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Essays On Insects


  • This animated film is comprised of five themes chosen from Tezuka Osamu's collection of essays "Essay in Idleness of Insects" in which he had compiled studies on insects. Although this collection contains mainly academic studies, it also includes records of insect observation that lead to literary conclusions with mysterious or mythical imagery. The five essays are done in different animation techniques, and each episode is followed by a scene with the boy Tezuka Osamu and a swallow-tailed butterfly called "Oomurasaki." The film depicts the boy Tezuka Osamu desperately chasing Oomurasaki with his butterfly net, together with what he saw in his dreams. This work was screened at the show "Tezuka Osamu: Images of the Past and Future".



  • Boy Osamu Ant Jikabachi Fly Utsubo-kazura
    Red ant Man      


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  • (c) Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd.

    Shown at "Tezuka Osamu- Image from the past to the future" / 13 minutes / In Color
    Tezuka Production Co., Ltd. / from August 3, 1995


  • 1. Ants and Igabachi (bees)    

    The title of the original essay is "Ants" Igabachi is carrying a dead caterpillar to its nest when it encounters a file of ants, and a fierce fight starts between them. The story is not only told from the observer Tezuka Osamu's viewpoint, but it also includes scenes from the viewpoint of bees and ants. The movements and behavior of the insects are depicted realistically.

    2. Cicadas' sounds    

    The title of the original work is "Cicadas." "The song of the cicadas symbolizes our hearts in the summer. As it is said, the sound of the cicadas indeed hails the summer," Tezuka Osamu wrote in his essay. He also tells us that just by paying attention to cicada sounds, we can sense the change of seasons from summer to fall in Japan. This episode is done only in still pictures.

    3. Flies and Nepenthes    

    The title of the original work is "My memorable insects." Tezuka Osamu describes in his Manga pictures the way an insectivorous plant captures food. The whole episode bears the tone of a gag. The fight between an insectivorous plant Nepenthes and a captured fly is depicted in this episode.

    4. Autumn insects and fireflies    

    There is no title to the original work. When fall comes, insects start making sounds, and a swarm of fireflies dance wildly. This work depicts the beauty of such a scene through animation. Insects make sounds only as a means of reproduction, and fireflies are simply endowed with bodies that blink. Humans, however, feel poetic sentiment toward them, and are charmed by their beauty. This episode shows how Tezuka Osamu felt about this "selfish" human sentiment.

    5. The red ants' struggle    

    Red ants are diligently carrying crumbs bigger than their bodies to their nest. Then a swarm of little black ants comes along, and steals the crumbs in small pieces. The red ants, however, devote themselves to the hard work of carrying the big crumbs. The scene makes Tezuka Osamu feel as if he is looking at a caricature of human society in the way the red ants devote themselves to a hard task and the black ants exploit others forcibly and by their instinct. The original work had no title.


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