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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On a recent trip to the library, I was surprised to find a copy of Digital Manga’s release of Unico sitting on the shelf. I decided to check it out and read it, since it’s a title by Osamu Tezuka and I’ve been wanting to read more of his work besides Astro Boy.
Written by: Osamu Tezuka
English Publisher: Digital Manga
Release Date: March 26, 2009
The front cover shows the picture of an adorable little unicorn, who of course is Unico, the main protagonist of the series. The cover gives the impression that the story is going to be extremely kid-friendly and perhaps saccharine. But it turns out that some of the stories in this volume can get a little on the dark side at times. Unico encounters some interesting characters, and the series has stories that ultimately include elements of topics like prejudice.
Unfortunately, with the way the overarching premise for Unico is set up, the reader hardly gets to see the resolution for the individual stories contained within the volume. Since Unico is always whisked away before most of the stories can reach a climax and he loses his memory, the reader deals not only with not seeing what ultimately happens to many of the characters that Unico meets, but also has each chapter “reset to zero” and having Unico starting all over again. If this happened once or twice, that would be one thing. But when each chapter ends with Unico being taken somewhere else and losing his memory, it can become a little annoying after a while. And to add to that frustration, the story of Unico ultimately has a non-ending to it.
Ultimately, Unico is an interesting character, and the individual stories contained within the series are interesting, but the execution for the overarching premise and the non-ending for the story weaken the series to some degree. While I don’t regret reading Unico, it’s a manga that I’ll likely not be in a hurry to read again.
Digital Manga Inc.’s Kickstarter campaign to publish Osamu Tezuka’s Wonder 3 (Wonder Three) manga failed to meet its US$46,500 goal. The campaign raised US$39,172, or 84.24% of its goal.
The campaign had an additional stretch goal to publish Tezuka’s The Film Lives On manga.
Digital Manga’s Kickstarter campaign to publish Tezuka’s 13-volume The Three-eyed One manga and seven-volume Rainbow Parakeet manga failed to meet its US$380,000 goal last year. Wonder Three was originally included as a stretch goal in that campaign. Digital Manga president Hikaru Sasahara said that he originally wanted to use Kickstarter to fund 50-70 books a year, but has switched to a goal of 20-30 volumes in order to lower the cost of publishing including licensing fees, advanced royalties, labor, and other expenses. He added at the time that he would like to launch a new campaign for one to five books almost every month, with a week or two in between each campaign.