringo Takanashi. Livedoor founder Takafumi Horie will contribute an essay titled “Manga no Kamisama ga Oshietekureta Koto.” (Things the God of Manga Taught Me), and Rumiko Tezuka, the daughter of Osamu Tezuka, will contribute a conversation column.

Finally, the magazine will include selections from Tezuka’s original work, including The Phoenix: Chapter of Ho-o, Atom Konjaku Monogatarishū, and Black Jack.

The first issue will ship in Japan on October 5, 2018. The magazine celebrates the 90th anniversary since the pioneering manga creator Osamu Tezuka’s birth in 1928. It will run monthly for 18 issues.

Source: ANN

Staff and Cast Announcement for the Dororo Anime

A staff and cast announcement has been made for the forthcoming second anime adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo manga.

Kazuhiro Furuhashi is directing the series, and Yasuko Kobayashi is overseeing the series scripts. MAPPA and Tezuka Productions are animating the project from Twin Engine. Satoshi Iwataki is adapting Hiroyuki Asada’s original character designs for animation. Yoshihiro Ike is composing the music.

The cast includes:

  • Hiroki Suzuki is Hyakkimaru
  • Rio Suzuki is Dororo
  • Mutsumi Sasaki is Biwamaru
  • Mugihito is Narrator

Amazon will exclusively stream the anime in Japan and overseas.

Dororo is scheduled to premiere in Japan in January 2019.

Source: ANN

Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo Manga to Get Remake in October 2018

The October 2018 issue of Akita Shoten’s Monthly Champion RED magazine has announced that Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo manga will get a remake manga titled Dororo to Hyakkimaru-den (The Legend of Dororo and Hyakkimaru) that will launch in the magazine’s December 2018 issue on October 19, 2018. Satoshi Shiki is drawing the manga.

Shiki is currently serializing the manga adaptation of Ryo Suzukaze and character designer THORES Shibamoto’s Attack on Titan: Before the Fall novel series.

Source: ANN

Tezuka Mix Magazine to Launch as Tezucomi in October 2018

The Micro Magazine Publishing Company’s official website has announced that it is launching a new monthly magazine titled Tezucomi on October 5, 2018. Micro Magazine originally planned to launch a magazine under the name Tezuka Mix on April 30, 2018, but it was delayed due to “production advancement circumstances.”

Like Tezuka Mix, Tezucomi magazine celebrates the 90th anniversary since the pioneering manga creator Osamu Tezuka’s birth in 1928. It will run monthly for 18 issues. Each issue of the magazine will have a theme, and will republish a Tezuka work based on that theme.

The Micro Magazine editorial department plans to provide more details and launch a website for the magazine in late August 2018. It has not yet confirmed if the participating artists will be the same as those listed for Tezuka Mix.

Source: ANN

Digital Manga Launches New Kickstarter for Osamu Tezuka’s Wonder 3 and Other Titles

Digital Manga Inc. has launched a Kickstarter campaign to localize and publish Osamu Tezuka’s Wonder 3 manga in English in one omnibus volume. The project aims to raise US$39,000 by April 26, 2017. If the Kickstarter is successful, the volume is scheduled to be released in August 2017.

The campaign is also offering the following manga titles as reward items: The Thief Inoue Akikazu, Yakeppachi’s Maria (omnibus), Dust 8 (omnibus), The Euphrates Tree, Say Hello to Bookila! (omnibus), Metamorphose, and Ambassador Magma (omnibus). Unlike previous additional titles Digital Manga has offered in its Kickstarters, the publication of these titles will not be contingent on stretch goals.

Digital Manga has aimed to publish Wonder Three in two earlier unsuccessful Kickstarter campaigns. The manga was a stretch goal in a 2014 campaign to publish six Tezuka manga, though the campaign failed to meet its initial goal. Digital Manga launched another Kickstarter for Wonder Three in 2015, though the project also failed to meet its initial goal of US$46,500.

Source: ANN