"The Song for Apollo" is a science fiction Manga for young readers featuring a boy named Chikaishi Shogo, a bad boy who has grown up without knowing love. In the story, he travels in time to search for true love.
His mother's promiscuous lifestyle has made him hate love. The police put Shogo under the care of Doctor Enoki. Because of the electrotherapy he undergoes, Shogo enters the world of dream and meets the goddess of love. By her command, he experiences the ordeals of love. He travels to different places beyond time, traversing past and the future, falling in love and then experiencing the sorrow of parting. In his travels he goes to Europe under Hitler's rule, an uninhabited island where animals cooperate with each other to live peacefully, and more.
Then he reaches last destination - a future society in 2030, where cloned humans control humans. There, the original humans are forced to live in the mountains, treated as creatures of the past. Queen Sigma, who does not know true love, presses Shogo to show her what love is.
April 26, 1970 to November 22, 1970
Appeared serially in "Weekly Shonen King,"(Shonen Gahosha)
Telling children about sex was a taboo in Japan in the late 1960s, but things changed suddenly in the early 1970s. For many reasons, sex was no longer a taboo subject. In the world of Manga, "Harenchi Gakuen"(1968) by Nagai Go, which was full of obscene scenes and nudes, opened the door to a new era in Manga. Following "Harenchi Gakuen," boys' Mangas started consistently dealing with sex. "Song for Apollo" was written during this period. In this work, Tezuka Osamu tries to convey the essence of love and sex through the eyes of the main character, Chikaishi Shogo, who wanders around searching for true love. This theme is common to Tezuka Osamu's other works such as "Phoenix" and "Buddha." Also at this time, Japan was going through a turbulent period when student riots and violent incidents involving student activists were rampant. Tezuka Osamu later remarked that Shogo's depressed character reflected the dark mood and instability of society at the time.