Osamu Tezuka born in 1928 in Toyonoka, in Osaka, Japan is known for creating a revolution in comics and animation.
The distinctive “large eyes” style of Japanese animation was invented by Tezuka, drawing his inspiration on cartoons of the time such as Betty Boop, and Walt Disney’s Bambi and Mickey Mouse.
A very productive man, Tezuka’s the “Complete Manga Works of Tezuka Osamu” comprises some 400 volumes, over 80, 000 pages. His complete oeuvre includes over 700 manga with more than 150, 000 pages. However the vast majority of his works hasn’t been translated from the original Japanese.
His creations include Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu in Japan, literally translated to “Iron-armed Atom”),
Princess Knight, Phoenix (Hi no Tori in Japan),
Kimba the White Lion,
Adolf and Buddha.
His “life’s work” was Phoenix — a story of life and death that he began in the 1950s and continued until his death.
His legacy has continued to be honored among Manga artists and animators and many artists including Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), and Kazuki Takahashi (Yu-Gi-Oh!) have cited Tezuka an inspiration for their works.
Tezuka is known for his imaginative stories and stylized Japanese adaptations of western literature. His early works included manga versions of Disney movies such as Bambi. His work, like that of other manga creators, was sometimes gritty and violent. However, he stayed away from graphic violence in some titles such as Astro Boy.
Although Tezuka Osamu received his physician’s license, he chose to devote his life to comics and animation rather than practice medicine. In doing so he brought an unusually creative and educated mind to both fields.
In comics particular, he pioneered long narratives of hundreds, some thousands of pages, brining “cinematic” art styles and novelistic plots to the medium. This cinematic feeling was born during the postwar contemporary movement lead by Tezuka.