TEZUKA OSAMU MUSEUM

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Permanent Exhibition
Permanent Exhibition2 The Manga artist Tezuka Osamu (4)

The New Tezuka Osamu Boom

 

"Buddha"
"UNICO"
 

In 1973, Mushi Pro Shoji and Mushi Production went bankrupt. Although Tezuka Osamu had retired as president of the two companies and had withdrawn himself from management, he eventually shouldered the debts of the companies. Saddled with the debts and his dream of producing animated cartoons shattered, Tezuka Osamu devoted himself to the production of Manga again. In 1972, he started to publish "Buddha" in Ushio Shuppansha's magazine "Kibo no Tomo" in serial form. In this work, he used the form of Buddha's biography to elaborate the theme of "The Phoenix," the publication of which had been suspended due to the discontinuation of the publication of the "COM" magazine. In 1973, he published "Black Jack" in "Shonen Champion" magazine in serial form to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his career as a Manga artist. Furthermore, he published the unique serial Manga "The Three-eyed One" in "Shonen Magazine" in 1974 and the fairy tale-like serial manga "Unico" in Sanrio's magazine "Lyrica" in 1976. Each of these became a hit, giving rise to a new Tezuka Osamu boom.

Animated Cartoons Produced by Tezuka Productions

 

"Bander Book" (1978)

"Bander Book" (1978)

 

"A Blue Blink" (1989)

"A Blue Blink" (1989)

Animated cartoons produced thus far by Tezuka Productions included "Misuke in the Land of Ice" (1970), "Misuke Gone South" (1971), both PR animated cartoons for the Yamaha Electone Class and "The Marvelous Melmo" (1971). It was in 1978, however, that the company started to produce animated cartoons full-scale. The foremost reason Tezuka Osamu resumed the production of animated cartoons was that the success of "Black Jack" and "The Three-eyed One" had made him financially well-off. Other reasons included the shock of the sudden death of Yoshida Tatsuo, who had led Tatsunoko Productions, and Tezuka Osamu's reaction to being considered a Manga artist of the past in the midst of the animated cartoon boom triggered by "Star Blazers Yamato." Tezuka Osamu decided to produce a pilot animated cartoon entitled "The Legend of the Forest" and brought together animators from the former Mushi Production for this purpose. In 1978, it was also decided that animated cartoons would be produced and synthesized as part of the film "The Phoenix" directed by Ichikawa Kon. In addition, in August of the same year, Nippon Television Network broadcast the two-hour animated cartoon "One million-year Trip: Bander Book," which demonstrated that Tezuka was still active. He then began to energetically publish a series of works.

Other Works

 

Merchandise featuring Tezuka Osamu's mascot characters

Merchandise featuring Tezuka Osamu's mascot characters

Tezuka Osamu's work was not limited to Manga and animated cartoons. One can encounter Tezuka Osamu's works in unexpected fields, including the production of picture books, bookbinding, illustrations for posters and record jackets, and the design of mascot characters for businesses and special events. In addition to drawing manga, he gave lectures, wrote essays, had talks with celebrities, and did translations, and he also served as producer for Fujipan's Robot Pavilion for the Japan World Exposition in 1970 and the Government Pavilion (Aqua polis) for the Okinawa International Ocean Exposition in 1973. Tezuka Osamu always said, "Manga artists need to change their way of thinking in accordance with the changing times," and this kind of flexibility may have directed him to do a wide variety of work.

A Global Perspective

 

The Zagreb International Animation Festival Grand Prix plaque
The Zagreb International Animation Festival
Grand Prix plaque
Valladolid International Animation Festival Golden Spike Award plaque
Valladolid International Animation Festival
Golden Spike Award plaque
Varna International Animation Festival best-in-the-category award plaque
Varna International Animation Festival
best-in-the-category award plaque
 
A cell picture for "IN THE BEGINNING THE Bible Stories"
A cell picture for "IN THE BEGINNING THE Bible Stories"

In 1963, Tezuka Osamu visited the United States to conclude a contract with the American TV network NBC, following which he traveled overseas many times. In 1980, he gave a lecture on the Manga culture of modern Japan at the headquarters of the United Nations as a "Manga ambassador" for the Japan Foundation. Tezuka Osamu believed that Manga and animated cartoons would become a means of international communication, and strove to convey his message to the rest of the world.