The term was originally coined in Hollywood. Charlie Chaplin and fellow actors started up a new movie company with the aim of producing movies that revolved around planning for the star actors; they dubbed this practice the "star system". Since then, it has become customary to refer to the film-making system that centers on top stars using this expression.
The "star system" employed in Tezuka Osamu's Manga differed slightly from its Hollywood namesake, with the characters who appear being handled just like movie actors. In other words, as one actor takes on a variety of different roles, so individual characters were given different parts to play.
Aside from the works of Tezuka Osamu, no other Manga artists were using this visionary formula in their writing. It was inconceivable that the star of one Manga would appear as a backseat player in another, and in the guise of the villain at that.
Nonetheless, Tezuka Osamu thought of his characters as real live actors and actresses and took great pleasure in his role as director in assigning roles to them. Readers who spotted Atom in the guise of the son of a kidnapper in another work would smile with delight.
Tezuka Osamu even went so far as to think up appearance fees for his characters and his Manga-making techniques overlapped with movie production methods in many ways. It is quite clear that he truly tasted the delights of an influential Hollywood movie director.
"A list of the performance fees drawn up by Tezuka Osamu for his stars"