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What Tezuka works do you consider worthwhile and well-made?

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Reading Atom while taking occasional detours to his other stuff. I saved The Greatest Robot on Earth for later (the one that had the Urasawa manga based on it) and read some further volumes, but so far that one is definitely one of the best arcs and not overrated in my opinion. It's very simple, but that's what makes it good.

I read Barbara the other day and liked it quite a lot. Black Jack, Kirihito Sanka, Buddha and Ayako are also favorites of mine but let's be honest, you should read all of his works, dude was the original motherfucker.
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I thought the robot president arc was great, and so was the magician robot one even if the end was handled very badly. But those were about a very specific subject, i.e. allegories of the civil rights issues of their times.

I understand why the Pluto arc is the one everyone cums over, though, because you don't NEED any backround to understand it. Insular Japanese kids with no knowledge of the outside world could understand it. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that any culture, no matter how secluded, will understand and relate to the themes of this arc if translated to them, as long as they can grasp the concept of man-made humanoids (and chances are many already have them as part of their culture).
tezuka said phoenix was his life's work, he probably knows better then anyone
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Not to mention it has a bunch of really iconic imagery. Pluto's design in particular is great and works both up close and in silhouette form. The only artist I think really captured the essence of the original while drawing it in a more "modern" style was Urusawa; the 2003 show for example over-detailed it to the point where it lost its original stag beetle theme and the 80s one just looked too much like a "generic unimportant character" human character face.
I'd rather read the stuff I think holds up today than read for history. For example, I regret sitting through the entirety of Toei's Puss in Boots when I could have just watched the finale, which is what everyone REALLY has in mind when they think of it; but then, if I had ignored it there would have been no way to know it was not nearly as good as Animal Treasure Island so I dunno.
>What Tezuka works do you consider worthwhile and well-made?

Most of them from his later period.
While I'm not for "death of the author" at all (people who take that all the way are selfish shits), Tezuka was a pretty insecure man who made all sorts of contradicting statements over time; Miyazaki even rightfully called him out on that once (though to be fair I like Tezuka more than Miyazaki as a public figure).

Tezuka was a great comic-maker with some very interesting world-views but he wasn't a shiny unquestionable golden god either. Tezuka doesn't like Alabaster because it goes against his principles of what art should be, but it doesn't go against mine so I read and enjoyed it anyway.
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Message to Adolf is one I think is pretty criminally underrated. It walked a delicate line trying to humanize one of history's greatest monsters, but I feel that he succeeded, while also establishing he was certainly not someone to admire, just that he was human. Plus the actual plot of the dual lives between the friends is pretty interesting.

On a related note, I recently read one of his earlier works, Mysterious Underground Men, and while it definitely has story kinks, it's interesting to see his style evolve from a straight-up Disney knock off to the more defined "anime" style you see in middle-to-late Atom storylines.
Ode to Kirihito comes really close to the heart of Tezuka imho.
Why do so many people categorize Tezuka into his "fun shonen/shoujo works" and his "edgy gekiga mature manga wannabe works" when 1967 shonen Phoenix had on-screen baby deaths (not to mention emotionally disturbing shit) and ALABASTER of all things was a shonen? That his "dark and edgy" era was "fake"?

As far as I can see, he just got more honest about things he was insecure about. Some of the drama in his older works seems like it's often killed by an underlying voice in his head telling him "these are just comics for kids, comics are light entertainment and not true art, I'm not a serious artist; better lighten this shit up!"

Like, yeah, I have no doubt he decided to start making manga for adults because he wanted to show "I CAN DO WHAT YOU YOUNGSTERS ARE DOING TOO". He was a very, very competitive dude; just like Astro he preached pacifism but also enjoyed competitiveness, because he was a flawed human being. But that wasn't his first not aimed at a shonen/shoujo audience; Lost World was originally aimed at adults.

So what's even really the huge difference between the two? Why do people draw this line between "try-hard edgelord faggot Tezuka" and "actually good family fun Tezuka" when one of his beloved shonen manga has THIS chapter in it?

I guess the biggest change is he stopped dropping those meme characters into otherwise serious scenes. But that... was often not a good thing. It worked sometimes but in Phoenix you literally had a wacky non sequitur page followed by a baby being graphically murdered.
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haha fuck I guess I'm asking the wrong people because whoever's online now actually likes his new work >>139886451

I think both his old and new stuff can be good or not-so-good; Astro Boy at its best is fantastic because under its "ugh kiddy shit" veneer you find the same kind of themes as his "edgier" works.

It's sad to me that a significant amount of people refuse to get into Astro Boy because IT'S BABY SHIT LOL and then consider Urusawa's Pluto the only "worthwhile Astro Boy-universe work for true manga connoisseurs. Even though Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki constantly say "fucking read the original along with this", the latter even making the great statement that "you should read it not as a priceless relic to put on a pedestal but as an engaging read by any standard".
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I think the only difference between the two categories is surface level; in terms of themes Tezuka has always maintained the same positions, even if they were somewhat underplayed in his more "kiddie" works. I mean, Astro got pretty dark at times, too; the origin story, in particular, consisting of a child dying in a brutal car crash, his image resurrected as a robot, and then being cast aside by a disillusioned creator always struck me as almost somewhat out of place in what appears to be a cute kid-friendly robot adventure.

Tezuka being more overt in his adult-centered content was definitely a response to the times, sure, but the themes being covered concerning race, outcasts and belonging, and the overall idea of "peace" were still there, just being conveyed differently.

Yeah, I remember first reading Astro back when I was in middle school; the whole undertone of more mature themes was what really attracted me to it, I hadn't seen anything like it. And in turn, I saw the rest of Tezuka's work offering more or less the same thing. His ability to cover really in-depth stuff while also making sure to stay true to whatever audience he's writing for is definitely one of my favorite skills of his.
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It's also funny how it almost feels like the progenitor of tournament arcs, and yet it stands against everything those shonens glorify. Astro Boy even goes berserk and his hair changes to a lighter color... but that almost gets him killed, so what would now be a "power-up" was a near-death sentence.

Its final point on the idea of finding out who is the "strongest ever!!!" is a more straight-faced and honest version of what One Punch-Man does through satire today: "Who gives a shit? Just be a good person". Though given the creation & programming theme it can also be seen as a parallel to child soldiers which makes it doubly good.
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See >>139887474 cuz it should have been a reply to your post

And yeah that's the thing, Astro Boy covers, allegorically,

-The idea of a racial minority president and the impact it has on the populace

-Violent racial riots and the influence they have on race relations

-Innocent minorities being profiled and shot (this got literal in Alabaster where it wasn't a total "dindu nuffin" case and the protagonist later became a psycho villain, but race profiling still gave him a longer sentence so the criticism is there)

-Child soldiers. I think this was 100% intentional in Pluto; he was half child with free will, half pre-programmed badass murder machine and behaved as such.

I fucking love seeing such themes delivered with this type of art, because I like serious stories about human nature just as much as I like cartoony shit.

Especially since, even if you take into account the Bambi eyes and influence from Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson and Milt Gross, Astro Boy still looks to me like a Popeye short suddenly getting dead serious and making valid social criticism and existential statements.
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I love all the use of squash & stretch he used on Atom (I want to train myself to say Atom and not Astro because Astro sounds lame and gay and unfitting) in this fight to suggest his speed upgrade.

Though to be fair I just tend to like particularly cartoony manga & anime art and think the aesthetic can be used for drama just fine if done well; maybe getting super into One Piece and Mind Game at a young age planted that seed so now "cartoony art, serious themes" is like an instant brain drug.
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Urasawa & co praised this era of Tezuka's history as his best in terms of art; at first I was totally confused because it's not as solid as what I remembered being really good in Black Jack. But then I looked at the later Phoenix volumes and everything frankly looked a lot stiffer.

From reading various rumors & quotes it feels to me like Tezuka was going through some mental struggle of wanting to be accepted as a "literary figure" and thus pretending he doesn't think art is all that important... while not REALLY thinking that way deep inside. Because let's be honest, Tezuka's redundant-ass writing is the last thing you read his work for; it's the visual execution and the plot ideas that make it great.

Regardless, Urasawa & co said they loved this era of Tezuka because it was "more about art" than all the others. And while his old stuff is more "correct", he was definitely having a super fun time drawing this.
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https://mangabrog.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/naoki-urasawa-and-hisashi-eguchi-talk-about-manga-in-the-70s-and-80s-mostly-otomo/ here's the interview I keep referencing by the way

also, lol extremely iconic scene followed by loli fanservice
Phoenix is probably my all time favorite manga. It's uneven and has lots of flaws, but something about it really struck a chord with me. It kills me that we'll never know how he planned to end it.
Finished Apollo's Song not too long ago, only 2 volumes. Really good!
Phoenix 2 is literally one of the best things I ever read
I've only read volumes 1 and 2 so far. 1 was flawed writing-wise but had some really, really striking visuals. 2 was maybe a tad less visually experimental but the writing absolutely blew me the fuck away especially after finding out he came up with this story before 2001: A Space Odyssey.

First of all I fucking love how the manga treats escapism in a totally meta way, not if it's necessarily "good" or "bad", offering multiple examples of it.

Then there's the theme of the god-computers which takes the "computer programmed to be becomes evil" thing to a whole other level by giving each underground culture their own god-computer built to be "perfectly logical". But of course this "perfect logic" is merely the moral values of the people who built him, at the time they built him. I like that Tezuka could criticize the shitty aspects of religion and openly identify as a non-believer while still respecting its good parts.

Then the final stretch is just so fucking existential and bizarre that you'll absolutely never forget it. Top-notch stuff.

And yes the escapism thing involves programmed robot waifus
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The ending of 2 is so powerful.

2 and 4 are easily the best, but I'm personally a big fan of 10/11 too. Not as deep thematically, but just a really good story. The only one I outright didn't like was 6. I've only read it the one time, so I wonder if I'd appreciate it more a second time around.

Yeah it's fucking fantastic. It's not totally flawless (cool convenient expositions, Rock), but it manages to cover so many themes in such a thoughtful way.

It's sad that the only animated adaptation of it is the shitty TV one. A Rintaro OVA would've been fine, but I'd love to see a super well-produced adaptation in the original style by really skilled animators. Maybe a movie because this is mythical and epic enough to work as one.
I'd say his best work is Blackjack, but I'm a medic, so maybe I'm being partial. Buddha was pretty nice, I own a neat edition. I read Kimba and Metropolis and they were sort of too goofy to my tastes.

You're almost making me spend $50 on Adolf, anon.
I was afraid people would shit on the ending since the spiritual talk at times got a bit too close to sounding like a Spirit Science video. But frankly I don't think it ever went over the line from "awe-inspiring" to "bwahahahahhaha this shit is so loony" like it did with, say, Nagai's Mao Dante; where the SECRET OF THE UNIVERSE scenes were hysterical (then again I don't think Nagai wrote Mao Dante to be taken as seriously as Devilman, he said it was meant to make him feel like he's Godzilla stomping around cars in an interview with Anno)

But yeah, none of it bothered me; it was just a great fucking story that had some writing issues, but even in that regard it's far less redundant and more subtle than a lot of other Tezuka works. Recommended to anyone who sometimes likes to think about what immortality means, the moral reasoning behind religious dogma, the nature of existence and the purpose of mankind.
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I haven't read those yet but I love the goofiness in Astro Boy/Mighty Atom when it doesn't get in the way.

Sometimes drama and comedy is mixed badly in a way that feels insincere and self-hating about being a cartoonist like I said before, but a lot of it works totally fine.
I think that's part of why the Pluto arc as so beloved. Imagine how fucking stupid it would've been if one of Tezuka's meme characters appeared in the panel where Pluto explodes.
>While I'm not for "death of the author" at all (people who take that all the way are selfish shits)
Have you actually read the essay, or are you just talking about the popular understanding of the concept?
Actually, that's a fitting thing to say about Phoenix volume 1's writing: "imagine Hyoutan-Tsugi dancing around a pile of baby corpses". That's only a slight exaggeration.

Still, outside of those parts it was pretty damn great. Look at the eye zoom-in thing here; I love seeing shit like this in manga.
>the popular understanding of the concept
That one. I should read the original essay; it could easily be something dumbass college kids misinterpreted so they could project their headcanons over everything.
gonna post the next 2 pages cuz they look neat
The Phoenix was a dick.
It's interesting. I watched the Phoenix anime back in high school or maybe early college and hated it. I really didn't like the ending of Future in particular.

But in grad school, the school's library had the manga and for some reason I decided to give it a go and absolutely fell in love with it. I don't know if the anime was just particularly bad (I barely remember it), or if I had just matured a lot over the years. I assume it was a combination of both. But the way Future ties into this neverending cycle and loops back into Dawn is just really powerful. And again, it makes it so heartbreaking that he never completed the manga. It couldn't have been more than a few volumes away, since we were nearly converging on the present.

I went on a mission to buy the manga, but of course it had gone out of print so I had to try to navigate around scalper prices. I finally got them all, though, in great condition. Pretty proud to own it all. And then they released it on Kindle.
Well and the whole idea of "art is only about what YOU feel and how it relates to you" bother me. I understand that if you're listening to protagandistic music by literal murderers or neo-nazis and you disagree with the views in their lyrics, but generally it's a very selfish way of viewing art.

It's like how in Moby Dick, all Ahab saw in the doubloon was himself and believed that this was the natural order of things for everyone. If you say Kill la Kill is about feminism and how the patriarchy must be destroyed if you want it to be and no authorial intent will erase your headcanon, you're directly comparable to the crazy self-destructive old man from an old story.
If it had Future then it's the garbage TV adaptation which has absolutely hideous animation and art direction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spEoBJlWKVM#t=13m1s

I haven't seen much of them but from a quick skim the Rintaro OVA ones are likely far, far better even if I prefer Tezuka's cartoony style.

I'm glad Phoenix TV faded out in obscurity with just a few idiots wondering "why is this not more popular???" (because it's a shit adaptation you dunce)
Volume 3 really suffered from that too. Lots of weird comedic interludes. Even volumes 2 and 4 had a couple of odd gags that interrupted the flow of the story.
I disagree; I think the gags in 2 were all great. This page is possibly my favorite one in fact.

The whole "draw me cartoons" thing at the end was also meta in a good way because it was acknowledging its own status as escapist entertainment.
Fair enough. Maybe I'll have to reread with a more open eye toward the comedy.

Are storytimes a thing on /a/? I mostly go to /co/ but came here looking for something else and found this thread. I could totally be convinced to storytime volume 2.
>I should read the original essay
Wimsatt and Beardsley's "The Intentional Fallacy" is a good companion piece if you do. Both pieces address the same general issue, but "The Intentional Fallacy" influenced New Criticism while "Death of the Author" was written from a structuralist perspective.

>Well and the whole idea of "art is only about what YOU feel and how it relates to you" bother me.

Wimsatt and Beardsley also address this approach to criticism in their essay, "The Affective Fallacy." All three essays would be well worth reading if you have any interest in literary theory.
Also to further elaborate that gag worked because it was supposed to portray unquestioned dogmatic beliefs as ridiculous and funny as opposed to merely scary; and really, they are both.

Meanwhile if you're gonna make a le funny gag panel to make a panel of a baby being murdered seem less bad you're just being silly.
Metropolis and New Treasure Island are my favorite of his early works. Alabaster and Black Jack are also pretty up high.
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>Are storytimes a thing on /a/? I mostly go to /co/ but came here looking for something else and found this thread. I could totally be convinced to storytime volume 2.
I honestly have no idea because I don't read most manga. I used to do it with Black Jack back in 2009 and the scarce scans of the 70s Lupin III manga I had in 2012 but that's as far as I can remember.

Personally I'd just recommend it so that people can enjoy it alone. I think the image equivalent of a group-watch would kinda get in the way of the immersion with Tezuka's popularity and shitposters feeling the need to make zany quips about everything and spout catchphrases etc. This is just not a manga I want to get riffed on by memers who think they're MST3K.

So I'm not gonna do it but you can if you wish.
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Finally someone else who enjoyed Alabaster

I totally understand why he dislikes it; if you put all of your awful, hateful major depressive thoughts into an utterly hopeless and grotesque comic, it's not gonna make you want to look back at it. But I think works like that which focus on a specific intense emotion the author is feeling and go all the way with it have their own kind of artistic merit.
I was thinking the same thing. A good storytime thread can have some really spectacular discussion (one of my best 4chan memories was a really great, engaged, civil discussion on North Korea and communism with a storytime of Guy DeLisle's Pyongyang), but a bad one just descends into shitpost hell.

So I'll just link out to Buddha, Astro Boy, Phoenix, and a few other works: https://www.mediafire.com/?s113hdjpr6fbw

Does anyone know if there are good quality scans of Message to Adolf? Always wanted to check it out.
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I didn't expect multiple panels in a cartoony Tezuka shonen manga to disturb me but they totally did.
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black varg vikernes with invisible skin
Did one of you buy that lot of Blackjack manga on EBay tonight? It went for almost $300.
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no but I bought Nextworld from Ebay thinking the scans were shit but no, the book was just released in a way that makes you see the goddamn pixels surrounding the inks

the art good and super lively but what they did to it is not good at all
this scene is glorious in terms of character acting
I really like those pages with invisible girl going throigh the land on her skeletal horse. It's one of my favorite manga moments in general, just after Devilman's final stretch.
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Yeah that was a great scene; I just wanted to make a dumb black metal joke.
I swear, the way Tezuka draws characters doing big emotions like yelling or getting really angry/sad always makes me smile; you don't see a lot of expressiveness like this in even some of Tezuka's own later works, it makes me treasure the cartooney-ness of his earlier stuff.
I really love the style you see in old time manga. It looks way better than the modern styles to me. I don't say that to shit on modern manga by any means, I just really dig the style of old Tezuka/Ishinomori/etc. stuff.
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Black Jack and Kirihito still had plenty of cartooniness, but the really late Phoenix chapters got too stiff for me.

Astro Boy though is totally defined by its cartoony look. The 3DCG American film was generic enough, but now they're making a fucking live action version and apparently said it will be "like live-action Iron Man". It sounds like the absolute worst, most grossly cynical thing you could do with this license.

It's not like they'll even get that much more extra money if they apply the license to it; most kids these days don't care about Astro Boy at all, given the 2003 show had a butchered dub and the older versions are... old.
What do you think about the new cartoon?
All of them are worthwhile. Not all of them are well-made. If you asked me what to read, I'd probably suggest his short story collections.

I thought Barbara was like a weak Book of Human Insects.

That's probably partly his fault too, and a fault of the media the split the guy in two. Alabaster is like one of the best examples of the guy in conflict over this same exact kind of problem.
no strong feelings one way or the othe
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