Cover/Next World, vol.1/Fujishobo/1951
This is a long manga about the last day of the Earth, known as the representative Sci-Fi manga in his early career.
Thanks to the effect of continuous atomic bomb experiments, a new type of human beings, Fumoon, appears on the Earth obscurely. Dr. Yamadano who has noticed the existence warns the world, however, nobody listens to him. Furthermore, Star Nation and Uran Union, the two big powers, begin a war. Just then, a mass of dreadful gas is approaching to the Earth. Fumoons, who have already known it, leave the Earth boarding on the flying saucers with 50,000 spices of animals and 500 docile humans. Now the gas almost reaches the Earth. The last day is just around the corner.
Published in the form of comic books from Fuji Shobo (1st episode on 1951/01/10, 2nd episode, 'Uchu Daiankoku' on 1951/02/20)
In this work, Tezuka embedded the spirit of "anti-war", one of the most important themes he kept appealing through his work. The work was written in 1951, so-called post-war era. Japan ended war by declaring its defeat in 1945, but it didn't mean all the nations in the world ended war. In 1950, Korean war started in East Asia. Looking at the world, United States and Soviet Union were in the middle of Cold War. They did not fight directly with military power, yet they competed with each other by means of intelligence-gathering operations and development of nuclear weapons. Tezuka wrote the work with an edge of sarcasm toward the world then.
This work was written for comic book publication by a publisher in Osaka, and known as the last work of Tezuka's early Sci-Fi trilogy consisting of Lost World, Metropolis and Next World. The story, developed in Japan, Star Nation, and Uran Union, features more than twenty characters of Tezuka's star system, including Higeoyaji as a detective, Kenichi as his nephew, and Rock as a kid newspaper reporter, and each character takes an important role. This ensemble cast style was a novel trial then.
He is a private detective. One day he is thrown off to Uran Union by a new type of human, Fumoon as he witnesses it while following Dr. Yamadano acting shady at Tokyo station. Then he is placed in an underground factory in Uran Union judged as a suspicious figure.
He is Higeoyaji's nephew. He looks for Higeoyaji who has been missing. He, then, finds injured Fumoon by the name of Rokoko at Dr. Yamadano's house. He takes care of Rokoko, becoming friends with it.
He is a son of the president of a newspaper company in Star Nation. He is arrested by police as he holds a time bomb which a homeless guy the by name of Lamp left to him. Then he is released in exchange to serve as a spy. After dispatched to Uran Union by Notalin, he is captured, sent to an underground factory.
He is a doctor of science living near Inogashira Park. He finds a new type of human, Fumoon on Batei Island where Star Nation has conducted atomic bomb experiments. He, then, discloses the existence at International Atomic Power Conference, fearing the impact of atomic bombs on ecosystems.
She is a Fumoon found on Batei Island. She is about half as tall as a female human and has a tentacle on the head. She also has telepathy as well as power over gravity.
She is an only daughter of Notalin, the head of Nuclear Power Committee of Star Nation and Rock's girlfriend. She grows up spoiled and naive.
He is a generous young man with a sense of justice and a son of Nicolai Rednof, the important figure of Uran Union. Although dispatched to the underground factory as the top-ranking officer, he chooses to work just as a worker.
She is a scientist and a daughter of Director of Science Ministry of Uran Union. She is also the director of the underground factories and Iwan's girlfriend. She and Cocoa look alike.
Unique residents living around Kenichi
(Excerpt from the afterward for Next World,vol.2 of Tezuka Osamu Manga Compilation by Kodansha)
Next world directed by H.G. Wels is a large-scale Sci-Fi movie released before Pacific war. I watched it at a small movie theater in Shinjuku after war, Actually, it was not so interesting. Especially the first half was boring. I remember I yawned several times then.
What I want to say is I watched it long after I wrote the work. I just want to make it clear that the movie was nothing to do with my work. It's neither rip-off nor copy.
Also, I did not write about human future. Actually, I changed the title to New Human Fumoon when it was republished as an appendix of some magazine. The story was completely different from what people may imagine from the title.
Anyway, the work was the last one I authored for a comic book in my Osaka days* (*It's his misunderstanding. The last comic book in his Osaka days was Crime and Punishment in 1953). I remember I spent quite a lot of time to write the work elaborately. The other day, I found the composition memo for the work. It seems I had already built the plot around 1959, the time I authored Metropolis. The work now consists of about 300 pages for the 1st and 2nd volumes, but I actually drew no less than 1000 pages of manuscripts. Why didn't I use all the manuscripts? Well, the publisher said such a long story didn't fit the capacity of the comic books.
Accordingly, I had to cut quite a lot of pages and get through the detail of the story. That's why the work became something like a digest version (Especially the 1st volume is awful!). Let me give you an example. The scene of Kenichi with tenants of row houses was originally four times as long as the present version. I actually enjoyed depicting each tenant as if they were the seven dwarfs of Disney. I gave out those unused manuscripts to my fans or burned them out by myself. Now only a few of them are left.
Unique residents living around Kenichi
Rock punishied by Bird Cage
(Excerpt from Boku wa Mangaka published by Mainich Newspaper)
The story starts from the scene that Star Nation and Uran Union begin Cold War. Uran Union, largely controlled by President Whisky, has a huge number of secret factories under the tundra area, where Higeoyaji and Rock, a spy of Star Nation, are engaged in forced labor. Once the workers make a protest, they are punished under sentence of "bird-cage" and brainwashed till their personalities are completely wrecked. On the other hand, Lamp, who became an overnight billionaire from a homeless guy thanks to the power of dollar, buys up all the technologies in Star Nation as hearing the Earth will be destroyed. He plans to build an evacuation rocket so that only he and his family can survive.
Anyway, I began writing the work with nihilistic thought, planning to complete it with a sad ending. But I had the story ended happily as Korean war was suspended while Japan signed San Francisco Peace Treaty at least. But I did not forget to add a warning that the danger would come soon if we commit mistakes again as such a pompous ending appealed to college students. By then, not only children but also grown up read my works.
(Please note the above is a liberal translation of the original text in Japanese. )
Rock punishied by Bird Cage
Back Cover/Newxt World, vol,1/Fujishobo/1951